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Each year for the past four years, we’ve been honored and humbled by the emails, Facebook posts, and YouTube comments from fans describing how our music and videos help them celebrate Hanukkah.
Indeed, the Hanukkah video has almost taken its place alongside menorah, dreidel, and latkes as an annual holiday ritual; each Hanukkah sees different groups and organizations attempt to best the previous years’ offerings by debuting increasingly more dynamic, professional, and exciting Hanukkah videos. We like to think that part of the blame for this trend lies with us, and to the extent that Hanukkah is more popularly observed and appreciated, we welcome this development.
Hanukkah is always, as it should be, a great time to have a great time. It’s arguably the most delicious of the Jewish holidays. There’s a very visible, public element to Hanukkah (“pirsumei nisa” in the traditional sources) which has become part of the popular culture. And it certainly helps that the Hanukkah narrative has all the elements of our modern Hollywood blockbusters: a victorious underdog, intense political drama, and a last-minute day-saving supernatural miracle.
But why do we eat those foods? Why do we light those candles? Why do we tell this story, reminiscent of a Ridley Scott movie? In the words of this year’s song, a parody of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass”: faith, family, freedom we celebrate for eight nights.
Our song’s chorus carries a double meaning. “All About That Neis, No Oil” reflects the miracle of insufficient oil lasting for eight nights, but it also speaks to the core of the holiday - how it’s about the story and message of the neis (miracle) much more than it’s about eating oily foods.