Modern sounds of Hanukka find a home on YouTube

These days, if you want to hear who is spreading the Hanukkah message to the masses, first light your menorah, and then click on YouTube.

The Hanukka season seems to be a popular time for a flurry of Jewish holiday YouTube videos. Although YouTube Hanukka clips may not be the epitome of high video art, they have proven to be a popular forum for musicians seeking to broadcast their vocal and lyrical talents, as well as their dancing skills, while spreading their individual Jewish messages to the virtual world.

Many aspiring musicians hope their clip will achieve the status of the Maccabeats’ now-legendary 2010 video, which catapulted the Yeshiva University a capella group into the public’s (as well President Obama’s) eye, and to date has garnered more than 1.4 million views.

This year, the Maccabeats put their harmonies to work by focusing on the potential miracle of locating bone marrow matches for needy recipients.

Since their “Shine” video was posted, it already has been seen over 155,000 times.  Its message just might inspire some couch potatoes (and others) to get swabbed and possibly save a life or two.

Video of the rockets that recently besieged southern Israel, and the IDF’s response, make up part of the backdrop of the Pella Productions’ slick “8 Nights of Hanukkah A Capella Mashup.” Their distinctive harmonies, clever lyrics and trapeze moves make this a must-watch Hanukkah clip.

“Chanukah Jewish Rock of Ages,” which Aish Hatorah brought out last year, puts a tzitis-flying dancing spin on songs by Jerry Lee Lewis, the Beatles, Steppenwolf, the Bee Gees, Journey, MC Hammer, Sasha Baron Cohen, and Maroon 5. Here, the Hanukka story and customs are crammed into a foot-tapping 3.55 minute clip that has already proven its popularity with 2.4 million views.

For YU Maccabeat graduates, the holiday music didn’t stop once they received their college diplomas. Instead, they formed the group StandFour, and posted their video this Hannukah.

“After graduating from Yeshiva University we wanted to continue to make music that is both fun and inspiring. We believe in bringing out the meaning present in all things – that’s what we stand for,” they say in their post.

Their lyrics, coupled with their pitch for donations to the Israel Terror Relief Fund, reinforce that message: “When one night turned to eight, that’s why we celebrate/In the dark of night the candles stand for…/8 nights that we know….no we’re not alone.”

Don’t forget to watch these other fun-filled Hanukka videos from the Israeli Ein Prat Fountainheads: their popular 2011 romp…

…and their recent 2012 clip:

And don’t miss the sweet faces and voices of the Yeshiva Boys Choir, with their “Those Were the Nights (of Chanukah)” as they preserve childhood Hanukka scenes in their 4.42 minute video.

So take your latkes and doughnuts to your nearest Internet connection, and check out what Hanukka is sounding like in modern times.




About the Author
Dvar Omanut – Musings on Jewish Art – by Fern Allen is a regular feature of the Kol HaOt organization ( focusing on the deeper meaning of Jewish art. Fern is the Communications Director of the Jerusalem-based venture, which conducts interactive, educational programs for tourists that combine the magic of the visual, performing & culinary arts with Jewish texts, ideas and values.