Hanukkah starts Sunday night, so that means that the last couple of weeks have seen a new crop of holiday videos popping up on Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.
As every year, some video-makers are surely operating on Jewish time and will take it to the wire, uploading their clips just as we light the first candle and eat what will surely be the first of many latkes and sufganiyot.
But there’s plenty to feast on already, so here’s a good selection to help you get your Hanukkah on right now.
Get your ‘potkes’ while they’re hot
It’s not too early to munch on some unusual Hanukkah fare. Everyone claims to have a special latke recipe. Well, San Diego-based rapper MC Flow certainly has hers. What’s the secret ingredient? Let’s just say its only legal for mixing into your latkes in the states of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, and also Washington, DC. Who knew Hanukkah was a high holiday?
The usual suspects
At this point, it just wouldn’t be a Jewish holiday without videos based on top 40 pop songs by all-male a cappella groups like the Maccabeats and Six13. And this year, Six13 teamed up with Erez Cohen, A.K.A. Pella, and the Y Studs on a One Direction medley for Hanukkah. We guess that with Zayn Malik’s departure this year, and the rest of the pretty boys having announced that they’re going on hiatus in 2016, this was a good time for the Jewish crooners to sing their devotion to the English-Irish pop band.
Adele. Need we say more?
Millions of copies of British singing sensation Adele’s new album “25” have sold since its release on November 20. We adore Adele’s amazing voice. We adore her modest fashion sense and the way she so beautifully represents those of us who aren’t a size 0. We kind of also adore this parody of “Hello,” the first single released from the new album. We just don’t adore Ari Blau’s off-key singing.
Straight outta yeshiva
Young boys from Orthodox Jewish schools get their moment in the sun as they spread light on Hanukkah. Of course, there are different ways to do that. In a video by Ari Goldwag, the boys do random acts of kindness. In another from Yavneh Hebrew Academy, they fight the evil force of Hellenism with lightsabers Star Wars-style.
Eight crazy nights
If all those human dreidels and choreographed dance moves are making your head spin and all you want is to listen to a good holiday song, then these are for you. You’ve got your choice of various genres, from Julie Geller’s uplifting “The Spark” to Adam Sandler’s fourth part of his humorous, zeitgeist-y “The Hanukkah Song” to Sharon Jones and the Dap-King’s funk-soul ditty titled “8 Days of Hanukkah.”
What’s Hanukkah without the Mensch on a Bench…or a bunch of dancing mensches who just happen to look a whole lot like celebs Adele, Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, Robert Downey, Jr., and Taylor Swift?
As silly and trite as we find this bit with a “Jewish bubbe” teaching a young Greek New Yorker (Chris Semertsides) about Hanukkah, it’s still kind of endearing. Semertsides posted under the video that it was all in good fun: “I hope everyone takes the jokes with a sense of humor. None of them were meant to be mean or degrading. Just a funny perspective of a NYC Jewish person. Kind of like The Nanny.”
It’s funny though, that with this whole business about a Greek person learning about Hanukkah, there was no mention of the role of the Assyrian-Greeks in the actual Hanukkah story. Go figure.
And for the kinderlach
Don’t worry, children. We haven’t forgotten you. Here a couple of videos we think you’ll like.
PBS’s Peg & Cat celebrate Hanukkah with Albert Einstein this year, the 100th anniversary of the Theory of General Relativity.
And thanks to the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, kids can enjoy “Hanukkah in Alaska” read by actress Molly Ephraim. Everywhere in the world could use a little more light right now, but Alaska especially, since it is dark almost all day there this time of year.