Hanukkah Songs in Traditional and Popular Culture

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

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
לְךָ נָאֶה לְשַׁבֵּחַ
תִּכּוֹן בֵּית תְּפִלָּתִי
וְשָׁם תּוֹדָה נְזַבֵּחַ.

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
מִצָּר הַמְנַבֵּחַ.
אָז אֶגְמוֹר בְּשִׁיר מִזְמוֹר
חֲנֻכַּת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ.

L’eit tachin matbeach
mitzar hamnabeach
Az egmor b’shir mizmor
chanukat hamizbeach
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.


The Maccabeats

Here are some fun Hanukkah parodies of pop songs by the orthodox Jewish a capella group called the Maccabeats.

Latke Recipe


Candlelight – Hanukkah


Children’s Songs

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.

For more articles about Hanukkah, watch how to do the Hanukkah blessings, learn about Hanukkah traditions, watch how to make your own Hanukkiah, read a Biblical argument for Hanukkah, and read a Biblical argument for Hanukkah.

Explore our blog:

A Plea for Humanity

The war in Ukraine has reached the two month mark. Rabbi Klayman reflects on the reasons why we must not let it become the “new normal.”

When Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place…

…step out in the promises of God! MJTI Registrar Rabbi Michael Hillel looks at this week’s parasha, Beshalach.

A Reflection on Divine Authority

Rabbi Michael Hillel shares recent insights from a study on Luke 20:1-8 and how Yeshua’s authority manifests across several Biblical narratives.

The Story Behind the Posner Menorah

Have you seen the iconic photo of a Hanukkah menorah defiantly in the window across from a Nazi flag? Dr. Stan Meyer shares its inspiring story.

Light Over Might

It can be difficult to examine the Hanukkah narrative to understand some of the more challenging elements. This week, Rabbi Saal takes a look.

Vayeshev: The Winding Road to Messiah

How are we supposed to feel in the face of betrayal and disappointment? Rabbi Elliot Klayman breaks down Parasha Vayeshev.

Favor Elevates Its Giver

This week’s parasha sees Jacob reuniting with his estranged brother. What can this unlikely reconciliation show us about our relationships today?

Vayeitzei: The Continuing Journey

The patriarchal narrative continues in this week’s parasha, Vayeitzei (Genesis 28:10 – 32:3). We find Jacob on his way tp Haran, seemingly in an attempt to get away from his justifiably-angry elder twin brother Esau, after Jacob had stolen Esau's blessing from their...

Sholem Asch: Introducing Jews to the Rabbi from Nazareth

November, 1880: Sholem Asch, the Jewish author, was born. Dr. Stan Meyer takes a look at his life and the impact he still has on our world today.

The Path Behind and the Road Ahead: A New Journey

The High Holidays are behind us for another year. We have travelled God’s way in those marathon weeks, and it may be tempting for us to settle back into a comfortable, mindless rhythm until Chanukah starts at the end of November. However, from shofar blowing and...

Pin It on Pinterest