First Night of Hanukkah – חנוכה שמח

Posted: December 21, 2011 in Holidays, Judaism

So tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. Though I have talked about some of the shortcomings of our society and the amount of growth we as a people still have ahead of us, I will choose to stay in the positive. While this is not the most important holiday on the Jewish calendar (as it is not even a high holiday), it still gets to be part of this time of year we call the “holiday season.” Among the lights, trees and holly, you will find the occasional menorah and Star of David. It is time to grab the dreidels and make some latkes. Celebrate the Festival of Lights!

One of the traditions of Hanukkah for me and my family is singing Rock of Ages. It is a practice that we have been doing since my grandparents passed it down. Below are the lyrics for the 1st and 3rd verses, which are the ones we sing each night.

Rock of Ages, let our song
praise Thy saving power.
Thou amidst the raging foes,
Wast our sheltering tower.
Furious they assailed us,
but Thy arm availed us.
And Thy word, broke their sword,
when our own strength failed us.

Children of the martyr race,
whether free or fettered.
Wake the echos of the songs,
where ye may be scattered.
Yours the message cheering,
that the time is nearing;
which we'll see all men free;
tyrants disappearing.


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