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

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Zmirot vs Pizmoniim

How is it that Ashkenaz and Sfardiim have different names for the same exact thing. Do both Zmira and Pizmon mean the same thing? What are the origination of people calling them either one? I know ...
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93 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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2answers
168 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

Why are there only 8 Martyrs in the Tisha b'av kinnos

The kinna on Tisha b'av says there are 10 Martyrs, but only 8 are named. In the Yom Kippur version, however, all 10 are mentioned. Why are 2 missing from Tisha b'av?
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86 views

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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130 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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218 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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141 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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569 views

What exactly is the story behind the person who wrote the Akdomus (said on Shavous)

On Shavous morning we say the poem Akdomus, and supposedly there's a fascinating story with the Baal Akdomus and the Sambatyon river (something about it being quiet on Shabbos which is why he was only ...
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2answers
270 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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6answers
625 views

What is “chad gadya” really all about?

Why do we sing "chad gadya" at the pesach seder? What is it supposed to be about? Also, as a side question, is it "d'zabin aba" or "dizvan aba"?
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197 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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233 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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268 views

Who is the object in Lecha Dodi?

The chorus and multiple verses of Lecha Dodi address a female second person - "Beloved." Who is it? In the final verse, the object is presumably the Shabbat Queen, since we end with "Come O Bride! ...
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130 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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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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352 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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132 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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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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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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162 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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206 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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110 views

Who composed Ka Keili?

Who composed Ka Keili? What is the earliest source for this song?
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47 views

What is the source for making a bride happy at her wedding?

There's a line that has made its way into a number of songs: כל המשמח חתן וכלה זוכה בחמישה קולות Anyone who gladdens the groom and bride will merit five voices. But the source Gemara (Brachos ...
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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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337 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 ...
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116 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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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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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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460 views

Shabbos Zmiros author

Who wrote most of the songs we sing on shabbos?
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158 views

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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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"?
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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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176 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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81 views

Maoz Tzur & Purim

Why does a Song for Chanukah have references to other Yomim Tovim?
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44 views

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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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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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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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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503 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
119 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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1answer
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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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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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121 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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463 views

Hashem is here, Hashem is there…REALLY?

The song "Hashem is here, Hashem is there..." seems to pose many interesting theological problems. What concerns would you have with this song? How would you educate your child on the challenges this ...
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122 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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92 views

Hand gesture origin for “David Melech Yisrael” song

What is the origin of the gestures for the song whose text is "David melech yisrael, chai chai v'kayam"? (An example would be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWItJ0TF2fw.)
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Echad Mi Yodeya - why does it stop at 13?

The song "Echod Mi Yodeya" traditionally sung at the Pesach Seder goes up to number 13. Why does this song not go higher or lower than 13?