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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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“Achshav bnei chorin”?

In the widely-accepted Passover song version of "Avadim hayinu", what is the origin of the stanza "atta (or achshav) bnei chorin"? (There is no such refrain in the original passage in the Haggada.) Is ...
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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" (Ketuvot 67a). This may be the ...
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1answer
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How to say Mi Yodeya's version of Echad Mi Yodeya in hebrew

A selection of the Mi Yodeya series is being prepared for the hagadah mi yodeya 14 are the books of the Rambam. 15 were the cubits of the Flood. 16 are the maneh of the myrrh. 17 were the ...
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English Book on Trop

My question is simple: is there an English-language book on cantillation, which includes Ta'amei Eme"t, rare trop, and their grammatical purposes ? I've seen books on learning to lehn and recognise ...
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Why no Musaph piyutim for Zochor and Poro? [duplicate]

According to Minhog Ashkenaz (West and East), there is a shiv'aso piyut said in Musaph of Shabbos Sh'kolim and Shabbos HaChodesh (אשכול אווי for Sh'kolim and ראשון אמצת for HaChodesh). I have seen in ...
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2answers
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What's wrong with using “Adoshem” for the name of G-d when singing?

I've 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 ...
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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, ...
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5answers
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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?
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Can a man listen to woman singing a pizmon?

Hypothetically, would it be permitted for a man to learn a pizmon from a woman? Namely, that she sings a tune for the purpose of teaching Torah (i.e. Tehilim) and the man has the intent to learn. Does ...
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Chayav Inish - Source of Tune?

What is the origin of this classic melody for the popular Purim song "Chayav Inish Lebasumei"?
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Why does the Gemara say Chizkiyahu didn't sing?

The Gemara in Sanhedrin 94a says that the reason Chizkiyahu was not the Mashiach is that he didn't sing after Hashem did miracles for him (Rashi adds that this refers to saving Yerushalayim from ...
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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 separate between them. Why is it most common ...
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1answer
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Did father buy or sell that goat for two zuzim?

In chad gadya, we use the Aramaic root זבן. Now that I think about it, I always recall hearing both דְזָבִין אַבָא בִּתְרֵי זוּזִי and דְּזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי‬. The obvious difference being ...
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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 ...
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Origin of a tune to Baruch Kel Elyon

When I was growing up in the 1980s, I heard a tune to "ברוך קל עליון" that I've now reproduced to the best of my recollection, except that I sang it a bit faster than I recall it having been sung. ...
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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 ...
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Yiddish version of “Tov Li Toras Picha”

In various shuls during Hakafos on Simchas Torah, I have heard the well known song "Tov Li Toras Picha" (טוב לי תורת פיך מאלפי זהב וכסף" - תהלים קיט עב") with a chorus in Yiddish. Does anyone know the ...
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2answers
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The almost-alphabetic acrostic Al Chet

The Al Chet that we say four times on Yom Kippur - the long list of sins that we list and ask to be forgiven for - is a double-acrostic (in nusach Ashkenaz). Each letter is represented twice in a row ...
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Recommended changes to the text of selichos when you say them at the “wrong” time

Some of the piyutim in selichos assume that you're saying them at the ideal time - before Amud Hashachar (for example, at the end of selicha #70 שחרנוך קדם עמוד השחר). Many people don't make it at ...
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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 ...
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Mareh Kohen Origin

This question was alluded to but ignored in Origin of Mareh Kohen tune. Who composed the piyut Mareh Cohen, and when was it written? (This will help me put the piyut in context, perhaps give an ...
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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. ...
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Didn't Rivkah also cry when the Jews were exiled?

In the kinos of Tishah B'Av it is clearly stated that Three out of four of the Imahos [matriarchs], (and also the Avos, forefathers, and Bilhah and Zilpah too) cried to Hashem on behalf of the Jews ...
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How do hats contrast with sounds?

The elegy "אש תוקד בקרבי", in the 9 Av liturgy, contrasts our exodus from Egypt after enslavement there with our exile from Jerusalem with the Temple's destruction. It comprises 23 couplets, each ...
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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"?
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5answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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Collection of poems by Yehuda HaLevi

Where can I find a printed book with a collection of poems by Yehuda HaLevi? Ideally this book should (in order of importance): Be available to an American consumer Include the original Hebrew ...
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Source for not singing Yamim Nora'im tunes during the year

I was told that one should not sing the tunes used for davening on the Yamim Nora'im during the year (the exception being during the month of Elul, in order to prepare for the High Holidays), because ...
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Can we hasten Moshiach's coming through the mitzvah of ואהבת לרעך כמוך?

In Jewish singer Meilech Kohn's song, "Veuhavtu", he expresses an interesting thought in the lyrics: .יעדער איינער דאווענט און בעט און מ'ווארט פאר משיח, ער וועט נאר קומען ווען מיר פארטראגן זיך "...
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Sing about Moshiach at the end of davening

In many kindergartens and preschools, both boys and girls sing at the end of davening, "We want Moshiach, we want Moshiach now..." Was this instituted by the Lubavitcher Rebbe?
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Arabic text chanted by Jo Amar for Yachatz in Haggadah

Interesting thing I found. I'm listening to Jo Amar's rendition of the haggadah (first part can be found here; second part here) and, at about 3:18 in the first part, he sings an Arabic text that I ...
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Why do some people say לאל עורך דין during Musaph on the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanna?

Art Scroll and a few other Machzorim (Nusach Ashkenaz) have a notation for the piyut לאל עורך דין on the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanna. They place in it both Shacharit with a notation saying that some ...
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Source for song “Don't walk in front of me”

A popular Jewish children's song contains the lyrics Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow; Don't walk behind me, I may not lead; Just walk beside me, and just be my friend. This is ...
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0answers
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History of How to Recite Kel Adon [duplicate]

In the Shabbos shacharis birkos kerias shema, there is a poem referred to as Kel Adon that we say. In some congregations, the custom is to say the stanzas responsively, with the chazzan saying each ...
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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. ...
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3answers
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What does בי in בירבי mean?

The word בירבי "the son of Rabbi..." appears many times in the acrostics of piyyutim (e.g. El'azar the Kalir signs his name אלעזר בירבי קליר, e.g. in the יוצר beginning אומן בשמעו). (I have seen it ...
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1answer
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Meherah (מהרה) in Yedid Nefesh

Why do customs differ as to whether מהרה (meherah) is part of Yedid Nefesh? For example, Chabad siddurim and the NCSY bentcher omit מהרה, but the Artscroll siddur (Nusach Ashkenaz) includes it. Below ...
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1answer
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Why don't we refer to Esther by her Hebrew name?

Slightly related to this question Esther's Hebrew name was Hadassah. I understand the use of that name in the Megillah. However in our liturgy including the Al haNissim prayer and other songs and ...
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1answer
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Maoz Tzur: Is it a universal custom or just an ashkenaz one?

I know that Mi Yodea 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 ...
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Who are the seven shepherds at the end of Maoz Tzur?

The song Maoz Tzur ends with the line raise up the Seven Shepherds Who are the seven shepherds referenced? Please cite sources.
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May one join a holiday choir that sings “neutral” songs?

I understand that generally, Jews should not devote attention towards celebrating non-Jewish holidays. Christmas, particularly, is also specifically a religious Christian holiday (vs., say, ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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4answers
635 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?
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2answers
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Shirat HaYam Trop: Which Phrases?

Which phrases in Shirat HaYam are read with the special 'shirah' trop? (Inspired by this question.)
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
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Mesillat Yesharim Melody (Niggun)

Years ago I ran across a recording online of a niggun for reciting the opening paragraphs of Mesillat Yesharim. I can't relocate it, but I slightly remember reading that it was a well known learning ...
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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, we recite piyyutim as part of the first three brachot of the Amidah, composed by R. Elazar HaKalir. On the second day, no such piyyutim are recited and we ...
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Why do piyutim follow the aleph-beis?

DanF previously asked about piyutim and zemiros which follow the author's name. But if they don't follow the author's name, they follow the aleph-beis in some fashion or another (repeat letters, ...
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1answer
62 views

Y-h Ribon Olam tune origin [closed]

Of the tunes used for Y-h (Kah) Ribon Olam (even if used originally for another song), which is the first, and when was it composed and where? I know that the piyyut itself was composed in the 16th ...
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1answer
63 views

What is the source that singing and clapping sweetens judgment

I heard a song "על ידי ניגונים ומחיאת כף מתמתקין כל הדינים". Seeming to mean: through singing (or songs) and clapping hands all the (negative) judgments (made in Heaven) get sweetened (less harsh) ...