Hanukkah commemorates the Macabee family's rebellion against Greek attempts to suppress the Jewish religion. So it makes sense, perhaps, that a group of musicians looking to tell the story of that holiday would turn to music inspired by another rebellion: the American Revolution.
A New York a cappella group called the Maccabeats has rewritten songs from the hit musical Hamilton for a new video titled "Hasmonean: A Hamilton Hanukkah." The group's music director, Julian Horowitz, says the Maccabeats' chosen medium feels especially true to the spirit of the holiday.
"One of the main themes of the holiday is publicizing the miracle," he says. "Which is why, of course, we light menorahs in our windows and you see them in all these public squares. So in some ways, the YouTube video is the modern-day menorah."
Horowitz joined Morning Edition to tell the story behind his group's latest viral effort. Hear more from him at the audio link.