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Questions tagged [song-poetry]

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

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17 votes
4 answers
2k 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?
15 votes
6 answers
513 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?
-7 votes
3 answers
181 views

song of songs 5:16 'im' & 'Muhammadim'

Following from a discussion on Christianity stack https://christianity.stackexchange.com/a/80248/47775 on this passage, I thought it prudent to get clarification from a Jewish perspective. I would ...
3 votes
1 answer
287 views

Reciting/singing Aḥeinu outside of the formal prayer setting and origin of tune

Where, when and why did the prayer Aheinu begin to be recited outside of the liturgical context? It seems that it originated as and was restricted to being recited after reading from the Torah, ...
3 votes
0 answers
64 views

Should we be careful not to mispunctuate prayers?

There are a few times that we ten to (from personal experience) punctuate parts of songs/ piyutim/ prayers wrong. For example, in Modeh Ani people tend to punctuate as follows: שהחזרת בי נשמתי בחמלה ...
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Torah songs, and earworms, in the bathroom

It's forbidden to think about Torah in the bathroom. Is it permissible to think about a song whose lyrics are Torah? If not, what about an earworm (stuck song) that you just can't get rid of?
3 votes
3 answers
215 views

והוא ידרוש לציון עיר ה...‏

In the song "ברוך א׳ עליון" (text) is the line: וְהוּא יִדְרֹשׁ לְצִיּוֹן עִיר הַנִּדָּחָה My grandfather, ע״ה, when singing this line, would replace הַנִּדָּחָה with another word (I think ...
2 votes
0 answers
102 views

Origin of "Shomer Yisrael"

What is the origin of the prayer Shomer Yisrael? Who wrote it, when and where did it first appear? שׁוֹמֵר יִשְׂרָאֵל! שְׁמֹר שְׁאֵרִית יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְאַל יֹאבַד יִשְׂרָאֵל, הָאוֹמְרִים: שְׁמַע ...
3 votes
3 answers
359 views

Why only Az Yashir?

Why did the Jewish people only praise god with song after the miracle that occurred at the splitting of the sea? Were the miracles of the ten plagues not significant enough for the Jews to praise god?
0 votes
0 answers
36 views

Trying to remember a piyyut about the morning

I seem to recall that there is a piyyut that lists major events that took place early in the morning, similar to the way that "Vayehi Bachatzi Halaila" (at the beginning of Nirtzah) does for ...
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Shirat HaYam Trop: Which Phrases?

Which phrases in Shirat HaYam are read with the special 'shirah' trop? (Inspired by this question.)
3 votes
2 answers
173 views

ועם רוחי גויתי meaning in Adon Olam

What is the correct meaning and translation of the last line of Adon Olam: ועם רוחי גויתי
2 votes
1 answer
241 views

What's the name of this poem in Danya Ruttenberg's "Surprised by God"?

The introduction to Rabbi Ruttenberg's book features an English translation of a Hebrew poem she is singing at the beginning of a Shabbat service. The translation seems to be unique to the book, and ...
5 votes
1 answer
313 views

What song did Avraham ben Avraham sing before he was killed?

Avraham ben Avraham or Count Valentine Potocki, converted to Judaism and was burned at the stake for doing so by the Roman Catholic Church. Before he was killed he sang a song that was later used in ...
2 votes
1 answer
113 views

Piyyutim as replacements for prayers

I seem to encounter the following theory regarding piyyutim fairly requently: The piyyutim were originally composed as replacements for the fixed texts of the various blessings in the prayer service. (...
3 votes
0 answers
63 views

Why does Siddur Avodat Yisrael not contain piyutim for a wedding?

Levush HaHur (minhagim) records what seems to have been the widespread ashkenazi practice to recite certain piyutim on the shabbat of a wedding. (I assume this means where the chupah takes place on a ...
2 votes
1 answer
62 views

Is אעדיף כל שמונה online in an accessible format?

אעדיף כל שמונה is a set of piyutim by R' Elazar Hakalir for a weekday Shemoneh Esrei of Chanukah. It was apparently said in Ashkenaz into the Middle Ages, but didn't make it into printed siddurim. I ...
0 votes
0 answers
41 views

Structure and Rhyme of early songs

I was hoping someone could help me. I am trying to understand the structure and rhythm of Teffilos and Piyutim written by chazal or early Rishonim. understanding the zemiros of shabbos and other songs....
5 votes
1 answer
494 views

When and by whom were the Piyutim of Channukah written?

There are communities that recite special prayers on Shabbos Channukah they begin with אודך כי אנפת ותשוב. Do we know who wrote these and when?
0 votes
1 answer
114 views

What is the name of this Song?

I've got an idea that this question is going to get closed, but on Meta I did not get any answers on if it is allowed to post it here, so here I go. In a online shiur by Rav דוד צבי רוזנבוים, a song ...
9 votes
1 answer
154 views

poetical works authored by women?

Are there any examples of songs, poems, piyyutim or kinnot from the time of the first temple until the 1700's (c.e.) which were authored by women and were adopted by traditional/orthodox communities. ...
9 votes
3 answers
667 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. ...
10 votes
1 answer
412 views

Who authored the 13 Ani Maamin's?

The Rambam in his Hakdama to his Pirush on Perek Chelek in Mesechtas Sanhedrin mentions the points of belief a Jew must have. To the best of my knowledge these are the basis of the well-known ...
6 votes
2 answers
312 views

Criteria for special formats of some chapters in the Tanach Scrolls

Usually, when writing verses in Tanach Scrolls, words are written across the column from the right margin to the left (except, of course, for required Parsha spacing.) I have seen two "special" ...
6 votes
2 answers
444 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
53 views

Death on the battlefield

Last Shabbat, I was reading a book called היהודים בערב (The Jews in Arabia) by Dr. Yisrael Ben Ze'ev. In the book, a section was dedicated to a pre-Islamic Arabian Jewish poet named Shmuel ben Adiyah. ...
36 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
10 votes
5 answers
2k views

Is King Saul positively regarded in Judaism?

King David is well-known to be positively regarded in Judaism, not only for his great accomplishments and devotion (psalms, if not authored by him, became prominent because of him), but also as the ...
2 votes
0 answers
63 views

Why not הקם לנו נסיכי שמונה?

The last four words of Maoz Tzur end with the words הקם לנו רועים שבעה. This is a clear reference to the verse (Micha 5:4): וַהֲקֵמֹנוּ עָלָיו שִׁבְעָה רֹעִים וּשְׁמֹנָה נְסִיכֵי אָדָם But as I was ...
3 votes
1 answer
370 views

Would Levite girls be able to sing in the temple?

I assume the halacha that the voice of a woman is like nakedness only applies to girls over the age of bat mitzva, if so would Levite girls younger than that age have been able to participate in the ...
3 votes
2 answers
205 views

Author of the song Yom Simcha L'Yisrael

Who is the author of the Simchas Torah song Yom Simcha l'Yisrael?
11 votes
2 answers
409 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 ...
4 votes
3 answers
399 views

Maoz Tzur and Chanukah

The piyut Maoz Tzur mentions both Purim and Chanukah. Why then was it chosen to be said on Chanukah and not Purim? I've tried researching the subject and asking scholars but have not received a ...
3 votes
1 answer
179 views

Maoz Tzur: Is it a universal custom or just an Ashkenaz one?

I know that Mi Yodeya has already answered the question about the source of Maoz Tzur (Mordechai, unknown, 13th century, perhaps during Crusades?). Is it a universal custom or is it just an Ashkenazi ...
7 votes
3 answers
223 views

Mayim Achronim at The Pesach Seder

Why in the Order of the Seder (that is Kadesh urchatz…) do we not include Mayim Achronim while we do we include the regular washing and the washing before dipping the vegetable into saltwater when all ...
1 vote
1 answer
517 views

Carrying the Torah around

When the Torah is taken out and is being carried around songs are being sung. I would like to know which songs exist for this part of the service and where I could find traditional tunes for those ...
20 votes
2 answers
2k 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?
3 votes
0 answers
64 views

Seder night songs

In the מגיד section of the הגדה does anybody know if there are any songs/tunes for: יכול מראש חודש מעשה של ברבי אליעזר Any part of the section starting צא ולמד רבי יוסי הגלילי up to דינו
5 votes
5 answers
1k views

Hashem is here, Hashem is there......REALLY?

The song "Hashem is here, Hashem is there..." seems to pose many interesting theological problems. What concerns would you have with this song? How would you educate your child on the challenges this ...
30 votes
4 answers
3k 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
83 views

Instances of epic poetry in Tanach?

In the book "Mevo Lekitvei Hakodesh" - "Introduction to The Holy Scriptures" by Shmuel Shrira, he writes that there are different types of poetry or songs ("shirah") in ...
0 votes
1 answer
343 views

Maoz Tzur: Last stanza

I have been to various Shuls over Chanukah and they say Maoz Tzur but they don’t say the last stanza. I asked and they say we don’t say it. What would be a reason not to say it? Don’t we want revenge ...
4 votes
2 answers
238 views

If a composer of a nigun is accused of a serious offense should his nigun no longer be sung?

If someone who is well respected in the community writes wonderful inspiring nigunim that are used in tefila, and then allegations appear that the individual is suspected of, or implicated in, serious ...
6 votes
1 answer
361 views

Yiddish Song on Purim

My family sings a song on Purim that I am trying to track down. It is mostly Yiddish, with a little bit of Hebrew. The song starts with פֿאַרוואָס זאָגט די תורה האָב נישט קיין מורא and ends with ...
2 votes
1 answer
108 views

Meaning of phrase in Hannukah song

I'm having trouble understanding the concluding phrase in the famous Hannukah song O Hannukah, which is על הנפלאות אשר חללו המכבים. What root is חללו and what is its meaning here? How to translate ...
-1 votes
1 answer
126 views

Why is חֲבַצֶּ֣לֶת traditionally translated as a "Rose" (וֶרֶד), instead of an "Onion" (בָּצָל)?

In reference to the megillah שִׁ֥יר הַשִּׁירִ֖ים Chapter 2 : verse 1, the Ivri (עִבְרִי) word "חֲבַצֶּ֣לֶת" is translated as Rose "וֶרֶד". - When using Google translate, Rose and ...
5 votes
0 answers
297 views

Why are there piyyutim for the beginning of first day Rosh Hashanah musaf, but not for the second day (in Nusach Ashkenaz)?

On the first day of Rosh Hashanah at musaf, Ashkenazim recite piyyutim as part of the first three berachot of the amidah, composed by R. Elazar HaKalir. On the second day, no such piyyutim are recited ...
-2 votes
1 answer
439 views

What song has the lyrics "I used to think my mother was the Shabbos Queen" [closed]

What song has these lyrics? I don't remember them so clearly. It goes something like: I used to think my mother was the Shabbos Queen, She stands so regally in royal grace, I know my mother doesn’t ...
2 votes
1 answer
495 views

History of מי אדיר and מי בן שיח

Where can I find sources about the history of the piyutim מי אדיר and מי בן שיח, which usually get sung at Ashkenazi weddings under the chuppah when the groom and bride walk in?
4 votes
2 answers
110 views

Tosfos Yom Tov's elegy

Tosafos Yom Tov is said to have authored elegy, kinnos, to be recited on Tisha B'Av to commemorate the massacres know as Tach V'Tat. Apparently it has not been included in the standard corpus of ...

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