Which phrases in Shirat HaYam are read with the special 'shirah' trop? (Inspired by this question.)

  • approx 8 pesukim that have Hashem's name in them. There is one exception though
    – user3039
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 7:03
  • You mean only the pesukim with God's name in them are read with a special tune?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 7:54
  • What is the exception, and can you provide any sources for what you say? Thanks. Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 14:27
  • Hi anonymous guest! This looks like it has the potential to be a good, full answer. Please flesh it out and cite sources.
    – WAF
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 15:21

2 Answers 2


Based in my Mesora - which I got from my father:

The special tune starts before the Shira. It is already used for Posuk 14:29 - the Posuk before וַיּוֹשַׁע

וְהַמַּיִם לָהֶם חֹמָה, מִימִינָם וּמִשְּׂמֹאלָם

Note: this phrases is already mentioned in Pasuk 22 - but there it is sung normally.

Then comes the actual Shira, where each Posuk with Hashem's name gets sung with the special Shira trop.

That's true until 3 Psukim before the end:

  • Pasuk 17 - תְּבִאֵמוֹ, וְתִטָּעֵמוֹ בְּהַר נַחֲלָתְךָ - is read normally.

  • Pasuk 18 - Hashem Yimloch - is read with the Shira trop, as expected.

  • Pasuk 19 - כִּי בָא סוּס פַּרְעֹה is read normally until the last phrase הָלְכוּ בַיַּבָּשָׁה, בְּתוֹךְ הַיָּם which has the "end of the song" nigun.

But we're not done yet - Miriam's Shira is also sung with the Shira trop - i.e. the end of Passuk 21:

  שִׁירוּ לַה' כִּי-גָאֹה גָּאָה, סוּס וְרֹכְבוֹ רָמָה בַיָּם
  • 1
    FWIW, I don't remember ever hearing the last phrase of pasuk 19 read in the song tune. I've also heard differing customs regarding 14:29 and 14:22- I once heard someone lein both instances in the song-tune, and in my yeshiva they leined both in the regular trop. But I've heard many places sing the second instance, as is mentioned here Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 1:40
  • I know someone whose tradition is that 14:22 gets the special one but 14:29 is read normally, because in 22 חומה is spelled Malei.
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 4:25
  • I was told that the first והמים להם חומה is also sung with the shira trop. I have also heard ובמשה עבדו, which leads into the shira, sung with the special tune. Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 20:16

14:29 Second cadence only - מימנם ומשמאלם

14:31 Second cadence only - ויאמנו בה׳ ובמשה עבדו

15:1-3 - broken like this: First cadence: אשירה... גאה Second cadence: סוס... בים First cadence: עזי... לישועה Second cadence: זה... וארממנהו First cadence: ה׳... מלחמה Second cadence: ה׳ שמו

15:6 First cadence: ימינך... בכח Second cadence: ימינך... אויב

15:11 - two possibilities Either: First cadence: מי־כמכה...בקדש Second cadence: נורא... פלא Or: First cadence: מי־כמכה... ה׳ Second cadence: מי כמכה... קדש Second cadence again: נורא... פלא

15:16 First cadence: עד... ה׳ Second cadence: עד... קנית

15:18 Second cadence only

15:21 First cadence - שירו... גאה Second cadence - סוס... בים (this is the last one, I sometimes conclude on a 5-1 instead of a 2-1)

Some people also have a tradition to do this melody for the Journeys sections of Numbers:

10:15-16, 19-20, 23-24, and 26:27

33:11-12, 17-18, 19-20, 21-22, 23-24, 25-26, 27-28, 29-30, 31-32, 33-34, 35-36, 41-42, 43-44, and 45-46

Those verses are always done in pairs, with the first verse being the first cadence and the second being the second cadence.

  • 1
    How do you know any of this? Or more importantly, why should anyone here who doesn't know you take your word for it?
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 23, 2017 at 22:39
  • 1
    Could you add some explanation of your terminology, the terms first and second cadence?
    – paquda
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 14:24

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