The modestly named Hanukkah Hip Hop video is probably the most authentically Jewish music video of the season, if not ever. What it lacks in video pizzazz is more than made up for in Ari Lisser’s bombastic and unrelenting lyrics that emphasize the ostensible meaning of this Holiday and how that lesson is forgotten in the rampant Christmas influenced consumerism that is Hanukkah in the diaspora:
Hanukkah just ain’t what it used to be, cuz some Jews got jealous of the Christmas Tree.
Spent all of their money on a shopping spree, tryin’ to be like the people they see on TV.
Don’t let yourself forget history, knowledge is the key to set your mind free.
Just open a book, look back and see, what it really meant to be a Maccabee.
They risked their lives to fight assimilation, but now Hanukkah’s just some cheap imitation
Of some foreign nation’s celebration that falls on a similar calendar location
The hocus pocus made you lose focus, you broke all the rules acting like Antiochus
Drinking eggnog like a hog till you get sick, making your potato pancakes from Bisquick
You light the Menorah but you don’t study Torah, cuz you’re running like low after Sodom and Gomorah
No divine presence, all from Walmart, so you still feel empty when you fill up your cart
If your great grand dad saw your Hanukkah bush, you would get no gift just a potch on the tush
Cuz the holiday’s not about buyin’ stuff, it’s to teach that a little bit is more than enough
It doesn’t really matter if you’re losin’ or winnin’ all you really need is the dreidel to keep on spinin’
So fry up a feast, bring your family near, and steer clear of the cashier this year.
Ouch. But yeah, dude’s got a point. Of course this video will never go viral. It wasn’t recorded in some fancy studio. It doesn’t have gangbangers or scantily clad women in it. It’s just one (Chabad?) guy and a Hanukkiah – which isn’t even lit or shiny! But it’s the straight up truth.