From the album With This Flame

An acoustic guitar tribute to the hero of the holiday.

Steven J. Kohn: harmony vocals
Clark Paddock: bass
Joe Guerra: guitar
Seth Rosenstein: drums
Audrey Wells: harmony vocals

This song started with me thinking that we needed a song about the traditionally accepted hero of the story. I know that the real story is complicated and messy, but, in our sanitized telling of it, Judah Maccabee is the hero – and I felt he deserved a ballad.

The other thing rattling around in my head was my continuing frustration, some thirty years after choosing to practice Judaism, with the superficial understanding that non-Jewish family and friends have of what Hanukkah is, what it is about, what it celebrates, and what its rituals mean. Somehow, those two ideas got mashed up together, and the result was this song.

Here are some links to pages about the real story – the messy story - you can do some more searching on your own.

http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/70208/hanukkah-the-truth-behind-the-legend-of-the-mighty-maccabees/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shawna-dolansky/the-truth-about-hanukah_b_1165708.html

Lyrics

JUDAH MACCABEE STANDING TALL
Words & Music by Karen J Kamenetsky

I don’t decorate a tree, put up a wreath; hang holiday lights
I add one little candle to my menorah for eight nights
To tell a story for us all
About Judah Maccabee standing tall

Antiochus Epiphanes tried to take our faith away
Said we could not teach our children Torah or keep our holy days
We might not be here at all
But for Judah Maccabee standing tall

Son of Mattathias, hero of us all
Maccabee, the hammer, standing tall
Gathered up his brothers, ran straight into the fight
Drove that mighty army into the night

I don’t bake reindeer cookies or hang stockings on the fireplace
But my little dreidel spins and falls with an amazing grace
To tell a story for us all
About Judah Maccabee standing tall

Son of Mattathias, hero of us all
Maccabee, the hammer, standing tall
Gathered up his brothers, ran straight into the fight
Drove that mighty army into the night

There is a menorah in my window for eight nights
Because Judah Maccabee was not afraid to fight

Son of Mattathias, hero of us all
Maccabee, the hammer, standing tall
Gathered up his brothers, ran straight into the fight
Drove that mighty army into the night
Judah Maccabee standing tall
Judah Maccabee standing tall