This time of year when I go into stores to buy some groceries, deodorant, etc I am always greeted with that insipid Drummer Boy. When this happens to you, do you wish you could use the music in a Jewish liturgical context? I never had that impulse but LizziRose clearly did and she recorded a version of hallel using Christmas Carols. It’s very well done. She has a beautiful voice. If you like x-mas songs, hallel, or both, check it out.

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For folks who are uncomfortable with the use of overtly culturally Christian music in this context, I have three responses. First, much of our “Jewish music” has been gathered non-Jewish groups around us. Secondly, I am not super up on Christmas carols but I suspect many of them were actually written by Jews if identity politics is your thing. Third, years ago, when I was studying Chassidut I came across the idea that many of the Rebbes took special pride in appropriating Polish/German/Russian tunes because then they could raise up the holy sparks contained in the song and move closer to redemption. Jingle Bells was published in 1857, perhaps it’s taken until now to have it’s sparks raised.