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

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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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146 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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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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105 views

“Poems” in Selichos. Names and structures of Pizmon and Shalmonis. Please explain

What is (1) the meaning of the names and (2) the structure of the “poems” found in Selichos particularly the Pizmon and the Shalmonis. (3) I note that the number of phrases in the first verse of the ...
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239 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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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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84 views

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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153 views

Do angels sing?

After reading the last Tosfos on Chullin 91b ( http://hebrewbooks.org/shas.aspx?mesechta=31&daf=91b&format=text) I wondered if angels sing? Is there an explicit source in Tanach that they ...
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84 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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50 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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85 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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405 views

Shabbos Zmiros author

Who wrote most of the songs we sing on shabbos?
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והוא ידרוש לציון עיר ה…‏

In the song "ברוך א׳ עליון" (text) is the line: וְהוּא יִדְרֹשׁ לְצִיּוֹן עִיר הַנִּדָּחָה My grandfather, ע״ה, when singing this line, would replace הַנִּדָּחָה with another word (I think ...
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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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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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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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86 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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74 views

Maoz Tzur & Purim

Why does a Song for Chanukah have references to other Yomim Tovim?
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57 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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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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152 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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105 views

Why are a couple words in Ma'oz Tzur different in some sidduriim?

The Text I am referring to is: רָעוֹת שָׂבְעָה נַפְשִׁי, בְּיָגוֹן כֹּחִי כָּלָה חַיַּי מֵרְרוּ בְקֹשִׁי, בְּשִׁעְבּוּד מַלְכוּת עֶגְלָה וּבְיָדוֹ הַגְּדוֹלָה הוֹצִיא אֶת הַסְּגֻלָּה חֵיל ...
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Chad Gadya - Who composed it?

Who composed the Chad Gadya song at the end of the Hagada?
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135 views

Shalosh Seudos song - B'Vo'o M'Edom/Yetzave Tzur Chasdo

At Shalosh Seudos - the third Shabbos meal often the song B'Vo'o M'Edom/Yetzave Tzur Chasdo is sung. Some people/Shuls start from B'Vo'o M'Edom and some people/shuls start from Yetzave Tzur Chasdo. ...
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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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111 views

Parts of Shabbos prayers sung out loud

Many synagogues sing Kel Odon and Mimkomcho on Shabbos morning. Why are these two the most commonly sung parts of the Shabbos morning Tefila?
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84 views

Who composed Ka Keili?

Who composed Ka Keili? What is the earliest source for this song?
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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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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 ...
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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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Reason for various positioning of “An'im Zemirot”

I am aware of 3 different customs of when to say An'im Zemirot on Shabbat: Beginning of Shacharit, Between Bircot Hashachar and Psukei D'Zimrah After Chazarat Hashat"z of Shacaharit End of Musaph ...
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179 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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207 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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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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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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88 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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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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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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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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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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Why has the zemiroh על אהבתך אשתה גביעי fallen out of favour?

We used to sing a zemiroh, I believe by Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi, which started, על אהבתך אשתה גביעי. This zemiroh does not appear in current zemiros books. (1) Do you have an online text of it? (2) Why ...
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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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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 ...
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99 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
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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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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When is OK to repeat words or lines in prayer?

I have read several questions and answers on here regarding repeating words in prayer, but they do not answer why some common repetitions are allowable. Some examples: 1) During the Torah service, ...
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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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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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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 ...