Friday, December 9, 2011

New Maccabeats Chanukah Video! Miracle By Matisyahu

After hinting at a new video release for Chanukah on their Facebook page, The Maccabeats have released their version of "Miracle" by Matisyahu, which oddly enough, was the Chanukah song/video that The Maccabeats outshone last year with "Candlelight." Whereas "Miracle" has only garnered a little over 750,000 views, "Candlelight" has exceeded 6,000,000.

Check out The Macceabeats version of "Miracle:"

The Maccabeats are also fundraising for The Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation via The Judy Greenberg z'l Miracle Match Campaign. The Gift of Life is famous for their cheek-swabbing events at YU (and elsewhere) in which they try to match potential bone marrow donors to patients suffering from leukemia. Their goal is to raise $80,000 - $10,000 for each night of Chanukah.

Check out this video explaining this charitable cause, featuring Jewish actress, star of The Big Bang Theory and major Maccabeat fan Mayim Bialik:

And click here to donate.

So what do you think? Does it compare to "Candlelight?"

P.S. This post in in-lieu of this week's Jewish Music Fridays feature. Although I attempted to post it earlier, I don't want a wonderful album to be overshadowed by The Maccabeats. So tune in next week!


  1. -As Princess Leah commented on The Professor's blog, (who posted the video before you btw) Mayim Bialik is on the video, she plays on The big bang theory.

    -It's cute, but I like Matisyahu's version better.

    -All of their videos have a certain deja vu to it, similar scenes, similar gestures. Like, once you've seen one you've seen them all.

    It's good, but I can see why their Candlelight was more popular.

  2. It's a great song! I just recorded it with accompaniment by the wonderful guitarist Andre Bush, coincidentally releasing it not long before Matisyahu released his new versions this year. Check it out: and

  3. I think a huge appeal of Candlelight was that it was total pop music turned jewish-cool. Not sure if mattisyahu qualifies as pop. Pandora has never heard of him.

  4. Altie - I'm usually "in" on when the video will be posted, but for some reason I wasn't this time... I've known about The Maccabeats ongoing friendship with Mayim Bialik, so I'm glad she's finally gotten to make an appearance. A few of the Maccabeats visited the set of Big Bang Theory this summer.

    I actually think the Maccabeats version is better more fun musically - and they certainly have a more meaningful and interesting video. Matisyahu's was a bit strange and didn't really relate to the song itself so much.

    My issue is that this isn't singable at all. "Candlelight" was great because it was stuck in your head and you would find yourself singing it all the time. The "Purim Song" failed on that account, but "Book of Good Life" was a bit better in that regard. Here, they've picked a very catchy song, made a great video, but the lyrics aren't being imprinted in my memory like "Candlelight."

    Ruchi Koval - Matisyahu is definitely out there in terms of being pop/rock/reggae/whatever, but unlike "One Day," "Miracle" wasn't such an impactful song. I also think it might have been a little too soon to do it, since it was released last year and was sort of "the competition."

  5. So I'm guessing she's Jewish? That's really cute, and I like the Big Bang Theory, I think it's cool that they went there. I hear the Macabeats are doing a concert on Chanuka. I hadn't realized that they became so famous.

    You are right, Candlelight was their most catchy song by far. I didn't like book of life at all. And yes I saw Matisyahu's music video, eyebrows raised the whole time, very weird.

    The thing about their song I don't like is that it is unoriginal, whereas all their other songs they took a tune and put their own words to it. Also, their video is too similar to candelight.

    Listen, for the selection of Jewish music out there,a I say kudos to them for originality in general, even if it's not quite my taste.

  6. Altie - she is Jewish, and a ba'alas teshuva, now Modern Orthodoxish. She publicly declared her enthusiasm for "Candlelight" - the group (or certain members) had some email contact with her, and she's been one of their biggest supporters. Way before Obama ;)

    I found "Book of Life" to be very meaningful, though I can admit the song isn't quite for everyone.

    True, this song isn't a parody, but neither is "One Day" - which was one of their most popular songs before they became mega-popular - back when they were just a nerdy fledgling college A Capella group. I miss those days, sometimes.

    I like your personal sentiments - even if it isn't your thing, you respect their efforts and talents. I've seen too many critiques and naysayers who can't seem to find benefit to the Maccabeats, even if it doesn't suit their personal preference.

    Thanks for the thoughtful comments!

  7. Orthodix-'ish'. lol.

    I was confused about Obama's thanks. Did they play at the White House?

    I thought their rendition of One Day was cute. And yes, before the fame is usually when you can see the true talent.

    My opinion of Jewish Music in general isn't very high, for various reasons. However, I think it is nice how they seem to try to integrate the Jewish world with the secular world. Sort of outreach, if you will. I doubt that is really their intentions. But from an objective point of view, they seem very into their songs, and you kind of get caught up in it. It's usually an enjoyable watch.

  8. Indeed they did! It was big news back in May:

    I honestly think they've gotten better since they've hit it big and started performing live more. The down side is that they don't do shticky songs anymore like some of the videos from their early concerts at YU in the student lounge.

    Reaching out to the world, and integrating the Jewish and secular world, known to some as Torah Umadda (or more precisely, integrating Torah and secular wisdom) is indeed their stated purpose in what drives their music.

    If you're interesting in Jewish Music that is a bit different than the same old stuff heard in the yeshivish Jewish Music world, check out my Jewish Music Fridays series.

  9. I'll check out the videos, they don't seem to be working at the moment.

    Ah, but that is the price of fame. Same way Justin Bieber got famous by posting videos of himself singing in his room. Once they become well-known, generally they stick to edited pre-recorded versions. Maybe because that is what is expected of them.

    I'll check it out. I contracted an aversion to Jewish music, merely because I was unimpressed by the way that every Jewish singer seemed to be taking non-Jewish tunes and putting holy words to it. I decided I might as well listen to the original undiluted version of the songs. I am sure there are some great Jewish singers out there, but as they say it's not really my 'cup of tea'.

  10. Last comment for the evening - and thanks again for the stimulating discussion!

    The bands I feature on Jewish Music Fridays are far from just "singers" who buy their songs from famous Jewish music composers who may or may not have ripped the music off from a secular song.

    These guys are all original in their musical contributions to modern Jewish music, with either creative and inspiring English lyrics, or interesting takes on psukim previously sung about, or better yet - selecting new psukim and sources not yet tapped for their musical potential in today's market.

    These guys all have something unique, artistically impressive, and are a pleasure to listen to. Not everyone is going to like every group I feature, but each has their hooks that grab on and make you realize there is more to Jewish Music than singers who can't compose and boys choirs that sound like girls.

  11. :) Anytime.

    "boys choirs that sound like girls."- best line ever :)

    Thanks. maybe I'll give it a listen.

  12. I think that Mayim Bialik is a great actress and her dedication to learning more about her heritage is great. I do though have a problem with the Macabeets putting her in the video without a proper head covering. She had a true halachik wedding is married under Jewish law. The Macabeets are attempting to reach out with music to the world and represent Orthodox Judaism. They should have made sure her head was properly covered k'halacha (and the half covering, weird looking Yarmulke does not count).

  13. Anon1 - I hear what you're saying, and to a degree, you are correct.

    However, it just so happens that not every married woman in the Jewish world, even the religious Jewish world, cover their hair. There were a number of married women visible in the "Book of Good Life" video - there may have been a few who weren't covering their hair.

    I'm not going to get into a discussion of the requirement for married women to cover their hair, but I do not think it is patently offensive (my words, not yours) that Mayim Bialik isn't wearing a shaytel or bandana in the video.


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