Happy Hanukkah, Senator Hatch!

Steven Koster

The American Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a longtime Mormon and songwriter, has written a song for Hanukkah. The story (and the video) are covered by Jeffrey Goldberg in the online magazine Tablet.

The song is simple and earnest, avoiding what Goldberg calls the "Adam Sandlerization of Judaism in America." Hatch celebrates the story without post-modern self-deprecation or detached irony, pretty much like all of Hatch's songs (like his tribute to Ted Kennedy and the GW Bush inauguration song "Heal Our Land.")

There is a certain irony in a Utah Republican partnering with a east coast journalist, but there really shouldn't be that much irony in a Mormon partnering with a Jew to celebrate a religious history we hold in common. I'm glad to see religious ties trump American culture and politics.

In fact, I've often wondered why Christians don't celebrate, or at least know in some detail, the Jewish holidays that are part of our history too.

The Maccabean revolt, for example, kept the nation of Israel from abandoning their heritage and set the stage for Christ's advent. The miracle of eight nights is a miracle of God's faithfulness to Christians too.

So Hanukkah starts this year at sundown on Friday, December 11. Would it be a good time to light a menorah and tell the kids about what God has done for his people?

Topics: Music, Culture At Large, Theology & The Church, Christmas & Easter, News & Politics, History