UPDATE: Jeffrey Goldberg would like all my readers to know that he knows hip-hop from borsht and is indeed a child of the Hood (in Hebrew that would be ben-Hood). I withdraw this particular claim in my article. But his taste in music still leaves much to be desired.
Ugh, why do they give me such good material? No sooner does a settler leader claim that Jews aren’t popsicles then Jeffrey Goldberg cajoles a Mormon U.S. senator to write a dreadful Hanukah song, which Goldberg promptly (and erroneously) labels “hip hop.”
You’ve really got to see this video to believe it. In it, Hatch, who wrote the lyrics (but clearly not the music which was written by a liberal Jewish composer specializing in Christian music–I kid you not), clearly seems uncomfortable with the music written for his song. Unless it’s just his goyische Mormon woodenness exhibiting itself.
There’s far too much irony to go around here. First, Goldberg, who ignorantly claims that all Hanukah music is dreck, challenges Hatch to write a Hanukah song which turns out to be just that. Second, Goldberg calls a pure pop song “hip hop.” Perhaps someone should tell him that nice Jewish boys who’ve never gotten closer to the Hood than driving down the West Side Highway shouldn’t pretend to know anything about such things. Third, the song is performed by a bleached blond Syrian-American from Indiana.
I also take strong issue with the N.Y. Times reporter who calls this song “catchy,” unless you’re talking about it in the same terms as catching a case of H1N1. It also grieves me endlessly to learn that while this is Hatch’s first Jewish song “it won’t be his last.”
“Anything I can do for the Jewish people, I will do,” Mr. Hatch said…
I think you’ve done quite enough, senator. Now, can you just leave us alone to celebrate our holiday without the help of philo-Semites like yourself? Perhaps Jewish philanthropy, known for its fundraising prowess can raise a substantial sum and give it to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on condition that Hatch never set foot in the realm of Jewish music again.
Mr. Hatch keeps a Torah in his Senate office.
“Not a real Torah, but sort of a mock Torah,” he said. “I feel sorry I’m not Jewish sometimes.”
Look, if we make you an honorary Jew do you think you could go away and adopt some other religion as your mascot??
He said his ultimate goal would be for his idol, Ms. Streisand, to perform one of his songs. “It would be good for her and good for me,” Mr. Hatch said…
Barbara, if you’re reading this, take the phone off the hook, screen your calls and mail and stay away from Congressional Christmas-Hanukah parties. Otherwise, you might be blackmailed into singing this piece of dreck at your next Kennedy Center concert.
This passage really gave me the willies:
In short, he loves the Jews. And based on an early sampling of listeners, the feeling could be mutual.
“Mutual?” Says who?
The online Jewish culture-news portal which Dan Sieradski so aptly calls “The Tabloid” is the beneficiary of this super shlock and its editor is kvelling (unjustifiably in my opinion):
“Watching Orrin Hatch in the studio, I said to myself that nothing this great will ever happen to me again,” said Alana Newhouse, the editor-in-chief of Tablet.
Well, I guess if you’re a Jewish Mormon-lover who admires old, white, right-wing U.S. senators who write corny, white-bread lyrics…
The reporter, Mark Leibovich, does the word “mensch” a deep disservice by calling Goldberg a “well-known mensch about town.” He’s no mensch in my book. And I don’t believe in using that term in a corny, sentimental way as Leibovich has done. It should only be used as a term of deep respect, one which Goldberg in no way deserves, at least not based on his published record.
Hatch looks like he just heard on the news that the Kentucky Fried Chicken he frequents was cited by the health department for serving fried rat parts.
Richard Silverstein says
Yeah, he looks mighty uncomfortable! Now if only there were a few Jews in Utah who could vote for him. THen I’m sure he’d be much more comfortable. Actually, there are Jews in Utah but none would vote for him.
I’ve been in his office long time ago. I was in DC for a month long study program and one of the kids in my group was going to do an internship with him so we all went there to meet him.
1987, his office was full of stuffed animals and a rocking chair.
We all got free pens.
Richard Silverstein says
Omigod, Orrin Hatch goes all cuddly! And if you read Goldberg’s piece in The Tablet, he write love songs!! Not sure if it’s the allegorical Song of Songs kind in which God is the beloved, or whether he’s writing the genuine secular article. If the latter, for shame senator. The bishops are going to be after you…
It was explained that it was the “homey look” because he missed his grandkids and wanted his office to feel like home.
To just add to the layers of irony here, one of my very favorite Christmas albums that I grew up with as a kid is Barbara Streisand’s (alongside Bing Crosby’s and Nat King Coles’). She made it I think back in the ’70’s, you don’t really see it much in the stores anymore, maybe she grew embarrassed later in life that she made it, I don’t know. But it’s actually a really excellent Christmas album, her voice really shines in the material, particularly in her ravishing account of ‘Silent Night’ and the ‘Lord’s Prayer’.
Perhaps Jews are better in goyische music than the other way around, Barenboim and Levine are sure adept and at home with Beethoven, Wagner, Brahms & Mozart. And it’s true, I can’t see Orrin Hatch successfully doing Klezmer, either (even that image is giving me mind-blowing hallucinations right now).
Richard Silverstein says
Not to mention Irving Berlin’s White Christmas!
Exactly, that’s right at the heart of the contemporary Christmas music repertory, and Berlin’s ‘White Christmas’ is also, of course, on Barbara Streisand’s Christmas album! Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘My Favorite Things’ is also on that album, ravishingly sung by Streisand. Let’s face it, Jews and Christmas are in tight. And I’m sure Jewish conductors around the country will be conducting Handel’s ‘Messiah’ this season.
Larry K says
As Philip Roth pointed out somewhere along the way, Irving Berlin in his two enormously popular songs about Christian holidays, White Christmas and Easter Parade, successfully and almost invisibly managed to totally secularize both holidays.
The Tablet should be christened The Golden Tablets.
HY CFOMMENT: I give it a nine(9) Dave…I mean Mr Clark, because it’s so easy to dance to!
SEE: Orrin Hatch “Sorry” He’s Not Jewish, By NewsGuy, 12/09/09
(excerpt) Senior Republican Senator Orrin Hatch says he will do “anything” for the Jewish people, and even sometimes wishes that he was born Jewish.
The statements came during an interview Hatch did with The Mormon Times. The Utah Senator, known for penning Christian hymns and patriotic songs, spoke with the magazine about a new ode he wrote to honor Hanukkah called “Eight Days of Hanukkah.”
“Anything I can do for the Jewish people, I will do,” Hatch said. “Mormons believe the Jewish people are the chosen people, just like the Old Testament says.”
At one point during the interview, Hatch unbuttoned his white dress shirt to expose the golden mezuzah necklace he wears every day. Mezuzahs also adorn the doorways of his homes in Washington and Utah. Hatch keeps a Torah in his Senate office…
SOURCE – http://www.therightperspective.org/2009/12/09/orrin-hatch-sorry-hes-not-jewish/
P.S. Orrin Hatch is a real prick!
Conrad Barwa says
Jeffrey Goldberg would like all my readers to know that he knows hip-hop from borsht and is indeed a child of the Hood
Does he though? There actually is large amount of Israeli hip-hop coming out these days, a fair amount of it political as well. Goldberg as usual, doesn’t have an ‘effin clue.
I don’t know what genre that thing is, but it isn’t even remotely hip-hop.