This Hanukkah song, "Courageous Hanukkah," was inspired by a wonderful article by Alan Morinis, founder of the Mussar Institute, published in Reform Judaism magazine. We all know the miracle of the oil lasting eight nights, but Alan explored an additional, spiritual miracle and lesson of the holiday: that the Maccabees had the courage to light that wick even though the likelihood was that it would never stay lit long enough for the Jews to replenish the little oil they had and keep the Temple candelabrum glowing bright. Can we do the same, finding that courage within to pursue our dreams even when the odds seem against us?
Long ago, there lived a Jew named Judah
Who fought hard for the faith he knew was right
And when he won back freedom for our people
He lit the oil and hoped for lasting light
See, the Maccabbees could worship in their Temple
Only if they made it holy for their prayers
They would have to keep the candelabrum burning
But the Greeks spoiled almost all the pure oil there
Chorus (melody line & music)
You had to see
You’d run out of oil in just a day
You took a leap
And lit that little wick anyway
Now 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8! days passed
A miracle!--the Temple glowed with light!
By then the Jews had pressed their own olives
They poured new oil to keep the Temple ever bright
It takes courage to light that light before you
When you don’t know if it might go out
It takes trust to build a world that might not come true
But isn’t that what Hanukkah’s about?
May you light the light that’s there in front of you
And may your light burn bright your whole life through
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