As the month of Elul winds down, it’s time for us to take stock… of this year’s video offerings for Rosh Hashanah. The crop for 5774 is not quite as robust as in years past, but there are a few sweet clips worth enjoying and sharing.
Based on the positive comments it’s received as its been passed around on social media, we’d say that that the Schusterman Foundation’s animated “Come Together and Rock Hashanah” is this year’s break-out hit. It’s an awfully cute video about making New Year’s resolutions. However, we must note that it’s highly reminiscent of the wildly popular “Dumb Ways to Die” video in both visual style and sound (The unetanah tokef prayer does a good enough job of reminding us about possible ways we can meet our demise, than you very much.). Perhaps its makers should resolve to be less derivative going forward.
Sexy Shofar Man (aka Michael Brous) is back waking everyone up with his long, loud ram’s horn blasts. After prior gigs in Los Angeles and New York, he’s making a Holy Land appearance this year in “Street Shofar Israel.” And, of course, there are knock-offs, like this video of a guy in a hoodie blowing a shofar all over the University of California at Berkeley campus.
It’s worth taking a look at IKAR’s other Season of Repentance video, “I Forgive You,” which was released on Rosh Hodesh Elul.
Of course, there are the frum boy band videos: Aish shows us Israeli yeshiva bochers have the moves in “Get Clarity”; Six13 hang out around New York performing their holiday version of Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us”; and the Maccabeats give us their a capella rendition of Sara Bareilles’s “Brave” (ok, technically they released it mid-summer and it’s not a Rosh Hashanah video per se, but we’ll let it sneak in here).
And while we’re one the subject of covers of pop songs, there’s the surprise viral Adon Olam/Cups song mashup by Listen Up! and Rabbi Joe Black, along with Temple Emanuel Denver’s staff banging out rhythm on kiddush cups à la Anna Kendrick in “Pitch Perfect.”
If you think that Temple Run is a computer game, think again. It’s actually a young Jew trying to escape High Holy Day services and being chased down and dragged back to shul by a couple of long-bearded rabbis.
While we’re talking geeky, we should mention the Technion’s holiday greeting video featuring a couple of students and Technion president Peretz Lavie dipping apples in honey in a way only engineers would come up with.
For those jonesing for some good chazzanut this season, there’s “Solachti” by the Brazilian rebbe and mohel Micha Gamerman. If Mizrachi sounds are more your thing, then there’s Elikam Buta singing “K’mo Galim.”
And last but not least, produced by Yosef Adest, Benji Lovitt’s funny and upbeat “Apples and What???” leaves us with a smile on our face no matter how down we might get from the news headlines as we approach the Day of Judgement.