The ‘Hamilton’-Themed Hanukkah Video You Didn’t Know You Needed

By | July 24, 2016

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A Jewish a cappella group is paying homage to the acclaimed Broadway musical “Hamilton” with a new music video released just in time for Hanukkah.

The Maccabeats, a team of vocalists that formed at Yeshiva University in 2007, are known for producing quirky parody videos that link pop culture with American Jewish traditions. This year, they drew on the parallels between Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” and the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah to create “Hasmonean,” a song about the Hasmonean dynasty’s 164 BCE revolt against the Seleucid Empire.

“Hamilton” tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, whose skill and bravado helped win a revolution. Hanukkah is the story of a small group of Jews who banded together to overthrow a regime that was preventing them from practicing their religion. 

The historical parallel provided plenty of creative fodder for the Maccabeats, who modified a few“Hamilton” hits for their video. 

A verse from the song reads: 

We are not gonna betray our God
Hey yo, we don’t need permission
To keep our great traditions
And we’re not gonna betray our God.

Julian Horowitz, who arranged the song, told The Huffington Post that the Maccabeats were “huge Hamilton fans” who were struck by how Miranda’s work managed to fuse music with history lessons. 

Horowitz said he hoped his Jewish listeners would be “proud of their heritage and traditions.”

“This Hanukkah more than any in recent years, we also hope to spread a little light, hope, and harmony in a seemingly dark, negative, and divided world,” he told HuffPost in an email.

Listen to “Hasmonean” above.

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