THE BLOG

A Hanukkah Cover of OneRepublic's Counting Stars

11/26/2013 06:06 pm ET | Updated Jan 26, 2014

The first day of Hanukkah is Thursday, November 28 this year this year (you may or may not have heard of its rare alignment with Thanksgiving and the resulting mishmash of a name in Thanksgivvukah; it's barely been covered in the media at all).

Less widely known is the meaning behind the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah itself, which commemorates the single jug of undefiled oil that was found amid the wreckage perpetrated by the Greek army, which miraculously lasted for eight nights. The Greeks had waged war against the smaller, out-armed band of Jewish Maccabees in response to the Jewish people's refusal to accept the Godless, Hellenistic lifestyle of the Greeks. That the Maccabees were victorious in this war was another miracle.

In recognition of this background, it is inherently appropriate that Hanukkah and Thanksgiving collide. We have much to be thankful for with regards to the religious freedom that exists in America today: we are free to choose, first, whether we want to affiliate with any religion at all, and if we choose to, we have the freedom to practice accordingly. Whether we identify as Jews or Christians or Muslims or worship at the altar of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, we can do so with real pride and without fear of persecution.

New York-area a cappella group Shir Soul released its newest video - a cover of OneRepublic's Counting Stars -- that pays homage to this theme. Happy Hanukkah!