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VIDEO: Tania Grinberg singing Yiddish Hanukkah song, ‘Eight Candles’

A new video has been released, featuring the Brazilian composer and singer Tania Grinberg singing the Yiddish Hanukkah song, “Akht likhtlekh” (Eight Candles).

The song, which was written by the late Yiddish poet and songwriter, Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, has a folksy quality to it and is easy enough for kids to learn. The video, which was produced by the Forverts, includes English subtitles.

Full disclosure: Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman is my aunt. In fact, Beyle composed many children’s songs, both lyrics and melody, that are sung at Yiddish music festivals round the globe. I myself sang a number of them with my children (and now with my grandchildren), including the autumn song, “Bletelekh in vint” (Leaves Flying in the Wind) and “Gendzelekh geyen” (Little Geese Marching).

Tania Grinberg, who performs in both Portuguese and Yiddish, heads a Jewish band, Azdi, and has performed at Yiddish culture festivals around the globe. In 2020 she won a Bubbe Prize for a Yiddish song she composed called Naye velt (New World). She lives in Sao Paulo with her husband and two daughters.

Akht likhtlekh

Akht likhtlekh zenen mir

Akht likhtlekh akht

Likhtik freylekh brenen mir

Khanike af der nakht

Likhtik freylekh brenen likhtlekh

Khanike af der nakht.

Ikh bin dos ershte likht

Dos tsveyte iz oykh do

Royt un gel zenen mir

Un zey – grin un blo

Un nokh a likhtl

Nokh a likhtl

Biz mir zenen akht

Un me tsindt undz

Un me bentsht undz

Khanike af der nakht.

Ikh bin der shames gor

Ikh tsind di likhtlekh on

Bin ikh take groys bay zikh

Me shtelt mikh oybn on.

Un mir brenen vi mir zenen,

Khanike likhtlekh glaykh

A gut yontef, a gut yontef,

A gut yontef aykh!

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