מעוז צור | Maoz Tsur (Rock of Ages), singing translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l

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Hebrew (source) Transliteration (romanization) English (translation)

מָעוֹז צוּר יְשׁוּעָתִי לְךָ נָאֶה לְשַׁבֵּחַ
תִּכּוֹן בֵּית תְּפִלָּתִי וְשָׁם תּוֹדָה נְזַבֵּחַ
לְעֵת תָּכִין מַטְבֵּחַ מִצָּר הַמְנַבֵּחַ
אָז אֶגְמֹר בְּשִׁיר מִזְמוֹר חֲנֻכַּת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ
maˈoz tsur yeshuˈati lekha naˈeh leshabbeˈaḥ
tikkon bet tefillati vesham toda nezabbeˈaḥ
leˈet takhin matbeˈaḥ mitsar hamnabeˈaḥ
az egmor beshir mizmor ḥanukkat hammizbeˈaḥ
My salvation’s stronghold, fort, praising You is such delight.
Build your House of Prayer, Lord, cleansed from idols after fight.
You came to our assistance when we gave resistance.
Then we sang a hymn of thanks for your aid’s persistence.

רָעוֹת שָׂבְעָה נַפְשִׁי בְּיָגוֹן כֹּחִי כָּלָה
חַיַּי מֵרְרוּ בְקֹשִׁי בְּשִׁעְבּוּד מַלְכוּת עֶגְלָה
וּבְיָדוֹ הַגְּדוֹלָה הוֹצִיא אֶת הַסְּגֻלָּה
חֵיל פַּרְעֹה וְכׇל זַרְעוֹ יָרְדוּ כְּאֶבֶן בִּמְצוּלָה
raˈot savˈa nafshi beyagon koḥi kala
ḥaiyai mereru vekoshi beshiˈbud malkhut egla
uvyado haggedola hotsiˈ et hassegulla
el parˈoh vekhol zarˈo yardu keˈeven bimtsula
Ramparts, pyramids and forts Egypt had us build for them.
We found no justice in their courts when they drowned our children.
With grace beyond all measure, You redeemed Your treasure.
You split the sea to help us flee, now Pesaḥ is our pleasure.

דְּבִיר קׇדְשׁוֹ הֱבִיאַנִי וְגַם שָׁם לֹא שָׁקַטְתִּי
וּבָא נוֹגֵשׂ וְהִגְלַנִי כִּי זָרִים עָבַדְתִּי
וְיֵין רַעַל מָסַכְתִּי כִּמְעַט שֶׁעָבַרְתִּי
קֵץ בָּבֶל זְרֻבָּבֶל לְקֵץ שִׁבְעִים נוֹשַׁעְתִּי
devir kodsho heviˈani vegam sham lo shakatti
uva noges vehiglani ki zarim avadeti
veˈein raˈal masakhti kimˈat sheˈavarti
kets bavel zerubavel lekets shivˈim noshaˈti
Dear to us Your Temple was, still we could not tarry there.
Babylon’s superior mass exiled us we knew not where.
We drank that poisonous potion, were moved in that commotion.
When we turned we were not spurned, but gave You our devotion.

כְּרוֹת קוֹמַת בְּרוֹשׁ בִּקֵּשׁ אֲגָגִי בֶּן הַמְּדָתָא
וְנִהְיָתָה לוֹ לְפַח וּלְמוֹקֵשׁ וְגַאֲוָתוֹ נִשְׁבָּתָה
רֹאשׁ יְמִינִי נִשֵּׂאתָ וְאוֹיֵב שְׁמוֹ מָחִיתָ
רֹב בָּנָיו וְקִנְיָנָיו עַל הָעֵץ תָּלִיתָ
kerot komat berosh bikkesh Agagi ben Hamdata
venihyata lo lefaḥ ulemokesh vegaˈavato nishbata
rosh yemini nisseˈta veˈoyev shemo maḥita
rov banav vekinyanav al haˈets talita
Keen was Haman’s hate for us when he was in power.
He vowed slaughter, death to us expecting us to cower.
To pride, he kept clinging, while, on the gallows, swinging.
On that tree meant for me, Haman wound up swinging.

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 alai azai bimei ḥashmannim
ufartsu ḥomot migdalai vetimmeˈu kol hashmanim
uminnotar kankannim naˈasa nes lashoshannim
benei vina yemei shmona kaveˈu shir urnanim
Ionian, Hellenist and Greek did defile our holy place.
God did aid the faithful meek who gave the enemy the chase.
Then they found new meaning when they found in cleaning.
In their toil some pure oil, Ḥanukkah’s beginning.

חֲשׂוֹף זְרוֹעַ קׇדְשֶׁךָ וְקָרֵב קֵץ הַיְשׁוּעָה
נְקֹם נִקְמַת עֲבָדֶיךָ מֵאֻמָּה הָרְשָׁעָה
כִּי אָרְכָה הַשָּׁעָה וְאֵין קֵץ לִימֵי הָרָעָה
דְּחֵה אַדְמוֹן בְּצֵל צַלְמוֹן הָקֵם לָנוּ רוֹעִים שִׁבְעָה
ḥasof zeroa kodshekha vekarev kets hayshuˈa
nekom nikmat avadekha meˈumma hareshaˈa
ki arekha hashaˈa veˈen kets lime haraˈa
deḥeh admon betsel tsalmon hakem lanu roˈim shivˈa
Holy aid extend to us and bring the end of exile soon.
When the foes oppressed the just, You did protect us from dire doom.
In an exile dour, at our darkest hour,
Edom vain lost its reign. Make our shepherd flower.

This translation was previously published online by Gabbai Seth Fishman at Jewish Renewal Hasidus. We are grateful to him for making this resource available. Before he passed away, Reb Zalman was clear in sharing all of his liturgical resources with an Open Content license in order to help realize his dream of a common Davvenen Database for all people.

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