Dec 20, 2011
I just read a really wonderful, succinct version of the story of Hanukkah, the "Festival of Lights" celebrated by Jews around the world beginning this evening in the Huffington Post. I urge you to read it, and if you have friends and family who are unfamilar with the holiday, which is in no way to be called the "Jewish Christmas", forward the link along to them, please.
This year we celebrate musically with a jazz version of the Hanukkah song "Maoz Tsur", or "Rock of Ages" from Avi Wisnia. Originally a liturgical poem, "Maoz Tsur" has become a popular Hanukkah song, typically sung after the lighting of the menorah, whose words rejoice in the ability to claim victory over oppressors and overcome persecution. “This song is different from anything I have recorded so far,” explains Wisnia. “But having grown up surrounded by Jewish music my entire life, I wanted to celebrate the holiday by taking this traditional song from my childhood with this simple melody and doing something a little more complex with it.” Quite possibly the most modern take on this classic tune that also stays true to the original melody, here’s hoping that this rendition will found in houses full of families sharing the joy of the holiday.