Tonight marks the first night of Hanukkah (or Chanukah, depending on your preference), the annual Jewish festival of light. Though the pop songs surrounding the holiday are not as plentiful as they are for Christmas or Halloween, but the quality of them is considerably superior.
The top of the heap, of course, belongs to Adam Sandler. Through several iterations, “The Hanukkah Song” has kept people laughing but also has a certain sweetness to it that only Sandler can bring. Jewish comedians must have a special connection to the holiday — or at least a connection to the rivalry between Hanukkah and Christmas. Hence Sarah Silverman’s “Give the Jew Girl Toys,” a hilarious diatribe that takes Santa Claus to task for only delivering gifts to Christian children. Anybody looking to add a little funk to their Festival of Light would do well to break out some Matisyahu, who seamlessly blends his faith with hip-hop and reggae rhythms and whose “Darkness Into Light” makes for an appropriate Menorah-lighting soundtrack.
But if you really want to celebrate Hanukkah, you have to have Chutzpah. Not the Hebrew word describing audacity, but rather the Jewish hip-hop supergroup composed of Master Tav, Jewdah and MC Meshugenah. (They also claim Dr. Dreck — played by actor George Segal — as their mentor.) The trio are 50 percent comedy troupe, with the other half falling into the legitimate rap category. Their anthem “Chanukah’s Da Bomb” needs to be seen to be believed, and luckily they made an incredible video for it. Enjoy your festival of light with the help of Chutzpah.