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14 votes
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Is King Saul positively regarded in Judaism?

There are not very many references to Saul in the liturgy. Here is one that portrays him somewhat negatively, in the context of his failure to destroy Amalek (from Yotser for Zachor): זָכוֹר נָגִיד ...
b a's user avatar
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11 votes
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When and by whom were the Piyutim of Channukah written?

The author of the yotzer "odecha ki anafta" was R. Yosef b. Shelomo of Carcasonne (11th century CE). His signature (יוסף בן שלמה) can be seen in the final line: יחידך וידידך סלה פקדוך, בל ...
Joel K's user avatar
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11 votes

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

this is not a Hebrew word or rooted in a Hebrew word so cannot be translated That is nonsense, it is indeed a Hebrew word used throughout Tanakh in various constructs. See Hosea 9:6; 9:16, 1 Kings 20:...
Deuteronomy's user avatar
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10 votes

Is King Saul positively regarded in Judaism?

Shaul was great beyond the imagination of the people in his Generation (and how much more so ourselves) and cannot be Judged. Yalkut Shimoni Shmuel II 157: שגיון לדוד אשר שר לה' על דברי כוש בן ...
user15464's user avatar
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9 votes
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Torah songs, and earworms, in the bathroom

R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach quoted in הליכות שלמה (הלכות תפילה פרק עשרים סימן יא אות כא) ruled that there is a distinction between recital of pesukim in praise and song (דרך שבח וזמרה) and studying (דרך ...
Shoel U'Meishiv's user avatar
9 votes
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Adon Olam: "Yetzir" or "Yetzur"?

DISCLAIMER: While the study Hebrew grammar is of interest to me, I am far from proficient in it, and hopefully those who know more will add to the discussion. My answer is marei mekomos and a highly ...
termsofservice's user avatar
8 votes
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Need help finding a song

It is 'Yizkrem'. Here is a link to one performance of this song, but there are probably many others online: https://youtu.be/9Y89PGlabBE The part of the song that you recorded can be first heard at ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 6,507
8 votes

Who are the seven shepherds at the end of Maoz Tzur?

The reference is to Michah 5:4. The Talmud (Sukkah 52b) identifies them as King David in the middle, Adam, Seth, and Methuselah on his right, and Abraham, Jacob and Moses on his left.
Double AA's user avatar
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8 votes
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Reciting/singing Aḥeinu outside of the formal prayer setting and origin of tune

The song was popularised following its release by Abie Rotenberg. It was composed in 1990 (see here) and first released on his Lev V'nefesh 1 CD. In an interview (linked above) Abie provides more ...
Dov's user avatar
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7 votes
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A piyut refers to the converts: Keni, Na'aman, Ovadiah, Rachav, Na'amah and Ruth. How come?

1) Keni was one of Yisro's names. (See Rashi who brings the Mechilta about his many names and Rashi further mentions there that he converted; Shmos 18:1) He is famous for exclaiming that now he knows ...
David Kenner's user avatar
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7 votes

Ashkenazi Mishna memorization tune?

You have the niggun of the Rav Zilberman. In Kol Halashon who was a fervent supporter of mishnayot memorization.
kouty's user avatar
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6 votes

What's wrong with using "Adoshem" for the name of G-d when singing?

In this recording (starting approximately at 11:25, and again starting at approximately 12:55) you can hear R. Joseph Ber Soloveitchik say "Adoshem" in place of God's name when reading a ...
Alex's user avatar
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6 votes

Maoz Tzur and Chanukah

It isn't known who wrote Maoz Tsur, although some scholars think that it was a 13th century German-speaking Jew named Mordekhai (sorry - only a Wikipedia reference for that one). It makes reference to ...
Shimon bM's user avatar
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6 votes

What is the 'ten stringed' instrument in Psalm 33, Psalm 92 and Psalm 144?

See this: HARP (në'-vël) [H5035] 1. an ancient string instrument of ten strings used to accompany the voice. Standing almost three feet tall, the harp had of two sets of strings (five on each ...
DanF's user avatar
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6 votes
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When was Nirtzah added?

R. Yosef Zvi Rimon's book Hagaddah MiMekorah pins the songs of nirtzah to the end of the fifteenth century. He relates the following: In all of the haggadah texts of the Ge'onim...and Rishonim, ...
Aryeh's user avatar
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6 votes
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Y-h Ribon Olam tune origin

I do not believe we know how the original tune went but we know from the author himself, R. Israel Najara, that the tune for this particular song was taken from an Arabic song 'ya rabbi salim salimi' ...
Oliver's user avatar
  • 12k
6 votes

English Book on Trop

There are two books written on this by William Wickes. Here’s the Tamei emet version and it is even available online (or here). And here’s the the rest of tanach version, also online.
Dr. Shmuel's user avatar
6 votes
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Can we hasten Moshiach's coming through the mitzvah of ואהבת לרעך כמוך?

This idea can be found in Medrash Tanchuma, Nitzavim 1: וְכֵן אַתְּ מוֹצֵא שֶׁאֵין יִשְׂרָאֵל נִגְאֲלִין עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ כֻּלָּן אֲגֻדָּה אַחַת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: בַּיָּמִים הָהֵמָּה וּבָעֵת הַהִיא ...
aBochur's user avatar
  • 3,859
5 votes

Who composed THIS melody for Shoshanat Ya'akov?

The following is lightly adapted from an email I received from Cantor Sherwood Goffin: In 1950, Mr. Harry Coopersmith published his “Magnum Opus” – Songs We Sing – I believe in collaboration with the ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
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5 votes

Source of a common tune to "Adon olam"

This tune for Adon Olam appears as early as 1897 when published by Eliezer Gerovitch (Eliezer ben Yitzchok Gerowitsch 1844-1913) in his שירי תפילה. It is not certain whether he composed it or ...
EraserX's user avatar
  • 2,753
5 votes

What's a Grammen?

From Yiddish Dictionary Online: גראַם - m. gram - rhyme. Thus, גראַמען would mean to rhyme. This is, of course, just a partial answer. [To the tune of "Yankee Doodle":] Nasty Haman in Shushan, ...
ezra's user avatar
  • 18.7k
5 votes

Why is this Rosh Hashanah piyut recited differently from how it is printed?

Kovetz Yagdil Torah Volume 17 - page 39 says that originally there were alternate stanzas with Melech Elyon then Melech Evyon throughout the entire Piyut. He says that since the Melech Evyon verses ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
5 votes
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Who are the seven shepherds at the end of Maoz Tzur?

There are many different traditions about who these individuals are precisely. Radak to Micah 5:4:3 states that the seven shepherds are David, Seth, Chanoch, Methuselah, Avraham, Yaacov and Moshe. ...
Yaacov Deane's user avatar
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5 votes
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poetical works authored by women?

A fifteenth-century Spanish poet, Merecina of Gerona, composed a piyyut called מי ברוך נורא ואדיר. Unlike other Hebrew poetry by Jewish women prior to the 18th century, this work was discovered in a ...
Aryeh's user avatar
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5 votes
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Mareh Kohen Origin

Ofir Minz-Manor in this article (Hebrew) writes on page 166 that, based on the nature of the poetry and particularly its lack of rhyme, the piyyut can be classified as having been written in the pre-...
Joel K's user avatar
  • 43.7k
5 votes

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

As stated previously, Rav Moshe Feinstein addressed this in Igros Moshe, Even HaEzer Vol. 1, § 96. If they were written when the fellow was acting properly, they are totally fine. (Rav Moshe talks ...
Shalom's user avatar
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5 votes

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

Welcome to Mi Yodeya! In Hebrew it's called "Yedid Nefesh" (ידיד נפש) and commonly sung before the start of the Kabbalat Shabbat service when Shabbat starts. The quoted part is the first ...
Harel13's user avatar
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4 votes
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Yiddish Song on Purim

According to this forum post here, the song is called "גראמען לכבוד חדש אדר" - "Rhymes in honor of the month of Adar" ("Gramen" means "rhymes" in Yiddish) and ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.8k
4 votes

How do hats contrast with sounds?

Peirush Lev Aharon (Kinnah 31, this Kinnah) asks the very same question and notes that the hats were worn "לכבוד ולתפארת", as an honor and beauty (Exodus 28:40), as emphasized by the author of this ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
4 votes

Sing about Moshiach at the end of davening

As far as I know about the song, "we want moshiach now" it was first sung in 1980 by a group of campers. The Rebbe began clapping along as approval and afterwards encouraged singing it. The song ...
Dude's user avatar
  • 4,361

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