Like many of the Hebraic persuasion, I’ve always felt a little shortchanged when it comes to holiday songs. Radio stations play hours of Christmas carols without repeats, whereas we’re pretty much stuck with “I Had a Little Dreidel” and “Hanukkah, Oh, Hanukkah.” (I know, there are a handful of other traditional tunes, but really, just a handful.)
I was therefore delighted last year when the Maccabeats, Yeshiva University’s a cappella group, gained YouTube fame last year with “Candlelight,” to the tune of the pop hit “Dynamite.” Finally, a Hanukkah tune catchy enough to compete with all the pop versions of Christmas carols my son’s been hearing!
The Maccabeats are back this year, now with “Miracle,” another tune that has my son’s toes tapping. While it may seem out of character to include the video of an all-male (and not necessarily gay) singing group here, I will point out the brief scene (at about 1:38) showing what appears to be a single mom celebrating Hanukkah with her children. Clearly, Hanukkah celebrations occur in all types of families. Not only that, but the mom is wearing a men’s tie and yarmulke (traditionally worn only by men), which gives the scene a certain gender-bendy appeal, or at least a feminist twist. (Bonus fun fact: Actor Mayim Bialik, who plays the mom in the video, also has a Ph.D in neuroscience.)
The Maccabeats are using the video to encourage donations to the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation at makesomemiracles.com.
Happy Hanukkah to everyone celebrating today. May your lives be full of miracles, big and small.