Televangelist Kenneth Copeland's Inaccurate Hanukkah Tweet Sparks Condemnation

Televangelist Kenneth Copeland came under fire for a Wednesday tweet in which he incorrectly explained how to light a menorah and celebrate Hanukkah.

In the since-deleted tweet, Copeland inaccurately explained the process of lighting the traditional candles for the Festival of Lights, before relaying a vague message about Jesus, who (in fairness to Copeland) was Jewish, but is usually more associated with some other December holiday (it's on the tip of my tongue).

"On the first night of Hanukah, the eighth candle on the menorah is lit. This is the servant candle and it's used to light the other candles. As witnesses, we are the servant candle. It's through us the message of Jesus is multiplied. Let your light so shine among men," he tweeted.

As Chabad.org points out, the first candle lit for Hanukkah is actually the shamash, which is the elevated candle on a menorah, which is used to light the others. Chabad also explains that the left-most candle is lit first (although candles are added from right to left, which may explain Copeland's confusion).

On Twitter, people were quick to point out Copeland's error, though one of his followers did call the sentiment "beautiful." One person wrote a scathing response that highlighted the evangelical Christian preacher's mistake. "Facts about Judaism are whatever Evangelicals say they are, apparently," she wrote.

But it's factually incorrect

— mary anne (@pers1stence) December 18, 2020

Facts about Judaism are whatever Evangelicals say they are, apparently.

— Michal eats latkes with ketchup (@inkasrain) December 18, 2020

Author and podcast host Talia Lavin had to simply ask what Copeland was trying to say. She again explained the shamash being used to light the others and traditionally being lit first. People responded to to Lavin publicly wondering how Copeland could have flubbed this up so poorly. She wrote that these types of errors are par for the course, but suggested they may be rooted in anti-Semitism.

what the fuck are you talking about https://t.co/jDwsohv3qc

— Talia Lavin (@chick_in_kiev) December 18, 2020

and you use the "servant candle" every night...

— Talia Lavin (@chick_in_kiev) December 18, 2020

they cant stop talking about us and stealing our shit bc they want to be us and also destroy us

— Talia Lavin (@chick_in_kiev) December 18, 2020

The televangelist wasn't the only one to get called out this Hanukkah season. One Twitter user sent a tweet before the eight-day-long holiday began, warning corporations to stop printing "Oy vey" on wrapping paper.

PSA to all the corporations that need to hear it: “Oy vey” is not a Hanukkah phrase so stop putting it on all of your fucking gift wrap.

— Jordyn Tilchen (@JordynTilchen) November 29, 2020

In a more light-hearted moment, music legend Smokey Robinson hilariously mispronounced the name for the Festival of Lights, seemingly confused by the "Chanukah" spelling, in a viral Cameo. As previously reported, the singer phonetically pronounces it "cha-noo-kah."

"I have no idea what Chanukah is, but Happy Chanukah, because they said so. Anyway, God bless you, babe, and enjoy Chanukah," he said in the video, which two sons purchased for their mother who supposedly grew up on the same street as Robinson.

Despite Robinson's mispronunciation, many (including the men who purchased the Cameo) found it to be endearing and a simple mistake.

Kenneth Copeland Ministries did not respond to Newsweek's emailed request for comment in time for publication.

Menorah Kenneth Copeland Hanukkah
A menorah burns in the White House after then-President Barack Obama delivered remarks during a Hanukkah reception December 8, 2011. In a since-deleted tweet, Kenneth Copeland inaccurately explained the process of lighting the traditional candles for the Festival of Lights, before relaying a vague message about Jesus. Win McNamee/Getty