Senator Orrin Hatch’s Gift to the Jews

What do you get when a Mormon senator, an Arab-American chanteuse and a Jewish songwriter who pens Christian rock hits meet up to record a Chanukah song?

Believe it or not, you get a snappy little ditty that not only isn’t silly and sarcastic, but contains heartfelt, relevant lyrics we can be proud to teach generations of Jews.

Jeffrey Goldberg, writing for Tablet Magazine, tells the story of how he came to elicit “Eight Days of Hanukkah” from the senior senator from Utah, which is kind of miraculous — as well as a relief to those of us for whom one more rendition of “I Have A Little Dreidel” induces the urge to stick one’s head in the oven or would like non-Jews to know a little more about Judaism than that Goldie Hawn is half Jewish:

It’s a delightful thing to have Orrin Hatch write a song for Hanukkah. Of course I appreciate the absurdist quality to this project, but I also deeply appreciate Hatch’s earnestness. His lyrics are not postmodern or cynical, which is a blessing, because I for one have tired of the Adam Sandlerization of Judaism in America.


Eight Days of Hanukkah from Tablet Magazine on Vimeo.

Nice, nu? I’m thinking of making it my mission in life to send this to every public school music teacher in America so that no one will ever have to suffer through same two songs at every requisite holiday music recital.

But let it be known: Just because they’ve given us a song to sing, that doesn’t mean I’m suddenly down with the icky Mormon practice of posthumously baptizing Jewish souls.

5 thoughts on “Senator Orrin Hatch’s Gift to the Jews

  1. Shalom my favorite Yenta. There is other Chanukah music out there-written by people who are actually more aligned with Jewish values than Sen. Hatch. Help us get it out to the masses…would you?

    I’ve got a new one called, Night by Night–straight R&B, no dreidles! Available on itunes or for a listen visit

    Wishing you a beautiful season of light and love.

  2. I dunno, I watched a video of it and was thoroughly weirded out to learn that Orrin Hatch wears a mezuzah around his neck. And I could have done without “La la, la la la la, LA, la la la la…”

    Personal opinion, though 🙂 I did like the music better than the lyrics.

  3. I think if any Mormon senator wants to praise our holiday, we should accept it with grace. We need all the friends we can get with Iran testing nuclear weapons that can reach Israel.

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