Questions tagged [song-poetry]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
35
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
1k 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?
17
votes
6answers
2k views

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, ...
16
votes
2answers
313 views

Who is the composer of Haneiros Halolu?

When we light the Menora we say Haneiros Halolu. Who composed these words?
15
votes
9answers
1k views

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 ...
15
votes
4answers
1k 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?
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Should a woman avoid singing in front of her husband while she is a niddah?

Should a woman avoid singing in front of her husband while she is a niddah? Is it strictly prohibited or just inadvisable? (Obviously I am not talking about deliberately seductive songs.)
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Origin of Mareh Kohen tune

Where did the popular tune for the Yom Kippur piyyut, מראה כהן, come from? Who wrote it? When did it originate? Where is it from? Does the tune have a name other than "that marei kohen tune"? ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
13
votes
5answers
594 views

Meaning of the phrase “Tzur Chevli B'eit Tzarah” near the end of Adon Olam

Near the end of Adon Olam, there is the phrase "Tzur Chevli B'eit Tzarah". What exactly is the meaning of this phrase, and specifically the term "Tzur Chevli"? I have seen it translated rather ...
12
votes
5answers
350 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?
12
votes
3answers
275 views

Why does Wednesday's shir shel yom include part of the next perek?

The Shir Shel Yom is (usually) a chapter of Tehillim said at the end of davening, unique to each day. That applies for every day except Wednesday. In some (many) customs, Wednesday's song is Tehillim ...
11
votes
3answers
6k views

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 ...
11
votes
1answer
279 views

Why are Isaac and Rivka in Shochen Ad

Many siddurim capitalize the Yitzchak in Shochen Ad. Some draw attention to the Rivka. But why are either of them there? If you wanted to throw Yitzchak somewhere, why not minchah, which we ...
11
votes
1answer
169 views

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 ...
10
votes
9answers
1k views

Why do we sing “Echad Mi Yodeya”?

Why do we sing the song "Echad Mi Yodeya" at the seder?
10
votes
3answers
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
534 views

Tzur MiShelo - Should you sing it before Bentching?

The song "Tzur MiShelo", generally printed in Bentchers, Siddurim, Zimronim, etc., as a Friday night song, follows the pattern of Bentching (grace after meals), praising G-d and praying for redemption,...
10
votes
2answers
539 views

Chad Gadya: The price of a kid goat

Was the fair market value of a kid goat really two zuzim? This piyyut is of course allegorical, but, if the value given is highly inaccurate, is the discrepancy in value symbolic beyond the symbolism ...
10
votes
3answers
285 views

Why are the kinos about Jeremiah's appeal to the avos out of order?

The kina (elegy, said on the ninth of Av) about Jeremiah's going to ask the avos to pray (kina 21 in at least some versions, 26 in the Artscroll edition) is said before the one about his being told to ...
9
votes
3answers
193 views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
134 views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
282 views

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. ...
9
votes
1answer
83 views

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 ...
9
votes
0answers
95 views

What's wrong with singing together? [duplicate]

I once saw a sign in a synagogue which announced a change in their custom. Originally, everyone would sing Kel Adon on Shabbat shacharit together. Now, each stanza is quietly recited by the ...
8
votes
5answers
432 views

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 ...
8
votes
2answers
237 views

Are you supposed to do the responsive parts of Hallel at the Seder?

At a Pesach Seder, when you get to the parts of Hallel that are done responsively in a congregation, are you supposed to do them responsively? Does the answer depend on how many people are at the ...
8
votes
2answers
376 views

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.
8
votes
2answers
451 views

Making a Seudah into a “Seudas Mitzvah”

The Rema in Hilchos Channukah Siman 670 Sif 2 writes that if zemiros and shvachos (songs and praise) are said by a Seudah on Channukah it becomes a "Seudas Mitzvah" (without this it only has in it "...
8
votes
2answers
246 views

הקדוש ברוך הוא אנחנו אוהבים אותך ‎— or אותו?

There is a popular song some of whose lyrics are "הקדוש ברוך הוא אנחנו אוהבים אותך". Does anyone have a source — besides some recent lyricist — for these words precisely, or a source for any instance ...
8
votes
1answer
454 views

When to close the ark after putting away the Torah

On shabbat morning when putting away the Torah, many chazzanim like to draw out different tunes for the verses recited then. Should the one honored with putting the Torah back wait until after the ...
8
votes
1answer
255 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
110 views

“Oyoyoy” a hefsek? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Humming during shmoneh esre Is saying "oyoyoy" in places where you're not allowed to speak (e.g. Shemoneh Esreh) a hefsek (interruption)? Does it make a difference that it ...
7
votes
2answers
506 views

Is repeating the chorus in Lecha Dodi problematic?

Some tunes for Lecha Dodi are conducive to repeating the chorus ("Lecha dodi ...") twice each time. I've noticed that some people, when using one of these tunes, repeat, while others avoid repeating ...
7
votes
2answers
305 views

Go in Peace - why are we sending the Angels away

On Friday night we welcome the angels by singing Shalom Aleichem the question is why do we tell them: צֵאתְכֶם לְשָׁלוֹם מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם מַלְאָכֵי עֶלְיוֹן Essentially sending them away that ...
7
votes
2answers
128 views

Tu b'Shvat Prayers by R' Yehuda Halevi (Gaon)

A number of years ago, they discovered in the Cairo Geniza a number of Piyutim and Prayers for Shemonah Esrei, to be included on Tu b'Shvat. I found this item listed on a Cairo Geniza database, but I'...
7
votes
3answers
285 views

Correct Nusach for Ana Bechoach (אנא בכח)

In אנא בכח, I've usually said "בָּרְכֵם, טַהֲרֵם, רַחֲמֵי צִדְקָתְךָ תָּמִיד גָמְלֵם". However, in my Artscroll Siddur I noticed it says רחמם (with a ם instead of י). Which of these are correct?
7
votes
2answers
156 views

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
980 views

Why do we sing Chad Gadya and Echad Mi Yodea at the seder?

Some of the songs at the end of the seder have an obvious connection to what has come before. Adir Hu is about praising God, which we've been doing all night; Eliyahu HaNavi makes sense because ...
7
votes
1answer
200 views

Who is “the blaspheming foe” of Maoz Tzur?

In the song Maoz Tzur it says לְעֵת תָּכִין מַטְבֵּחַ מִצָּר הַמְנַבֵּחַ - which the OU translates as - When You will have prepared the slaughter for the blaspheming foe. Who is this ...
7
votes
1answer
528 views

Askinu Seudasa and Azamer Bishvachin before Kiddush

There is a variety of placement in siddurim which include Askinu Seudasa and Azamer Bishvachin. Some (Tefila Yeshara, Artscroll if memory serves correctly) put both before Kiddush. Some (Tehilas ...
7
votes
0answers
74 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. ...
7
votes
0answers
206 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
2answers
616 views

What is the origin of the song Echad Mi Yodeya?

Who is the author or what is the origin of the song commonly found in the haggadah called Echad Mi Yodeya?
6
votes
1answer
737 views

Who wrote Shoshanat Yaakov?

Who was the Author of the Piyut "asher hanee" that ends with Shoshanat Yaakov? Why is it said by Ashkenazim after they read the Meggilah at night?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What's a Grammen?

A few years ago I participated in a Purim Se'udah (feast) at which rounds of humorous poetry were written and then recited in a sing-song chant. I believe they're called Grammen. It was fun, and the ...
6
votes
7answers
1k views

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"?
6
votes
2answers
132 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
168 views

Where can I find the Chasam Sofer's poems?

According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, the Chasam Sofer wrote several poems. Where can I find them? I've been unable to do so.