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Maoz Tzur

Hanukkah Songs


Title of the Song: "Maoz Tzur" which means "Rock of Ages." It's a Hebrew Hanukkah song written hundreds of years ago in Europe. The tune was adapted from a German folk song. It is sung after saying the blessings and lighting the Hanukkah candles.

Author: It was written by the poet Mordechai or Mordecai. The poem consists of 5 stanzas with each stanza beginning with the first letter of the poet's name. The English version was written by the scholar Marcus Jastrow (1829 - 1903) and the rabbi Gustav Gottheil (1827 - 1903) based on a German hymn written by Leopold Stein.

Lyrics (Transliteration Excerpt):
Ma'oz tsur yeshu'ati
lecha na'eh leshabeakh.
Tikon beit tefilati
vesham todah nezaveakh.

(Excerpt of English Translation):
Rock of ages, let our song
Praise Your saving power;
You, amid the raging foes,
Were our sheltering tower.

(Excerpt of Literal Translation):
O mighty stronghold of my salvation,
to praise You is a delight.
Restore my House of Prayer and there
we will bring a thanksgiving offering.

Music Clip: Listen to Maoz Tzur from YouTube

Music Sheet: Music sheet from Sam Englander

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