|*Modi’in - a village city in Israel where Mattathias raised his five sons, as well as where the Maccabean revolt took place|
**Matityahu is the Hebrew name for Mattathias, a Kohen (or Jewish priest) who joined the Maccabean revolt (along with his five sons) against the pagan Greek Seleucid Empire.
**The chorus mentions the names of Mattathias’ sons and their respective surnames:
- Yochanan Hagadi (John Gaddi)
- Shim’on HaTarsi (Simon Thassi)
- Yehudah HaMacabee (Judah Macabee, the leader of the eponymous revolt)
- Elazar Hachorani (Eleazar Choran)
- Yonatan (Jonathan; the song does not give him a surname, Apphus, but he is referred to as “Yonatan HaKatan”, or Jonathan the Small One)
****The song was originally performed on an Israeli children’s program titled “He’Chatul Shmil” (“Cat Mill”) back in 1979 by Galia Yishai, Nathan Detner (the one dressed as the titular cat), Ofra Haza, Ruti Navon, and Sassi Keshet. The program consisted of various classic Chanukah songs including “Matityahu Va’Chameshet Banav”. Skip to 0:15 to hear the song.