מעוז צור | Maoz Tsur, attributed to Mordecai ben Yitsḥak haLevi (adapted by R’ Joseph H. Hertz, trans. by Solomon Solis-Cohen)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Hebrew (source, adapted) Transliteration (romanization) English (translation)

מָעוֹז צוּר יְשׁוּעָתִי
לְךָ נָאֶה לְשַׁבֵּֽחַ
תִּכּוֹן בֵּית תְּפִלָּתִי
וְשָׁם תּוֹדָה נְזַבֵּֽחַ
לְעֵת תָּשְׁבִּית מַטְבֵּֽחַ
וְצָּר הִמְּנַבֵּֽחַ

אָז אֶגְמֹר
בְּשִׁיר מִזְמוֹר
חֲנֻכַּת הַמִּזְבֵּֽחַ׃
Maˈoz tsur yeshuˈati
lekha naˈeh leshabbeaḥ
tikkon bet tefillati
vesham toda nezabbeaḥ
leˈet tashbit matbeaḥ
vtsar himmnabbeaḥ

az egmor
beshir mizmor
ḥanukkat hammizbeaḥ
Mighty, praised beyond compare,
Rock of my salvation,
Build again my House of Pray’r
For thy habitation!
Haste my restoration:
let a ransomed nation[1]The literal translation of lines two and three is: “when Thou shalt have utterly destroyed the blaspheming foe, I will complete with song and psalm the dedication of the altar” [לעת תכין מטבח. מצר המנבח]. By a slight change, this is now: “when Thou shalt cause all slaughter to cease, and the blaspheming foe, I will complete, etc” [לעת תשבית מטבח. וצר המנבח]. 
Joyful sing
To its King
Psalms of dedication!

רָעוֹת שָׂבְעָה נַפְשִׁי
בְּיָגוֹן כֹּחִי כָלָה
חַיַּי מֵרֲרוּ בְקֽוּשִׁי
בְּשִׁעְבּוּד מַלְכוּת עֶגְלָה
וּבְיָדוֹ הַגְּדוֹלָה
הוֹצִיא אֶת הַסְּגֻלָּה
חֵיל פַּרְעֹה
וְכׇל־זַרְעוֹ
יָרְדוּ כְּאֶֽבֶן מְצוּלָה׃
Raˈot saveˈa nafshi
beyagon koḥi khala
ḥayyay meraru vekushi
beshiˈbud malkhut egla
uvyado haggedola
hotsiˈ et hassegulla
ḥel parˈoh
vekhol-zarˈo
yardu keˈeven metsula
Woe was mine in Egypt-land
Tyrant kings enslaved me,
Till Thy mighty, outstretched Hand
From oppression saved me.
Pharaoh, rash pursuing,
vowed my swift undoing;
Soon, his host
That proud boast
‘Neath the waves was rueing!

דְּבִיר קׇדְשׁוֹ הֱבִיאַֽנִי
וְגַם שָׁם לֹא שָׁקַֽטְתִּי
וּבָא נוֹגֵשׂ וְהִגְלַֽנִי
כִּי זָרִים עָבַֽדְתִּי
וְיֵין רַֽעַל מָסַֽכְתִּי
כִּמְעַט שֶׁעָבַֽרְתִּי
קֵץ בָּבֶל
זְרֻבָּבֶל
לְקֵץ שִׁבְעִים נוֹשָֽׁעְתִּי׃
Devir kodsho heviˈani
vegam sham lo shakatti
uva noges vehiglani
ki zarim avadeti
veyein raˈal masakhti
kimˈat sheˈavarti
keits bavel
zerubbavel
lekeits shivˈim noshaˈeti
To thy holy Hill, the way
Mad’st Thou clear before me;
With false gods I went astray—
Foes to Exile bore me.
Torn from all I cherished,
almost had I perished;
Babylon fell,
Zerubabel
Had’st Thou to restore me!

כְּרוֹת קוֹמַת בְּרוֹשׁ בִּקֵּשׁ
אֲגָגִי בֶּן־הַמְּדָֽתָא
וְנִהְיָֽתָה לּוֹ לְמוֹקֵשׁ
וְגַאֲוָתוֹ נִשְׁבָּֽתָה
רֹאשׁ יְמִינִי נִשֵּֽׂאתָ
וְאוֹיֵב שְׁמוֹ מָחִֽיתָ
רֹב בָּנָיו
וְקִנְיָנָיו
עַל הָעֵץ תָּלִֽיתָ׃
Kerot komat berosh bikkesh
Agagi ben-Hammedata
venihyata lo lemokesh
vegaˈavato nishbata
roˈsh yemini nisseˈta
veˈoyev shemo maḥita
rov banav
vekinyanav
al haˈets talita
Then the vengeful Haman wrought
Subtly to betray me;
In his snare himself he caught—
He that planned to slay me.
(Haled from Esther’s palace,
hanged on his own gallows!)
Seal and ring
Persia’s king
Gave Thy servant zealous.

יְוָנִים נִקְבְּצוּ עָלַי
אֲזַי בִּימֵי חַשְׁמַנִּים
וּפָרְצוּ חוֹמוֹת מִגְדָּלַי
וְטִמְּאוּ כׇּל הַשְּׁמָנִים
וּמִנּוֹתַר קַנְקַנִּים
נַעֲשָׂה נֵס לַשּׁוֹשַׁנִּים
בְּנֵי בִינָה
יְמֵי שְׁמוֹנָה
קָבְעוּ שִׁיר וּרְנָנִים׃
Yevanim nikbetsu alay
azai bimei ḥashmannim
ufaretsu ḥomot migdalay
vetimmeˈu kol hashemanim
uminnotar kankannim
naˈasa nes lashoshannim
benei vina
yemei shmona
kavˈu shir urnanim
When the brave Asmoneans broke
Javan’s chain in sunder,
Through the holy oil, Thy folk
Didst Thou show a wonder.
Ever full remained
the vessel unprofaned:
These eight days,
Lights and praise
Therefore, were ordained.

Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org) forwards a teaching related by a Rabbi H.D. Uriel Smith, “For several years I have sung Ma’oz Tsur using the variation Rabbi Dr. Joseph H. Hertz made to the first stanza of the hymn. Instead of לעת תכין מטבח. מצר המנבח “l’et takhin matbe-ah, mitzar ha-m’nabe-ah” (“When you have prepared a massacre of the barking foe”), he wrote לעת תשבית מטבח. וצר המנבח “l’et tashbit matbe-ah, v’-tzar ha-m’nabe-ah” (“When you have stopped any massacre and any barking foe”). Adapted text in GREEN above.

Since it has been seventy years since the death of Rabbi Hertz (1872-1946), the copyright on the initial editions to whom the copyright notice was assigned, has expired and the work resides in the Public Domain.

Source

Download hertz-siddur-maoz-tsur.pdf (PDF, 1.48MB)

Notes   [ + ]

1. The literal translation of lines two and three is: “when Thou shalt have utterly destroyed the blaspheming foe, I will complete with song and psalm the dedication of the altar” [לעת תכין מטבח. מצר המנבח]. By a slight change, this is now: “when Thou shalt cause all slaughter to cease, and the blaspheming foe, I will complete, etc” [לעת תשבית מטבח. וצר המנבח].

1 comment to מעוז צור | Maoz Tsur, attributed to Mordecai ben Yitsḥak haLevi (adapted by R’ Joseph H. Hertz, trans. by Solomon Solis-Cohen)

Comments, Corrections, and Queries


בסיעתא דארעא