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Lyr ADD: Rock Of Ages / Maoz Tzur

11 Dec 01 - 12:06 AM (#607678)
Subject: Rock Of Ages/Mo Oz Tzur (sp?)
From: Genie

Can someone post the Yiddish (and English) lyrics to the Hanukkah song "Rock Of Ages," which I think it "Mo Oz Tzur" in Yiddish. Hebrew lyrics would be good, too.



11 Dec 01 - 12:39 AM (#607695)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rock Of Ages/Mo Oz Tzur (sp?)
From: Sorcha

Here is one--Click me!
Here is another--Here!
Put "Maoz Tzur" into Google and follow the links.....

11 Dec 01 - 03:16 AM (#607737)
Subject: ADD: Rock Of Ages / Maoz Tzur
From: Joe Offer

That first link Sorcha gave is very interesting. I wonder when she's going to get tired of my nagging her to post BOTH links and lyrics [grin]
-Joe Offer-

Maoz Tzur is an acrostic poem written for Hanukkah in the 13th century and has five stanzas. The first letter of each stanza spells the poet's name in Hebrew- Mordechai (Mem, Reish, Dalet, Kaf, Yud).
(Joe's note: some of the Psalms are acrostic poems, covering all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet in order)
This liturgical piece thanks G-d for our deliverance from our oppressors, and expresses our desire to return to the Holy Temple. We have included the first stanza on this page. The four stanzas that follow this stanza tell the story of our exodus from Egypt and our liberation form Babylonia, Persia, and Syria. The fifth verse recounts the miracle of Hanukkah.
Maoz Tzur y'shuati 
L'cha naeh l'shabei-ach 
Tikon beit t'filati 
V'sham todah n'zabei-ach
L'eit tachin matbei-ach,
V'tzor ham-nabei-ach. 
Az egmor, b'shir mizmor, 
Chanukat hamizbei-ach.

Rock of Ages, my salvation,
You deserve much praise.
Rebuild my Temple,
And there we will give you great thanks.
It's time to strike back,

And defeat our enemy.
Then we will sing praises to You,
And re-dedicate our Temple! 

I'm having trouble finding a full set of five verses that I can copy and paste here. This page (click) has'em, but it has characters I can't display on my browser. Click here for MIDI and more background information. I don't think you're going to find Yiddish lyrics for this one, but I was proved wrong about that on "O Hanukkah."

11 Dec 01 - 02:04 PM (#607875)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rock Of Ages/Mo Oz Tzur (sp?)
From: Sorcha

So, whaddya want, Joe, perfection?? I just learn to do internal clickies, and you want perfection?? (grin)It was late, and I figured I'd go back and get them today, but ya did a fine job yourself!

11 Dec 01 - 03:51 PM (#607934)
Subject: ADD: Rock Of Ages/Mo'Oz Tzur
From: Genie

Thanks, Sorcha and Joe!

Here is singable English version (the same one that is in "Rise Up Singing" and "Singing The Living Tradition" [UU Hymnal]).  (I'm out of town without my books, and wanted the lyrics for tomorrow night.)

                                                         Rock of Ages (Maoz Tzur)

                                                         Rock of ages, let our song
                                                         Praise your saving power.
                                                         You* amid the raging foes
                                                         Were our sheltering tower.

                                                         Furious they assailed us,
                                                         But your arm availed us
                                                         And your word broke their sword
                                                         When our own strength failed us.
                                                         And your word broke their sword
                                                         When our own strength failed us.

                                                         Children of the wanderers,
                                                         Whether free or fettered,
                                                         Wake the echoes of the songs
                                                         Where you may be scattered.

                                                         Yours the message cheering
                                                         That the time is nearing
                                                         Which will see all men free,
                                                         Tyrants disappearing.
                                                         Which will see all men free,
                                                         Tyrants disappearing.

*Some versions use "Thou," "Thine," etc., in lieu of "you," "your," etc.


                                                         Maoz tzur y'shuati
                                                         L'cha na-eh l'shabey-ach
                                                         Tikon beyt t'filati
                                                         V'sham toda n'za-bey-ach
                                                         L'eyt tachin mat-bey-ach
                                                         mi-tzar ha-m'na-bey-ach
                                                         Az egmor, b'shir mizmor
                                                         Chanukat ha-miz-bey-ach

BTW, if the song has been translated into Ladino, I'm sure the Sephardic residents at the retirement home where I'm singing tomorrow evening would love to hear that, too!

11 Dec 01 - 04:10 PM (#607956)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rock Of Ages/Mo Oz Tzur (sp?)
From: Jack The Lad

I always thought it went thusly,

Maoz Tzur Yeshuati, The cat's in the cupboard and you can't catch me.

They don't sing it like that in Israel though. Jack The Lad who is surrounded by doughnuts.

05 Dec 08 - 12:36 AM (#2508301)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rock Of Ages/Mo Oz Tzur (sp?)
From: Genie

Very funny, Jack. ; D

15 Dec 20 - 10:55 PM (#4083666)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rock Of Ages/Mo Oz Tzur (sp?)
From: GerryM

I found a Yiddish version of Maoz Tsur (or at the least, something based on Maoz Tsur) at (and there's also a recording on that page):

“Maoz tsur” is usually translated as “Rock of Ages” but literally – “Stronghold of Rock”. The rock is usually interpreted as God.

In Fuhrman’s native Bukovina Yiddish dialect “maoz tsur” is pronounced “muez tsir”. But in this performance Fuhrman sings “Muez tsur” which does not rhyme with the intended rhyming words: “shir” “mir” “frier”.

Special thanks this week to Eliezer Niborski who helped with the transcription.


Ven di zin iz mir fargangen,
kalt in fintster iz di nakht.
Un di shterndlekh fun deym himl
hobn zeyere eygelekh farmakht.

When the sun has set for me,
cold and dark is the night
And the stars of sky
have closed their eyes.

Ikh ken keyn veyg shoyn nit gefinen.
Ikh blondzhe, blondzhe un a shir.
Hob ikh mir a lekhtele ungetsindn,
dos lekhtele heyst dokh muez tsur.

I cannot find any path;
I wander, lost without stop.
So I lit a candle
and the candle is called maoz tsur.

Un ikh lern mir bay dem lekhtele
bleter groyse, mit oysyes fil.
Un dervarem mir derbay dem kerper,
vayl es vert mir shreklekh kil.

And I study at my candle
large pages full of letters.
And it warms my body,
because I feel so terribly cool.

Bald farges ikh mayne tsores
vos ikh trug arim oyf mir.
Un ikh zing mir in mayn goles,
zey, vus shvaygstu muez tsur?

Soon I forget my troubles
that I carry around with me.
And I sing in my exile:
See, why silent maoz tsur?

Grekn zenen mir bafaln,
mit zeyere tume hent.
Farumreynikt undzer templ
undzer leybn hobn zey geshendt.

Greeks attacked me
with their polluting hands.
They made filthy our Temple;
our life they defiled.

Zey hobn toyte shtume gotn
ahin arayngeshtelt tsu mir.
Ikh hob far veytik oysgeshrign:
“Zey, vos shvaygstu muez tsur?”

They placed dead, silent gods
in there for me.
From pain I shouted out:
Look! Why are you silent maoz tsur.

Der barimter Makabeyer
Khashmonoyim mit zayne zin.

[Fuhrman speaks – “Vayter gedenk ikh nisht di verter”]

The famous Maccabee
of the Hasmoneum, and his sons.

Zey hobn dem soyne bald fartribn,
dem templ reyn gemakht vi frier.
Ikh hob far freyd oysgeshrien,
Zey, vos shvaygstu muez tsur?

They drove the enemies away.
The Temple they restored.
For joy I shouted out:
See, why are you silent maoz tsur?

Fuhrman: [spoken] Vus se feylt darfsti aleyn zikhn.

Whatever is missing, you have to find yourself.

16 Dec 20 - 02:50 PM (#4083788)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rock Of Ages/Mo Oz Tzur (sp?)
From: GUEST,Phil

I learned this song in school and didn't think of it as a Jewish song.