CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – “The Chanukah Song” by Adam Sandler turns 25 this year.
You may remember the tune from his SNL days but recently the comedian and actor announced on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, that he is challenging someone to rewrite the song for its anniversary.
“That’s a long time for one song. If there are any other Jewish people out there who want to write a new one, that’d be great. I’d love to share the Hanukkah spirit with you,” said Sandler.
Sandler’s challenge was accepted by Clearwater Rabbi Levi Hodakov.
“Several weeks before Hanukkah I got to work doing research to see who we could include in the song. We put the lyrics together and spent many hours putting it together,” said Hodakov.
The Director of Chabad of Clearwater tells 8 On Your Side while his rewrite features some of Sandler lyrics, most of the song is his own and uses several familiar names in the Tampa Bay area.
“Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg is a member of the tribe and we can count the Lightings Jeff Vinik on our side,” sang Hodakov.
Hodakov has even performed his version of the song for the Clearwater community at the Mega Chanukah Celebration.
“Thank God it was well-received,” said Hodakov.
Hodakov also says his song is timely following what he calls a recent rise in antisemitism across the country.
“Unfortunately, antisemitism is rearing t’s ugly head. I want people to feel proud about being Jewish. I hope it helps with that. To make sure they light that menorah. To make sure they put on their yamaka. To make sure they do another mitzvah, another good deed and make this world a better place,” said Hodakov.
To read Rabbi Levi Hodakov’s version of “The Chanukah Song,”or to learn more about Chabad of Clearwater, click here.