• Thank You, Lauren,

    Great story!
    I enjoyed everything about it. Very interesting.

  • Michael Glass

    The great things about the secular Christmas songs is that everyone, Jewish, Christian, Secular and all, can join in. Secular Christmas songs have helped to turn Christmas into a festival that everyone can enjoy, and that’s all to the good.

  • The Great God Pan

    “Christians don’t seem to mind that so many beloved Christmas songs were written by Jews,”

    Garrison Keillor seemed to mind a few years ago when he complained about “all those lousy songs by Jewish guys that trash up the malls every year.”

  • julianpenrod

    Despite constant attempts by shills to paint the truth one way, facts challenging it can come through on a regular basis.
    Very revealing that the point is raised about market and earnings potential comes up in terms of the writing of Christmas over, say, Hanukkah songs. Why must profit be the sole motivation? Couldn’t the Jewish composers and song writers produce something just because they loved their religion? Must everything they do have a price tag attached? Joseph Mohr and Franz Xavier Gruber wrote the seminal “Silent Night” for what they considered may only be a sole performance in a local church!
    But, the, an indication can be seen in Michael Feinstein’s comment that Jewish songs “usually are in a minor key” and that he can’t see “imagery” to fill a Hanukkah song. It’s accepted that major keys express exuberance, optimism and good will, while minor keys are associated with depression and misgiving. A shill would say that it’s natural that Jewish sentiments should be so relentlessly sour since they, frankly, it is claimed, suffered so much. Christians were killed by the hundreds in the early days and there are reports of mass killings even today. But Jewish music seems to be depressive all the way back, even before events reported in the more recent past. But, then, too, religion is supposed to be a bright spot. God did not write His laws to reflect only suspicion and fatalism! Even if you have gone through any tribulations, religious music is supposed to be encouraging, it should focus on the principles, not on your personal history! But that seems to define Judaism, namely, the Jews, themselves. Their celebrations, holy days, feast days commemorate the huts they lived in during their time in the desert; they proclaim military victories over enemies; they establish the “new year” for things like trees, fruits, grains and cattle, for purposes of settling legal debts; they applaud their overrunning The Palestine and arranging the British Mandate to give them sole control over the land! They don’t even have special days for their Prophets. In short, the Jews’ religion is themselves, they are their own religion, or, in fact, Judaism can be seen less as a religion than a cultural structure used to maintain societal cohesion and solidarity, through emphasis of a shared heritage.

  • Louise Stobicki

    Streisand’s album also includes the songs “Avinu Malcheinu” and “One God”. Definitely “multi-holiday season” feeling. So it’s interesting that she called it a “Christmas” album.

  • Susan

    I don’t own any of it and I don’t voluntarily play it. I don’t mind it, but I don’t really enjoy Christmas music of any kind.

    There is a great deal of joyous Jewish music from all over the world. People who say that it is usually in a minor key don’t really know about Jewish music.

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  • Garson Abuita

    I think it’s saying that Hanukkah music has usually been in a minor key, not all Jewish music in general.

  • David

    I do find it both interesting and a positive action that for the 2nd or 3rd year in a row SiriusXM radio has dedicated a channel for Chanukah music during the holiday, in addition to the assorted Christmas music channels they are streaming. Some of the melodies are definitely in a minor key, but others are certainly in major keys. They mix in a varied selection of yiddish, hebrew and english lyrics, and artists from today’s Jewish hip hop to Theodore Bikel, and everyone in between.

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  • Bill Wright

    Great article…except..it is CINCINNATI not CINCINNTTI (I know..picky…)

    Mazel Tov…

  • DJS

    Feinstein missed the boat. “I’m just not that interested”.That’s sad,but that’s okay.We’ve got the Yeshiva University Maccabeats.We don’t need Feinstein.
    I’ve never even heard of him.

    “There’s just not that much imagery that one can put into a Chanukah Video.”

    May I direct him the Maccabeats”Candelight”? for starters.

    Have any of his songs gotten him an invitation to the White House? The Maccabeats “Candelight”got over a million youtube hits within days of its first being posted.It now has 10 million youtube hits.This is a group of non Professional, Yeshiva University Students singing between classes,with a 10 hour or more school day(My brother went to Y.U. I know the drill)

  • DJS

    What an incredibly anti-semitic,as well as ignorant comment. “ because Frankly,it is claimed that Jews suffered so much?” Were the Crusades a “claim”?
    How about the Spanish Inquisition?The Blood Libels?Pograms? Christians have been murdering Jews in the name of Christ as long as Christians have existed,while Christ,of course,was a Jew,and I’m guessing,would not approve of Christians slaughtering others of HIS faith in his name.
    Was the extermination of over 6 million Jews by Hitler and his cohorts,and the all too willing Christians, with the Pope all too glad to look on,and do nothing to help Jews, also a “Claim”of Jewish suffering.
    We Jews did not overrun Palestine.Why don’t you read some actual history.Read of all the slaughters of Jews who were murdered in the Arab Countries. Israel was attacked by all its Arab neighbors after the State was established,not by Jews,but by the League of Nations,not the British Mandate.It was a worldwide decision.
    Jews don’t celebrate death.Or did you not notice that it was your beloved,”oppressed “Palestinians who danced in the streets the day some of their Muslim brethren flew plans into the Twin Towers and murder over 3,200
    Americans? It was on T.V.Did you miss it? There wasn’t single Jew celebrating the terrorist attack of 9/11 ,or any other. Jews don’t celebrate the death of Palestians.Jews don’t strap bombs to themselves and detonate them in the middle of the street,Pizza shops.malls, discos,hotels,embassies all over the world,and so forth.
    You know nothing about our religions.We have plenty of happy songs.This is country predominated by Christians,which is why you haven’t heard those songs.
    Btw,while you’re celebrating the poor ,oppressed Palestinians,ask yourself a question honestly: would you feel safer sleeping in a Jewish Home,or that of a Palestinian?Are you willing to visit Gaza? If you had to choose living in an apartment in Tel Aviv or in Ramallah,which would you choose?Remember,the building in Ramallah has munitions stored amongsts the residents.You might want to take that into consideration.OR not.

  • Jay Caudill

    The only sad thing is that Hitler didn’t finish the job.

  • Jon Wacker

    I completely agree with Mr. Ellis’ feelings about there being a need for more
    upbeat Hanukkah music. I only wish that he would publish his tunes from “Hanukkah Swings”. I have a big band and I would LOVE to add those tunes
    to my holiday concerts. C’mon Kenny, your tunes are great. Get them out there for the rest of the world!!