Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Channukah Bells?

I knew in advance that we would be doing a holiday theme this past week at Star Maker Machine, so I began to think about what I might want to post. When the theme turned out to be Jingle Bells, I had to drop any plans for Channukah songs. I don’t know of any that have bells, and I suspect that there aren’t any.

Consider. Christianity in Europe became the dominant religion in a given area before the Christians built their churches. A regular feature of these churches was the church bell, used to let everybody in town know that services were starting. The Jews, on the other hand, were never the dominant religion anywhere, until the founding of Israel in 1948. Yes, the synagogue, such as the one shown above, was the center of town, and the most prominent building in town. But the Jews often had to flee for their lives. They had no interest in calling attention to themselves. Word of services was spread more quietly.

Taking this a step further, Judaism is a birthright. Many Jews believe that you cannot convert to Judaism: you must be born to it. But trace the ancestry of any Christian far enough back, and you will find that someone converted. And that is why Christianity has an emphasis on spreading the word, and testifying. And the symbolism of the bell, particularly as it pertains to Christmas, is all about this.

Channukah, on the other hand, is a minor holiday to begin with. It only enjoys its prominence within the United States to compete with Christmas. I grew up in a Jewish household, and our next-door neighbors were Christians who bestowed lavish gifts upon their children. So this makes perfect sense to the adult me.

So that is why I would be surprised to find a song with Channukah bells. And you will find below two of the songs I was thinking of posting before the theme was announced this week.

The Velveteens: Get Your Channukah On


The Three Wiessmen: Schlepp The Halls



Susan said...

Hey,Darius ~

Nice to see you with your own blog (as well as collaborate with you on Star Maker Machine) - great name!

You may know of this already... but an absolutely gorgeous Hannukah song that came to my attention last year is Light the Lamp by Emily Kurn - her website is www.emilykurnmusic.com... and a YouTube video can be found here...


Happy Holidays - enjoy!