Holy songs and poetry are often found in Tanach. Another meaning is that of ordinary Jewish songs.

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Song of the 5 Kings?

In Joshua 12:9-24 there is Joshua's famous song of triumph over the 31 Kings of the Land of Canaan which he conquered. The song (and it is a song per the Talmud Megillah 16b) is structured in two ...
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2answers
201 views

What is the source for singing zemirot on Shabbat?

Who and when did the custom of singing zemirot at the Shabbat table, and what was the basis (halacha, verse, etc.) for instituting it? What was the 1st zemirah?
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3answers
123 views

Why does Wednesday's shir shel yom include part of the next perek?

The Shir Shel Yom is (usually) a chapter of Tehillim said at the end of davening, unique to each day. That applies for every day except Wednesday. In some (many) customs, Wednesday's song is Tehillim ...
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1answer
93 views

echad mi yodea: Aramaic?

A friend of mine told me that the minhag in his family for several generations was to sing "echad mi yodea" in Aramaic. Is there any early source for this?
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2answers
276 views

What is the origin of the song Echad Mi Yodeya?

Who is the author or what is the origin of the song commonly found in the haggadah called Echad Mi Yodeya?
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1answer
75 views

What is the “Ode to the woman” of Shlomo HaMelech?

I have read things about the "Ode to the woman", written by Shlomo HaMelech but I do not know what it refers to. Is it one of the psalms? Where can I find this "Ode"?
3
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1answer
57 views

The words to the ארור המן ברוך מרדכי piyut

The Darkei Moshe in O.C. 695:1 cites various interpretations of what it means to be inebriated enough to not know "בין ארור המן לברוך מרדכי." One of the opinions that he cites is that there was an ...
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0answers
82 views

What's wrong with singing together? [duplicate]

I once saw a sign in a synagogue which announced a change in their custom. Originally, everyone would sing Kel Adon on Shabbat shacharit together. Now, each stanza is quietly recited by the ...
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5answers
236 views

Were Haman's possessions hung on a tree?

In Maoz Tzur we say: רב בניו וקנייניו,‏ על העץ תלית His many sons and his possessions, You hung on a tree Were Haman's possessions really hung on a tree?
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1answer
26 views

Singular and plural in Maoz Tzur

In the first five paragraphs of Maoz Tzur, the first-person singular is used fifteen times. However, the first-person plural is used just once, in ושם תודה נזבח - and there a thanksgiving-offering we ...
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1answer
134 views

Seeking info on a Simchas Tora song

While dancing on Simchas Tora, people sing a song with the following lyrics (except that I may very well have some of them wrong): אַשְׁרֵינוּ מַה טּוֹב חֶלְקֵנוּ וּמַה נָּעִים גוֹרָלֵנוּ ...
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1answer
1k views

Source for song “Don't walk in front of me”

A popular Jewish children's song contains the lyrics Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow; Don't walk behind me, I may not lead; Just walk beside me, and just be my friend. This is ...
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5answers
458 views

Meaning of the phrase “Tzur Chevli B'eit Tzarah” near the end of Adon Olam

Near the end of Adon Olam, there is the phrase "Tzur Chevli B'eit Tzarah". What exactly is the meaning of this phrase, and specifically the term "Tzur Chevli"? I have seen it translated rather ...
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3answers
237 views

What do the words מְנָת כּוֹסִי mean in the hymn “Adon Olam”

In Adon Olam some translate the words מְנָת כּוֹסִי in the antepenultimate stanza as “the portion of my cup”. (Wikipedia translates as “Filling my cup” but I do not see that meaning in מְנָת.) For ...
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2answers
302 views

Making a Seudah into a “Seudas Mitzvah”

The Rema in Hilchos Channukah Siman 670 Sif 2 writes that if zemiros and shvachos (songs and praise) are said by a Seudah on Channukah it becomes a "Seudas Mitzvah" (without this it only has in it "...
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4answers
565 views

What does Dovid Melech Yisrael Chai Vkayam mean?

I'm pretty sure Dovid, the king of Israel is dead and buried. If so, what does this song really mean and why do we sing it? Why do we pick Dovid specifically and not some other tzadik, like Moshe?
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1answer
194 views

Saying Misod and Reshut (introduction) for piyutim, then skipping them

I have seen that many yeshivos (and recently, even some shuls) often say just Misod and the Reshus on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and then skip the actual piyutim they are meant to introduce! This ...
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2answers
91 views

Is there a CD containing some of the melodies of Yom Kippur?

I'm looking for a specific piyut we say on Yom Kippur as an audio file, as I'd really like to write music for it. The prayer is in the repetition of the amidah of both Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur ...
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2answers
52 views

If dipping was common, why does Mah Nishtana suggest otherwise?

The Gemara (Shabbat 111a) mentions "טיבול", literally "dipping", which Rashi explains is the meal, which featured lots of dipping. In the Pesach classic, it says "on all other nights we do not dip ...
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57 views

Insertion of Piyutim

In the Minhag Rheinus, we have piyutim which are added by ma'ariv and shacharit on yom tov, as well as on certain Shabbatot. While I am aware of the position of some of them (Yotzer, Ofan, Zulat, ...
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1answer
531 views

Heilige Hooleh?

What is this holy hooleh that 8th Day are singing about?
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4answers
589 views

Are men allowed to listen to women on the radio?

Is a man allowed to listen to a woman on the radio? Would it change if you saw the actual girl (e.g. on TV singing)? Related: What is the source for a woman's voice as ervah?
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1answer
58 views

How do hats contrast with sounds?

The elegy "אש תוקד בקרבי", in the 9 Av liturgy, contrasts our exodus from Egypt after enslavement there with our exile from Jerusalem with the Temple's destruction. It comprises 23 couplets, each ...
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47 views

Are there Peirushim on the Tisha BAv Night kinot available on the internet?

In my preperation for this evening I have found lots of material for tomorrow's kinot, however, I have found next to nothing on this evening's kinot (Zekhor Hashem, Baleil Zeh, Shomron Kol Titein and ...
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2answers
76 views

Source for the quotation, “More than Jews have kept the sabbath…”

I have heard and seen in print many times the quotation attributed to Achad Ha'am that "more than Jews have kept the sabbath, the sabbath has kept the Jews" (exemplified in all its unattributed ...
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1answer
79 views

Feldheim's Sefer Piyutim

Feldheim used to publish a book with the piyutim added for shabbatot throughout the year, which I have heard referred to by such disparate names as "the blue book"*, Piyutim le-shabatot ha-shana le-...
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1answer
100 views

What is the earliest source of rhymes in Jewish texts?

Many (most?) piyyutim have some sort of rhyme to them. Unlike alphabetic acrostics, for example, rhyming does not appear in Tanach. What is the earliest source of rhymes in Jewish texts? (If R' ...
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3answers
260 views

Nusach of Tefilas Geshem

In Tefilas Geshem we say "Al HaSela Hach Vayeitzu Mayim" translated by Artscroll as: Remember the one [Moses] drawn forth in a bulrush basket from the water. They said, 'He drew water and ...
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336 views

Kol Mekadesh - sung Friday Night - המאחרים לצאת מן השבת וממהרים לבא

In Kol Mekadesh that is sung Friday night it says המאחרים לצאת מן השבת וממהרים לבא which seems out of order. Do we not first rush into Shabbos and then delay its departure? Then why do we sing it in ...
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Song from Rebbi Meir Shapira

I have a script of a song from Rebbi Meir Shapira of Lublin which starts with מיט דער כתר התורה Are any of our readers familiar with the words or the tune which is supposed to accompany them?
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Pairs in Balaam's blessings

In all of Balaam's blessings, nearly every phrase is repeated in similar wording. For example: Arise, Balak, and hear - listen closely to me, son of Zippor. God is not a man that He should ...
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What book would be a good reference for prayer melodies?

When davening at different synagogues, I notice that some use different melodies for songs (eg: El Adon, Hallel, L'kha Dodi) as well as different nusach (in the sense of melodies for brachot used for ...
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1answer
280 views

Songs Under the Chuppah

The is a widespread wedding custom to sing a short benediction, מי אדיר‎, when the groom arrives under the canopy, and to sing מי בן שיח‎, for the bride as she arrives and walks around the ...
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77 views

Yiddish Song on Purim

My family sings a song on Purim that I am trying to track down. It is mostly Yiddish, with a little bit of Hebrew. The song starts with פֿאַרוואָס זאָגט די תורה האָב נישט קיין מורא and ends with ...
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1answer
318 views

What's a Grammen?

A few years ago I participated in a Purim Se'udah at which rounds of humorous poetry were written and then recited in a sing-song chant. It was fun, and the tune rang familiar to me, but it was ...
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1answer
110 views

Where can I find the Chasam Sofer's poems?

According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, the Chasam Sofer wrote several poems. Where can I find them? I've been unable to do so.
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2answers
669 views

Mizmor l'David (Psalms 23) at Shalosh Suedos

There is a common minhag (custom) to sing Mizmor l'David at Seudah Shlishis, the third Sabbath meal. It is common to sing this song three times in a row and I was asked this Shabbos by a friend why ...
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1answer
73 views

Is Aleinu considered a piyyut or a prayer?

I have always thought that Aleinu was a piyyut (liturgical poem), not a "prayer" since it does not have a bracha in it. I was surprised to find that the Wikipedia page for piyyut does not list it, ...
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6answers
2k views

Why do we honor Charvona, specifically?

The song we sing after reading the Megilla on Purim, "Shoshanat Yaakov," concludes with "and may Charvona also be remembered favorably." According to the Megilla (Esther 7:9), all Charvona did was, ...
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2answers
172 views

Piyutim in the Scroll

The Shulchan Aruch (OC 139:4) discusses the potential issue that a listener might think that the blessings for an aliya are actually written in the Torah scroll. Different suggestions are offered for ...
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45 views

Is it a good thing to sing “ יָמִים עַל יְמֵי מֶלֶךְ תּוֹסִיף שְׁנוֹתָיו כְּמוֹ דֹר וָדֹר” in honour of the senior Rabbinic speaker?

It has become customary to sing יָמִים עַל יְמֵי מֶלֶךְ תּוֹסִיף שְׁנוֹתָיו כְּמוֹ דֹר וָדֹר in honour of the senior Rabbinic speaker at a function. An explanation is given here. The Pashut ...
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684 views

fish before meat - why?

To the best of my knowledge eating fish after meat has the same Halacha as eating meat after fish. You are supposed to eat a cracker and take a drink to seperate between them. Why is it most common ...
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0answers
66 views

Shochen Ad- Isaac & Rivka

How come (for nusach Ashkenaz) Shochen Ad spells out Isaac & Rivka on Yom Kippur, but only Isaac is spelled on regular shabbos? For Sephardim and nusach Sephard, it always spells out both names. ...
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1answer
514 views

Shirat HaYam Trop: Which Phrases?

Which phrases in Shirat HaYam are read with the special 'shirah' trop? (Inspired by this question.)
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1answer
1k views

What's wrong with using “Adoshem” for the name of G-d when singing?

If seen it written that many chazzanim use "Adoshem" when singing (if not in the davening) as it has the same number of syllables as what they would be saying, namely Ado-noi, but that this is ...
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644 views

Pronouncing Hashem's name in a song

Some people are very careful to say Hashem or Elokim when singing a song with one of G-d's names in it so as not to use His name in vain (related question), but I have also been told this is ...
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1answer
345 views

Ana B'Koach authorship and the 42 letter name of Hashem

In my Artscroll siddur it tells me that the hymn Ana B'Koach was written by the tanna, Rebbi Nechunia ben HaKana and that the first letter of each word can be used to form the 42 letter name of Hashem....
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81 views

Ibn Ezra vs. Hachamim in Regards to Piyyutim

In Kohelet 5:1 (Al Tibahel), Ibn Ezra has a lengthy, harsh critique of R. Eliezer HaKalir and other Paytanim for their poetry's components (in short: flowery language, the use of allegory/metaphor/...
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264 views

The almost-alphabetic acrostic Al Chet

The Al Chet that we say four times on Yom Kippur - the long list of sins that we list and ask to be forgiven for - is a double-acrostic (in nusach Ashkenaz). Each letter is represented twice in a row ...
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1answer
180 views

Layout of Shiras HaYam: Half-Brick Over Brick

Is there a reason/meaning behind the "half-brick over brick" layout of Shiras Hayam as written in a Sefer Torah? I am familiar with the gemara in Megilla (16b) that states the layout is to be that way,...