I am a Jew. I am married to a Catholic, so we celebrate a little bit of everything – Easter, Passover, Christmas, Roshashana and the like. But even as a Jew, I have always wondered why Chanukah or Hannukah or Hanukkah or Chanukkah of Channukah was spelled so many different ways? And because of the spelling, my kids, which made total sense, wanted to know who to pronounce it. Is Chanukah pronounced Ch (like cha cha) – anukka? Or is it that clearing your throat sounds, cccch cccch when you have something stuck in it? If it’s the spelling with the “h” then is it Hanukkah, how it looks or is the “h” silent making it “anukkah.” These were all valid points, and I thank the school system for making them question this, however, I do not thank the English language for being so fucked up.
I suppose the big question is, why are the Jews so damned confusing? Chanukah is NEVER on the same day each year, it moves around December like it’s trying to hide from Christmas and its friends. The Jewish New Year is the same way, and why the hell isn’t the Jewish New Year same new year as every other damned country? Do the Jew’s know something we don’t? Well, hey, I am Jewish, and I certainly don’t have the answers.
This I do know. As a kid, Chanukkah was lame lame lame! There was no such thing as a Hannukah bush to put the gifts under. There was no man in, let’s say blue so it’s not so shlekht (not good in Yiddish), like Moses for instance, to make us be good until he brought those gifts. And there were no cute Hanukah stories about a baby who grew up near the North Pole and became this awesome guy who flew in the sky in a sleigh led by deer. Nope. Chanukah was about some candles and oil that lasted for 8 days. Yippee. The pro – the Jew’s survived it. The con – it left us with a festival of lights that is not quite so festive. I want my damn candy canes and stocking stuffer’s and tree with all the trimmings.