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

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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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127 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 ...
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1answer
75 views

Why “מלאכי השרת” in only the first stanza of “Shalom Alechem”?

The first stanza of the popular Friday-night song "שלום עליכם" calls angels "מלאכי השלום מלאכי השרת מלאכי עליון" (or, in other versions, just "מלאכי השרת מלאכי עליון"). The other stanzas call them ...
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Collection of poems by Yehuda HaLevi

Where can I find a printed book with a collection of poems by Yehuda HaLevi? Ideally this book should (in order of importance): Be available to an American consumer Include the original Hebrew ...
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247 views

G'dalya Gumber provenance

There's a popular song about G'dalya Gumber (spelling?), who is "seventeen feet tall" and who "ain't gonna work on Saturday", not even for "double, double, triple pay". Who wrote and who published ...
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627 views

Nun in Ashrei- Psalm 145

The prayer Ashrei, which we recite three times a day, is an acrostic consisting of all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet except for nun (נ). Why is the nun omitted?
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68 views

Shouldn't the order of dayenu be reversed?

The order of the verses in Dayenu, one of the songs sung during the Pesach Seder has always troubled me. It seems to me that they should be in reverse order. For example, the first verse says ...
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1answer
131 views

A woman's singing voice when there are other singing voices

There is a famous Teshuva of the Sridei Aish, Rabbi Yaakov Yechiel Weinberg, that permits one to hear kol isha (a women's singing voice) when there are other people singing. Where is this Teshuva ...
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364 views

What is the source for a woman's voice as ervah?

What is the source that a woman's (singing) voice is considered ervah?
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91 views

How a couple lines in Alenu fit the pattern

It has been pointed out to me that the two halves of the "Alenu" prayer follow a pretty strict pattern. Each contains eight parallel couplets, followed by a Biblical quote. I broke it all down myself, ...
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2answers
123 views

Yerushalayim City of Gold

What is the origin of the concept of Yerushalayim being a "City of Gold"? It is the name and theme of a famous Israeli song from the 1960s, and I always assumed it was either from that song, or that ...
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120 views

Adir Hu - mi yodeya?

A popular song sung at the seder is Adir Hu. The song contains many phrases of the pattern: [Adjective] is He. that are grouped together alphabetically with a refrain asking for the speedy ...
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1answer
85 views

A quote of Shlomo ibn Gabirol

A co-worker posted this as her "Quote of the Day" in an e-mail message. It's attributed to Shlomo ibn Gabirol: The first step in the acquisition of wisdom is silence, the second listening, the ...
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Why does אין כאלקינו differ on שבת?

נֻסח 'ספרד'‏ says "אין כאלקינו" every day. On weekdays, it includes several paragraphs describing the makeup of the קטרת, followed by several פסוקים. On שבת, the description of the קטרת is cut ...
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How much is 2 Zuz worth in current USD?

As mentioned in the Passover Hagaddah, how much is "2 Zuz" worth in March 2013 US Dollars? Please note there may be different types of Zuz: "זוזי פשיטי" and "זוזי ממש" (Gemara Ketuvot 67a). This may ...
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1answer
67 views

Kodesh Hee Shabbath HaMalkah

In a well known Shabbath song, there is a line that goes, "Kodesh Hee Lachem Shabbath HaMalkah." Roughly, this translates to, "Holy is she to you, the Sabbath Queen." Oddly, however, the modifier ...
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6answers
361 views
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86 views

Who authored the 13 Ani Maamin's?

The Rambam in his Hakdama to his Pirush on Perek Chelek in Mesechtas Sanhedrin mentions the points of belief a Jew must have. To the best of my knowledge these are the basis of the well-known ...
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2answers
94 views

Shiras HaYam - why specifically by this miracle?

Out of all the nissim (miracles) that HaShem did for Klal Yisrael (the Mann, Makkos, Bar Miriam, etc) why was it specifically by this miracle that Klal Yisrael sang Shira?
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83 views

If no-one went to synagogue on Friday night, do the people at home sing “Sholom Aleichem”?

The Ashkenazi custom is to sing “Sholom Aleichem” when returning home on Friday night from the synagogue. The reason is related to the ministering angels who accompany a person home on Friday night ...
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1answer
229 views

When to close the ark after putting away the Torah

On shabbat morning when putting away the Torah, many chazzanim like to draw out different tunes for the verses recited then. Should the one honored with putting the Torah back wait until after the ...
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Should a man remove his head covering during the national anthem?

The custom in the United States is to remove head coverings (and place them over the heart) during the recitation of the national anthem. Is there any Jewish reason for a man to, or not to, follow ...
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1answer
141 views

Who is “the blaspheming foe” of Maoz Tzur?

In the song Maoz Tzur it says לְעֵת תָּכִין מַטְבֵּחַ מִצָּר הַמְנַבֵּחַ - which the OU translates as - When You will have prepared the slaughter for the blaspheming foe. Who is this ...
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639 views

Origin of Mareh Kohen tune

Where did the popular tune for the Yom Kippur piyyut, מראה כהן, come from? Who wrote it? When did it originate? Where is it from? Does the tune have a name other than "that marei kohen tune"? ...
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180 views

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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347 views

Tzur MiShelo - Should you sing it before Bentching?

The song "Tzur MiShelo", generally printed in Bentchers, Siddurim, Zimronim, etc., as a Friday night song, follows the pattern of Bentching (grace after meals), praising G-d and praying for ...
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192 views

Why did Israeli sportsmen keep their hats on during their national anthem?

Last year I was at the international softball tournament and I noticed that players from Israel took off their baseball caps during the other teams anthems (as is common courtesy), but kept them ...
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1answer
222 views

Yom tov kiddush tune

There's a popular tune used for kidush on the nights of the shalosh r'galim. (It's available on YouTube (but ignore the "shehechiyanu" part of that recording).) What's its origin? Does it have the ...
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1answer
170 views

Lulei Sorascha (song)

What are the words and the source of the Shlomo Carlebach song, "Lulei Sorascha (Without Your Torah)"? I feel that I must have encountered this verse in Tehillim (which I believe is where it comes ...
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1answer
98 views

Is it “Vay-SHA-vucha” or “Va-YASH-vucha” in Anim Zemiros?

Is it "Vay-SHA-vucha" or "Va-YASH-vucha" in Anim Zemiros? I've heard both, and seen both in different siddurim. Any insight?
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Why are the kinos about Jeremiah's appeal to the avos out of order?

The kina (elegy, said on the ninth of Av) about Jeremiah's going to ask the avos to pray (kina 21 in at least some versions) is said before the one about Tziyon's telling him to do so (22). Why this ...
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“Oyoyoy” a hefsek? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Humming during shmoneh esre Is saying "oyoyoy" in places where you're not allowed to speak (e.g. Shemoneh Esreh) a hefsek (interruption)? Does it make a difference that ...
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3answers
360 views

Are there meforshim on perek shira?

Are there meforshim on perek shira? I'm looking for anything besides artscroll. If there are many, which would you recommend to start?
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1answer
168 views

Why are Isaac and Rivka in Shochen Ad

Many siddurim capitalize the Yitzchak in Shochen Ad. Some draw attention to the Rivka. But why are either of them there? If you wanted to throw Yitzchak somewhere, why not minchah, which we ...
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1answer
117 views

Turning back around after Lcha Dodi

After Lcha dodi at what point exactly do the congregants and the Chazzan supposed to turn Back around?
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1answer
88 views

Source online for the melody of “yetziv pisgom” said in the Haftorah for second day Shavous

Please can someone direct me to a source on-line for the melody of "yetziv pisgom" said in the Haftorah for second day Shavous?
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Shir Urinanim- Whats the diffrence?

In Ma'oz Tzur, it says: וּמִנּוֹתַר קַנְקַנִּים נַעֲשָׂה נֵס לַשּׁוֹשַׁנִּים בְּנֵי בִינָה יְמֵי שְׁמוֹנָה קָבְעוּ שִׁיר וּרְנָנִים What is the Difference between Shirim and Rinanim?
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What is the origin and meaning of the prayer “Koh Kaili” said before Musaf on Chagim?

The prayer “Koh Kaili” is said by some before the “Ashrei” before Musaf on Sholosh Regolim. 1) What is the origin and meaning of the prayer? 2) In the “chorus” what are the “miluim”? Are they the ...
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1answer
237 views

Askinu Seudasa and Azamer Bishvachin before Kiddush

There is a variety of placement in siddurim which include Askinu Seudasa and Azamer Bishvachin. Some (Tefila Yeshara, Artscroll if memory serves correctly) put both before Kiddush. Some (Tehilas ...
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1answer
75 views

Final Nun vs. Final Mem in “Madlikin”

In the Hanerot Halalu that we recite when lighting the Hanukkah candles, it says "anachnu madlikin." Why madlikin and not madlikim? Why is a final nun used and not a final mem? I have searched ...
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1answer
98 views

In maariv for 2nd night Shavuos לא תגנוב means “do not steal” and not “do not kidnap.” Why?

Rashi points out in Parshas Kodoshim 19(11) (and elsewhere) that the commandment “לא תגנוב” in the Ten Commandments refers to kidnapping. The poet in the additions to the evening service for the ...
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208 views

הקדוש ברוך הוא אנחנו אוהבים אותך ‎— or אותו?

There is a popular song some of whose lyrics are "הקדוש ברוך הוא אנחנו אוהבים אותך". Does anyone have a source — besides some recent lyricist — for these words precisely, or a source for any instance ...
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260 views

Who wrote Aleh Katan by Avraham Fried? [closed]

There is a (in my opinion) beautiful song by Avraham Fried called Aleh Katan. Does anyone know who composed this song? Is it Yishai Lapitdot? It seems like he said his name here: ...
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3answers
254 views

Correct Nusach for Ana Bechoach (אנא בכח)

In אנא בכח, I've usually said "בָּרְכֵם, טַהֲרֵם, רַחֲמֵי צִדְקָתְךָ תָּמִיד גָמְלֵם". However, in my Artscroll Siddur I noticed it says רחמם (with a ם instead of י). Which of these are correct?
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1answer
252 views

Who wrote Shoshanat Yaakov?

Who was the Author of the Piyut "asher hanee" that ends with Shoshanat Yaakov? Why is it said by Ashkenazim after they read the Meggilah at night?
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1answer
86 views

Who composed the Piyut Echad Mi Yodeya?

Who composed the Piyut Echad Mi Yodeya that is commonly recited on Pesach?
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166 views

Singing part of kidush with the leader

Some people, although listening to another's kidush (Friday night), sing part of it along with him: specifically (in my experience), the lines starting "ki vanu vacharta" when recited with this tune. ...
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5answers
406 views

Shabbos Zmiros author

Who wrote most of the songs we sing on shabbos?
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2answers
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In Nishmas, what is “and sustained us in plenty” doing amongst times of trouble?

In Nishmas said on Shabbos and Yom Tov mornings we say, “you redeemed us from Egypt and delivered us from the house of bondage; you fed us in famine” (all describing times of trouble) “and sustained ...
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223 views

Who is the composer of Haneiros Halolu?

When we light the Menora we say Haneiros Halolu. Who composed these words?