Teach Kids the Hanukkah Story... through Song!

Rabbi Joe Black

Sometimes a song lyric conveys a story so well that it does the job all by itself. Listen to this song on Spotify and go through the lyrics with your children to help them better understand the Hanukkah story. Enjoy!

“Judah Maccabee”

Music and lyrics by Rabbi Joe Black and Sue Black

A long time ago in a land called Mod'in
Lived a young man named Judah, brave and serene
When Antiochus the tyrant said the Jews could not be free
He didn't count on Judah, the one called Maccabee

In the window, shining so bright
I can see the Hanukkah light
And it gives me such a warm friendly glow
When I think of Judah Maccabee so long ago.

Now Judah and his brothers said it wasn't right
To take away their freedom, they knew they had to fight
They fought three long years 'til the king could take no more
They rebuilt the holy temple, its beauty they restored – Chorus 

When the temple was restored the brothers searched in vain
For oil to light the lamps, but not enough remained
Except for one small vial, enough to last one day
But instead it burned for eight, they proclaimed a holiday – Chorus 

Tonight we light our lamps, sing our songs and play our games
We remember that great miracle hidden in the flames
Today throughout the world we rejoice that we are free
To carry out the mission of Judah Maccabee – Chorus

Need a more robust explanation of the Hanukkah story? You may also be interested in our telling of the Hanukkah story for older children, a great way to help school-aged children develop a more advanced understanding.