Dear Peter LaBarbera and Charlie Butts: if you purport to inform the American public about who a certain person supposedly is, at least get said person’s name right:
(← click to play audio clip)
*AUDIO SOURCE: LaBarbera: EEOC should keep an eye on new appointee [ONN]
And now a lesson:
Chai = pronounced like “hi.” Not with a hard “c.” Not like chai tea. But with the traditional Yiddish pronuciation.
And the pronunciation very much matters. In the Jewish faith, “chai” holds great meaning. As a term, it means “living.” It is the root of its verbal cousin, “l’chaim,” which is the celebratory toast at some of life’s most important functions. Chai (along with variations like “Chaya”) is also a popular name in Jewish culture.
As a symbol (seen at left, consisting of the two Hebrew letters Cheit and Yod ), “chai” is often worn as a medallion. Some interpretations say that it refers a Living G-d. Others cherish it because of its focus on the importance of life. But few debate its importance.
Also, if you have ever been to a Jewish function in which monetary gifts are exchanged, you probably know that the sums are typically granted in multiples of 18. That’s because 18 is the numeric value of the word “chai,” and so the gift is meant to keep in that same spirit. You are literally giving the gift of “life,” wishing the recipient great luck in the same.
So de-Chai decry away, Charlie and Peter. But even if you care not about affording Ms. Feldblum respect as either an accomplished professional or an lesbian, at the very least pay a little respect to her deeply-rooted name.
*SEE ALSO: Chai Feldblum’s recent speech to the Out & Equal Workplace Summit: