Musical Interlude

In a little under a month, that holiday will be upon us once more. The one that isn’t a big deal (unless we choose to make it so). The one might not be such a dilemma except that we keep talking about it that way. (A couple of years ago Julie Silver tweeted: “”You keep talking about a “December Dilemma” and it’s just going to keep on existing. Get it?”).

All of which is, for me at least, fine. I wrestle with Passover, I wrestle with Yom Kippur. It should come as no surprise that the other holidays present their challenges as well as their moments of sublime joy.

But the music issue bugs me. I wrote about it back in 2009 (“Chanukah Music Maligned“), in response to an offhand comment on an NPR program.

This year Craig Taubman has taken matters into his own musically gifted hands, assembling a fantastic array of Chanukah-related music that takes us far, far beyond the Dreidl song.

Lights, vol. 2 – A Hanukkah Music Sampler” is availale for download (either as individual songs or the entire album) on On it you can hear an eclectic mix of 18 songs from Josh Nelson, Naomi Less, Smooth-E and more. The old standards (Mi Yimalel, Maoz Tzur) are there alongside tunes you would definitely not expect, including a Scottish Niggun and a techno-rap tune that closes the album.

Better still, it is (at least as of this posting) free. A true Hanukkah gift. Download it for yourself, send it as a gift to others, and allow Lights to brighten the progressively darkening days as we approach the festival of dedication.

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