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Gabriel Kretzmer Seed (translation)

Rabbi Gabe Kretzmer Seed has served as a Jewish chaplain in the New York City Department of Correction since 2018 where he provides religious services, classes and spiritual support primarily for Jewish incarcerated individuals along with providing general spiritual care for the incarcerated and staff of all faiths and none. He was recently named one of the New York Jewish Week 36 Under 36, a list of individuals making a difference in the New York Jewish Community for his work in the jails during the pandemic. Gabe received semikhah from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in 2017, and is a graduate of Columbia University where he majored in United States History. He also received BA and MA degrees from the Jewish Theological Seminary – JTS where he focused on Talmud and Midrash, and Jewish education. He is the co-founder of the Zemirot Database, an editable online database for zemirot, liturgy, and other Jewish songs. Gabe is an avid Baal tefillah and Baal qriyah, and leads davening regularly in both his home community of Riverdale, NY, and has served as the High Holiday Ḥazzan Sheni at Congregation Tiferet Israel in Austin, TX since 2014. He also loves studying Jewish liturgy, especially comparing siddurim of different nusḥaot and minhagim.

אֵשׁ תּוּקַד בְּקִרְבִּי | Aish Tuqad b’Qirbi: A Fire Shall Burn Within Me, translated by Gabriel Seed

Contributed on: 24 Jul 2015 by Gabriel Kretzmer Seed (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

Aish Tukad is a ḳinah for Tishah b’Av, usually recited towards the conclusion of the set of dirges for the morning service (in Goldshmidt’s numbering, it is number 32 of our 46 Kinot). According to Goldshmidt’s introduction, the structure of this Piyyut is based on a Midrash in Eicha Zuta 19, where Moses’ praises for God and Israel are seen as parallel to Jeremiah’s laments, thus creating the concept of a comparison between the joy of the Exodus and the pain of the Temple’s destruction. . . .

אז בהלוך ירמיהו | Az Bahalokh Yirmiyahu: Then As Jeremiah Went, by Elazar ben Killir circa 7th century CE (translated by Gabriel Seed)

Contributed on: 25 Jul 2015 by Gabriel Kretzmer Seed (translation) | Elazar ben Killir |

Az Bahalokh Yirmiyahu is a kinah, “based on Eikhah Rabati Petikhta 24, in which Jeremiah says to God: “I am like a father who prepared to take his only son to be married, and the son tragically died under the wedding canopy. Do you not feel any pain for me or for my son?” God responds: “Go and rouse Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses from their graves, for they know how to cry…” (Daniel Goldschmidt, Seder Kinot le-Tisha b’Av, Jerusalem, 1972, 98). . . .

בּוֹרֵא עַד אָנָּה | Borei Ad Anah (“Creator! How long”), a ḳinah after the Spanish Expulsion (ca. 16th c.)

Contributed on: 07 Aug 2016 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Gabriel Kretzmer Seed (translation) | Isaac Leeser (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

Bore ‘Ad Anah” is a ḳinah recited in a number of Sephardic communities on Tishah b’Av (or in some cases on Shabbat Hazon, the Shabbat preceding Tishah b’Av), particularly in the Spanish-Portuguese and North African traditions. The author is unknown, but his name is likely Binyamin based on the acrostic made up of the first letters of the verses. In the kinah, the Children of Israel are compared to a wandering dove caught in a trap by predators, crying out its father, God. The ḳinah was likely written as a poignant response to the Spanish Inquisition, appropriate to Tishah b’Av since the expulsion of the Jews from Spain occurred on the 9th of Av in the year 1492. The version presented here was likely censored, as many manuscripts have the fifth verse presented in the following manner directly calling out their Catholic oppressors,” יועצים עליה עצות היא אנושה זרים העובדים אלילים שלושה אם ובן ורוח כי אין להם בושה גדול ממכאובי.” “They counsel against her and she languishes, the strangers who worship three idols, father, son and spirit, for they have no shame and great is my suffering.” . . .

כְּהַיּוֹם הַזֶּה בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם | k’Hayom HaZeh Birushalayim (This day in Jerusalem), a wedding prayer from the Seder Rav Amram Gaon (ca. 9th c.)

Contributed on: 23 May 2020 by Aharon N. Varady (translation) | Gabriel Kretzmer Seed (translation) | Jeffrey Saks (translation) | Amram Ben Rav Sheshna |

A well-wishing prayer for couples on their wedding day found in the Seder Rav Amram Gaon. . . .

נחמו נחמו עמי | Naḥamu, Naḥamu Ami (Comfort, comfort, my people), a piyyut for Tishah b’Aḇ

Contributed on: 26 Jul 2018 by Gabriel Kretzmer Seed (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

This beautiful piyyut of unknown authorship is recited in most Sephardic, Mizrahi and Yemenite traditions on Tisha B’ab at Minḥah. In its stanzas, rich and replete with biblical references (as is particularly common in Sephardic Piyyut), God speaks to Jerusalem and promises to comfort her, and comfort and redeem her people. . . .

טראָפּ | Ta’amei Hamiqra (cantillation) for Megillat Esther

Contributed on: 03 Mar 2011 by Gabriel Kretzmer Seed (translation) |

For aspiring ba’al qoreh (readers) of Megillat Esther studying its various styles of cantillation (Hebrew, ta’amei hamiqra or in Yiddish, טראָפּ trōp), a fair number of recordings are popping up online, but only one so far is being shared with a free/libre, copyleft license thanks to Gabriel Seed, lead developer of zemirotdatabase.org. The audio file is free to redistribute and remix under the CC BY-SA license. We’re honored to share Gabriel’s recording of a zarqa table for Megillat Esther read in the Nusaḥ Ashkenaz style. . . .