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

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2answers
449 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 ...
17
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4answers
742 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 ...
15
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2answers
620 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
213 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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4answers
426 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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4answers
331 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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5answers
362 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 ...
11
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7answers
947 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, ...
10
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3answers
343 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 ...
10
votes
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 ...
9
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2answers
629 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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6answers
354 views

Why do we sing “Echad Mi Yodeya”?

Why do we sing the song "Echad Mi Yodeya" at the seder?
8
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9answers
473 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
votes
4answers
179 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?
8
votes
1answer
833 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
votes
1answer
165 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
votes
2answers
207 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
votes
1answer
224 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
votes
1answer
178 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
80 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
308 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
votes
2answers
194 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
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?
7
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1answer
263 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 ...
7
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1answer
130 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
345 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
153 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
74 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
95 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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3answers
354 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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2answers
269 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
225 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
492 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
153 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 ...
5
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3answers
1k 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 ...
5
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1answer
98 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.
5
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3answers
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, ...
5
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2answers
176 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
votes
2answers
98 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
80 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
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 ...
5
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2answers
156 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 ...
5
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0answers
47 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 ...
5
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0answers
191 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 ...
5
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0answers
98 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) is said before the one about Tziyon's telling him to do so (22). Why this ...
5
votes
1answer
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 ...
4
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2answers
402 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 ...
4
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3answers
184 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
217 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! ...
4
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3answers
413 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"?