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Gott Fun Avrohom (Yiddish: גאט פון אברהם) is a prayer written primarily in Yiddish and in some Ashkenazi communities it is recited by women before Havdalah. (Sometimes it is also recited by men as well.)

The Complete ArtScroll Siddur and Siddur Kol Yaakov HaChadash both attribute the prayer to Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev.

Today, many women maintain the custom of reciting Gott fun Avrohom before Havdalah. Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, traditionally recognized as the author of this prayer, however, wrote that it should be recited three times by men, women, and children, and that this recitation would help assure success in the ensuing week. - Siddur Eitz Chaim, The Complete ArtScroll Siddur, Nusach Sefard, First Edition page 653.

נמצא בכתבי קודש של הרב הקדוש רבי לוי יצחק מברדיטשוב זצ''ל, בעל המחבד ספר קדושת לוי - סידור קול יעקב החדש, הוצאת הספר אדיר, עמוד 350

Despite all this, I read somewhere online that it was not authored by Rabbi Levi, because Gott fun Avrohom appears in siddurim from before his time! So who is the real author, and who should I believe?

http://judaicaused.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-origin-of-mis-attribution-of-got.html

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  • I heard from aYeke that this minhag was in his family without any link with RLY from Berditshov – kouty Dec 21 '16 at 21:21
  • The Siddurim from before his time have a different version which is shorter. The version that is printed in the Artscroll and attributed to him is a version that was written by him. – Gershon Gold Dec 22 '16 at 16:30
  • The weekly Olim Letrufoh 5768 has an article on גאט פון אברהם . The author, נתן נטע מאשקאוויטש, points out that although the prayer is ascribed to Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, it predates him. Rav Levi Yitzchak "תיקנה במעט והעתיקה בכתבי קודש שלו " edited it slightly and included it in his holy writings. Apparently there are many (50?) different versions and Rav Levi Yitzchak fixed the version to be said. See here . – Avrohom Yitzchok Dec 25 '16 at 22:00
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    @Noach MiFrankfurt very good. Now I understand why some yeke families I know say it every motsash – kouty Apr 4 '17 at 17:57
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While Isaac lays out the common claim of Levi Yitzchok Berditschever (as well as the fallacy thereof) he doesn't go farther back. Per the author of the Treasures of Ashkenaz blog, the authorship question for Gott von Avrohom goes further back than the birth of Chassidus, being rishonic in nature. While the individual who first composed a vernacular techinah in this form will likely never be identified, we can safely dismiss R' Levi Yitzchok as a contender – since print versions appear prior to his lifetime (c. 1740-1809)

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Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev; portrait of a Hasidic master, by R' Samuel H. Dresner says (p. 108) "both words and tune are ascribed to Levi Yitzhak," but in an endnote (on p. 215), he cites Samuel Horodetzky in ha-Hasidut v'ha-Hasidim (p.82, n. 16) questioning the authorship, and claiming that "a similar version of the song was already in use in Germany and Alsace, from where it may have found its way to the Ukraine [where R' Levi Yitzhak lived - IM]."

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