Oy Chanukah, Why Chanukah!

Oy Chanukah!

Oy Chanukah!

You came around, November!

The way that I remember you

You’re always in December

But it makes no difference

Early or your late

No matter when you come around

Somehow I can’t wait

Your spirit helps me raise my hopes

When I seem to be defeated

Your essence in the dark of night

A light that’s always needed


Is it the oil that we found

That gives us hope of finding?

The miracle, eight days of light

That always is reminding?


Is it a group of those who fight

Despite the frightful odds

Against thousands of armed soldiers

Who pray to foreign gods?


That gives us hope to persevere

And always keep on fighting

And never think the flame will die

If we will do the lighting?


Why is there

Abundant joy

When hearing latkes sizzle?

Why is there abundant warmth

Despite a freezing drizzle?


What magic lies in spinning tops

With letters on their side

That makes the sternest faces grin

A smile they can’t hide?


What’s special about gimmel

And how that dreidel lands

That makes both young and old rejoice

And shout and clap their hands?


How can there be book after book

And seforim filled with pages?

It’s not in Nach

And just three blatt

That’s written by our sages


But somehow it seems Chanukah

Like oil seems to burn

Despite those who do think that it’s

A Yom Tov they would spurn


They may call you minor

To give out gelt and toys

A time to give a few day break

For school-age girls and boys!


But those who know your secret

And those who know just why

Understand that you’re the light

The answer to a cry


For those who say, “We’ll manage”

For those who think we’re tough

They wait for you, oy Chanukah

You can’t come soon enough!