Daniel Grossman, Rabbi Emeritus of Adath Israel Congregation in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, wrote the lyrics for â€œLook to the Lightâ€ to commemorate two historic events tied to the holiday of Chanukah. On December 25, 1777, General George Washington noticed a Jewish private lighting his familyâ€™s menorah while the army was camped at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The soldier told Washington the story of Chanukah and how the small army of American soldiers were like the small army of the Maccabees who eventually emerged victorious in battle.
During Chanukah of December 1993 in Billings, Montana, anti-Semitic skin-heads threw rocks through the windows of Jewish homes that displayed menorahs in their windows. The Reverend Keith Torney, minister of the First Congregational Church of the United Church of Christ, organized a campaign to support the Jewsâ€™ rights to celebrate Chanukah by placing menorahs in the homes of all Billingsâ€™ residents. There is now a yearly march in Billings in support of religious freedom. Native American, Jewish and Christian symbols are displayed.
When Grossmanâ€™s wife, Music Director of Sharim vâ€™Sharot, Dr. Elayne Grossman, asked him to write lyrics for composer Meira Warshauer, he wove together the stories of Chanukah, Valley Forge, and Billings. Dr. Warshauer was commissioned in 1998 by Dent Middle School Select Chorus, Columbia, South Carolina, and â€œLook to the Lightâ€ was first performed there in December of 1998.
â€œLook To The Lightâ€ by Meira M. Warshauer and Daniel Grossman Â© 2001 World Music Press/Â© 2009 Assigned to Plank Road Publishing, Inc. â€¢ All Rights Reserved â€¢ Used by permission â€¢www.musick8.com