Friday, December 11, 2009

Do pacifists sing "Ma'oz Tzur"?

The Ma'oz Tzur song, universally sung after lighting the Chanukah candles every night, is hardly compatible with today's leftist conventional wisdom as to how Jews should act and what we should pray for.

The translated lyrics of the first stanza are:
O mighty stronghold of my salvation,
to praise You is a delight.
Restore my House of Prayer
and there we will bring a thanksgiving offering.
When You will have prepared the slaughter
for the blaspheming foe,

Then I shall complete with a song of hymn
the dedication of the Altar.
It is a pretty explicit call for God to destroy Israel's enemies and then go on to build the Temple. These ideas are mainstream Jewish concepts but hardly similar to Western thinking of the past few decades. Too violent, too controversial, too supremacist to actually want to ask God to help you win a war and to ascribe holiness to a mere place.

I wonder if the Tikkun and J-Street supporters have changed the lyrics.