The Festival of Lights is being transformed this year into the Festival of YouTube Videos. Since YouTube first appeared, our people have developed a new obsession with making holiday videos. But nothing can come close to competing with Hanukkah. From Israel to California, the People of the Book are breaking out into dozens of feel-good Hanukkah videos and posting them to YouTube.
Some of these are crafted for this year's celebrations, and some are viral. A recent video with Jewish rapper Kosha Dillz is going viral where he freestyles a Hanukkah rap while taking objects out of Santa's Bag. Whereas a new well-produced video from the Maccabeats singing Matisyahu's "Miracle" has a lot of people tapping their toes.
But have no fear, what Adam Sandler started years ago, and South Park continued, will go on for the foreseeable future as Jews everywhere, inspired by seasonal hits and the promise of YouTube immortality, present us with annual Hanukkah videos.
It is interesting to note that what came to America as a delightful celebration during the Jewish year has morphed into a cornucopia of presents, videos and spoofs. Is the point of the holiday to make videos with catchy songs? Maybe.
I put the question to test against the Talmud and the reasoning behind the festival. One of the major themes in the Talmud is publicizing the miracle of the oil, and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. I like to joke that Hanukkah is the first real advertising campaign in Jewish history.
If the main point of lighting the Hanukkah lights according to ancient tradition was a pioneering advertisement for the miracles of Hanukkah, then perhaps these contemporary videos are merely a modern extension of the ancient concept.
Whatever you feel about the videos -- enjoy them and have a "happy, happy, happy, happy, Hanukkah!"
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