Tag Archives: The Hanukkah Song

So Long Target Hanukkah Aisle, #1250


When I lived in Los Angeles, Hanukkah greeted you everywhere that you went – in the drugs stores, the department stores, in the grocery stores.  With the second largest Jewish population in the country, it is no wonder that there was a consumer market for Hanukkah.

After a decade of living in a large city, however, my husband and I decided to live a simpler life in Arizona.  Suddenly, I really felt how much of a minority it was to be Jewish, and Hanukkah time really delivered that blow.  I remember going from store to store searching out Hanukkah wrapping paper in my procrastination night-before-Hanukkah frenzy.  The synagogue gift shops were closed. Bed Bath and Beyond (the one store with a tiny Hanukkah display) had run out of all the Hanukkah wrapping paper.  I was stuck with ordinary plain Jane blue paper.  Sorry kids.  Oh well, at least they were young, and it probably didn’t really matter to them.

It mattered to me though!  I wanted Hanukkah to feel festive.  Finally, a couple of years ago, something magical happened.  I walked into Target, and I saw this…


Wow!  An entire aisle devoted to Hanukkah!  In Tucson, AZ!  I was in 7th heaven.  I ran into the Rabbi’s wife in that aisle stocking up, and we giggled like kids in a candy store.  What a joy it was so have such a selection.

So, yesterday….again procrastinating (Hanukkah starts tomorrow), I went back to my trustworthy Target, and began to search for my beloved Hanukkah aisle.  Where was it?  Rows and rows of Christmas, and absolutely nothing in the friendly blue, white and silver.

And then, just as I was heading up to the cashier, I saw it….the Hanukkah display.  My heart dropped into my stomach a bit.  This is what Hanukkah had become at Target in 2015….


A lousy end cap.  That’s what we were reduced to.  I get it….we’re the minority, and perhaps there just weren’t enough people buying Hanukkah items to warrant a whole aisle.  After losing the awesome Kosher section at our local Safeway grocery store this year, however, and now this….I’m truly sad.  I’m feeling overlooked, and it is really disappointing.

I’ve got my candles.  I’ve got my wrapping paper.  I’ve got my gelt.  I am ready to go with Hanukkah, but the Target end cap made me really sad.  I don’t just want to have a dreidel….I want to choose from a selection of them.  I want a variety of choices to decorate with, and I want to feel festive at this time of the year and add to a whole world of holiday joy.  And….I want to do it by outwardly celebrating MY holiday.

So, my song of the day is Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Song.  He’s created some updated versions of this song, but I’m going back to the original.  What I love about his Hanukkah song is that he brought Hanukkah to the mainstream and reminded us that there are Jews all around us who celebrate the holiday season the Hanukkah way.  So, Happy Hanukkah everyone.  I hope you find it to be festive!


Do You Belive In Miracles, Day #188


Tonight marks the first night of Hanukkah, and my kids are bursting at the seams with exctiment. I’ve been wrapping presents all week, and our piano is stacked high with them. I find my children in our living room gazing at the all the presents, shaking them and trying with all their might to guess what may be inside. Finally…tonight is the night when they get to open the first present, and I can understand their excitment.

Hanukkah is really not a very religious Jewish holiday,but it is of major historical significance. For those of you who don’t know the story, King Antiochus was the ruler of Judea (now Israel), and he outlawed Judaism. Judah Maccabee put together an army and fought the King and his soldiers for their freedom to practice their religion. Maccabee and his people were the underdogs, but they won with shear will and passion. Without them, there would be no religions today beyond Greek mythology. It’s really an incredible story and one that we can have gratitude towards for our freedoms today.

The holiday has become seriously commercialized, and though Jewish kids everywhere needed to open presents like their Christmas-celebrating friends, I am thrilled to see so many Hanukkah products at major department stores like Target and Bed Bath and Beyond when I shop. It is nice to not be overlooked, and I certainly know it helps my kids feel like part of the holiday season.

Anyhow, I chose Matisyahu’s “Hanukkah Song” today as my song of the day. I love that he modernized the idea of a miracle to make it relevant to present time. Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of the oil that was only supossed to last for 1 day, but instead it lasted for 8. That is why we light a menorah and celebrate the holiday for 8 nights. Matisyahu asks in his song “Do you believe in miracles?” He also talks about finding the strength within yourself when he sings “Bound to stumble and fall but my strength comes not from man at all.” These are very modern concepts that still apply today even though he is referring to the Hanukkah story. It’s an awesome song, and one that I think is perfect to share today on this first night of Hanukkah.

If you celebrate this holiday….enjoy! I will be celebrating all day with a performance this morning telling the story of Hanukkah to preschoolers and lighting the big Menorah outside of the JCC at 4:45pm. Come sing with me and my husband at the menorah tonight if you live in town. We’d love to celebrate with you.

And finally….home tonight for our own family celebration. It’s a 12 hour day today for me…full of celebrating and happiness. I’ll crash tonight, but with a big grin on my face!
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The Hanukkah Song, #170


Okay folks…it’s time to break out the bad boy of the Hanukkah season! I’ve begun teaching Hanukkah songs, and I just needed to hear Adam Sandler sing “The Hanukkah Song” this morning. It never ceases to make me laugh, and I have this little revelation when I have to Youtube it every year.

A year ago, Adam Sandler came to my Temple for Yom Kippur High Holy Day services. Seeing celebritites when I lived in LA was no big deal, but to have Adam Sandler at my Temple in Tucson, AZ was so exciting. The nicest part about him is that he spent time with the kids at the Temple. He was wearing a Tallis and a Kippah, and when my daughter innocently asked who he was, he responded, “I’m a Rabbi!” Hilarious!

Ends up he has relatives in Tucson, which is why he was here. So, please, Adam Sandler….I’m making an appeal. Come back to Tucson for Hanukkah! We want to hear your Hanukkah song live!

It’s finally cold and rainy in Tucson. I’ll be sipping my Chai tea and cuddling up in a cozy sweater listening to the “Hanukkah Song” all day long. Have a great day and stay warm!

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