Traditional Chanukah song of Maoz Tzur with translation and lyrics.

Maoz Tzur

Maoz Tzur


Maoz Tzur

Traditional Chanukah song of Maoz Tzur with translation and lyrics.
© Copyright Neshoma Orchestra. All rights reserved. Order the music CD online.

This traditional Chanukah song is sung by some after the lighting of the Menorah


Ma-oz Tzur Y’shu-a-ti Le-cha Na-eh L’sha-bei-ach
Ti-kon Beit T’fi-la-ti V’sham To-da N’za-bei-ach
L’eit Ta-chin Mat-bei-ach Mi-tzar Ha-mi-na-bei-ach
Az Eg-mor B’shir Miz-mor Cha-nu-kat Ha-miz-bei-ach

Ra-ot Sav-ah Nafshi B’yagon Kochi Ka-leh
Cha-yai Mei-re-ru V’koshi B’shi-bud Malchhut Egla
U-v’yado Ha-g’dola Ho-tzi Et Ha-sgula
Cheil Par-oh V’chol Zar-oh Yardu K’even Bim-tzula

Dvir Kodsho Hevi-ani V’gam Sham Lo Sha-kat-ti
Uva Nogeis V’higlani Ki Zarim Avad-ti
V’yein Ra-al Ma-sachti Kim-at She-a-varti
Keitz Bavel Z’ru-bavel L’keitz Shiv-im No-shati

Krot Komat B’rosh Bi-keish A-gagi Ben Hamdatah
V’ni-h’yata Lo L’fach U-lemokeish V’ga-a-vato Nishba-ta
Rosh Y’mini Niseita V'oyeiv Shmo Machita
Rov Banav V’kin-yanav Al Ha-eitz Ta-lita

Y’va-nim Nik-bi-tzu A-lai A-zai Bi-may Chash-ma-nim
U’far-tzu Chomos Migda-lai V’tim-u Kol Ha-shma-nim
U’mi-no-tar Kan-ka-nim Na-a-sa Neis La-sho-sha-nim
B’nei Vi-nah Y’mei Sh’mo-nah Kav-u Shir U’ri-na-nim

Cha-sof Z’ro-a Kodshecha V’ka-reiv Keitz Ha-yeshu-ah
N’kom Nikmat Ava-decha Mei-uma Har-sha-ah
Ki Archah Ha-sha-ah V'ein Keitz Limei Ha-ra-ah
D’chei Admon B’tzeil Tzalmon Ha-keim La-nu Ro-im Shiv-ah


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.
When You will have prepared the slaughter
for the blaspheming foe,
Then I shall complete with a song of hymn
the dedication of the Altar.

My soul had been sated with troubles,
my strength has been consumed with grief.
They had embittered my life with hardship,
with the calf-like kingdom's bondage.
But with His great power
He brought forth the treasured ones,
Pharaoh's army and all his offspring
Went down like a stone into the deep.

To the holy abode of His Word He brought me.
But there, too, I had no rest
And an oppressor came and exiled me.
For I had served aliens,
And had drunk benumbing wine.
Scarcely had I departed
At Babylon's end Zerubabel came.
At the end of seventy years I was saved.

To sever the towering cypress
sought the Aggagite, son of Hammedatha,
But it became [a snare and] a stumbling block to him
and his arrogance was stilled.
The head of the Benjaminite You lifted
and the enemy, his name You obliterated
His numerous progeny - his possessions -
on the gallows You hanged.

Greeks gathered against me
then in Hasmonean days.
They breached the walls of my towers
and they defiled all the oils;
And from the one remnant of the flasks
a miracle was wrought for the roses.
Men of insight - eight days
established for song and jubilation

Bare Your holy arm
and hasten the End for salvation -
Avenge the vengeance of Your servants' blood
from the wicked nation.
For the triumph is too long delayed for us,
and there is no end to days of evil,
Repel the Red One in the nethermost shadow
and establish for us the seven shepherds.

Maoz Tzur translation courtesy of

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Anonymous Brooklyn December 19, 2017

Who composed the music? Reply

Rabbi Mark A. Peilen Gadsden, Alabama December 12, 2017

The Hebrew hymn Maoz Tzur ( " Rock of Ages," based on Isaiah 17:10) and sung during the festival of Hanukah is believed to have its origin in 13th century Germany. According to Abraham Idelsohn, the general consensus is that its author was Mordechai ben Isaac, an Ashkenazic poet who also composed the Shabbat hymn Mah Yafit. This song originally contained 6 stanzas in which the first letter of each verse (in Hebrew) commenced with a letter which spelled out the author's name. The first verse expresses the hope for the restoration of the ancient Temple. The next 3 verses extol G-d for deliverance from the Egyptians, the Babylonian exile and from Haman. The 5th verse describes the Maccabean victory over the Syrian Greeks. The final verse invokes Almighty G-d to hasten the redemption of the Jewish people. Reply

Anonymous NY December 10, 2017

who composed Maoz Tzur? Reply

Rochel Chein for December 21, 2015

Roses The Jewish people are often compared to roses. King Solomon writes in Song of Songs, "As a rose among the thorns, so is my beloved among the daughters." The great sage Rashi writes in his commentary on the verse that, "[thorns] pierce it, but it remains constant in its beauty and its redness, so is my beloved among the daughters. They entice her to pursue them to stray like them after strange gods, but she remains firm in her faith." This is clearly evident in the Chanukah story, when the small group of Jews stood firm against the Greek efforts to persuade them and even force them to abandon their faith. Reply

Anonymous December 9, 2015

roses = us as the verse in shir hashirim says as a rose among.... Reply

Shoshana Rachel London December 6, 2015

Penultimate verse - Miracle for the Roses
A request: Please explain "for the roses" in penultimate verse-
And from the one remnant of the flasks
a miracle was wrought for the roses

In another translation it was given as "for the Jews". How do roses become Jews? Reply

Reuben Heisler Flushing, NY December 29, 2014

I have a question - the last stanza of Maoz Tzur ends with "and establish for us the seven shepherds". Who are the seven shepherds? Reply

Elisheva (Alix) Baltimroe December 22, 2014

love chabad -you are always there when a lapsed Bais Yaakov girl needs you Reply

Moshi December 16, 2014

Thank You very much! Reply

Francois Havenga December 8, 2014

Todah rabbah, I really enjoyed it. Reply

Ruth Chana Indiana December 17, 2012

Seven Shepherds Thank you Rabbi for the explanation! I'll be looking up Micah to read more. Maoz Tzur is an excellent petition particularly in light of the tragedy in our nation this Chanukah. May there be an end to "the days of evil." Reply

Rabbi Mark A. Peilen Southside, AL December 16, 2012

"Seven Shepherds" In response to the query of Ruth Chana concerning mention of the "seven shepherds." This reference is to Micah 5:4 "and this shall assure peace: If Assyria will come into our land, and if he will tread upon our palaces, we will set up seven shepherds and eight princes against him." In B. Sukot, 52-b, it identifies the "seven shepherds" as King David in the middle, with Adam, Seth and Methuselah to his right, and Abraham, Jacob and Moses on his left. And to finish the reference, the "eight princes" are identified as Yishai (father of King David), King Saul, the prophets Samuel, Amos and Zephaniah, the righteous King Tzedekiah, the Messiah and Elijah the prophet. Interestingly, Rashi admits (in his commentary in Suk. 52-b) that he cannot explain why these seven and eight figures should be singled out above all others. He asks "what about Isaac? He was occupied rescuing his children from the fires of Gehinom." (Shir haShirim Rabah 8). Reply

Shaindy Edmonton, Canada December 12, 2012

Hanukkah sameach! Thanks so much for the clear recording - I'm giving a talk to a school tomorrow about Hanukkah and I've been looking for a recording of this so they could hear it. It suddenly occurred to me to come here and sure enough, I found it. Nice and clear and nothing fancy, just what I needed. Yasher koach! Reply

Ruth Chana Indiana December 11, 2012

Can anyone suggest a resource for learning about "the seven shepherds"? That's a new one for me. I found the translation very interesting. So the English words most often offered for this hymn don't seem to be much of a true translation at all... very interesting! Reply

Salem Abraham Gair London, United Kingdom December 23, 2011

Ma0z Tsur Superbly sung by Chabad! :"how far their candles reach out" "So shine their good deeds in a naughty world" Reply

Gil Schechtman Delray Beach, FL December 21, 2011

Ma oz Tsur Great! Just what we wanted. Trust the wonderful Chabad to be there when they're needed. Yasher Koach! Chag Sameach! Reply

Travis Vernon December 1, 2010

The singers are quality It is the format over a computer that effects the recording's playback, but the performance is clearly superb. Reply

Ze'ev Kalin Ottawa, Ontario / Canada December 25, 2008

Re: Better Quality Singers Regarding Randi Burton's comment "You need better quality singers and music. It sounds muted, but I am happy to hear the songs anyway." I found this recording to be one of the most helpful I was able to find anywhere and I've been searching for hours.

I suggest Randi tries listening with a pair of good quality headphones.

My only problem with the version offered here is that it leaves out so many of the verses.

Please keep up the great work and know that Chabad has brought a great deal of light into my life up here in frosty Ottawa, Canada. Reply

Ze'ev Kalin Ottawa, Ontario / Canada December 25, 2008

Please Post The Whole Song!!!!! Thank you for making this available.

I would like to learn both the singing of the whole song and the exact meaning of each word of the song (to improve my Hebrew).

I have found interlinear translations (where the English translation appears under each Hebrew word) very helpful for the latter purpose, but I haven't been able to find one for Maoz Tzur.

Could you please provide an interlinear translation on this page?

Could you also please replace the current sound byte with one of the entire song?

Many thanks for your great work.

Ze'ev Kalin Reply

Randi Burton Paramus, NJ December 21, 2008

You need better quality singers and music. It sounds muted, but I am happy to hear the songs anyway. Reply