I wish all my readers a wonderful Festival of Lights. Hanukah, like Christmas is a holiday sunk deep in the recesses of winter. Light is scarce, in fact it’s usually around the time of the shortest days of the year. It’s in these dark nights that the human soul turns toward hope and the light that will come when winter ends and spring approaches. In this time of darkness and pain for so many in this world, let’s try to point ourselves toward the light.
Last year, I wrote two blog posts about Hanukah: one was a discussion of the tension between nationalism and spirituality inherent in the Hanukah tradition (Hanukah: Festival of Light or Nationalist Triumph?)
The second was a review of my favorite Hanukah recording, Festival of Lights. It includes a bitchin’ version of Rock of Ages by Marc Cohn and other performances (both in Hebrew and Yiddish) by the Klezmatics, Don Byron, Jane Siberry, John McCutcheon and others. Someone rather huffily dismissed this recording as having little to do with Hanukah (since few of these cuts are specific to the holiday). But I think he’s a nattering nabob of negativism (brush up your Agnew). If you don’t own it but like traditional Jewish music with a contemporary twist, you ought to consider buying it here.
I also wrote a satirical post about an especially grotesque Hanukah gift for your pooch: Make Your Dog a Frumeh Hunt for Hanukah!
Enjoy! And make sure you get to eat some hot, crisp latkes and spin a mean dreidel sometime before the holiday ends.