Thirteen days late
and a few shekels too short.

Why - you might wonder - do American Jews, of mostly Ashkenazi ancestry but converted in recent decades to "Sefardic"* pronunciation, mostly say "Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur" rather than "-shanah" and "Kippur" (or "shanah" and "Kiper")**?

I wondered that too. But I have no idea. Any takers?

**I know I'm supposed to use IPA. So [su] me.
***Where is Naomi Chana, anyway? I miss her and her footnotes.


  1. Thirteen days late is no big deal; I'm commenting over ten months late.

    I think they (in point of fact I should say "we") do say "Rosh Hashanah" and "Yom Kippur." I think where we get the accents wrong is in those pesky hif'ils that are in the well-known brachot--hamotzi and lehadlik. I think the reason in the case of "lehadlik" is that it sounds like a Yiddish adj with that -ik at the end--"Nu, 'siz a lehadlike mayseh."

  2. I'll take a comment whenever and wherever! Thanks.

    ...but I respectfully disagree. From experience (not unbiased data collection) I think many and perhaps most do still say HaSHANe and KIPPer. The comment on "lehadlik" is funny but implausible, I doubt people are analyzing the word as Yiddish in their heads.

    And, most importantly, "Ashkenazic" (mostly penultimate) accenting of Hebrew is not wrong. No sirree...