Judas Maccabee Finger Play

  1. Judas Maccabee Finger Play Lyrics
  2. Mattathias bold [Flex both arms, showing strength
  3. Five great sons had he, [show 5 fingers of one hand
  4. Elieazar, oldest son, [show 1 thumb]
  5. Simon, John and Jonathan, [show fingers #2, 3, and 4]
  6. And Judas Maccabe, Judas Maccabe [hammer fists together]  

“This finger play was shared with me by a senior teacher at the Hebrew/Sunday school where I teach. The conversation opened with “at Chanukah time back in the day, we used to sing this song about Judas Maccabeus” And she sang me this fingerplay. While sharing this little known Chanukah gem in the video, I wanted to show a way to explore the motions of a fingerplay with a group before actually putting it all together with music. You’ll see a whole sequence that I would use to introduce the fingerplay by introducing the motions at the same time I share what the song is about. This gets the group involved with the play immediately. The words and tune are easily learned and once the group is singing and moving with independence, this makes a fun easy round. Spread it out over several lessons and listen for beautiful independent singing that begin and end together before suggesting parts in canon.”

To read the rest of this article by Tom Hawley and see my video, click here


John Crever is a FAME teacher trainer, musician, educator and parent based in Portland, Oregon where he plots his Tuneful, Beautiful, Artful takeover of the western states.