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Hanukkah: A Not-So 'Minor' Holiday

Montclair resident Daniel Brenner wrote a new song to celebrate the Festival of Lights.

 

One local resident says there aren’t enough Hanukkah songs, so he wrote his own. 

Daniel Brenner, 42, recently posted a video of his new song about Hanukkah, titled “A Minor Holiday,” which he hopes will bring major attention to the traditionally lesser festival. 

“I’ve been, let’s say, recovering from a certain kind of secret jealousy of Christmas my entire life,” said Brenner with a laugh. 

Brenner, who is a rabbi, recalled that he was one of the only Jewish kids in his community growing up in Charlotte, N.C., and the yearly Festival of Lights would be drowned out by the ubiquitous Christmas season. 

That is where the opening lyric of the song, “In a forest full of Christmas trees, we lit candles for the Maccabees,” comes from, said Brenner. 

At the encouragement of his friends, Brenner posted the song on Youtube soon after he played it at a recent Hanukkah party. 

“There is a lot of shtick around Hanukkah,” said Brenner. “There are a lot of parodies and that kind of thing, so I wanted to write a song that had a little more of the emotional nuance of the festival and that celebrated the festival in a positive way.”   

On Tuesday, the song already had about 500 views on Youtube. It was also made the list of featured Hanukkah videos on a national Jewish newspaper’s website, The Jewish Daily Forward, and the more local New Jersey Jewish News website.

Since he posted it online, Brenner said he has been getting a lot of positive feedback. He was even asked to play the song during a Hanukkah celebration at his temple, B’nai Keshet, this week.

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