As many of you know, I have had a several years-long obsession with the Yeshiva University Maccabeats. They are an all male a cappella group who released a Hanukkah video, “Candlelight” two Hanukkahs ago that went viral and sort of changed the face of Modern Orthodoxy and how gentiles and Jews view Orthodoxy. They sang for President Obama, they sell T-shirts (I own several and a hoodie), every Jewish kid knows who they are (and most of the kids’ moms too…). They’re wonderful and talented and sweet.
Gaby Dunn, one of my favorite bloggers-turned-writers, wrote a hilarious post about her Top 5 Favorite Cute Jews from the video, and I dubbed myself an “Opening Jew” fan until Moshiach comes. You should probably read her post if you want the rest of this post to make sense.
What transpired after I posted about my love for “Candlelight” was the awesome opportunity to get to know the Maccabeats as celebrity Jewish comrades, become BFFs with Opening Jew (eeeek!), and appear with my sons in their “Miracle” video last Hanukkah. This was the start of our Miracle Match campaign that raised over $80,000 last Hanukkah to benefit The Gift of Life and their efforts to register bone marrow donors and save lives. To date, the Miracle Match Campaign has led to 24 matches and seven transplants requested!
This year has brought some changes for the Maccabeats. Opening Jew, Flip-My-Latkes Jew, Bumbling Jew, and another unnamed-by-Gaby-Dunn (but super adorable and with the voice of an angel, I mean it) Jew have formed StandFour; also an a cappella group and also Jewishy and great. They have already sort of won me over with their Hanukkah mashup, and not just because they’ve got Opening Jew. I love the modern music choices. I love them in hoodies looking all casual and hip-like. It’s beautiful singing. I love their passion about God. What do they StandFour? Only good things. Thumbs up.
The Maccabeats have released a sort of teaser video this Hanukkah which I must say features an hysterical take-off on Gangnam Style called “Sukkos Style” which my sons are obsessed with, even though they have never seen the original Psy video. It’s got a lot of flare, it’s well-sung, and they are still delightful and a wonderful blessing for Jews everywhere.
Whatever your flavor this Hanukkah, enjoy the new world of technology, frumkeit, and handsome well-groomed Modern Orthodox men singing their hearts out. Whether you Maccabeat or StandFour, it’s all good.
As for me, Moshiach’s not here, so I’m clicking on both but spending more time with the gentlemen of StandFour.