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Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut)

From a family of musicians, Isaac Gantwerk Mayer believes that creative art is one of the most powerful ways to get in touch with the divine. He composes music and poetry in Hebrew and English. (He also translates and authors his own original works.) Isaac runs a Jewish music transcription service, which will transcribe and set any Jewish music in any language, recorded or written. Contact his service on Facebook or via his music blog.

https://igmjewishcreativeworks.com

אֲבוּנָן דְּבִשְׁמַיָּא וּבָרְיַן | Abunan D’biShmaya (Our Parent in Heaven) — a piyyut for the Seder Meturgeman of the 7th Day of Pesaḥ by Meir ben Isaac Nehorai of Orléans (ca. 11th c.)

Contributed on: 09 Apr 2023 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Meir ben Isaac Nehorai of Orléans |

This piyyut, Abunan D’biShmaya (Our Parent in Heaven), the second in a series of Aramaic piyyutim from the seventh day of Pesaḥ, is meant to be recited after the fifth verse of the first aliyah (or second verse of the second aliyah on Shabbat). . . .


עַד אָנָה בִּכְיָּה בְצִיּוֹן | Ad Ana Bikhya b’Tsiyon (How Long Will Crying Be In Zion), a qinah for Tishah b’Av (ca. 7th c.)

Contributed on: 10 Aug 2022 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Unknown Author(s) |

‘Ad Ana Bikhya B’Tsiyon, is one of the oldest qinot of the cycle, dating to the period before rhyme schemes were the norm for Hebrew poetry. It describes the heavenly luminaries themselves as sympathizing with and lamenting for Israel. It goes through the entire zodiac, beginning with Ares and ending with Pisces. It is traditional to stand and recite the last few lines aloud before transitioning into the Ḳedusha d’Sidra. . . .


אַדִּיר בִּמְלוּכָה | Adir Bimlukhah, a Latin translation of the piyyut by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

Contributed on: 20 Mar 2021 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Johann Stephan Rittangel (Latin translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

The text of the popular piyyut “Adir Bimlukhah” (a/k/a “Ki lo na’eh”) in Hebrew, with a Latin translation. . . .


אַדִּיר הוּא | Adir Hu, the acrostic piyyut in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

Contributed on: 20 Mar 2021 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Johann Stephan Rittangel (Latin translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

The alphabetic acrostic piyyut, Adir Hu, in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel as found in his translation of the Pesaḥ seder haggadah, Liber Rituum Paschalium (1644). . . .


אֲדוֹן עוֹלָם (מנהג הספרדים במזרח) | Adōn Olam (Ladino translation from the Sidur Tefilat Kol Pe, 1891)

Contributed on: 17 Aug 2023 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Unknown Translator(s) | Shlomo ibn Gabirol |

The Seder Tefilat Kol Peh was printed in 1891 in Vienna, and features a full Ladino translation of the entire siddur. The Ladino translation here is found on the left side of pagespread №145. Along with a full transcription of the Ladino text, Isaac Gantwerk Mayer has also prepared a full romanization of the Ladino. . . .


עַל־מֹשֶׁה אֶרְגָּז וְאָהִים | Al Mosheh Ergaz v-Ahim — a pizmon on Mosheh’s death for Simḥat Torah, by R. Shmuel ha-Dayan of Aram Ṣoba (ca. 12th c.)

Contributed on: 12 Oct 2023 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Shmuel haDayan |

This pizmon was written by R. Shmuel ben Moshe Ha-Dayan of Aram Ṣoba (ca. 1150-1200) an Aleppine payṭan whose works were almost completely lost before being rediscovered in the Maḥzor Aram Ṣoba. It emphasizes the uneasy juxtaposition of the joy of Simḥat Torah with the tragedy of Moshe’s death. Originally it was probably recited before musaf, but perhaps for those who follow Ashkenazi customs a more appropriate location would be as an introduction to the Yizkor service on Shemini ‘Atseret — which for those who don’t keep second-day yontef is the same day. . . .


כׇּל נִדְרֵי | Alternative Kol Nidre from Synagogen-Gemeinde Hannover (1937)

Contributed on: 03 Oct 2022 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Samuel Freund |

This is the Kol Nidrei as offered by the Hannover Synagogue on Yom Kippur in 1937 according to the text provided in a poster, “Agende für Kol-nidre und Seelenfeier in der Synaogen-Gemeinde Hannover” (10 September 1937). Thank you to David Selis for providing digital images of the poster. . . .


אָמַר אוֹיֵב | Amar Oyev (The Enemy Said) — a piyyut for the Seder Meturgeman of the 7th Day of Pesaḥ

Contributed on: 10 Apr 2023 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Unknown Author(s) |

This piyyut, Amar Oyev (The Enemy Said), the sixth in a series of Aramaic piyyutim from the seventh day of Pesaḥ, is meant to be recited as an introduction to the targum of Exodus 15, verse 9. . . .


תפלה לכל תענית צבור ועל כל צרה (שלא תבא על הציבור!) | Amidah for Any Communal Fast and On Account of Troubles (Nusaḥ Italki)

Contributed on: 15 Sep 2022 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

The Italian rite, unique among Jewish rites, has preserved up until very recently the custom recorded in the Talmud, Masekhet Tagnanith, for communally declared fast days. In this rite, sometimes referred to as the Twenty-Four Blessings, six more blessings are added to the liturgy — the Zikhronot and Shofrot portions more commonly recited on Rosh haShanah, and four different psalms, all interspaced with a poetic litany on behalf of the ancestors’ merit and shofar blasts. It’s a fascinatng service! . . .


אֲנָא אַתְקֵינִית | Ana Atqenit (I am the one), a piyyut in Aramaic for introducing the first commandment as read in the Targum

Contributed on: 02 May 2021 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) |

Ana is a poem for the first commandment, that discusses all that God did for the ancestors. . . .


הכרזת פסח לפי נוסח איטלייני | the Announcement of Pesaḥ on Shabbat haGadol according to the Italian rite

Contributed on: 06 Apr 2024 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

Jews all over the world announce the new month on the Shabbat before it with a text known as “birkat ha-ḥodesh” or blessing the month. In many rites, such as the Western Sephardic and Moroccan rites, the fast days 17 Tammuz and 10 Tevet are also announced on the Shabbat before them with a text known as “hazkarat tsomot” or announcing fasts. But to my knowledge, only the Italian rite (and possibly the ancient Eretz Yisrael rite from which much of it derives) have a custom of announcing Pesaḥ on the Shabbat before it. This passage, the Announcement of Pesaḥ (Azcaràd Pesah in Italian traditional pronunciation) is recited on the Shabbat before Pesaḥ, commonly known as Shabbat haGadol (Sciabbàd Aggadòl), after the reading from the Torah. Citing the mystical hekhalot literature, it celebrates the sages who established the rules of the calendar. . . .


מזמור לציון | Apostrophe to Zion, according to the Nusaḥ of the Judean Desert Scrolls

Contributed on: 03 Aug 2020 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) |

The Apostrophe to Zion is an alphabetical acrostic poem, directed at Zion in the second person. It has been found in multiple locations in Qumran, including the Great Psalms Scroll 11QPsa as well as another fragmentary scroll in 4Q88. It was considered a regular part of their psalmodic canon. . . .


💬 ילקוט מזמורים לבן סירא פרק נ״א | An Appendix of Psalms of Ben Sira chapter 51, vocalized, cantillated, and translated by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Contributed on: 03 Jun 2020 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Shimon ben Yeshua ben Eliezer ben Sira |

The end of the scroll of Ben Sira (Ecclesiasticus) reconstructed from Cairo Geniza fragments not contained within the Septuagint. . . .


אַקְדָּמוּת מִלִּין (לַפּוּרִים) | Aqdamut for Purim, by Avraham Menaḥem Mendel Mohr (1855)

Contributed on: 17 Mar 2024 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Avraham Menaḥem Mendel Mohr |

This is the Aqdamut for Purim by Avraham Menaḥem Mendel Mohr from his Kol Bo l’Purim (1855) transcribed and translated from Aramaic into English by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer. . . .


אַרְעָא רַקְדָא | Ar’a Raqda (And the Earth Danced), a piyyut in Aramaic for introducing the Decalogue as read in the Targum

Contributed on: 02 May 2021 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) |

“Ar’a Raqda,” a piyyut read directly before the Ten Commandments in the Targum, uses wedding imagery and language from the Shir haShirim to paint Sinai as a ḥuppah. . . .


אֲשֶׁר בִּגְלַל אָבוֹת בָּנִים גִּדֵּל | Asher Biglal Avot Banim Gidel — an archaic piyyut on Mosheh’s Death for Simḥat Torah

Contributed on: 12 Oct 2023 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

This piyyut of unknown authorship is certainly ancient, showing the lack of a rhyme scheme characteristic of the REALLY old piyyutim (see also Aleinu or El Adon). It is still found in some Ashkenazi and Teman maḥzorim, with many different mostly minor variants (which have been combined together somewhat eclectically into one text here). It is presented here along with an English translation attempting to preserve the Hebrew acrostic. Originally it was recited before the Ashrei leading into musaf, but perhaps for those who follow Ashkenazi customs a more appropriate location would be as an introduction to the Yizkor service on Shmini ‘Atzeret — which for those who don’t keep second-day yontef is the same day. It could also be adapted as part of the liturgy for the seventh of Adar, although the final verse (the old Western rite berakha for finishing a full Torah cycle) would have to be elided. . . .


אתה גאלת | Atah Ga’alta (You Redeemed Our Ancestors), a Poetic Rendition of the Blessing of Redemption in the Pesaḥ Seder (ca. 9th c.)

Contributed on: 17 Mar 2021 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) |

Rav Saadia Gaon lists three additions to the Seder Pesaḥ which he considers not necessary, but acceptable. This is the third, a poetic insert of the blessing of redemption known as Ata Ga’alta. In the form of an alphabetical acrostic, this poem is still recited in many eastern communities including the Babylonians, Persians, and Yemenites, and was a feature of the the old Kaifeng rite. Here it is recorded and translated into English according to the nusaḥ of Saadia Gaon, with notes in several locations for additional phrases used in some customs. . . .


אַצִיתוּ לִי אִילָנַיָּא | Atsitu Li Ilinaya | The Argument of the Trees — a debate-poem for Purim in Aramaic from the Targum Sheni

Contributed on: 07 Mar 2024 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

This Aramaic poem, written in the early Byzantine era by an unknown author, can be found in its entirety within the Targum Sheni for Esther 7:9. It features an argument between an assortment of trees over which one is required to bear the great dishonor of having to be the one to hold Haman. It’s also chock-full of anti-Christian polemic and references to Toledot Yeshu. . . .


אַבְנֵי יְקָר | Avnei Y’qar — a Ḥanukkah piyyut attributed to Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra

Contributed on: 19 Dec 2022 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) |

“Avnei Y’qar” is a succint piyyut for Ḥanukkah, traditionally attributed to R. Abraham ibn Ezra, and particularly beloved by the Yemenites. Interestingly, it doesn’t mention the miracle of the oil whatsoever, focusing on the degradation of the land under Greek occupation as well as the Hasmonean victory itself. Included is a poetic acrostic translation into English. . . .


אֵין אַדִּיר כַּיְיָ (מִפִּי אֵל)‏ | Ayn Adir kAdonai | לָא קָאדִּר סַוָא אַלְלָה (There is none like Allah), minhag Cairo variation with a Judeo-Arabic translation

Contributed on: 09 Apr 2024 by Aharon N. Varady (translation) | Akiva Sanders (translation) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Unknown Translator(s) | Unknown Author(s) |

This is a variation of Mipi El in Hebrew with a Judeo-Arabic translation found in the Seder al-Tawḥid for Rosh Ḥodesh Nissan, compiled by Mosheh Asher ibn Shmuel in 1887 in Alexandria. . . .


אָז רוֹב נִסִּים | Az Rov Nissim, a piyyut by Yanai for the first night of Pesaḥ in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

Contributed on: 20 Mar 2021 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Johann Stephan Rittangel (Latin translation) | Yanai haPayetan |

The piyyut, Omets G’vurotekha by Elazar ha-Qalir, in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel. . . .


אַזְכִּיר מַעֲשֵׂה ה׳ | Azkir Ma’aseh Hashem — a Purim Sheni piyyut of Tripoli for the Shabbat preceding the 29 of Tevet, by Avraham Khalfon

Contributed on: 04 Jan 2024 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Avraham Khalfon |

In North Africa, a unique custom developed of reciting a Mi Khamokha v-Ein Kamokha piyyut, inspired by the famed Shabbat Zakhor work of Yehuda haLevi, on the Shabbat before a local Purim (a celebration of community’s deliverance from destruction). This piyyut, written by R. Avraham ben Rafael Khalfon, was recited on the Shabbat before 29 Tevet in the community of Tripoli, to celebrate the victory of the Karamanlid dynasty over the despotic usurper Ali Burghul (after events transpiring from 1793-1804). . . .


אַזְכִּֽירָה יָמִים עִם יָמִים | Azkira Yamim Im Yamim, a piyyut for the First Shabbat of Admonition by Rabbi Yannai (ca. early 6th c.)

Contributed on: 22 Jul 2022 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Yanai haPayetan |

The works of the great paytan Yannai were, with the exception of a small handful of poems, almost completely lost until their rediscovery in the Cairo Geniza. This poem, an acrostic comparison of the days of Moses and Jeremiah, was written by Yannai to serve as part of the Musaf Ḳedushah on the first Shabbat after 17 Tammuz, on which the opening section of Jeremiah is recited. It bears structural and linguistic similarities to the later famous ḳinah Esh Tuqad. In its liturgical context, it was intended to introduce the final few verses of the Ḳedushah . Nowadays the custom of poetic inserts into the ḳedushah is nearly extinct, but the poem stands as a moving and powerful work nonetheless. . . .


💬 בן סירא מב:כא-מג:לא | ben Sira 42:21-43:31, a hymn of creation translated by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan

Contributed on: 21 Jul 2018 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Mordecai Kaplan | Shimon ben Yeshua ben Eliezer ben Sira |

Ecclesiasticus (ben Sira) 42:21-43:31 is presented as “God the Lord of Nature” in The Sabbath Prayer Book of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan (The Reconstructionist Foundation 1945), p. 376-372 in the Supplements subsection, “God in Nature.” The text of Ben Sira used here differs in places found in other manuscripts. . . .


חַד גַּדְיָא | Бир Улакъ | Bir Ulaq (בִּיר אוּלָק) — a Qrımçah tılyı (Krymchak) translation of Ḥad Gadya by Rabbi Nisim haLevy Tsahtsir (1904)

Contributed on: 17 Mar 2021 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Nisim haLevy Tsahtsir | Unknown Author(s) |

A Judeo-Tajik translation of the popular Passover song, Ḥad Gadya. . . .


ברכת המזון לחנוכה | Poetic Birkat haMazon for Ḥanukkah, reconstructed from multiple Cairo Geniza manuscripts by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Contributed on: 21 Dec 2021 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

This is a reconstruction of a liturgy for a Birkat haMazon for Ḥanukkah witnessed in multiple Cairo Geniza manuscripts, including Cambridge, CUL: T-S H4.13; T-S H6.37; T-S 8H10.14; T-S NS 328.56; T-S NS 328.61; T-S AS 101.293; New York, JTS: ENA 2885.7; Oxford: MS heb. e.71/27 – MS heb. e.71/32; St. Peterburg: Yevr. III B 135. . . .


ברכת המזון לפורים | Poetic Birkat haMazon for Purim, according to the Cairo Geniza fragment T-S H6.37 vocalized and translated by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Contributed on: 21 Dec 2021 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

This is a reconstruction of a liturgy for a Birkat haMazon for Purim witnessed in the Cairo Geniza fragment T-S H6.37 (page 1, recto and verso)‬. . . .


ברכת המזון לשבועות ‬| Birkat haMazon for Shavuot, according to the Cairo Geniza fragment ‫T-S H6.37 vocalized and translated by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Contributed on: 23 May 2020 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) |

A Birkat haMazon for Shavuot presenting an alphabetic acrostic from a manuscript preserved in the Cairo Geniza. . . .


ברכת המזון השלם עם טעמי מקרא | Full Birkat haMazon with Ta’amei haMiqra (cantillation), by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (Nusaḥ Ashkenaz)

Contributed on: 28 Jun 2018 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Unknown Author(s) |

The full Birkat haMazon (or Grace after Meals) according to Nusach Ashkenaz with optional additions for egalitarian rites, fully marked with ta’amei miqra (also known as cantillation marks or trope). Ta’amei miqra originally marked grammar and divisions in any Hebrew sentences, and older Hebrew manuscripts such as those from the Cairo Geniza often show ta’amei miqra on all sorts of texts, not just the Biblical texts we associate them with today. This text includes the full tradition for Birkat haMazon, including texts for weekdays, Shabbatot, and festivals, as well as additions for a wedding meal, a circumcision meal, and a meal in a mourner’s house. . . .


בִּרְכַּת הָאִילָנוֹת | The Blessing of Flowering Fruit Trees in the Spring Season in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres

Contributed on: 05 Apr 2011 by Aharon N. Varady (translation) | Jacob Chatinover (translation) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | David Seidenberg | Unknown Author(s) |

When the spring (Aviv) season arrives, a blessing is traditionally said when one is in view of at least two flowering fruit trees. In the northern hemisphere, it can be said anytime through the end of the month of Nissan (though it can still be said in Iyar). For those who live in the southern hemisphere, the blessing can be said during the month of Tishrei. . . .


ברכה לקהל | Blessing of the Congregation, translation by Rabbi David de Sola Pool

Contributed on: 21 Nov 2019 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | David de Sola Pool |

A “mi sheberakh” prayer on behalf of the persons attending the prayer and/or Torah reading service. . . .


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.” . . .


קְי ווֹלְירַה קְי אְינטְינדְירַה | אֶחָד מִי יוֹדֵעַ | Che volera, che entendera — a Judeo-Sienese translation of Eḥad Mi Yodea

Contributed on: 13 Apr 2022 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Unknown Translator(s) | Unknown Author(s) |

Eḥad Mi Yodéa is a counting-song that is a beloved part of Seders the world over. Counting up to 13, it is mostly written in Hebrew, but there are versions that can be found in many different languages. This translation is in the Judeo-Italian dialect of Siena, based on Geremia Mario Castelnuovo’s 1956 recording from Leo Levi’s collection of Judeo-Italian ethnomusicological recordings. A link to the original recording can be found here. . . .


דַּיֵּנוּ | Daiyenu, in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

Contributed on: 21 Mar 2021 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Johann Stephan Rittangel (Latin translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

The piyyut, Dayenu, in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel. . . .


💬 דָּנִיֵּאל וְהַתַּנִּין | Daniel vs. the Dragon, according to the Judeo-Aramaic text found in Divrei Yeraḥmiel, vocalized and cantillated by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Contributed on: 06 Jun 2023 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Moses Gaster | Yeraḥmiel ben Shlomo | Unknown Author(s) |

Daniel’s battle with the Dragon, one of the apocryphal Additions to Daniel, is affixed to the end of the book in the Septuagint. The editor has here included a new vocalized and cantillated edition of the Aramaic text preserved in the 12th century Divrei Yeraḥmiel (Oxford Bodleian Heb d.11 transcribed by Rabbi Dr. Moses Gaster). The language of this passage is an odd synthesis of Targumic, pseudo-Biblical Aramaic, and even some Syriac forms, so the editor’s vocalization is aiming for a happy medium of all the possibilities. (In several locations Divrei Yeraḥmiel uses incorrect Hebrew-specific forms, probably due to scribal error. These are here marked as a qere-ketiv split.) . . .


אֶחָד מִי יוֹדֵעַ | Unum (est &) quis scit? | Eḥad Mi Yode’a, a Latin translation of the counting song by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

Contributed on: 20 Mar 2021 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Johann Stephan Rittangel (Latin translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

The text of the popular counting song “Who Knows One?” in its original Hebrew, with a translation in Latin. . . .


אֵין כֵּאלֹהֵֽינוּ | A Polyglot Version of Ein kEloheinu

Contributed on: 14 Feb 2021 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

The mantra-like piyyut “Ēin k-Ēlohēinu,” a praise of God’s attributes and uniqueness featuring incremental repetition, is found in siddurim as far back as the siddur of Rav Amram, and may date back to the Hekhalot literature. Many versions of it have been compiled in different languages, most famously Flory Jagoda (zç”l)’s Judezmo variant “Non como muestro Dyo.” Here the editor has compiled traditional Yiddish and Ladino translations, as well as developed new Aramaic and Arabic translations for this piyyut. The post-piyyut verses used in both the Ashkenazi and Sephardic rites have been included. . . .


אֵל לִבִּי פְּתַח | El Libbi Păthaḥ — a Prayer of Yemenite Jewish Children Before Study, translated by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Contributed on: 24 Jan 2023 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

In Yemenite Jewish children’s schools, this prayer of unknown authorship is said before the lesson in unison. The teacher conducts and the children sing together to a melody. The prayer is printed in tajjim (Yemenite trilingual Pentateuch codices) before the book of Leviticus, traditionally the starting point for a child’s education. The first twenty-two lines of the prayer are an alphabetical acrostic wherein each line spells out the entire letter in which it starts. For instance, the first line spells out Alef, Lamed, and Pe, which spells out the full name of the letter Alef. This is followed by three Biblical verses all starting with the word “Good,” a brief poem in Hebrew, and a concluding passage largely in Judeo-Arabic. Here the editor has included the original text, along with a non-gendered English translation and a transcription of the Judeo-Arabic text into Arabic script. . . .


אֱלָהָא עָלַם | Elaha Alam (Ageless God) — a piyyut for the Seder Meturgeman of the 7th Day of Pesaḥ by Meir ben Isaac Nehorai of Orléans (ca. 11th c.)

Contributed on: 09 Apr 2023 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Meir ben Isaac Nehorai of Orléans |

This piyyut, Elaha Alam (Ageless God), the fourth in a series of Aramaic piyyutim from the seventh day of Pesaḥ, is meant to be recited after the first verse of the Song of the Sea proper as an introduction to the targum of the text. . . .


אֱלֹהִים בְּעָלֽוּנוּ | Elohim B’alunu — a seliḥah on the York massacre of 1190 by Joseph ben Asher of Chartres (trans. Isaac Gantwerk Mayer)

Contributed on: 01 Jun 2023 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Yosef ben Asher (of Chartres) |

This seliḥah poem, written by R. Joseph of Chartres, commemorates the martyrdom of approximately 150 Jews in Clifford’s Tower, York, England, in the year 1190. A summary of the events of 1190, sometimes referred to as “the English Masada,” can be found here. Like many medieval Jewish poems about massacres, Elohim B’alunu carefully treads the line between assuming guilt and declaring innocence. This poem, interestingly enough, directly calls out the person seen by R. Joseph of Chartres as ultimately responsible — the crusader King Richard Ⅰ. Beloved in Christian memory, this radical zealot of a king has a much darker, more horrific reputation among Jewish and Muslim groups. . . .


אֱמוּנִים עִרְכוּ שֶֽׁבַח | Emunim ʿIrkhu Shevaḥ — a Poetic Addition to Rabban Gamliel’s List

Contributed on: 16 Mar 2021 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) |

Emunim ʿIrkhu Shevaḥ is a brief piyyut recited in North African communities in Rabban Gamliel’s list, between Pesaḥ and Maror. It spells out “Aaron the Priest” as an alphabetical acrostic, but it is uncertain whether this is an authorial signature or a mystical reference to the Biblical figure. . . .


חַד גַּדְיָא | Ένα κατσίκι | Éna katsíki (אֵנַה קַצִיקִי) — a Yevanic translation of Ḥad Gadya by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Contributed on: 02 Feb 2022 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

A Yevanic (Judeo-Greek) translation of the popular Passover song, Ḥad Gadya. . . .


חַד גַּדְיָא | ერთი თიკანი | Erti tiḳani (ארתי תיקהני) — a Čveneburuli translation of Ḥad Gadya by Tamari Lomtadze & Reuven Enoch

Contributed on: 02 Feb 2022 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Reuven Enoch (translation) | Tamari Lomtadze (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

A Čveneburuli (Judeo-Georgian) translation of the popular Passover song, Ḥad Gadya. . . .


אֶזְכְּרָה מָצוֹק | Ezkerah Matsōk (“I remember the distress”), a seliḥah for the Fast of Tevet attributed to Joseph ben Samuel Bonfils (11th c.)

Contributed on: 05 Jan 2020 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | David Asher (translation) | Joseph ben Samuel Bonfils |

“Ezkera Matsok” (I remember the distress) is a seliḥah in alphabetic acrostic recited on the Fast of Tevet in the Ashkenazi nusaḥ minhag Polin. . . .


פַאטֵי אוֹנוֹרֵי אַלְבֵּיל פּוּרִים | Fate Onore al Bel Purim — a Judeo-Livornese Purim song

Contributed on: 23 Mar 2024 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

This Purim song, popular among the Sephardic and Italki communities of Livorno, can be sung to the melody of “Akh, Zeh Hayom Kiviti.” Like a lot of Italian Purim content, a large portion of it is listing different desserts. . . .


חַד גַּדְיָא | Unum hœdulum — a Latin translation of Ḥad Gadya by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

Contributed on: 20 Mar 2021 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Johann Stephan Rittangel (Latin translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

A Latin translation of the popular Passover song, Ḥad Gadya. . . .


חַד מָה יוּדָא | אֶחָד מִי יוֹדֵעַ | Ḥad Mah Yuda :: Who Knows One?, a counting-song in Aramaic translation

Contributed on: 05 May 2019 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Unknown Author(s) |

The text of the popular Passover song “Who Knows One?” in Hebrew set side-by-side with an Aramaic translation. . . .


הָאֵל בְּתַעֲצֻמוֹת עֻזֶּךָ | ha-El b’Taatsumōt Uzekha, in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

Contributed on: 21 Mar 2021 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Johann Stephan Rittangel (Latin translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

The text of the short prayer ha-El b’Taatsumōt Uzekha in Hebrew with a Latin translation. . . .


💬 הַפְטָרָה לְחַג הַפַּאי | Haftarah for the Festival of π (I Kings 7:23-26 and 8:54-66), the twenty-second day of the seventh month (which falls on Shmini Atseret)

Contributed on: 23 Sep 2021 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) |

Shmini Atseret is a strange festival. In some ways part of Sukkot, in some ways its own thing, it occupies an equivocal place in the yearly cycle. But one thing that is completely true: Shmini Atseret is on Pi Day. Well, Pi Approximation Day — the twenty-second day of the seventh month. Inspired by my friend and math enthusiast Aryeh Baruch (may he have a long life), I’ve compiled this altered form of the haftarah for Shmini Atseret in the diaspora, including the description of King Solomon’s “molten sea,” as well as an Aramaic “reshut” poem with a numeral acrostic of the first few digits of pi. . . .


💬 הפטרה לחג השבועות ביום השני | Haftarah reading for the Second Day of Shavuot (Ḥabaquq 2:20-3:19) with its Targum and the piyyut Yetsiv Pitgam by Rabbeinu Tam (ca. 12th c.)

Contributed on: 15 May 2021 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Yaaqov ben Meir | Yonatan ben Uziel | the Masoretic Text | Ḥabaquq haNavi |

The haftarah for the second day of Shavuot, Ḥabakkuk 2:20-3:19, interspersed with a cantillated text of the Targum Yonatan ben Uzziel. Since Targum Yonatan is a bit more drash-heavy than Targum Onkelos, it is translated separately as well. The haftarah reading includes the piyyut Yetsiv Pitgam, with an acrostic rhyming translation of the poem, with the second-to-last verse restored to its rightful place, as well as a concluding paragraph for the meturgeman to recite, as found in the Maḥzor Vitry. . . .



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