recess radio program

12/15/06
A Musical Hanukkah
    by John Cech

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That's the traditional Hasidic song, "In the Window," each of the verses of which represent the lighting of one of candles for the eight days of Hanukkah, the Jewish Feast of Light, which begins today. This version of the song is from a moving, joyful CD called A Child's Hanukkah from Music for Little People. The recording blends the old and the new, the familiar and the faraway. There are rollicking klezmer dance tunes, played by the Jewish Wedding Band, and game songs to go with the spinning of the draydl top, tributes to the delicious culinary highlight of the holiday -- the potato pancakes called "Latkes," and threaded throughout the music, there is a vibrant retelling of the holiday traditions that naturally unfolds as the kids and grown-ups celebrate together, in English and Yiddish and Ladino, the language of the Sephardic Jews who lived in Spain and count the candles to a different beat:

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But in the end, this is a celebration of the light that holds families and communities together in dark times; it's about the miracles of life that set spirits and feet in motion together in the steps of happiness.

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Copyright 2006 John Cech

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