Joshua de Sola Mendes

Col. Jonathan de Sola Mendes

Joshua de Sola Mendes


Hanukkah Melodies

December 15, 2016

Many familiar and beloved melodies are associated with Hanukkah. This recording of the blessings over lighting the candles, followed by Psalm 30, “Mizmor Shir Hanukkat Ha-Bayit,” is sung by the late Rev. Eliezer Abinun of London:  (The link comes from this page:


This recording of the Psalm “Mizmor Shir Hanukkat Ha-Bayit” is of Dutch Hazzan Simon van David Duque (Amsterdam 1897-Dachau 1945), around 1938:


At Shearith Israel in New York, during morning services on the first Shabbat of Hanukkah, “Min Ha-Metsar,” part of the Hallel, is sung to a composition by operatic composer Jacques Francois Fromental Halevy:


In some S&P congregations as well as many Ashkenazic congregations, the tune of the hymn “Ma’oz Tsur” is used for part of the Hanukkah service. The tune is adapted from a German folk song, but the London version is an elegant four-voice adaptation created by the famous English Jewish composer Julius Mombach (1813-1880), musical director of the Great Synagogue in Duke Street, London. Find out more here:

And listen to a recording of Mombach's version here, as sung by Rabbi Jonathan Cohen on his indispensable website:















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