Get latest articles and videos with Jewish
inspiration and insights
A proud polio survivor, I was blissfully unaware of the stigma many attach to paralysis and deformity. Until I wanted to start dating.
And their underlying Jewish values.
Palestinian terrorism verdict shatters long-held myths and illusions.
He ran out of his car and apprehended a terrorist. A timely Purim lesson.
Echoes of Queen Esther who broke protocol in the face of an Iranian threat to destroy her people.
An exciting exhibit presents direct evidence of the Jewish community in Babylonia right before and after the destruction of the First Temple.
Over 650 young Muslims have volunteered to guard Oslo Synagogue on Shabbat in support of the Jewish people.
The tale of the treif turkey.
Our brother demands that we end our relationship with his first wife. None of his siblings want to.
It's the time of year to increase your level of joy. Here's how.
Responding to difficult challenges.
I told the King of Pop that he wasn’t the King of the universe.
Making your marriage thrive by constantly choosing to love.
The last bastion of quiet, wifi and cell phone-free space.
Jazz up your Purim meal with these extra fun dishes.
Attaining the self-assurance you need to achieve true intimacy with another person.
Staying true to yourself while dating.
Making ourselves vulnerable with the relationships in our lives.
Summing up the Purim holiday: They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat.
Kabbala is the Torah's expression of the way the world works. Removed from its source, it's a lot of rubbish. (First in a series.)
One reason why I know there is a God active in our world.
Practical and relevant insights on the weekly parsha.
Advanced-level midrashic and Kabbalistic illuminations on the weekly parsha.
Lessons, stories and discussion questions for parents and kids.
Watch the Purim story come alive.
Sometimes receiving a sign that God is orchestrating events can transform one’s life.
A video series that takes a closer, more grown-up look at the Book of Esther.
Amazing infographic to SHARE with your friends and family about Judaism's most fun holiday.
Mathew Vaughn’s new film has at its core the message that “Manners maketh man”. Or, to put it into Jewish terms, “Manners maketh mensch.” A surprisingly fitting Purim message.
Men whatever you do, never tell your wife that her clothes look, or her food tastes “fine.”
What responsibility do you as a citizen feel that you have to support your government?
Purim and your unique role in life.
A big picture overview capturing the meaning and joy of the holiday.
Building unity through kindness.
December 17, 2011
December 14, 2014 9:40 PM
i want it as correct as possible
because i can't write hebrew and dont want to seem like a dumb goy to my jewish friends. they would not wish me a merry krissmus.
November 21, 2013 7:18 PM
Too much time on your hands
It's a cute video, but I think some of you just have too much time on your hands. Who cares how to spell it? R' Tzvi was just trying to bring out a point. Chill.
January 22, 2013 1:21 PM
yet another spelling for Chanukah
I think that an alternate spelling of that holiday should be Annuca, Annucas, or anything like that, because that's a Greek-influenced alteration that goes even better with English, French, and many other European languages than Hannukah or its ilk and certainly Chanukah or its ilk. It's sort of like how to render the name Chana or Hannah - it's often rendered in European languages as Anna, Anne, or anything like that. Notice that Chana and Chanukah have some of the same letters in Hebrew, esp. the "chet" and the "nun". (And Annuca sounds awfully like Annika, a diminutive of Anna, as in Annika Sorenstam, the professional tennis player.)
In terms of the suffix, Mattityahu often becomes Mattathias (as well as Matthew), Yonah often becomes Jonas (as well as Jonah), etc. Notice that in this case, an "s" is added in the end, also a Greek influence that has been transposed into other European languages.
In summary, something like Annuca, or Annucas if you wish!
December 14, 2014 6:09 PM
very learned comments, Yosef Dov, but
According to your erudite comment, I wonder why you sign as Yosef Dov? Certainly, "Yoseph" is more correct, as the "f" is a corrupted softening of Vav (hence its placement in the sixth position) as opposed to the "ph," where the he is used to allow air to merge with the hard p sound to soften the p correctly. Also, the Y consonant in German is always written with a J. A German looking at "Joseph" would say "Yosef," just as ahe would say "yah" when reading "yes," the source of the English"yes." So Joseph's is the correct rendition. And of course Dov is "properly" rendered in Germanic languages as "Be[a]r."Therefore, you should be signing as Joseph Bear/Ber.Unless, in honor of Chanukkah you sign as "Josephus Bearus!!" Happy Annuka!
December 24, 2011 3:24 PM
You always learn something new
A very educational presentation.
December 23, 2011 3:50 PM
I really dislike the 2-K versions. This only seems to have started in the last few years. Only one K is necessary, and the 2 Ks look ridiculous. If it was a ch- sound that it was trying to express, then ok, that would make more sense, but it's not. Other than that I have never minded any variation of the H or Ch at the beginning, Chanukah or Hanukah, or even leaving the H off at the end, but the two Ks really irritate me.
December 26, 2011 7:05 PM
@Lauryn RE: Two K's in Hanukka
You write: "I really dislike the 2-K versions. This only seems to have started in the last few years. Only one K is necessary, and the 2 Ks look ridiculous."
Actually, two Ks are a very accurate transliteration because "חֲנֻכָּה" is spelled in Hebrew with a dagesh (דָּגֵשׁ), which among other things, serves to double a consonant's sound. Of course, the khaf (כ ) with a dagesh becomes a kaf (כּ), but it also doubles the sound. So transliterating חֲנֻכָּה as "Haunkkah" is a very accurate, and has been a convention in linguistically accurate transliteration of Hebrew for quite some time.
December 23, 2011 2:40 AM
You Light Up My Life
It's actually spelled "Debby" Boone.
December 22, 2011 9:57 PM
Loved the Debbie Boone line at the end!
Loved this commentary. I also liked Larry's comment on how to spell Tzvi. Good stuff here. I wish I were doing the midrash this week at shul. I would totally rip this off and everyone would think I was brilliant!
December 22, 2011 8:53 PM
Awesome, Tzvi! Thank you for the illumination, and humor with you shared it! Shalom, Dr. Jonas Moses
December 22, 2011 8:48 PM
Well, maybe it has to do with spirituality...
The reason is more mundane. It has to do with the fact that each language is made up of different sounds. If we didn't have an alphabet, there would be no issues with translation. A German and Spaniard would have no problem with Chanukah. They would pronounce it as they heard it as both languages carry that sound. As soon as you bring the written word into the picture, then the Spaniard converts the 'ch' to 'tch'.
I lived in Colombia for 11 years. My US passport carried my first name as Nachum. So I was addressed as senor Na-tch-oom. Had I used Najum, there would have been no problem except in the US, France .. well you know what I mean.
Zvi, nice try with the spirituality, but I think you are confusing the issue.
A grand Chag (Jag) Samey-ach (aj)
December 22, 2011 3:04 PM
Why do the Rabbis always have to make a joke This is very serious business!
December 22, 2011 2:48 PM
How To Spell Hanukkah
thank you Rabbi for a most enlightening and funny explanation of the spelling of Hanukkah. I am still smiling as I write this. But, despite all the humor, you still got your tender message across, for which I thank you.
December 18, 2011 6:10 PM
better than Boone
great video, Tzvi (or is it Zvi? or Svee? ha-ha). Here's a Lesser-known version of how the Boone song was supposed to go:
So many nights I sit by my window
Waiting for light as the nights get so long
Miracles abound, there’s a soul deep inside me
It’s time to proclaim
With light and with song:
And we light for 8 nights
To proclaim hope
We’ll carry on
There’s more to our days
Than going along with the throng
December 19, 2011 7:52 AM
More than funny!
December 22, 2011 6:54 PM
I just know it's NOT Matisyahu
December 18, 2011 1:49 PM
That was awesome except now I can't get that Debbie Boone song out of my head. Thanks Tzvi...
Display my name?
Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.