Monday, December 2, 2013

Dr. Dreidel

Matt Rissien, the Director of Youth Activities at Congregation Beth Shalom in Northbrook, Illinois, has posted The Dreidel Song: Hanukkah Rap on YouTube that we just had to share here on the Adas Emuno blog:

And Thanksgivukkah may be over, but there's still a few days left to spin the Thanksgiving turkey dreidel introduced by Conan O'Brien:

And that just goes to show that you don't have to be Jewish to love dreidels, a fact that Conan O'Brien may have learned from a song by Don McLean that made the Top 40 back in 1971. Here's a live version from 2009:

Maybe you'd prefer something a bit more traditional? How about this recording of Cantor Moshe Oysher signing Drei Dreidel in Yiddish?

The write-up from YouTube is worth sharing here:

Born in 1907 in Bessarabia, Imperial Russia (Moldova) and died in 1958 in New York. Although he may have come from a family of cantors going back six generations, he seems to have been drawn to the stage and popular entertainment from an early age. Oysher joined a Canadian travelling Yiddish theatrical troupe in 1921 and moved to New York City in 1923. By 1932 he had started his own company, entertaining in the USA and South America. After returning to the USA from Buenos Aires in 1934, he had difficulty finding work in New York's Yiddish Theater. When he was offered the opportunity to sing for the High Holy Days at the First American-Rumanian Synagogue in NYC's Lower East Side, he accepted the position and became a cantorial sensation!

Despite his great success as a cantor Moishe Oysher was ever the entertainer and became quite famous for his starring roles in three Yiddish films including, "The Cantor's Son" (1936), "The Singing Blacksmith" (1938), and "Overture to Glory" (1940). He was also a successful recording artist.

Moishe Oysher was able to combine his passion for the Chazzanut with his love of performance, creating a crowd-pleasing style that thrilled audiences in synagogues and theaters. His recordings represent the world of our fathers and grandfathers who appreciated Oysher's rich voice and fiery style.

And here's one for the kinderlach, straight from Shalom Sesame, Baby Bear and Telly Play Dreidel:

And to end on a bit of a country spin, here's Julie Silver doing her version of The Dreidel Song:

So, by all means, go out for a spin, or stay in, and keep those dreidels turning, and those Hanukkah candles burning!

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