As Hanukkah begins, we celebrate with light, food, and song. The Jewish people have centuries of songs to commemorate our long history and the turning of the Jewish calendar. Here are several traditional and modern songs about Hanukkah.
Maoz Tzur, a well-known Hanukkah song, is sung each night after lighting the Hanukkah candles. This 13th century piyyut, Jewish poem, recalls and celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people by HaShem from four ancient enemies: Pharoah (the Exodus), Nebuchadnezzar (Babylonian captivity), Haman (Purim), and Antiochus IV Ephiphanes (Hanukkah). The first stanza, which is often the only one sung at Hanukkah, expresses prayer and praise to God, the Rock of salvation.
|Hebrew||English Transliteration||English Translation|
מָעוֹז צוּר יְשׁוּעָתִי
|Maoz tzur y’shuati
l’cha naeh l’shabeach
Tikon beit t’filati
v’sham todah n’zabeach.
|Refuge, Rock of my salvation:
To You it is a delight to give praise
Restore my House of prayer,
לְעֵת תָּכִין מַטְבֵּחַ
|L’eit tachin matbeach
Az egmor b’shir mizmor
|So that there I may offer You thanksgiving.
When You silence the loud-mouthed foe,
Then will I complete, with song and psalm, the altar’s dedication.
Here are some fun Hanukkah parodies of pop songs by the orthodox Jewish a capella group called the Maccabeats.
Candlelight – Hanukkah
Hanukkah is a time for family celebrations and parties for children of all ages. Here are some links to well-known Hanukkah songs for children.
Sevivon sof, sof sof (spinning top)
Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah
We hope you are having a wonderful, musical holiday – chag sameach!
This post was written by MJTI Academic Dean Rabbi Dr. Vered Hillel.