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

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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 ...
21
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4answers
1k views

Why do people frequently change tunes toward the end of Lecha Dodi?

Frequently, perhaps even most of the time, I've noticed that the chazan (prayer leader) for Kabalat Shabbat switches tunes for the last four verses of Lecha Dodi. Is there any reason for this, or are ...
16
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2answers
905 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?
14
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2answers
248 views

Who is the composer of Haneiros Halolu?

When we light the Menora we say Haneiros Halolu. Who composed these words?
13
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5answers
872 views

Should a woman avoid singing in front of her husband while she is a niddah?

Should a woman avoid singing in front of her husband while she is a niddah? Is it strictly prohibited or just inadvisable? (Obviously I am not talking about deliberately seductive songs.)
13
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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 ...
13
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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?
12
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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, ...
11
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1answer
226 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 ...
10
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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?
10
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9answers
754 views

Why do we sing “Echad Mi Yodeya”?

Why do we sing the song "Echad Mi Yodeya" at the seder?
10
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2answers
897 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"? ...
10
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3answers
435 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 redemption,...
9
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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 ...
9
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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 ...
8
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9answers
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 ...
8
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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 ...
8
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2answers
401 views

Chad Gadya: The price of a kid goat

Was the fair market value of a kid goat really two zuzim? This piyyut is of course allegorical, but, if the value given is highly inaccurate, is the discrepancy in value symbolic beyond the symbolism ...
8
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1answer
193 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. ...
8
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2answers
214 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 ...
8
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1answer
338 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 ...
8
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1answer
227 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 ...
8
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0answers
87 views

“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 it ...
7
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2answers
392 views

Is repeating the chorus in Lecha Dodi problematic?

Some tunes for Lecha Dodi are conducive to repeating the chorus ("Lecha dodi ...") twice each time. I've noticed that some people, when using one of these tunes, repeat, while others avoid repeating ...
7
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3answers
3k views

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 ...
7
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4answers
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 ...
7
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2answers
187 views

Are you supposed to do the responsive parts of Hallel at the Seder?

At a Pesach Seder, when you get to the parts of Hallel that are done responsively in a congregation, are you supposed to do them responsively? Does the answer depend on how many people are at the ...
7
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2answers
72 views

Tu b'Shvat Prayers by R' Yehuda Halevi (Gaon)

A number of years ago, they discovered in the Cairo Geniza a number of Piyutim and Prayers for Shemonah Esrei, to be included on Tu b'Shvat. I found this item listed on a Cairo Geniza database, but I'...
7
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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 "...
7
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3answers
268 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?
7
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3answers
528 views

Why do we sing Chad Gadya and Echad Mi Yodea at the seder?

Some of the songs at the end of the seder have an obvious connection to what has come before. Adir Hu is about praising God, which we've been doing all night; Eliyahu HaNavi makes sense because ...
7
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1answer
160 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 ...
7
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1answer
160 views

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, 26 in the Artscroll edition) is said before the one about Tziyon's telling ...
6
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2answers
231 views

Go in Peace - why are we sending the Angels away

On Friday night we welcome the angels by singing Shalom Aleichem the question is why do we tell them: צֵאתְכֶם לְשָׁלוֹם מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם מַלְאָכֵי עֶלְיוֹן Essentially sending them away ...
6
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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.
6
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1answer
82 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 ...
6
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4answers
478 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?
6
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4answers
101 views

Koh Ribon - what connection does it have to Shabbos?

One of the songs that is sung Friday night is Koh Ribon. There is not a single mention of Shabbos in it. Why do we sing it on Shabbos?
6
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1answer
77 views

Who composed THIS melody for Shoshanat Ya'akov?

For my latest lesson video on Jewish Music Toronto, I did the song Shoshanat Ya'akov. I'm really happy with how the video came out, especially because I got to reference the Mi Yodeya community a ...
6
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2answers
151 views

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 Shacharit End of Musaph ...
6
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1answer
341 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 ...
6
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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 ...
5
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2answers
257 views

Yiddish song about children learning the aleph-bet in a warm room

I am looking for information about an old Yidish song with a very well-known tune. The only information I have about this song is that it talks about Kinderlach sitting in a warm room and learning ...
5
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1answer
446 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?
5
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2answers
135 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 ...
5
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3answers
112 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, ...
5
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1answer
141 views

Significance of nine months of pregnancy and eleven stars

In the piyyut Echad Mi Yodeya, recited at the Passover seder, we discuss what relates to the first thirteen numbers. Most of these are central to Jewish belief: One is Hashem, two are the Tablets (...
5
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2answers
171 views

Source of a common tune to “Adon olam”

The liturgical poem beginning "Adon olam" is often sung (including as part of prayer services) to the same tune as "The Poet and the Prophet". Was that tune originally to (i.e. written for) Adon Olam? ...
5
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2answers
191 views

Shirei zimra in Yishtabach

At the end of Yishtabach, Hashem is referred to as הבוחר בשירי זמרה. This is usually translated as "who chooses songs of praise." However, as far as I am aware zimra means song, not praise. So how can ...
5
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2answers
103 views

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 ...