CHANUKAH DAY 7
Alternative first stanza of Maoz Tzur
Refuge, Rock of my salvation
To You it is proper to offer praise.
Prepare the house of my prayers And there I will offer thanksgiving offerings.
When you prepare a butchery
For the barking enemy
Then shall I conclude
with a psalm song For the inauguration of the altar
מָעוֹז צוּר יְשׁוּעָתִי
לְךָ נָאֶה לְשַׁבֵּח
תכּוֹן בֵּית תְּפִלָּתִי,
וְשָׁם תּוֹדָה נְזַבֵּחַ.
לְעֵת תָּכִין מַטְבֵּחַ
The traditional text of the first stanza of Maoz Tzur does not reflect the way I see God and Gods ways. The words reflect state of the Jewish communities in the Rheinland, after the massacres of the crusades. My challenge starts with the second verse: Prepare the house of my prayers And there I will offer thanksgiving offerings. It is a prayer for the building of the third temple, which is called a Bet Tefila (Yeshaya 56, 6), where after the building an offering of Gratitude is being brought. A Bet Tefila for all the peoples would be good. Offering of Gratitude by killing an animal, not for me.
The third and fourth verse describe what will be the situation at that inauguration. God will slaughter the enemy, whilst I will sing Psalms for the inauguration of the altar.
In a Prayer booklet from the first years after the second world war, from the Dutch liberal movement, there is an alternative version for that first stanza:
Refuge, Rock of my salvation, To You it is proper to offer praise.
Accept my praise, I have joy with you
You send away the desecrators
And I, (with) all my heart, have only trust in you
מָעוֹז צוּר יְשׁוּעָתִי לְךָ נָאֶה לְשַׁבֵּֽח
קַבֵּל נָא תְּהִלָתִי בְּךָ אֲנִי שַׂמֵחַ,
מְחָלְלֵי מִזְבֵּחַ הָיִיתָ מְשַּׁלֵחַ,
וַאֲנִי כֹּל לִבִּי רַק בְּךָ בוֹטֵחַ.
Rabbi Ruven bar Ephraim. Zurich