It is true that Judaism has been interacting with the culture of the community within which it finds itself throughout its history. That is why it is not surprising that Hanukkah songs that have been influenced by all kinds of music. Just as it is hard to determine what music is “indigenous” to the Jewish community, it is also hard to tell what music is indigenous to the United States.
Some might say that rap emerges from the American experience of African Americans. If so, then what would a Hanukkah song sound like and look like if it were influenced by the rap—now called hip hop—phenomenon? Perhaps like this comedic video posted recently on YouTube.
Moreover, will the Hanukkah story reach more people if it is packaged in a more familiar form? We certainly learned that to be the case with Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah song—now in its third iteration. Will hip-hop and other popular music forms succeed not only in delighting the “insider” Jewish community, but potentially reach the diverse intermarried and unaffiliated populations as well?
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