We've Been Pronouncing 'Hanukkah' Wrong All These Years, Smokey Robinson Says
Ahh, Hanukkah, the eight-night Jewish festival of lights, beloved for its inspiring story of perseverance, dreidel spinning-excitement, potatoey-delicacies, and for having a myriad of spellings that no one can seem to agree upon. Whether you're a purist, writing the holiday out as "Hanukkah", adopting the silent C in "Chanukka", or are one of the 42 monsters who wish your loved ones a "Happy Xanuka," it seems we've all been mispronouncing the Jewish celebration -- at least according to legendary musician, Smokey Robinson.
Earlier this week, the 80-year-old "Tears of a Clown" singer has found himself a jester in the court of the Twitter, being roasted for his, erm, unique pronunciation of the holiday in a Hanukkah Cameo for a Vancouver mom named Margo, according to CBS News.
"Hey Margo, how you doing? Surprise, surprise," the singer says in the video, commissioned by Margo's son Jeff Jacobson, and his brother. "They told me you used to live in Detroit across the street from me, and gosh, that's beautiful. Nice talking to you again, I guess. But anyway, you're living in Vancouver now, and they wanted me to wish you happy Cha-noo-ka." The singer continued, apparently unaware of the Jewish celebration. "I have no idea what Cha-noo-ka is, but happy Cha-noo-ka, because they said so," He said with a smile. "Anyway, God bless you, babe, and enjoy Cha-noo-ka!"
Although it seems the merry mixup may have stemmed from the siblings writing the Holiday out as "Chanukah" in the instructions for Robinson's Cameo as opposed to the more common spelling of "Hanukkah," Jacobson apparently found the video amusing, reposting the personalized clip to Twitter on Sunday.
In the days since, Robinson's blip went viral, with fans flocking to the social media site, dubbing the singer a "national treasure..."
... designing t-shirts commemorating the affair ...
... and even suggesting adopting Robinson's verbiage as the Holiday's official pronunciation. I second that motion!
Amid the internet chaos, the beloved artist took to Twitter, asking Jacobson for a "do-over" "in the spirit of 2020."
And it seems he obliged, giving the singer a five-star review for excellent customer service, and even naming the Classic Soul icon a mensch, a.k.a. the Yiddish term to describe a very honorable person.
We've all been there, Smokey! And hey, who can blame him? To paraphrase Jewish legend RuPaul, if we can't figure out how to spell our own holiday, how in the Hell can we expect anyone else to pronounce it correctly? Can I get an Amen, er, "Hanukkah Sameach!" up in here? 'Tis the season, after all!