Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Chanukah

Tonight (well, this afternoon) was the first night of Chanukah / Hanukkah - the festival of lights. Actually, a minor festival that got bigged up because, depending on how the calendar falls, is adjacent/overlapping with Christmas. And as well all know, christmas is a mega-yomtov (I know this because this year I received my first serious amounts of christmas presents. It truly is the season of giving, in a save-the-economy kind of way).

Zoe sent me a link to Songs in the Key of Hanukkah by Erran Baron Cohen (who is Ali G's brother, and must be mightily sick of his fifty-word bio anywhere always saying that.)

I've been into Erran's music for years - his former (?) band, Zohar, had two excellent albums, Elokeinu and Onethreeseven, and used to have a residency in a bar opposite the Roundhouse in Camden before it got refurbished and I was (almost) a proper groupie.

I'm slightly out of the loop - being on maternity leave - so I've jsut downloaded the album, and I'm loving it. I'm especially loving (a) the Dreidl Dreidl song, which is a kids' song I used to sing in cheder with Auntie Sheila and is now, like, real music, and (b) the guest artists, especially Y-Love, who I totally fell in love with at Limmudfest this summer (I was seven months pregnant, I suspect it was not reciprocal. Also, I'm married.)

Here's what I'm thinking. Being Jewish never used to be cool. Like, when I was a kid probably most of the people I knew quite fancied dressing up as chasidim, and doing crossover breakdancing / weird kazatska / Russian dance that Jewish people insist on doing at weddings, and taking kids songs, and funking them up and getting people to rap to them... and now you can.

Suddenly, we're an ethnic group, even though most of my childhood people (adults) said Jewish in the voice (whisper) you use for saying people have cancer. We could kinda pass as ... whatever we're supposed to passing for, and that was good. Now, we're almost as funky as some underground bhangra club. If only people in Stamford Hill who don't have TVs knew.

I lit the Chanukah candles for the first time with Zaphod. My son. Weird saying that.

I have not yet made latkes but I have been researching some good recipes. Sour cream and apple sauce are my preferred accompaniaments.

This is a brain dump of some of the stuff in my head right now.

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