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Rasheeda Azar performs ‘Eight Days of Hanukkah,’ by Sen. Orrin Hatch and Madeline Stone

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MORE: Read Jeffrey Goldberg’s account of the story behind the song.

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Cute, but it doesn’t beat my version of “Maoz Tzur” Happy Hanukkah all!

Bruce Roter
Composer of “A Camp David Overture (Prayer for Peace)”

Philip Schonberg says:

Mazel Tov, Senator Hatch. Happy Chanukah, everyone.

I’m not Jewish or Mormon but this is pretty cool. Who knew that Sen. Hatch had it in him?

This is not a patch on Woody Guthrie’s great hanukkah songs — recorded by the jazz Klezmatics on an album called Happy Joyous Hanukah. Surely Ms. Stone is familiar with this Gutherie material — or should be — even if Senator Hatch is not (yet).

violet kary says:

Thank you Sen Hatch for an uplifting sense of brotherhood. The Channukah song written by you ( and it’s great) transcends the feeling of separateness so many people have especially at holiday time.
You have been far from my favorite politically but my respect for you has changed that.

I’m sorry, but did he just say its a “hip-hop” hannukah song? This is the most canned, unimaginative crap I’ve heard all day. What’s next, Meghan McCain does Kwanza based on what she read about it on the wikipedia page?

Gary Rosen says:

Mazel Tov Sen. Hatch

famdoc says:

Now, if only we could get that great Old-Timey fiddler, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-NC, former Klan member) to compose a freylakh, my life would be complete.

From wikipedia:

“Byrd was an avid fiddle player for most of his life, starting in his teens when he played in various square dance bands. Once he entered politics, he used his fiddling skills to attract attention and win votes. In 1978 when Byrd was Majority Leader, he recorded an album called U.S. Senator Robert Byrd: Mountain Fiddler (County, 1978). Byrd was accompanied by Country Gentlemen Doyle Lawson, James Bailey, and Spider Gilliam. Most of the LP consists of “old-timey” mountain music. Byrd covers “Don’t Let Your Sweet Love Die,” a Zeke Manners song, and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” He has performed at the Kennedy Center, on the Grand Ole Opry and on Hee Haw. He can no longer play the fiddle due to the symptoms of a benign essential tremor that affects his hands.[78] Prior to that, he would occasionally take a break from Senate business to entertain audiences with his fiddle.”

I love it.. It’s an instant classic.

(And thanks from my son and daughter-in-law who share a Jewish/Mormon marriage.)

Deborah says:

Senator Hatch’s voting record:

Highlights include:
– for all anti-choice legislation
-against the Lilly Ledbetter fair pay legislation (re: when women are paid less than men for the same job)
– against extending unemployment benefits
– against hate crime legislation

Wake up, people– associating with this guy is dangerous.

kristy says:

He’s adorable and has great intentions. Give the old guy credit for being creative when he typically works in such a stuffy environment. Definitely beats songs like “Little Drummer Boy” and “12 days of Christmas” which make me want to pull my hair out of my head! Great job Orrin!



Hey Bruce,

Your jealous comment is pretty cute, too. The Mormon senator’s song does indeed “beat” your tune hands-down. Sorry about your luck, and Mazel Tov, you snarky self-promoter.

Composer of “The Honest Comment”

Thanks Sen. Hatch for “reaching across the aisle” with your catchy tune. Where else, but in America? I’m a devout Roman Catholic but like you felt sorry I wasn’t born Jewish so I went and found a Jewish Mother! (And sang 7 years in a temple as cantorial soloist…) Where else but in America?

Bill Frumkin says:

I like it.

Dusty Turtle says:

Pushing the “hip hop” button on your Casio keyboard does not make a song hip hop. And using a minor key does not make it Jewish, even the lyrics were taken straight from a child’s dictionary of Jewish festivals.

Rebecca says:


I attended a Mormon church for about a year, out of curiosity.

What they believe about Jews (and everything else) is not to be believed.


George Watstein says:

Mazel Tov Senator; You’r a MENCH!

Here’s something funny!

Francis E. Dyer says:

After Barbra Streisand makes her comment, I’ll make mine.


Francis E. Dyer says:

After Barbra Streisand makes her comment, I’ll make mine.


Looks as if you’re just accepting positive comments.

D. Everett says:

Responding to Rebecca. Yes, we Mormons believe really wacky things like, for instance: the Jews really were and continue to be the chosen people; they won’t be condemned to hell (and neither will Catholics, Evangelicals, Buddhists, Muslims or anyone else because everyone — Every-One (including everybody from ancient pagans to modern atheists) will eventually have an opportunity to make a fully informed choice. It may sound crazy but it sure beats most other religions who claim that everyone except their own sect (and even many of them as well) will rot in hell forever. We crazy Mormons believe in second, third . . . seven times seventy chances and a God who is truly merciful and loving — not some crazy impossible mixture of an infinitely loving father who is at the same time a heartless tyrant who consigns millions to eternal suffering for accidents of birth. If that’s crazy I’ll go with craziness anytime. Like Senator Hatch I love Judaism and find that they have incredible insights into the Torah and the rest of what we call the Old Testament . . . maybe I like them so much in part because my genealogy way back on the Everett side is Jewish (app’tly derived from Polish “Evreyski”)

Vincent Vaz says:

Jesus attended in a sinagogue and He did not change the Law. LSD church is still restauring itself. BOTH ORGANIZATIONS HAVE ONLY ONE ISSUE OF CONSTRAINT: WHERE IS THE MASHIAH.

a great new song . I believe we needed

a great new song

Catchy pop tune, but the sentiment is not Jewish. That is, it talks about freedom of belief. The Hanukkah story isn’t about belief, but about practice. The Jews were not free to keep kosher, worship in the Temple according to God’s laws, etc. Putting “free to believe” into the song renders it un-Jewish. The sad thing is that so few Jews today know the difference. (And to you who think I’m splitting hairs: I’m a historian, so maybe so. Nevertheless, the Maccabees were unlikely to care what a Judaean thought as long as he or she obeyed God’s laws. We distort their memory when we inject modern ideas into the story.)

uri francis israel says:

תודה רבה וחג שמח לכל אוהבי השם שהשם ישמור אותכם . אותכם ואת בניכם וכל אשר לכם ברוכים תהייו

hey thanks as an Israeli an Jew it really warms up the hart to get this kind of Hanuka blessing .
besides its a warm sunlight formed between countless black clouds upon my country and people .
its nice to be loved not criticized for a change.
so thanks for the initiative Senator!!!

Ben Hur Shalom says:

Happy Chanukah Senator Hatch
I glad if the lyrics of this excellent song be published here to.


This was terrific- loved the cute kids!

Wow that’s really horrible. My dog has coughed up better things than that.

phoebe says:

Here’s a really terrific original Chanukah song, by Rabbi Joe Black. (I do not know the man. I teach Hebrew school and just think this is a catchy, informative song.)–1825879

Joe Schwartz says:

When it comes to Channukah songs, there is nothing better than Peter Yarrow’s “Light One Candle” especially when sung by Peter, Paul and Mary. So, what if it is also slightly off the mark about the “true spirit” of the holiday.

Very nice job, Senator, from a Jewish atheist who was in a Mormon boy scout troop just after James O. Mason, now former head of the Centers for Disease Control was the (much beloved) scoutmaster (my brother had him). My brother and I, and several other non-Mormons were welcomed, treated very well and with respect for the fact that we were not Mormons (we were not asked to give the prayers, for example), and not proselytized.

I made what is probably the only Menorah made from Porsche valves. You can see it on

Well, here in California, we can celebrate the season by remembering Prop8 — anathema to Jews, who should remember all too well what it means to live in a “democratic” society that has separate laws for minority citizens (hey, just like the Nazis did!). Re: D Everett’s comment: If you think we Jews are so awesome… why do you posthumously convert us to Mormonism? Was this terrible song payback for Dylan’s Xmas album???

I just returned from Israel and from my observation what is needed is more bridges and less walls. This is a great bridge. Thanks Senator Hatch

Rachel Cohen says:

God bless you all, no matter what religion you belong to. Happy Hanukkah & Merry Christmas! Best wishes for the new coming year!

Tribe of Ephraim says:

Elizabeth Schwartz,
A news Flash: Mormons do not posthumously “convert” jews to Mormonism. There is no force or compelling in the afterlife. Nor will God force anyone to do anything. The baptisms performed have to be accepted by the person for whom they are performed. Obviously, if the person does not believe in the Mormon doctrine, he/she will not accept the baptism. Also, it is somewhat amazing to me that if you do not believe what we are doing is real and effectual, then you must certainly realize that from your standpoint it is a total, and utter waste of time. Maybe, you have a secret thought that maybe they really can be accepted, and that’s what bothers you. Could it be????

Chuck Taylor says:

Hey! Catchy little tune and now I understand a little of what Hanukkah is about! The oil lasted eight days! It was a miracle!

Don Kraus says:

How nice that an elected official has time for this when so many of his constituents still don’t have decent health care. Light a Menorrah under this guy’s ass and get him back to what he’s paid to do⁄!

Michael Smith says:

I’m Catholic and I have to say that the song written by the good Senator from Utah is excellant and it’s good this time of year where so many diverse individual celebrate so many good things, be Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanza.

Rasheeda is my sister and she has a beautiful voice. I am very happy to see her branch out to do this song. I am of Syrian ancestry and my wife is Jewish. We appreciate the good aspects of both of these ancient cultures. I will let my mother-in-law hear the song and she might make me her great chopped liver as a reward. Ever try chopped liver and Humos?
Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas.

Doug Anderson says:

What a nice way to start the afternoon. Good for you Senator Hatch.


I think it’s a lovely gesture. For those critical of the tune, try to remember that it is a gift from someone’s heart.

To “famdoc” — When you attempt biting sarcasm, it always works better when you have your facts straight; otherwise, you end up looking just plain silly. Sen. Byrd does not represent NC. As for your other error, I’ll leave that for you to figure out on your own.

mishy likes it! makes me want to go out and buy some candles.

Love the song by Sen. Hatch. I hear that he has written many other songs. The only Hanukkah song I’ve ever heard was the dreadle song we sand in elementary school. Happy Hanukkah!

Marilyn says:

Great Song…’s about time! I love this version, but it would be great to have a Barbra Streisand version too. Come on barbra… it. Way to go Orin Hatch.

As an Orthodox Jew I would like to say “Thanks You”

If Irving Berlin (Jew) can write one of the most beloved Christmas songs, why can’t a Mormon write a Hanukkah song?

Catchy song sung with heart. Thanks.

Catchy tune, and we can do a circle dance to it. But am I the only one who sees the paradox of the esteemed senator’s views in debating health care with anti-choice language and our Jewish faith?

Murray Shapiro says:

We really needed a good addition to the slim offerings for Hanukah; and this is a fine one. Thank you, Senator Hatch.

Hatch is a first class PHONY!! The song was horrible enough but I almost lost my lunch when he whipped out his mezuzzah!!


He is being paid way too much for not attending to what he is suppose to be doing, let alone on our tax dollars.

charlie salem says:

Fabulous….lifted the dreary London Landscape as we bopped away to it as the rain came down!!!
Good wishes to you all!
Charlie Salem

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Tsippi says:

I must say, some of the comments here embarrass me as a Jew. They are not in keeping with our traditions of civil debate, tolerance, or maintaining senses of humor. Senator Hatch and Ms. Azar, thank you for reminding me what an extraoridinary country this is. My grandparents in Poland could have never imagined a country where senior politicians would produce Hanukkah songs and wear a mezzuzah. Holiday blessings to you.

Michael Monahan says:

I think that the song was just fun. That captures the spirit of Hanukkah, doesn’t it? I think having a little fun is a good thing. In these very serous times we need a little fun from time to time.

Jay A Friedman says:

My family has been living in Israel for the past 47 years – we were born in America and came on Aliyah when we were in our mid 20’s.

We are proud to be Israelis and we are equally proud of being Americans. The example set by Senator Hatch once again shows the rest of the world the heights that America has reached.

Perhaps America has not yet reached the pinnacle but it is in sight! You set the example that the world should follow.

Happy Chanuka and a peliminary Merry Christmas

Estelle and Jay Friedman
Raanana, Israel

PS — and this statement of adulation for Sentaor Orrin Hatch originates from a couple of Orthodox Jews who are liberal Democrats!!!(what a counry America is!!!!)

nina h rothman says:

Not so much. Many songs have been written but few are chosen….just like us. Sen. Hatch needs to quit his day job but not to write songs on Jewish themes.

A lion in zion says:

Definitely the only redeeming thing Orrin Hatch has ever done.

I absolutely loved it. Each Hanukah my synagogue has a grand musical service and I would love to have a copy of the music and permisssion to perform it with adult choir, youth choir and band. The video was touching.

Cute song, fun for the kids, well done to all who participated!

Manfred says:

Really nice, I loved it. Happy Hanukah and Merry Christmas from Germany.

Richard Marcus says:

I don’t know if Orrin’s producer needs a “B” side (Will those over 50 explain the term ‘”B” side’ to those under 30)
But I have one below.
As you’ll see by the title it’s “country” but then again, by definition, a take no crap, walk the walk Israel is pretty much “country,” too.

Judah Mack Truck Abee
Music and Lyrics by Richard Marcus
They drove big rigs outta Modeen town
The Macabee brothers, known for miles around,
Lead by big brother Judah they were honest and good
Each 18 wheeler had a star on the hood:
(Spoken: “The Star of David: Ma-GHEN Da-VEED”).

Now every year they loaded their rigs
With supplies for a special Hannukah gig,
Helping any family down on their luck
Those folks depended on the Macabee trucks.

Judah Mack Truck-abee!
Judah Mack Truck-abee!
He’d never bow down to no one,
His brothers were the same.
Macabee is Hebrew for “hammer”
And they lived up to their name.
They’d sooner die standing up
Then to live down on their knees.
Those stars on the hood
Were there for good.
For Judah Mack Truck-abee!
Judah Mack Truck-abee

Well, the Middle East was the Wild, Wild West
Life on the highways was cheap at best.
Antiochus had thugs going town to town,
Saying “These are your gods and you must bow down.”

But the Macabee clan had their Hannukah run
So they went to fuel up, do what had to be done.
But those Syrian punks stopped our boyz from da tribe,
Blockaded the pumps, demanding a bribe.

Judah Mack Truck-abee!
Judah don’t bend his knee
He’d fight just to be free
Judah Mack Truck-abee!

The Syrian captain flashed a nasty smile,
Said: “This here’s all the fuel for a thousand miles.
You’ll pay our price and obey my command:
And take down those stars or you’ll die where you stand.”

Judah’s voice was steady, he was cool,
He said “You’re scum but we’ll pay for fuel.
But touch that star, and I’ll make you a ghost.”
The Captain reached out…He was matzo toast.


Well, those Syrian soldiers started blasting away.
And darned if their bullets didn’t ricochet
Off of Judah’s star, then one hit the pumps.
A ball of fire was the end of those chumps.

When the dust had settled The Macabees gave thanks
Though they had only one day’s fuel in their tanks.
“Put your rigs and your faith in gear.
We’re gonna roll,” said Judah, “But The Big Guy steers.”

Judah Mack Truck-abee!
Judah Mack Truck-abee!
He’d never bow down to no one,
His brothers were the same.
Macabee is Hebrew for “hammer”
And they lived up to their name.
They’d sooner die standing up
Then to live down on their knees.
Those stars on the hood
Were there for good
For Judah Mack Truck-abee!
Judah Mack Truck-abee

They put their shetl to the metal, started to jam
From Jerusalem to Bethlehem
Hebron, Ber’sheva, Eilat on the sea
Gaza, Tel Aviv then Galilee.
They hit Jericho on fumes and prayers,
But every family in need got their share.
One day’s fuel stretched eight days ‘n nights.
And Judah said as he lit menorah lights
“God’s miracles come when the heart does good,
All we did was followed the star on our hoods.”

Judah Mack Truck-abee!
Judah Mack Truck-abee!
He’d never bow down to no one,
His brothers were the same.
Macabee is Hebrew for “hammer”
And they lived up to their name.
They’d sooner die standing up
Then to live down on their knees.
Those stars on the hood
Were there for good
Judah Mack Truck-abee!
Judah Mack Truck-abee!

Copyright – Jack-Knifed Big Rig Music, 2005 Lib of Congress

Jon Laitin says:

Perhaps Senator Lieberman will now write a Mormon song entitled “The Nine Wives of Norman Jessop.”

Frank Margasak says:

I find Senator Hatch one of the most interesting people in our Senate, even though he is a conservative, he surprises you with his diversity on issues and subjects you couldn’t have imagined he’d support and be so versed in so much variety. I have been a Liberal Democrat my entire life, but like the good Senator, not blindly, I believe in universal health care for the needy, and control of insurance companies, but I believe it’s a State matter. Thank the senator for his humor and heart

rasheeda does have a lovely voice! brava to her.

but all I want for Hanukah, senator hatch, is social justice, legislation that genuinely protects our environment, fair treatment for our gay and lesbian families, and equal pay for equal work. given your voting record, i will not holding my breath for a song about those subjects.

Kolleen says:

The whole idea of holiday songs is anty tone deaf music challenged person off the street can sing it. this a little tough to do with this song.

charlene saportin says:

Senator Hatch:

Thank you so very much for your efforts here; having fun and adding to the spirit of Hanukah for everyone is really appreciated. Charlene

Donald Love says:

2 things:
Why was Sen. Hatch working on this instead of being the senior senator from the state of Utah?
Secondly, the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints has been plagued by allegations of racism, anti-semitism, and chauvinism for years now. I am not inclined to believe this is not just a flagrant attempt at deceiving me and other people who can read that LDS is what it is.

Georgia Mormon says:

Bah Humbug! For those of you armchair critics..lighten up. If you read the beginning of the video Sen. Hatch wrote the lyrics and Madeline Stone the music. What a great collaboration! Isn’t this what this season does..not looking at our differences but celebrating the good of life…whatever that perspective?
Wasn’t it fun to hear the children singing it too? Music doesn’t have to be on the same level of Beethoven to be of value and enjoyable.

“The baptisms performed have to be accepted by the person for whom they are performed.” Tribe of Ephraim, I would like to congratulate you on your apparent ability to commune with the dead and get their approval. What part of the word POSTHUMOUS wasn’t comprehensible? I’ve read (on this board) that the LDS have now outlawed these posthumous baptisms. Maybe because… the dead Jews did NOT accept?

Gimpel the Meek says:

Thanks Orrin,

Maybe since like Judaism so much you could convince your Mormon brethren to stop posthumously baptizing the victims of Shoah, an act which is only marginally more offensive than the aesthetic crime perpetrated by this horrendously tacky song.

m. everett says:

dude. is that my dad?

Aaron Cohen says:

The notion that that Jews are uniformly duty-bound liberal Democrats has always struck me as a narrow caricature. One could apply the stereotype to Mormons and conclude they are all right-wing Rebulicans.

Of course, that would make many current Democratic Mormon politicians hard to explain (Sen. Harry Reid, D-NV; Sen. Tom Udall, D-NM; Rep. Jim Matheson, D-UT).

Then there was Mormon Democratic Senator Elbert D. Thomas from Utah who before WWII was an outspoken critic of conditions in Germany and the anti-immigration laws against the Jews trying to escape the country. Then he championed a Senate resolution that put pressure on President Roosevelt to establish the War Refugee Board to promote U.S. rescue of Jewish refugees from the Holocaust.

But why paint unless one can use broad and simple strokes?

Where’s the fun in that?!

Thank you Senator Hatch for being a warm and gracious fellow human being.

howard young says:

This will become the hanukkah hit song of 2009 ..we are already singing it in our neck of the woods

Thank you Senator Hatch. The song is fantastic!

Thank you. Your joyous tribute in song to Chanukah actually brings tears to this Jewish woman’s eyes. Deeply appreciated.

And a merry Christmas to you, good sir.

-laura bernell

Nice…. You know these guys in Utah think they are dissidents of the tribe of Dan. I’ve study in their books and their doctrines to understand a lot on their ways (That’s an entirely different video to watch). It’s a nice thing the senator did. G-d bless him. Israel and it’s people needs friends of all sorts. Remember, Not all who came out of Egypt were Hebrews, but they all did sing the song of Moses!

Re: “The baptisms performed have to be accepted by the person for whom they are performed.” Tribe of Ephraim, I would like to congratulate you on your apparent ability to commune with the dead and get their approval. What part of the word POSTHUMOUS wasn’t comprehensible? I’ve read (on this board) that the LDS have now outlawed these posthumous baptisms. Maybe because… the dead Jews did NOT accept?”

They were discontinued because LIVE Jews did not accept the practice. We don’t base the practice on “information from beyond”. We’re just trying to cover the bases and figure that it can’t hurt, might help. Actually not unlike many very observant Jewish practices which aim at building a hedge around the law in order to prevent accidental transgressions. Better safe than sorry right?

But since we’re no longer doing it, out of respect for those who objected, it’s a moot point.

allan caplan says:

Dear Senator Hatch,

Wonderful and uplifting “BRAVO”
It’s simply joyful.


I think it is cute that Mr. Goldberg developed an idea for a song contest and was able to convince Senator Hatch to not only patricipate but to attend a recording session. Separating out the Honorable Senator Hatch’s political views and votes, his effort was noble and nice, and I am no critic, but when compared to my other Hanukkah songs, if I had to rate it on American Bandstand, it would not be in the top deciles. But it was a great effort nevertheless, and I am sure that in future attempts, he will produce an even better and more catchy or soul stirring song

I love the music Madeline Stone wrote.
She is a pop writer too.

Congratulations to the senator and Ms. Stone on a catchy song. Heaven knows we can use some more good ones.

Ms. Azar’s performance is excellent, but I wish she’d do it again pronouncing the name of the holiday with the proper guttural “ch” sound. I saw in the NY Times article about the song that she has a Syrian heritage (adding another nifty bit of multiculturalism to the mix), so I’m betting it’s likely she can handle the proper Hebrew sound of the word, which has parallels in Arabic.

Happy holidays to all!

Dave F says:

“White Christmas” and “Easter Parade” were written by Irving Berlin, a Russian Jew whose father was a shochet (kosher butcher), so this sort of evens things out.

Tax money spent oh so wisely. Thanks Orrin!

Leah Slater says:

Thank you Senator Hatch for your inspired and upbeat Chanukah song, completely fitting for the season. A great addition to the season! The right to practice one’s rituals is tied to one’s belief system. The Mormon religions’ focused ties to the Torah (aka Old Testament) creates a natural affinity between Jews and Mormons and ties the two together in a special way.

Response is needed to the bogus claims of responders Deborah and Elizabeth. They assume all people must think as they do and that they represent Jewish sensibilities. Jews who devote their lives to studying Jewish tradition, values, and Jewish law understand Jewish sensibilities and human nature exceedinly well and do so with intellect, compassion and a broad world and historical view. That understanding and knowledge lead them to oppose the views of Deborah and Elizabeth. These women will perhaps some day come to understand how foreign to anything Jewish are 1) abortions performed not to save a women’s lives, but as a “woman’s choice” (a “double speak” euphemism for choosing killing if there ever was one), as well as 2) the oxymoron “homosexual marriage” between those who are choosing to engage in homosexual sexual relations. Jews who know who they are and what their religion is all about wholeheartedly agree with Senator Hatch and with California’s Prop 8. Jews who have drunk the coolaid of falsehoods that are socialist progressivism, whose leaders have slowly, but surely, been intent on diluting to the point of extinction the Jewish people by claiming night is day and day night have been rendered incapable of knowing the emes (accuracy/truth) of who are their friends and who are not.

These two responders have not written accurately about Judaism and do not seem to have appreciation for the warm friendship of Mr. Hatch and other righteous gentiles who are dear friends of the Jewish people.

Thanks, Mr. Hatch, for shedding some additional light on the season. How ironic that so many Christians understand Chanukah and so many Jews do not, but have been led astray to think that Judaism equals whatever the Leftist rhetoric of the week is preaching.

i leave in eilat asmall town in the red sea . i would like to welcome the sentor to visit my beautifull place and lesson my kids singing his exelent song. thank you dear senator

As a tribes-person who lived in Utah twice, I’m proud of my former Senator. This ditty’s one for the ages.

Daniel says:

That’s really great of Senator Hatch.

kenneth ellman says:

If you look upon this as an honest example of the solicitude and kindness of a well respected and important United States Senator towards the Jewish people then it is valuable. It also of course calls attention to the Church of Latter Day Saints, the Mormons.
I have no doubt that as regards politics and public policy the Mormons are a wonderful ally of Israel and the Jewish community. And it appears that Senator Hatch represents that.
So, how well does he get along with Senator Lieberman?
I thank Senator Hatch for this act of friendship on his part.
Most important this is an example of what makes the United States so strong.
That our people from so many different backgrounds and religions can accept each other.
And most of the time we do, that is why our Country survives and flourishes.
Most people most of the time extend their hand to their neighbors and do not first what to know their religion or where they were born. The fact that they are American is normally enough.
Few countries can say that.
Kenneth Ellman
Newton, New Jersey

jimvillage says:

I hate to admit it, but the song is terrific. Thanks, Oren.

Song is terrific. Maybe he should quit his day job.

Elizabeth-Lets stay on topic. And here’s a friendly reminder, “democracy” worked. Just against what you believe apparently. For or against the outcome, its a democracy.

Nice song. (Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be writing about-the song?)

gentlestove says:

It’s nice that the senator felt so inclined to reach out to Jews, but the song is total schlock- too bad.

Rivka Kaminsky says:

Oy. That’s short of oy vey’z mir.

Jewish Bob Dylan produces a Christmas album the Mormon Senator Hatch a Chanukah song. — Happy Chanukah

Two things crossed my mind when I heard this:

1. Thanks, Orrin. You get it. You understand (as I’ve always felt) that Chanukkah was the most important holiday not only for Jews, but for Christians and Moslems, too, for the very simple overriding reason that the Macabbee’s victory kept alive the concept of “One God” — yes, monothesism itself. Remember that the Syrian-Greek rulers who the Big Macs overthrew wanted the Jews believe in their many gods. If the Macabees hadn’t won, there would be no Judiasm, no Christianity, no Islam. That’s why it is THE MOST IMPORTANT holiday.

2. A complaint: Why has everybody, even Jews, dripped the “C” off of the spelling of Chanukkah? The CH sound is that delightful, guttoral, throat-clearing, pre-logy-hocking Hebrew sound that makes young boys (not girls) feel very cool when they master it. Senator Hatch, I love you for this great song, but please work on your Hebrew. Not having that “C” in there smacks a bit of vocal assimilation.

just enjoy the music everyone.

2 words: Oy Vey!

Rasheeda is my Aunt, and she did a great job with this song. It has a great tune and should go down with the classics of Holiday Music. Great Job to all who particpated in the song. I read on here about hearing her pronounce the “ch” in the right way, and she can def handle it. As being half Jewish and Syrian, it is nice to celebrate both aspects of this Holiday Season.

Charles K. Vena says:

Sen.Hatch you really are a Mensch.Bist a boy from the Boychick`s.

Tim Says: “Tax money spent oh so wisely. Thanks Orrin!”

I didn’t realize that Senators weren’t allowed to do things in their free time. And something like building bridges between cultures and religions — the nerve!

Really, though, whether or not you like the song, it’s a sweet gesture. It’s refreshing to see people with different beliefs joining together in peace rather than fighting a war against each other. We need all the kindness and friendship we can get in this world.

Joanne Clayton says:

Congrats for a wonderful song…could have used a bit more “hipped” music maybe but the words are great. Mazel Tov and Happy Chanukah!

Eileen Pollock says:

I spent time living and working in Salt Lake City some years ago, and as a Jew, I was treated with courtesy, respect and generosity, as a guest. Only one person tried (obviously) to convert me! I had many curious questions about Jewish practice, I had to explain so many times what “kosher” is that finally, I pointed to the OU symbol on the tuna fish can and said, “That’s kosher!” So I have good memories of the tolerance of Mormons, also of their industry and excellent work ethic. The song – well, the singer has an excellent musicality and rhythm, and the little girls are cute.

Dnichols says:

Hey People, lets concentrate on this wonderful song and not how well or not Sen Hatch can sing or even his politics or other people’s comments, this song supports the Jews and the Jewish nation and that is the important thing, MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HANUKKAH

Can’t believe that was better than I expected.

Andy Muchin says:

A wonderful gesture by Sen. Hatch, but a mediocre song. Then again, most Chanukah songs are mediocre.

I don’t think Hanukkah songs are mediocre.
I think they are beautiful. They symbolize
something special. I don’t get negativity!!
Happy Holidays to all

C Gillespie says:

I loved the song! I respect the Jewish culture and religion and the story of Channukah is a very special story. I think it’s wonderful to have it shared in this way.
Some of you may like to golf. Some of you may go to pro football games and some of you may simply veg out in front of a TV until you’re almost brain-dead. Orrin Hatch likes to write songs and isn’t it nice that he can have more to his life than politics?
Thanks Senator Hatch for sharing your talents with all of us. You represent me well with this!

Ari Gordon says:

I love it. It’s simple but peepy. It’s great. Thank you Senator Hatch and Madeline Stone, and Rashidda Azar.

Atheist Papa says:

Shouldn’t it be “Eight NIGHTS of Chanukah”? Nothing really happens during the day on Chanukah. It is the Festival of Lights, after all, and lighting a bunch of candles during the daytime wouldn’t make much sense.

Meh. This song makes my ears bleed.

frimet says:

Just another Orthodox Jewish American-born Israeli who’d like to say: I LOVE this song.

Nan McCulloch says:

I love the song. It’s catchy and fun. Good job Sen. Hatch, Ms. Stone and Ms. Azar. And thanks to Jeff Goldberg for making it happen.

for crying out loud people, this is crap. Hannukah songs are awful, they always have been and so it shall be forever and ever, amen.

I love that the Senator sometimes wishes he was Jewish. Really? I have a hard time believing that. You go ahead and stick to your ultra conserviative rhetoric, Senator, and leave my People out of it.

LeeAnn says:

For all those who have criticized this song, I challenge you to write your own and then put it on-line for all to hear. Be prepared for personal attacks on your beliefs, politics, or anything else personal. I applaud the talents of others who put themselves out there with their art, no matter the form. Perhaps we should be reminded of the addage, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Thank you Sen. Hatch and Ms. Stone for a wonderful song. I liked it.

HawkCW4 says:

Good job my Friend, and for those who didnt know he had it in him, He also wrote a song, sang by, I believe the Airforce choir, and at Bushes Inaguration. I first heard it when visiting friends in Mexico, Mormon Comunity, and attended a Valentines dinner at which three young ladies, I believe relatives of Orin’s, sang that song for the Group.. He is a distant relative of mine too, although I have not liked some of his votes, but he is still a good man and very very talented.

And for all you bitter and hateful folks responding here, get a grip and smile, you might get someone to smile back, like you even give a rats.

Michele Garrick says:

Any religious zealot sends shivers through my body..My fear instinct reacts profoundly to the pied piper’s song of irrational genocide..I hope I am not invited to an atomic armeggedon Chanukah Party..Talk about burning candles for eight nights!!!
Michele Garrick

This is fun for the kids!

For the grown ups we still have Adam Sandler’s Chanukah Song.


“Paul Newman’s half Jewish

Goldie Hawn is too

Put them together

What a fine looking Jew!”

Happy Chanukah!

Reuben Yona Sina says:

Mazel tova, Senator Hatch,
Great when we have the Mormon’s rcognizing our Jewish heritage.
Wonderful piece of canata

A lonely Jewiah mench in Nothern Mexico

Dave Miller says:




John P. Jones says:

I’m looking forward to a more factual and contemporary song about Jews (at least the ones in Israel). Maybe it can be called “Too many days of occupation, dehumanization, racism, targeted assassinations, UN Security Council resolution violations, water deprivation, home demolitions, collective punishment, infrastructure destruction and Israeli torture and terrorism”. Don’t call Hatch’s song “HipHop”, that’s an insult to HipHop, and don’t tell me how cool Mormon’s are. My dad (RIP) was a Mormon (his entire life) who gave more attention, love AND support to The LDS church than to his own wife and kids. Israel is an apartheid state. Ironically, many of our classic Christmas songs were written by Jews. I’m a Jew because my mother was a Jew. I’m not a self-hating Jew, I’m a justice-loving Jew. I put my humanity above my religion, politics and nationalism.

Michele Garrick says:

Well said John..

Simon Says says:

John P. — its just a nice song and you need to bring your ridiculous politics?

“I’m looking forward to a more factual and contemporary song about Jews (at least the ones in Israel).”

Oh you mean something like “the only mideast country that doesn’t execute homosexuals and treat women and Blacks like second-class citizens” – something like that?

“I’m not a self-hating Jew, I’m a justice-loving Jew.”

No sir, you are a self-hating Jew, because in a world where the Arab states make homosexuality a crime punishible by death, where Russia kills 100,000 chechens (in comparison, in 62 yrs of Arab-Israeli conflict only 85,000, on both sides, and mostly military have died), when Turkey displaces and refuses to recognize the Kurdish people — you can only seem to focus your energies on the one, imperfect, yet democratic Jewish country. You can’t even let a simple, nice song go without spewing your hate.

You sir, are a vile antisemite, racist, and homophobe.

Michele Garrick says:

Actually Simon, with your virulence human extinction is not far off..Your attitude is very evangelical not rational or humanistic..Your sentiments are exactly the kind that promote violence..on all sides..If our specie is to survive religion has got to go…

Eddi Morgan says:

Reply to Rebecca 9:19 Dec 8: You attended a Mormon church for a year, out of curiosity!!?? And you think you know something! Amazing! I imagine you are not even aware that they spend a year studying the Old Testament (King James Version), a year studying the New Testament King James Version), a year studying the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, and a year studying other LDS scipture. And then the four-year program begins again. And did you attend all 3 hours every Sunday? Attending all 3 meetings they hold? For a year? Doubtful. I could probably guarantee that your “out of curiosity” was negative-based. I have a great respect for Jews, as I know and understand their place in God’s plan. And devoted Jews do a great job of living their beliefs, as opposed to so-called Protestant religions who claim to be Christians.

Marilyn Newman says:

Now, if Hatch could only get the Mormons to stop
baptizing Jews posthumously.

Michele Garrick says:

Eddi forgive my ignorance but if a child ask how old is a dinosaur what do you say…And will you take a child to a museum of natural history and expose their minds to provable facts of our past..
thank you

Simon Says says:

“Your attitude is very evangelical not rational or humanistic..Your sentiments are exactly the kind that promote violence..on all sides..If our specie is to survive religion has got to go…”

Michael…how many religious people do you know stand up for homosexuals? Do you bother reading? I am staunchly secular…which partly why I couldn’t bear to read the drivel by John P. Jones. Attacking a secular, liberal, Jewish country — the only mideast country where there is freedom of religion as well as freedom from it – and where homosexuals are not killed – unlike in dear old Palestine and throughout the Islamic world. John P. focuses his energies an anger on the one liberal and secular country in an entire region of religious nut jobs – and you stood with him!

Michele Garrick says:

I am afraid to say I see Israel becoming very expantionistic…It is easy to knock down your adversary for not thinking like you and ones holy way..but until you put youself in their shoes you are not seeing the entire picture unbiased…You need to be them..see yourself as a colonizer..supported by all the super powers.We can use a longwinded story that may be down the road of China’s takeover of the US…we became weak and they bought us out…They befriend the native americans for many advantageous reasons..and before you know it the new govt. is giving land back to the rightful first settlers…you need to leave since your neighborhood is on an ancient and holy burial site that needs to be restored. and on and on would you feel?? You are ordered to leave your family you fight,do you organize underground cels……

Michele Garrick says:

I am afraid to say I see Israel becoming very expansionistic…It is easy to knock down your adversary for not thinking like you and you holy way..but until you put youself in their shoes you are not seeing the entire picture unbiased…You need to be them..see yourself as one being forced to leave their neighborhood to th colonizers which are supported by all the super powers.We can use a longwinded story that may be down the road of China’s takeover of the US…we became weak and they bought us out…They befriend the native americans for many advantageous reasons..and before you know it the new govt. is giving land back to the rightful first settlers…you need to leave since your neighborhood is on an ancient and holy burial site that needs to be restored. and on and on would you feel?? You are ordered to leave your family you fight,do you organize underground cels……

Eddi Morgan says:

Michele Garrick: Forgive MY ignorance, but I’m afraid I don’t understand what your comment has to do with my comments.

Regardless of its meaning, I like Senator Hatch’s song!

Michele Garrick says:

Let me put it this way..Do you believe people and dinosaurs shared the earth at the same time..What are your books feeling on this topic..

Simon Says says:

“I am afraid to say I see Israel becoming very expantionistic…It is easy to knock down your adversary for not thinking like you and ones holy way”

Really? Pulled out of the entire (oil producing) Sinai for just a promise of peace. Withdrew from Gaza and pulled out settlements (got rockets in return), pulled out of S.Lebanon (ditto) — where exactly is it expanding to?

I would have no problem if he said “I want an equitable solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, with an end to settlements, and a two-state solution” thats fine, I would agree with that. Instead he had some diatribe, expounding his energies on the one country in that whole region, which of course is imperfect, but heck – gays have rights! women have rights! blacks have rights! free, fair and open elections – including Arab political parties! and John and others feel the need to not just criticize it, which is appropriate, but to lie about it, to deny its legitimacy altogether!

“you need to leave since your neighborhood is on an ancient and holy burial site that needs to be restored. and on and on would you feel?? You are ordered to leave your family you fight,do you organize underground cels”

No one is forced to leave anywhere — Jews have been cleansed from Arab countries — but Israel has 20% Arab citizenry and the WB and Gaza have growing populations — go check the Palestinian Authority Census Bureau Website for population growths. Generally speaking, a population that is “ethnically cleansed” does not have a massive population growth.

If you want to focus on a country of invaders, of colonialists — perhaps you should campaign against Turkey. Turks came in from central asia and displaced the indiginous people of Anatolia — only 80ish yrs ago, the native greeks of western Anatolia were driven out – today Turkey is 99% Muslim (compared to Israel which is 20% Muslim and the West Bank and Gaza which are overe 90%). But no, I doubt you or John will be calling Turkey a “racist colonial apartheid state” that shouldn’t even exist anytime soon. So much more fun to pick on a plucky little country that has the audacity to have democratic elections and not stone gays.

Michele Garrick says:

We have become a complex social animal so rapidly that our brain has not kept up. we still have bronze age answers to our very sophisticated worldly..magic books aren’t going to cut it anymore..we need as I said before people who can diffuse the mess or we are toast.

Simon Says says:

“we still have bronze age answers to our very sophisticated worldly..magic books aren’t going to cut it anymore”

Indeed you are absolutely right! Which is why, perhaps, you should try to be slightly more sympathetic and understanding with one country, whose majority population doesn’t buy into religious hocus pocus versus their neighbors who believe, literally, in some 1400 yr old book written by an imaginary deity and a guy who claimed to be the prophet of this imaginary deity.

If Sen. Orrin Hatch loves Jews so much, he should intervene on their behalf to
halt the wrongful posthumous baptism of Jewish dead. It continues, despite
repeated denials by the disingenuous Mormon leadership.

Wow, this song is worse than the Holocaust. When will goyim realize that (a) Hanukkah isn’t a big deal with Jews, and (b) we have good taste (aside from our foods–I mean, what is with the sweet pasta, people?).

Moshe Shoham says:

On the reaction of YEAH (3:11):
It is a taboo in our culture,do not use the Holocaust in vain.
I like the song. Very vivid.
Am Israel Chay.
Hag Sameah.
Moyshe Shoham – Tel Aviv, Israel.

Roger Menvielle says:

I am from israel born in Beirut Lebanon.I watched ‘Eight Days of Hanukkah,’ by Sen. Orrin Hatch and Madeline Stone, and liked it very much, it had a special blend. Now we are about to celebrate Hanuka, Lights are every where and this beautiful song fits so good with our Hebrew “Hanuka Carol”. what attracted me also the name of the magnificent performer Rasheeda Azar` this name rang me bells, even gingle bells! my mothers aunt who lived in beirut had the same name. so may be she is somehow related to my family, who migrated to the US long time ago and we lost there trail. Please if somebody reads this comment and have Rasheeda’s email let him contact me on this mail above. May be this Christmas will turn to be the Merriest in my life, if this Rasheeda is related to my family.

Shelly says:

Happy Chanukah to all. And to those who think this song is “crap” (read: Josh), lighten up (perhaps by lighting a Chanukah Candle?!) and enjoy the wonderous miracle that took place. Senator Hatch, best wishes to you and thank you for your wonderful Chanukah gift. I will treasure it and please know how meaningful it is. Not the song, so much (although it is wonderful), but the thought and love of the Jewish people. Shalom and Chag Sameach.

Valerie Thaler says:

my 3-year-old loves this and won’t stop dancing to it! it’s pretty catchy, you must admit

Cute, has a good beat. I like the part about a Goy who likes Jews the best. Front page Headline, “Obama says Jews are good and more should be done to see them in a positive light.”
Light—its chanukah.

Sheila Schwebel says:

Thank you. It’s heartwarming.

Love it!

Ann (NH) says:

To those who think Sen. Hatch should be working on health care rather than writing a song that brings folks together: I would say hard working on health care is hard to do with the partisanship of the moment and if Senator Hatch prefers to write his first chanukah song instead of going to fund raisers mazal tov to him. I loved the song. I am a Catholic and he is one of the most sincere folks I i have ever had a chance to meet.

Since Jews wrote most of the Christmas music, it’s only fair that a Christian would write Channukah music.

Deborah says:

Thank you, Senator Hatch.

Anyone else find this song really cheesy? Why do all Hanukah songs have to be like this?

It’s a potential classic. Nice lyrics, wonderful melody, this song definitely has legs…Rasheeda Azar, the singer, has a voice like an angel and looks great. She may be the missing link to Arab-Israeli peace!

Barbara Schnitzer says:

Jews do not need affirmation from gentiles. We are what we are and believe what we believe regardless of the approval or disapproval of others. Frankly, I’m somewhat amused and somewhat offended. If he wants to engage Jews over the matter of Chanukah he could just offer his Chanukah greetings. Merry Christmas, Senator Hatch.

A lot of you have anger issues and are disrespectful. Why can’t you just appreciate this nice gesture from Sen Hatch? The song definitely brightened my day and I look forward to sharing it with family and friends.

I read all the previous posts and was surprised that the most virulently hateful ones seem to have been written by folks who proclaim themselves to be Jewish.

Perhaps there is some anti-Jewishism just like anti-Mormon or anti-Catholic but my observation over 70 years is that most of that is actually generated or caused by the “victims”.

If one seeks, they can definitely find.

Liliya Shapiro says:

I love this song. Great job. Happy Hannukkah!

Aaron Levine says:

How about instead of writing a kitchy song about a relatively unimportant holiday he could actually promote some legislation that promotes equality and freedom, the ideas that the Maccabees were fighting to protect.

GirlScoutDad says:

Mazel Tov, Senator Hatch!
Best Hannukah song ever, I’m going to play it for my daughters tonight on the first day of Hannukah.
Keep on Defending America, Senator!
a Jewish war vet of Operation Iraqi Freedom

As an administrator of multi-cultural programming, I am so pleased to see our senators doing SOMETHING for the arts

Hiyyavrom says:

About as authentic as his LDS tzitzis. Nice beat, like at a Las Vegas casino. Anyway, sweet thought, Orrin. GBU.

Thank you senator…..

Careful. Remember Hatch is a Republican. He was probably writing legislation to ban the slogan “Happy Holidays” in favor of “Merry Christmas” the same time he wrote the song.

If I were running a successful campaign against Hatch, I would run this video on
TV 24/7. Jerusalem is not an Israeli city. The UN has decreed many times that the Zionists must stay away from that Palestinian city. This has not slowed the Israeli war criminals or their useful idiots (Hatch).

josif from Riga says:

Very beautiful song

Miguel Grande (up two) should crawl back under the moist rock in a dark Forrest from whence he came. The UN has never made such a declaration nor will it ever.

The song is beautiful and will eventually emerge as a classic. Yerushalaim shel zahav and Am Yisrael Chai!

Scott Temple says:

Senator Hatch has a voting record that is incompatible with the strong social justice emphasis in Judaism. His support of Jews and of Israel is based on a religious ideology that is disturbing and disrespectful of Jews an non-Mormons. I am sure that Barbara Streisand won’t be fooled into singing Hatch’s tunes. And the rest of us in the Jewish community should also not be fooled. With friends like this, who needs……you know the rest.

Are you sure this song hasn’t been around for years. Sure sounds familiar.
And yes the Woody Guthrie song are wonderful, creative and tell great stories. Heard the Klezmatics special on NPR last night.

I had no idea that Senator Hatch wrote music and I was very impressed that he wrote this cheerful song. I’m going to play it tonight at my Chanukah dinner.

Cheryl Mavrikos says:

What a marvelous Chanukah song! Thank you, Senator Hatch, and may the love you show for Israel and Yiddishkeit be rewarded a thousandfold! G-d bless you and Klal Yisrael and Happy Chanukah to all!

Love of Zion says:

@ Scott Temple – get a life. The only one who is fooled is YOU. Orrin Hatch is practicing true tikkun ha’olam and the lefties can’t handle it – This is a great song and a genuine and heartfelt collaboration of very talented people!

This song is great for Hanukkah. I’ve been enjoying singing and humming it. And I’ll enjoy sharing it at future winter solstice season/Hanukkah get-togethers. I hope to show the video, too.

Senator Hatch, with this song and video you have added to the season’s shining of light. Our political views are different but, so what – when it comes to appreciating your generosity, in the form of a good song. Madeline Stone, spirited, uplifting melody.

Rasheeda Azar your singing is joyful, beautiful and adds a lot to the inspiring fun. Your reaching out is appreciated.

Senator Hatch and all involved, thank you for the song and your kind spirit.

Happy wishes to you.

Susan Hertz says:

Dear Senator Hatch,

Long ago in the McCarthy era the Mormons gave my persecuted uncle a chance to continue his life saving research at a Mormon funded University.
There is much misunderstanding about the Mormons;and, their kindness to Jews seems to be little known. The song is a perfect Hanukah song, but equally important is The Senator’s genuine connection toward those of us who are Jews. I may not always agree with your
politics but I will always admire your genuineness and your willingness to publicly support a people who in many parts of this country still suffer from subtle but very real discrimination.

Thank you again,

Your friend and admirer

I love this country. As I read through the many comments, it was obvious that some writers got off topic and felt it more important to share personal opinions that were sometimes erroneous and often times meant to hurt or defame others for their belief__whether they be religious or political. Those comments bothered me–yet, at the same time made me rejoice. Thank you to all who went off topic for personal reasons. What you really did was reinforce the love that I have for this great country. Among other rights, this country protects your freedom of speech without fear of retaliation from your government.

Thank you Orin Hatch for not only being willing to stand up for this great country through your service, but also for showing through your example that we can all have our personal beliefs and at the same time reach out and embrace everyone regardless of theirs.

See the page of lyrics:
Who forgot the apostrophe in “let’s” in the line “let’s celebrate”?

Daniel Abramson says:

I love it. We need more talented, multi-tasking congressmen like this. I must have missed Barack Obama’s Hanukkah song.

Rosenschein says:

Thank you Senator Hatch. Your support for Israel is genuine, Jewish vote in Utah is irrelevant. Some comments address the issue of Jewish values being incompatible with your vote, I am not aware that the Bible ever set Jewish values, they are in the eye of the believer! Paying people to not work, be on SSi and reproduce is not my understanding of Jewish values, serving the country and being useful in the community is what Jewish values used to be. Wonderful work Senator.

Another one who loves another culture more than his own

מיכאל says:

מזל טוב!

Elaine Varady says:

And thank you Jeff Goldberg for your explanations, as usual both bright and relevant!

Loved it. Thank you Orin Hatch.

From Catholic,


Jonathan says:

Mazel Tov, Senator Hatch.

While I think this is a fantastic show of support for the Jews, it’s also a little insulting. This song not only secularizes Judaism but it also shows a lack of understanding of what it is to be a Jew. Ok, so he admires Jews, but the song plays off of cliches of hannukkah that show no deeper understanding of what it is to be Jewish. You can show public support (especially as a politician) without having to make a hokey secularized song.

My respect to Mormons from a Jewish woman

Great! Greeting from holyland to the ppl of the USA and happy Xmas to the christians! :)

Daniel Isaac says:

being raised as LDS in northern Wyoming
I have been taught to know that the people of Israel were and always will be the chosen people. Even though in Northern Wyoming I was not raised in the proximity of many Jewish people and I admit being very ignorant of Jewish customs and traditions, My vote forever and ever will be in the support of the Jewish cause and the gathering of Israel in the Holy Land. Senator Hatch I am sure has been taught the same principles all his life and you can believe that this is something that he truly believes.

Great song. Thank you, Sen. Hatch. And an outstanding article by Jeffrey Goldberg.

Since no mention has been made so far as to the “history” of this song being made, Sen. Hatch was being interviewed by Greta VanSusteren, and SHE brought up the fact that he had written a Hanukkah song, along with the fact that he has gold and platinum records (one of each). He replied that some of his fellow Senators requested that he write one for Hanukkah, and that he felt honored to be asked and looked forward to spending his spare time at home composing.
It’s terribly sad (and I believe the root of many problems we face today) that some people can’t simply take this at face value and leave out the vitriol regarding politics and religion, not to mention those music critics who totally miss a simple but well-intentioned message honoring one religion by a man who practices another.
Happy Holidays with peace and love to all. MERRY CHRISTMAS to those who don’t give a rip about politic correctness. Thank you, Sen. Hatch for your “gift.”
Remember the church sign: “Without God, America is One Nation Under.”

Galia Lapson says:

Thank you Senator Hatch, I am Jewish Orthodox and enjoyed your song and very touched by your affection for Jewish people. Will forward to my kids and friends. G-d bless you and your family!

Galia Lapson says:

I don’t see a problem with abandoning Happy Holidays (as pretty meaningless) in favor of Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah, Happy Passover. etc.

Jewish Orthodox lady


Judas Iscariot says:

completely nauseating!

Sharon Baumgold says:

So he took the “ch” out of Chanukah.

I’m not Jewish but love it and would like to get a copy of it. great song!!

Johanan says:

Awesome song! It grows on ya…

Mormons don’t believe they are Jews but they do believe they are Israelites, which why they feel affinity towards the Jews.

In addition, only the Mormons can understand what it’s like to have an extermination order put on your religion and family…

Johanan says:

(besides the Jews this is almost unheard of)

The song has zest, spunk and a great message. I loved the song and played it over and over. Those who are using this site to post hateful and anti-Mormon and Jewish comments are missing the whole point of the song and purpose that the Senator wrote the song. How can the people of this planet ever find peace with so many who delight in contention and hate?

with a name like Elizabeth Schwartz you have to wonder which Jewish Prison Camp her grandfather oversaw during WWII. This women is out of control and very misinformed.

How can a very uplifting song spark so many mean spirited comments from people. Maybe we can find an island and name it Mean Spirit Island and get these people to move there so that they can attack one another and leave the rest of us alone. Elizabeth Schwartz, you get to be the President of the Island.

Just reading these comments reminds me, as so many here have said, what a tremendous gift this country is to us – such a panoply of voices – some gracious, some niggling – a total range of political and social thought. And all can speak. All can express – even their incivility and suspicion of motives of a government “official” – without fear of anything but an argument. How cool is this? How cool is it that well meaning people honor each other? How cool is it that we are free to accept a gift with gentility and appreciation, or reject it with rudeness? I love living here. I am amazed by living here.

I enjoyed the song. Some may argue against his voting record, his religion, the current affairs of the country and any other ‘negative’ issue one can imagine. Forget all that. He penned a song bridging two faiths. We still live in a great country. Let’s look past all the negativity and focus on unity at a time when not all seems so well. Thank you to all involved in the production of this song.

Padmanabhan says:

Many religions instill a feeling of fear and discipline.This great song instills a feeling of upbeat happiness and unity.Thanks Senator Hatch.

Sophia says:

Dear Senator Orrin Hatch,

We enjoyed this Hanukah song very much. It was done very nicely and good spirit. It had a very good beat. Thank you.

Sophia and Freddy

My goodness people Lighten up. No harm or slur was made about the Jewish people or their faith. It was done in all sincerity to the Jewish people by one imperfect man who wanted to give a gift. Receive in ‘in’ kind and open your hearts to love. Acceptance of others and acknowledgement of their beliefs is a great gift of love for others. For all of you who have tried to find fault and criticize what have you done to show your love for others?

Cute song, but if Sen. Hatch loves Jews so much, why doesn’t he convert?

A J Sochaczewski says:

Sen Hatch nice job.
But really–I’ve often wondered why there aren’t any hanaka rock or country songs. If a celebrated musician were to put a nice music video out there I bet it’ll get some fame and renown. I mean think about it; it’s somthing no one elese has successfuly done.

I loved it. Thanks for helping us non- Jews to understand a little of what Hanukkah is about.

Donn Stoutenburg says:

I’m LDS and I think Sen Hatch has written a great song. All the comments that are so negative and cruel are a shame. I just finished reading Daniel Samson’s very interesting book “God and Evolution?” – required reading by everyone (published by SOLON PUBLISHING see He makes a very strong case for considering that the religious ‘evolution’ is or well be the key to the ultimate success and salvation of the human race – and all conscious and intelligent races found throughout the ‘multiverses’. Quoting from SOLON PUBLISHING mission statement “Our mission is to publish specific works that foster understanding, compassion and tolerance between the world’s major religions, peoples and cultures.”

Merilyn says:

Intention is everything. Senator Hatch’s intention and inspriation are wonderful.

Loved the song and the music. Also learned a little more about the Jewish culture. Knowledge is Freedom.

Doris P. says:

I’m proud to be a Mormon and have a great leader in the Senate so open minded for knowledge and all my Jewish friends appreciate your respect for the Jewish race.

What a wonderful song!

Anyway, to all people dont know what the song means, “Hanukkah” means Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple)in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. =)

I’m proud to be JEWISH!

Amazing voice, loved it! I knew I heard this before somewhere else..

Woohhh… Nice i love the song…

Excellent tone and catchy music. I liked the notes performed here. Really loved the song. Thanks for sharing.

This song totally rocks. Its stuck in my head so bad right now. It makes me want to celebrate!

Excellent song and most importantly tone is really catchy. I loved the song. Thanks for sharing the video.

I liked the notes performed here. Really loved the song. Thanks for sharing This info.

I like this blog…good info. Will keep it as a favorite. Is there a twitter page?

You have my vote

This reminds me of when our 3rd grade sang a hanukkah song which kind of had this beat. GREAT SONG!!!!! 😉

Rebecca says:

I just heard this song and I love it. I can’t wait for my students to hear it at Chanukah time. Thanks for writing it. It has a wonderful beat.

Wow beautiful song.

Roelof Vel says:

Oh Yea! in place of Hey and maybe you like the feel better? Nice Work – Shalom.

Sen Hatch….good for you in celebrating and sharing your support of other religious groups other than your own. Whatever your intentions, it’s good to see some positive political action instead of the constant bashing of each other.

Georgia says:

Hanukkah actually means the one word, dedication. As Amber said, the Jews also do call it the “Festival of Lights”. It would have been understood without the extra words, “Feast of”, by the people who were descendent’s of Israel(Jacob).

The Maccabees (Maccabee means Hammer) were a family who were High Priests of the LORD. The dad, Mattityahu and his 7 sons felt zeal for the House of the LORD. They fought hard and long leading others to regain the temple and cleanse it. Their desire was to be able to again reignite the menorah in the Temple the LORD commanded to burn constantly. They wanted to fully love God by the Torah, their trust was firmly in the LORD, and they won battles that looked impossible and fought different battles for many years. West Point actually has a statue of Judah Maccabee (the oldest son) and one of George Washington. The techniques used by Judah and his family are used in battle today.

The Temple was rededicated in an 8 day festival beginning on Kislev (month 10) day 25. The year it was dedicated the descendants of Israel had missed Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) in the fall, which is an 8 day festival, so they combined the two in the Temple, which is how Hanukkah became 8 days originally.

The ancient Hebrew calendar months used numbers instead of names beginning at the first sliver of the new moon, and sometimes there were 13 months if the barley didn’t ripen yet. The year began in the spring at the sighting of the first new moon by two or three witnesses, after the barley grain began to be ripened. In Hebrew they say the barley is “abib”, when grain was beginning to harden and is chewy with the stock turning to yellow from green.

Kislev 25 is in the 10th Hebrew month. This year it begins tonight at sunset, Nov 30th, 2010. That would be Kislev, or the 10th month 25th day. Notice our months: Sept means 7, Oct means 8, Nov means 9, and Dec means 10. It parallels the ancient Hebrew calendar to this limited extent.


Thomas Gordon says:

I am Jewish and I loved the song. Great job! Appreciate the sentiment and accept the gift of song from Senator Hatch.

Ari Dale, MD says:

Thanks from Israel, Senator. Over here, we know that Hanukkah rocks and we’re glad to see you got it right! Good going!

Adina, Chicago says:

I love this song and I am Jewish. I appreciate the thoughtfulness and professionalism. The kids in the video are adorable, too. I find myself singing it since it is stuck in my

Thank you Sen. Hatch.

Michael (Moshe) says:

Dear friends of all origins:
After history of global tragedies and scientific discoveries perhaps it is a good time for humanity to grow up and realize that we are entering a post religious world.
In order to survive on this planet we need to leave behind walls and divisions built by religions.
I wish you all to argue only about quality of songs, not politics, ideologies, beliefs and other crap distracting people from dedication to prosperity and happiness of their own and their friends and families! If you wish to support your traditions – bless you! Be enlightened now and forever! Happy Holidays Season!!!

hey guys you know what?!If you go to the SOMI holidays around the world show you will hear this song in the this song is really.

Hey, this is an excellent song, and Brother Hatch has enlightened me on Hanukkah. Since it’s celebrating an event before the birth of Jesus Christ, Hanukkah could also be celebrated by Christians! Hey, and to the person who wonders why Sen. Hatch doesn’t convert to Judaism … actually, he already has. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that, through baptism and other covenants, members are grafted into the House of Israel and can receive all the blessings given to Abraham’s posterity. So, in a way, when you become Mormon, you become Jewish, too! Members of the LDS faith also believe that Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament, was born into the world as Jesus Christ, the God of the New Testament. The two Testaments of the Bible make more sense when you understand that …

Mauimd says:

As a Christian (LDS) who’s had the privilege of knowing a lot of Jewish people while living in various parts of the country, I’m so very thankful and grateful to learn a little about the Jewish culture and traditions. As a child I grew up not ever even hearing the word anti-semitic and when I first heard it and found out what it stood for I was saddened by such a blind and hateful attitude. To me this song is an effort by a non Jew to tell all Jewish people everywhere that they are both loved and respected. I know my life is better for having Jewish friends!

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It was Easter Sunday two days agao. I am not religious but watched a program about Jesus, the Romans and the reaction to his preachings of Jewish high priests in Jerusalum. I was interested by the fact that its not clear whether he was crucified by Romans or Jews! Whatever the case I likened his antics to the preachers of today in London.

Fat People says:

Thanks from Israel, Senator. Over here, we know that Hanukkah rocks and we’re glad to see you got it right! Good going!
Fat People

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Rasheeda Azar performs ‘Eight Days of Hanukkah,’ by Sen. Orrin Hatch and Madeline Stone

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