We read a special coda used at the end of each of the five books of the Torah that leads to the traditional exclamation of "Chazak chazak V'Nitchazek!" - can anyone give me the basis for this or sources about how coda varies form the usual end form? the trop look the same so it does not seem to be in them.

  • 3
    For those who, like me, are musically ignorant: Coda means "A passage that brings a movement or piece to a conclusion through prolongation". (Yes,I had to look that up. The definition I quote is English Wiktionary's.)
    – msh210
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 20:04
  • Welcome to Mi Yodeya Chris! Thanks for sharing the question.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 21:11
  • @msh210 Thanks on behalf of those who, like me, are not musically ignorant and nevertheless completely missed the reference.
    – DonielF
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 2:37
  • Part 1: Sorry if I was not clear about my request. When leyning and one comes to the end of verse one typically has the following set of tropes: mercha, tipcha, silluq - and this has a certain tune, or coda, which signifies the ending quality of the verse. (Of course there are many different tunes depending on the tradition or even a particular chazzan). When ending an Aliyah one also follows the mercha, tipcha, silluq but there is more emphasis, particularly on the silluq which gives a coda that signals the end of the Aliyah. The emphasis has a sort of natural and obvious quality. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 5:32
  • Part 2: There is yet again a different, more ornate, coda when one comes to the end of any one of the five books of the Torah. This is, as I say, more ornate but it's not of the same obvious form signalling an end to a verse or Aliyah. this leads me to wonder if there is some basis in minhag or halachah for the particular form of this coda. I hope that this makes my reference clearer and I very much hope someone can enlighten me. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 5:32

2 Answers 2


Pinchas Spiro’s version

Pinchas Spiro suggests this melody. It’s similar to the melody used for the opening verses of hakafot on Simchat Torah. I’ve also seen communities where the Shirat haYam major cadence is used for the coda (it’s pretty universally used on the Chazak Chazak itself).

  • The OP didn’t ask for which tune to use, but rather its source. I don’t see how this answers that question.
    – DonielF
    Commented Dec 10, 2017 at 21:39

I am a Cantor in the Boston area who was ordained at the School of Jewish Music at Hebrew College where Professor Joshua Jacobson taught us: Each of the five books of the Torah end with a special melody/ "invitational cadence"on the final Merchah, Tip'cha, Siluk. (Performance practice is to wait to chant this until the congregation rises.) THEN, the Cantor or reader begins the congregational chanting of, "Chazak, Chazak, V'Nitchazeik!".

If the Maftir is chanted again, the regular motifs/Trope are used for the end of the Maftir aliyah.

For music, Trope and a complete list of verses, please see either: Chanting the Hebrew Bible - student edition OR Chanting the Hebrew Bible - the Complete Guide to the art of Cantillation. Jewish Publication Society (Available with CD)

As for a SOURCE, you may want to email the author! The "Chazak, Chazak" phrase is in Shirat Hayam Major.

  • Welcome to MiYodeya Cantor K-H and thanks for this first answer. Please consider registering your account, to enable more site features, including voting. Hope to see you around!
    – mbloch
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 18:02

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