As much as we love the holidays, it’s a little much when Hanukkah is right on the heels of Thanksgiving. We’re still dealing with leftover turkey, and it’s time to start the brisket.
With this in mind, we thought we’d provide you a little distraction with intriguing works of Hanukkah-themed art, including stories and music to listen to while shredding potatoes or scrambling for eight nights of presents.
Let us know what you think, and if you have your own works to share.
A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Record from Reboot Records has been an invaluable accompaniment during latka preparation at our house. His blues-inflected solo guitar versions of Hanukkah classics are fantastic. (Learn more about Jeremiah here.)
Spin Magazine has a fun list of The Best Hanukkah Songs of Modern Times. But since half are versions of the Adam Sandler chestnut, go straight to Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings 8 Days (of Hanukkah). Hip-hop fans should check out The Hanukkah Song 2.0 by Nissim Black and Kosha Dillz.
From the Commentary archive, an interesting piece on two poems: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Jewish Cemetery in Newport” and Emma Lazarus’s response, “In the Jewish Synagogue at Newport.” (Both inspired by Touro Synagogue, a member of the Council of American Jewish Museums.)
From the LABA Journal archive, a meditation on memory from LABA fellow Kendell Pinkney.
NPR has a great audio versions of short fiction in Hanukkah Lights: Stories of the Season, with stories from Sholom Aleichem, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, and Ellen Orleans.
From the Jewish Museum’s archive, A Hanukkah Project: Daniel Libeskind’s Line of Fire, a selection of 40 hanuakkiahs from the museum’s collection.
Jewish-American artist Michael Hafftka has a lovely Hanukkah-themed watercolor series.
Jamie Straz is an architect and visual artist of Jewban (Jewish/Cuban heritage). Check out his Jewish-themed work, but my own favorite is the evocative and menacing acrylic In the Days of Matisyahu.