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‘The Tag of Her Earlobe That Died,’ From Lord and Taylor

An ad printed in last Sunday’s New York Times spelled a Hebrew Hanukkah greeting wrong. Way wrong.

Jonathan Zalman
December 07, 2015

If you’re taking Hebrew cues from the Sunday New York Times, you better stick to the crossword puzzle.

Tablet contributor Liora Halperin noticed something amiss in Sunday morning’s newspaper, in a Lord and Taylor ad on page 2 intended to wish readers a “Happy Hanukkah,” as well as “a year of light and love.” Mmmmm, that sounds nice, like a nice warm bubbly bath for my Jewish feelings.

But here’s the thing. Each word used the Hebrew letter ת (taf) instead of a ח (chet), which completely changed the intended meaning of what was supposed to be “Happy Hanukkah,” in Hebrew. But the way it is spelled, it means: “The tag of her earlobe that died.”

Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.