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Sometimes the best we can do in attributing a historical work is to indicate the period and place it was written, the first prayer book it may have been printed in, or the archival collection in which the manuscript was found. We invite the public to help to attribute all works to their original composers. If you know something not mentioned in the commentary offered, please let us know!

בַּחֹֽדֶשׁ הָֽרְבִיעִי | baḤodesh haRevi’i (In the fourth month), a ḳinah for the 17th of Tamuz attributed to Solomon ibn Gabirol (ca. 11th c.)

Contributed on: י״ז בתמוז ה׳תשפ״א (2021-06-27) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Isaac Leeser (translation) | Unknown Translator(s) | Shlomo ibn Gabirol |

The seliḥah with its English translation as found in Siddur Siftei Tsadiqim (The Form of Prayers) vol. 6: Seder haTefilot laTaaniyot (ed. Isaac Leeser 1838) p.107-109. . . .


בַּשָּׁנָה הַבָּאָה | baShanah haBa’ah (Next Year), an elegy by Ehud Manor for his brother killed during the War of Attrition (1968)

Contributed on: ט״ז בתמוז ה׳תשפ״א (2021-06-26) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Unknown Translator(s) | Ehud Manor |

“baShanah haBa’ah” (Next Year) by Ehud Manor written in 1968 in memory of his brother Yehudah. . . .


אֲגַדֶלְךָ | Agadelkha, a piyyut by Avraham ibn Ezra (ca. 12th c.) translation by Anonymous

Contributed on: ג׳ בשבט ה׳תש״פ (2020-01-28) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Unknown Translator(s) | Avraham ibn Ezra |

A popular piyyut for all occasions by Avraham ibn Ezra. . . .


שִׁיר לְשִׂמְחָה | Shir l’Simḥah, Friedrich Schiller’s An die Freude (ode to Joy) in Hebrew, 1795

Contributed on: ט״ו באדר א׳ ה׳תשע״ו (2016-02-23) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Friedrich Schiller | Unknown Translator(s) |

In 1785 Friedrich Schiller wrote his ‘An die Freude an ode ‘To Joy’, describing his ideal of an equal society united in joy and friendship. Numerous copies and adaptations attest to its popularity at the time. The slightly altered 1803 edition was set to music not only by Ludwig van Beethoven in his Ninth Symphony but also by other composers such as Franz Schubert and Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Hs. Ros. PL B-57 contains a Hebrew translation of the first edition of the ode (apparently rendered before the 1803 alteration), revealing that the spirit of the age even managed to reach the Jewish community in the Netherlands. Whereas the imagery of Schiller’s original is drawn from Greek mythology, the author of the שִׁיר לְשִׂמְחָה relies on the Bible as a source. In fact, he not only utilises Biblical imagery, but successfully avoids any allusion to Hellenistic ideas whatsoever. . . .