December 9th, 2009
01:59 PM ET
6 months ago

Orrin Hatch does Hanukkah

Orrin Hatch does Hanukkah.
Orrin Hatch does Hanukkah.

(CNN) – Hanukkah may last eight times as long, but when it comes to seasonal songs, Christmas tends to dominate by sheer volume - the list of Yuletide carols is enough to sustain radio stations for weeks, while the canon of high-profile Hanukkah holiday tunes would barely last past the first commercial break or two.

But now there's another entry to the songlist for the Festival of Lights, thanks to

Sen. Orrin Hatch. The Utah Republican, a Mormon, has released his own musical tribute to the Jewish holiday: "Eight Days of Hanukkah", which debuted in a video released on the Tablet magazine Web site Tuesday night. Hatch's voice wasn't featured in the clip – but he did appear throughout, at one point flashing a mezuzah pendant he sported around his neck. (A mezuzah is a piece of parchment, often contained in a decorative case, that includes Hebrew verses from the Torah. It's placed on doorframes in the homes of observant Jews.)

Hatch may represent a state not noted for a significant Jewish presence, but the senator said the song was actually aimed at educating celebrants far from Salt Lake City. "I know a lot of Jewish people that don't know what Hanukkah means," he told writer Jeffrey Goldberg. His song, he said, was intended to help them "realize the miracle that's being commemorated here. It's more than a miracle; it's the solidification of the Jewish people."


As for the tune itself: It sounds a light rock holiday note, complete with singing children and a bit of a klezmer vibe.

The last song released by Hatch, a veteran musician and songwriter, was a melody dedicated to his good friend, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts.


Filed under: Orrin Hatch
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Second Week of Advent- symbolic of Peace...Blessed be the peacemakers for their's is the Kingdom of Heaven

    The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
    he humbles and exalts.
    He raises the poor from the dust
    and lifts the needy from the ash heap
    he seats them with princes
    and has then inherit the throne of honor.

    For the foundations of the earth are the Lord's...1 Samuel 2

    Miracles till happen...just believe in the Great God who delivers...
    he never fails.

    December 9, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. Second Week of Advent- symbolic of Peace...Blessed be the peacemakers for their's is the Kingdom of Heaven

    The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
    he humbles and exalts.
    He raises the poor from the dust
    and lifts the needy from the ash heap
    he seats them with princes
    and has then inherit the throne of honor.

    For the foundations of the earth are the Lord's...1 Samuel 2

    Miracles still happen...just believe in the Great God who delivers...
    he never fails.

    December 9, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Most of the Jewish people we know celebrate the holidays as a capitalist money making week.

    December 9, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. Steph

    Why does Orrin Hatch think he's the right person to tell Jewish people about the meaning of Hanukkah. I'm fine with him participating in the holiday if he chooses to, but to say he's educating his Jewish friends is a bit insulting, don't ya think?

    December 9, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. Kevin

    There are indeed eight days of Hanukkah. However, there are 12 days of Christmas, from Christmas to Epiphany. Why do you think one of the millions of Christmas songs is "The 12 Days of Christmas"? That people think of Christmas as one day is a direct result, I believe, of the secularization of the holiday into a month-long buildup to one conventional day of exchanging presents. The true Christmas season is much longer than one day of shredded wrapping paper.

    December 9, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. Ed

    Actually, the Christmas season is 12 days long (in the Western Church), beginning with Christmas Day and ending on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6th. The Celebration of Christmas as a one day event is a common misunderstanding.

    December 9, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. That Other Jerry

    Hanukkah is a wonderful holiday, full of joy and significance, and perfectly appropriate for Christians, including Mormons, to celebrate. Jesus Himself made a point of going up to the Temple at Jerusalem for Hanukkah (John 10:22). Last year my wife and I celebrated Hanukkah for the first time with Jewish friends of ours, and we hope to make it a part of our holiday season every year. Happy Hanukkah, Sen. Hatch!

    December 9, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. GK

    Christmas lasts 12 days long! Why does everyone think that Christmas season ends on the 25th. It starts on the 25th and ends at epiphany (the wise men coming) on Jan 6th!

    December 9, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. vgal

    How nice and refreshing! I Republican who honors and celebrates others' faith and beliefs. This is the true spirit of the holiday season.

    December 9, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    To all my Jewish friends, Happy Hanukka and many more to come.

    December 9, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |