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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 comment!

Bénissons, a French table song for the Birkat haMazon (ca. 18th c.)

Contributed on: כ״ה בסיון ה׳תשפ״א (2021-06-04) by Aharon N. Varady (translation) | Joshua de Sola Mendes (transcription) | David Lévi Alvarès | Unknown Author(s) |

Bénissons is the French version of the well-known Bendigamos, a prayer and melody of the Spanish & Portuguese Jewish communities, most probably originating in Bordeaux, France. . . .


בְּרָכָה לְכׇּל־הַקָּהָל הַקָּדוֹשׁ הַזֶּה | Mi she’Berakh for this Holy Congregation

Contributed on: י״ב בסיון ה׳תשפ״א (2021-05-23) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | David Levi (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

The mi sheberakh read for the well-being of one’s own congregation. . . .


בְּרָכָה לְכׇּל־הַקְּהִלּוֹת | Mi she’Berakh for All the Holy Congregations

Contributed on: י״ב בסיון ה׳תשפ״א (2021-05-23) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | David Levi (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

The mi sheberakh read for the well-being of Jewish congregations worldwide. . . .


Whoa, Mary, don’t you weep no more! (Hebrew adaptation by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer)

Contributed on: ט׳ בסיון ה׳תשפ״א (2021-05-19) by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

The African-American Christian spiritual adapted for a Pesaḥ song in Hebrew and English. . . .


תְּחִינָה לִשָּׁבוּעוֺת נאָך ליכט צינדן | Tkhine upon Candlelighting at the Onset of Shavuot

Contributed on: ד׳ בסיון ה׳תשע״ו (2016-06-09) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Unknown Author(s) | Jonah S. Boyarin (translation) |

This tekhina (supplication) upon candlelighting for Shavuot in Hebrew and Yiddish appears in the Maḥzor for Shavuot Rav Peninim (Vilna 1911) although we are uncertain whether it first appeared here. We welcome your help in correctly attributing and translating it. . . .


Scaling the Walls of the Labyrinth: Psalms 67 and Ana b’Khoaḥ

Contributed on: כ״ב באייר ה׳תשע״ב (2012-05-14) by Aharon N. Varady | Unknown Author(s) |

Psalm 67 is a priestly blessing for all the peoples of the earth to be sustained by the earth’s harvest (yevulah), and it is a petition that all humanity recognize the divine nature (Elohim) illuminating the world. Composed of seven verses, the psalm is often visually depicted as a seven branched menorah. There are 49 words in the entire psalm, and in the Nusaḥ ha-ARI z”l there is one word for each day of the Sefirat haOmer. Similarly, the fifth verse has 49 letters and each letter can be used as a focal point for meditating on the meaning of the day in its week in the journey to Shavuot, the festival of weeks (the culmination of the barley harvest), and the festival of oaths (shevuot) in celebration of receiving the Torah. Many of the themes of Psalm 67 are repeated in the prayer Ana b’Koaḥ, which also has 49 words, and which are also used to focus on the meaning of each day on the cyclical and labyrinthine journey towards Shavuot. . . .


פרקי אבות פרק א׳ | Pirqei Avot: Chapter One, cantillated by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Contributed on: כ״ח בשבט ה׳תשע״ט (2019-02-03) by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Paltiel Birnbaum (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

Chapter 1 of Pirqei Avot (Fundamental Principles [of Rabbinic Judaism]) with cantillation and English translation. . . .


צוּר מִשֶּׁלּוֹ אָכַֽלְנוּ | Tsur Mishelo Akhalnu, a paraliturgical Birkat haMazon (rhymed translation by Alice Lucas, 1898)

Contributed on: א׳ בניסן ה׳תשפ״א (2021-03-14) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Alice Lucas (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

A rhymed translation of Tsur Mishelo, a paralitugical Birkat haMazon. . . .


אֲדוֹן הַסְּלִיחוֹת | Adon haSeliḥot, a pizmon for Seliḥot and Yom Kippur with an alphabetic acrostic translation by Rabbi David de Sola Pool (1937)

Contributed on: כ״ח באדר ה׳תשפ״א (2021-03-12) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | David de Sola Pool (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

An alphabetic acrostic pizmon for seliḥot and Yom Kippur with an alphabetic acrostic English translation. . . .


אֲשֶׁר הֵנִיא | Asher Heni, a piyyut recited after the reading of Megillat Esther and its concluding blessing

Contributed on: י״א באדר ה׳תשפ״א (2021-02-23) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Simeon Singer (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

An alphabetical acrostic piyyut celebrating the victory of Esther and Mordekhai over the forces of Haman. . . .


עלי לשבח | Alai l’Shabe’aḥ (It is incumbent upon me), a prayer of praise from the Ma’aseh Merkavah

Contributed on: כ״ו בשבט ה׳תשפ״א (2021-02-07) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Unknown Author(s) |

An earlier form of the prayer known as Aleinu, as found in the esoteric Jewish literature of the first millennium CE. . . .


ברכת המזון לחול ולשבת | Birkat haMazon for Weekdays and on Shabbat from the Cairo Genizah fragment Or.1080 15.4

Contributed on: י״ט בשבט ה׳תשפ״א (2021-02-01) by Aharon N. Varady (translation) | Shoshana Michael Zucker (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

A birkat haMazon found in the collection of Cairo Geniza fragments at the University of Cambridge library. . . .


תפילה לשלום באירופה | Prayer for Peace in Europe during the Italian War of Independence (ca. 19th c.)

Contributed on: י״ב בטבת ה׳תשפ״א (2020-12-27) by Aharon N. Varady (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

This is a transcription, vocalization, and translation of a manuscript of a prayer for peace in Europe held in the collection of the Columbia University Library. The prayer is undated but the language of the prayer and the use of Italian indicate to me that this was a prayer made by an Italian Jewish community during either the first Italian War of Independence 1848-9, or one of the two succeeding wars in 1860 and 1870. . . .


Selections from 1 & 2 Maccabees and Pesiqta Rabbati on the Desecration and Rededication of the Temple and the Rekindling of the Sacred Fire

Contributed on: כ׳ בכסלו ה׳תשפ״א (2020-12-05) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Ἰάσων ὁ Κυρηναῖος | Unknown Author(s) |

Selections from 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, and Pesiqta Rabbati which inform the story of Ḥanukkah: the desecration and re-dedication of the Temple (especially as it relates to Sukkot and the Brumalia), divine intervention in the Maccabean battles, and the Rekindling of the Sacred Fire. . . .


מְגִילַּת יְהוּדִית לְאָמְרָהּ בַּחֲנֻכָּה | Megillat Yehudit, the Medieval Scroll of Judith to be said on Ḥanukkah

Contributed on: כ״ח בתמוז ה׳תשע״ו (2016-08-03) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Susan Weingarten (translation) | Moshe Shmi'el Dascola | Unknown Author(s) |

This is a faithful transcription of the text of the medieval Megillat Yehudith (the Scroll of Judith), not to be confused with the deutero-canonical Book of Judith, authored in Antiquity. We have further set this text side-by-side with the English translation made by Susan Weingarten, and vocalized and cantillated the Hebrew so that it may be chanted. . . .


מה אלו | “Who are these?” — the Origin of the Angels of Healing: Sanoi, Sansanoi, and Semanglof, as told in the Alphabet of ben Sira (ca. late first millennium)

Contributed on: ט״ו בכסלו ה׳תשפ״א (2020-11-30) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Unknown Author(s) |

The origin story of Lilith as told in the Alphabet of ben Sira. . . .


בִּרְכָּת הָבָּיִת | Birkat Habayit: Blessing for the Home

Contributed on: ז׳ בכסלו ה׳תשע״ו (2015-11-18) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Unknown Author(s) |

The Birkat Habayit is perhaps the most popular blessing in the Jewish world, appearing as a hanging amulet inside the entrance of many houses of Jews of all streams. I have added niqud to the blessing and I am very grateful to Gabriel Wasserman for his corrections to my vocalization. . . .


A Scholar’s Prayer for Intellectual Honesty, adapted from a prayer quoted by Dr. Leslie Weatherhead (1951)

Contributed on: ז׳ בכסלו ה׳תשפ״א (2020-11-23) by Aharon N. Varady (translation) | Leslie Weatherhead | Unknown Author(s) |

A prayer for intellectual honesty before study. . . .


מְגִילַּת אַנטְיוּכַס | Megillat Antiokhus in Aramaic, critical text by Menaḥem Tsvi Kaddari with English translation by John C. Reeves

Contributed on: כ״ג בכסלו ה׳תש״פ (2019-12-20) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | John C. Reeves (translation) | Menaḥem Tsvi Kaddari | Unknown Author(s) |

The critical text of Megillat Antiokhus in its original Aramaic, prepared by Menaḥem Tsvi Kaddari and translated into English by John C. Reeves. . . .


Υγρομαντεια | The Hygromancy of Solomon (ca. 5th c. CE)

Contributed on: כ״ח בתמוז ה׳תש״פ (2020-07-19) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Emily Kesselman (transcription) | Pablo A. Torijano (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

A guide to the activities one might engage upon in every hour of the week corresponding with their ruling planet, numinous and cthonic power. . . .


תפילת הדרך | The Traveler’s Prayer (with a Supplement for Airplane Travel)

Contributed on: ל׳ בשבט ה׳תשע״ו (2016-02-08) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Unknown Author(s) |

If I ascend up into the heavens, you are there. If I take wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there would your hand lead me, and your right hand would hold me. And may it be your will, our father in heaven, that you guard us from storm and tempest and grief. And may you bring forth from your storehouses a propitious wind to carry our plane, and may you sustain and preserve those who fly it, that they neither weaken nor falter, and may we reach our destination alive and well, without any trouble and injury. O keep my soul, and deliver me. Let me not be abashed, for I have taken refuge in you. But we will bless Yah from this time forth and for ever, Halleluyah. . . .


תפילת הדרך | Tefilat haDerekh, a prayer for peace (trans. Rabbi David Seidenberg, neohasid.org)

Contributed on: ד׳ באייר ה׳תשע״ח (2018-04-18) by David Seidenberg | neohasid.org | Unknown Author(s) |

In this Tefilat haDerekh (the prayer for travel), I’ve made a synthesis of Ashkenazi and Sefardi nusaḥ. Even though the translation is pretty close to literal in most places, it comes across as an extraordinary and activist prayer for peace. So I think of this prayer not just as a prayer for the beginning a physical journey, but for any spiritual journey, and especially for any campaign or action for justice and peace that a person or group might undertake. When applied to activism, the “enmity and ambush and theft and predation” we ask to be rescued from could also be interpreted as hatred, deceit, jealousy, and aggression, i.e., the kinds of feelings that cause people to work against each other, even within an organization, instead of working together. I first used this version of the prayer at the beginning of a tour of Israel and Palestine focused on the human rights and non-violent resistance, when the group passed through the first checkpoint of the trip. . . .


וִדּוּי | Vidui (confession), translated by Naomi Socher-Lerner

Contributed on: י׳ בתשרי ה׳תש״פ (2019-10-09) by Unknown Author(s) | Naomi Socher-Lerner |

The Yom Kippur vidui — confession — translated by Naomi Socher-Lerner. . . .


Kavvanot and Blessings over Kindling the Ḥanukkah lights (HUC-JIR Klau Library MSS 281, Italy 1793)

Contributed on: כ״ג בכסלו ה׳תש״פ (2019-12-21) by Jason Schapera (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

Kabbalistic kavvanot and blessing formulations for the eight nights of Ḥanukkah. . . .


ሞተ ፡ ሙሴ | סֵפֶר פְּטִירָת מֹשֶׁה | Motä Musē (the Book of the Passing of Mosheh), in Ge’ez with Hebrew and English translation

Contributed on: כ״ח במרחשון ה׳תש״פ (2019-11-26) by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Jacques Faïtlovitch (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

The text of the Betä ʾƎsəraʾel legend of the death of Moses, translated to Hebrew by Jacques Faïtlovitch, and vocalized, cantillated, and translated into English by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer. . . .


מִימִינִי מִיכָאֵל | “Mikhael is on my right,” the angelic invocation for divine protection from the Ḳriyat Shema al haMitah

Contributed on: כ״ג באייר ה׳תש״פ (2020-05-16) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Unknown Author(s) |

The “angels on all sides” formula included with the Bedtime Shema service in many contemporary siddurim. . . .


היסטוריולה של סממית וסידרוס | Historiola of Smamit and Sideros, a reconstruction based on Amulet 15 & Amulet Bowl 12a

Contributed on: ט״ו בכסלו ה׳תשפ״א (2020-11-30) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Unknown Author(s) |

A very old tale told for the protection of pregnant women and their infant children as found in amulets from late Antiquity. . . .


תפלת הים | Prayer for a Seaship Voyage, or During a Storm at Sea (1837)

Contributed on: א׳ באדר ה׳תשפ״א (2021-02-13) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Isaac Leeser (translation) | David de Aaron de Sola (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

A prayer for those traveling over water on a sea or ocean voyage. . . .


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

Contributed on: ט׳ בניסן ה׳תשפ״א (2021-03-21) 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. . . .


בִּרְכַּת הָאִילָנוֹת | The Blessing of Flowering Fruit Trees in the Spring Season, compiled by Aharon Varady

Contributed on: ב׳ בניסן ה׳תשע״א (2011-04-05) 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. . . .


כִּי־בַיּוֹם הַזֶּה | Ki vaYom haZeh, a Ḳaraite song for Yom Kippur

Contributed on: ה׳ בתשרי ה׳תשפ״א (2020-09-23) by Karaite Jews of America | Unknown Author(s) |

A Karaite song for the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). . . .


סדר מגילת אסתר עם פסוקים שנאמרו על אסתר ומרדכי | Seder Megillat Esther (with verses to be said for Esther and Mordekhai)

Contributed on: ד׳ באדר ב׳ ה׳תשע״א (2011-03-10) by Unknown Author(s) | Aharon N. Varady (transcription) |

Megillat Esther in Hebrew with an English translation, including verses for public recitation highlighted to spotlight the heroic acts of Esther and Mordekhai. . . .


קדיש שלם | Ḳaddish Shalem (extended), according to the nusaḥ of the Cochin Jews

Contributed on: י״ט בשבט ה׳תש״פ (2020-02-14) by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

A traditional Cochin Ḳaddish Shalem, based on siddurim published for the Cochin Jewish community by the Props brothers of Amsterdam. . . .


תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֹדֶשׁ אַדָר | Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Adar ב, on regular non-leap years (1877)

Contributed on: כ״ט בשבט ה׳תשע״ח (2018-02-14) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Unknown Author(s) |

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of the תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ אַדָר (“Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Adar [II]”) which appeared in תחנות מקרא קודש (Teḥinot Miqra Qodesh, Widow and Brothers Romm, Vilna 1877). English translation adapted slightly from Techinas: A Voice from the Heart “As Only A Woman Can Pray” by Rivka Zakutinsky (Aura Press, 1992). –A.N. Varady . . .


בָּרְכוּ | Barkhu, translation by Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman & Shaul Vardi

Contributed on: י״ד בשבט ה׳תש״פ (2020-02-08) by Shaul Vardi (translation) | Levi Weiman-Kelman | Unknown Author(s) |

Barkhu, the call to prayer, in Hebrew and English. . . .


יְדִיד נֶפֶשׁ | Yedid Nefesh, translation by Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman & Shaul Vardi

Contributed on: י״ד בשבט ה׳תש״פ (2020-02-08) by Shaul Vardi (translation) | Levi Weiman-Kelman | Unknown Author(s) |

A variation of the piyyut “Yedid Nefesh” in Hebrew with English translation. . . .


תהלים א׳ בלשון ספרדית | Psalms 1 in Spanish (trans. Rabbi Yahakob Yehuda, Leon Hebréo 1671)

Contributed on: ז׳ בתמוז ה׳תשע״ז (2017-06-30) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Rabbi Jacob Jehudah Leão (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

Autor ninguno se halla, que declare el tiempo en que David compuso este Psalmo; ni la causa de haverlo introduzido por primero: mas amiver, es, que conociendo David que la razon de haver Dios rebotado de su gracia a Saul, y haverlo elegido ael en su lugar, havia sido por transgredir su mandado en la guerra de Ha-malek, por las persuasiones, y confejos de los inicos de su pueblo; como el mismo confessó al Propheta Semuel: por esso, quiso David dar’principio àfu Libro, con un loor que sirviesse de dotrina, y de advertimiento dela felicidad que alcançan los fieles siervos de Dios, que andan con toda integridad en fus carreras de virtud, y las adversdades, y castigo que estáparalos infieles, y los inicos aparejado, por los justos juyzios de Dios, del modo que sucedió a Saul, que fue desposseido de su Reyno, el, y sus hijos, y todos sus defendientes parasiempre, por los consejos de que el, se dexó persuadir, donde Dios le declaró su castigo. . . .


תהלים א׳ בלשון לאדינו | Psalms 1 in Ladino (Estampado por Ǧ. Griffit, ca. 1852/3)

Contributed on: ה׳ בסיון ה׳תשע״ז (2017-05-29) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Unknown Author(s) | Estampado por Ǧ. Griffit (translation) |

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of Psalms 1 from תהילים או לוס סאלמוס ; טריסלאד’אד’וס דיל לשון הקדש אין לה לינגואה ספרדית (Tehillim, or the Psalms, translated from the Holy language [Hebrew] into the Sephardic language, Estampado por Ǧ. Griffit 1852/3) from a digital copy made available by the Sephardic Studies Collection at the University of Washington. Please join me in making a complete transcription of this Ladino translation of Psalms. –Aharon N. Varady . . .


נִשְׁמַת כָּל חַי (ספרד)‏ | Nishmat Kol Ḥai, arranged by Aharon Varady

Contributed on: י״ז בטבת ה׳תש״פ (2020-01-14) by Aharon N. Varady (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

The text of the prayer Nishmat Kol Ḥai in Hebrew with English translation. . . .


תחנה אױף קינדער האבין (פאר א אִשָׁה װאָס האָט ניט קײַן קינדער)‏ | Tkhine for Having Children for a Woman who Has No Children (ca. 1840)

Contributed on: ח׳ בשבט ה׳תש״פ (2020-02-03) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Norman Tarnor (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

A prayer for a childless woman seeking to conception. . . .


נִשְׁמַת כָּל חַי | Nishmat Kol Ḥai, interpretive translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Contributed on: כ״ג בטבת ה׳תש״פ (2020-01-19) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Zalman Schachter-Shalomi | Unknown Author(s) |

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נְשָׁמָה שֶׁנָּתַתָּ בִּי | Neshamah Shenatata Bi (the breath you have given me), interpretive translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l

Contributed on: כ׳ באלול ה׳תשע״ז (2017-09-11) by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi | Unknown Author(s) |

This English translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l of “Neshama Shenatata Bi,” was first published in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). Linear associations of this translation according to the nusaḥ ha-ARI z”l by Aharon Varady. . . .


מַעֲרִיב עֲרָבִים | Who Brings the Evenings, translated by Shim’on Menachem

Contributed on: ה׳ בתשרי ה׳תשע״ד (2013-09-08) by Shim'on Menachem | Unknown Author(s) |

Forgiveness is woven into the pattern of existence. God of second chances, pathways of atonement. Help us awaken to Your listening presence, your understanding. Fill our hearts with Divine compassion! . . .


ברכות השחר | Blessings at your Dawn of Wakefulness, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Contributed on: י״ט באב ה׳תשע״ח (2018-07-30) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Zalman Schachter-Shalomi | Unknown Author(s) |

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of the Birkhot haShaḥar in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .


אֱלִי צִיּוֹן וְעָרֶיהָ | Eli Tsiyon v’Areha (Mourn Zion and her cities), a ḳinnah for Tisha b’Av

Contributed on: ז׳ באדר ה׳תשע״ה (2015-02-26) by Joel Goldstein (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

One of the most well-known of the kinot (liturgical poems for mourning), Eli Tsiyon v’Areha is an alphabetical acrostic describing the destruction of Jerusalem. It is recited towards the conclusion of ḳinot, due to the hopeful note in the comparison of Zion to a woman about to give birth, thought by many to be a messianic reference. The author of the work is unknown. . . .


Ya Komimos (We have eaten), a Ladino piyyut for the Birkat haMazon

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

A paraliturgical birkat hamazon in Ladino. . . .


שבע ברכות | Sheva Brakhot, the seven blessings following the Birkat Mazon at a wedding meal

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

The text of the Sheva Brakhot from the birkon of Honi Sanders and Simona Dalin. . . .


Kuando el rey Nimrod (When Nimrod was King), a song relating the story of Avraham & the Furnace (ca. 1890)

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

The sephardic folk-song “Kuando el rey Nimrod” in Ladino with English translation. . . .


אֵין אַדִּיר כַּיְיָ (מִפִּי אֵל)‏ | Ayn Adir kAdonai (Mipi El) :: There is none like YHVH

Contributed on: ד׳ בכסלו ה׳תש״פ (2019-12-02) by Akiva Sanders (translation) | Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Unknown Author(s) |

A popular piyyut for Simḥat Torah (4th hakkafah) originally composed as a piyyut for Shavuot and often referred to by its incipit, “Mipi El.” . . .


תהלים קנ״א | Psalms 151a, according to the Nusaḥ of the Judean Desert Scrolls, Edited, Vocalized, Cantillated, and Translated into English by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Contributed on: כ״ה באייר ה׳תש״פ (2020-05-18) by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Unknown Author(s) | David haMelekh ben Yishai (traditional attribution) |

Psalm 151a is unlike any other psalm, because it is openly and clearly a description of David’s own life. He describes his childhood as the youngest of the family, and his anointing. It may have not been included as part of the Masoretic canon because this dissimilarity leads to just a whiff of pseudepigraphical overcompensation. [The psalm is designated Psalms 151a to destinguish it from the text of Psalms 151 found in the Septuagint. –ANV] . . .


תהלים קנ״ד | Psalms 154, according to the Nusaḥ of the Judean Desert Scrolls, Edited, Vocalized, Cantillated, and Translated into English by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Contributed on: כ״ה באייר ה׳תש״פ (2020-05-18) by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

Psalm 154 seems to be a hymn of communal eating, very appropriate for the communal life of Qumran, but also features a very Proverbs-like anthropomorphization of Wisdom as a woman. Of the three apocryphal psalms recorded in the Dead Sea Scrolls, this one seems the most likely to have been written with sectarian intent, which may have been why it wasn’t included in the Masoretic canon. . . .


A Delightful Tkhine for a Pregnant Woman to Say (ca. early 17th c.)

Contributed on: י׳ בשבט ה׳תש״פ (2020-02-04) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Unknown Author(s) |

A prayer of a pregnant woman anticipating childbirth. . . .


תְּחִינָה װען עס ברעכט אױס אַ מַגֵפָה | A Tkhine When an Epidemic Breaks Out (1916)

Contributed on: ז׳ בניסן ה׳תש״פ (2020-03-31) by Meena-Lifshe Viswanath (translation) | Zach Golden (translation) | Noam Lerman (translation) | Der Tekhines Proyekt | Unknown Author(s) |

A tkhine in the event of an epidemic. . . .


A Prayer for a Pregnant Woman to Say when She Wishes for an Easy Labor (ca. early 17th c.)

Contributed on: י׳ בשבט ה׳תש״פ (2020-02-04) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Unknown Author(s) |

A prayer for a pregnant woman anticipating her childbirth. . . .


A Prayer for a Woman before giving birth, from a Seder Tkhines (ca. 1640-1720)

Contributed on: י׳ בשבט ה׳תש״פ (2020-02-04) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Unknown Author(s) |

A prayer for a pregnant woman anticipating childbirth, from an unidentified volume of the Seder Tkhines (circa 1640-1720). . . .


תחנה פון אײן שװאנגער אשה זאל ניט מפיל זיין | Tkhine for a Pregnant Woman that She Not Miscarry (1910)

Contributed on: ח׳ בשבט ה׳תש״פ (2020-02-03) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Tracy Guren Klirs (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

A prayer for a pregnant woman that she not suffer a miscarriage. . . .


תחנה פאר אײן אִשָׁה װאָס דארף האָבּין אײַן קינד | Tkhine for a Woman who is about to Have a Child (1910)

Contributed on: ח׳ בשבט ה׳תש״פ (2020-02-03) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Tracy Guren Klirs (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

A prayer for a pregnant woman whose childbirth is immanent. . . .


ברכות התורה | Blessing for Torah Study, interpretive translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l

Contributed on: י״ט באלול ה׳תשע״ז (2017-09-10) by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi | Unknown Author(s) |

This English translation of the blessing for Torah study by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l, was first published in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). Versification according to the Nusaḥ ha-ARI z”l by Aharon Varady. . . .


אָנָּא בְּכֹחַ | Ana b’Khoaḥ, a 42 letter name piyyut with a singing translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Contributed on: כ״ה בתשרי ה׳תשע״ח (2017-10-15) by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi | Unknown Author(s) |

The most well-known 42 letter divine name acrostic piyyut. . . .


בָּרוּךְ שֶׁאָמַר | Barukh She’amar, interpretive translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l

Contributed on: כ״ז בתשרי ה׳תשע״ח (2017-10-17) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Zalman Schachter-Shalomi | Unknown Author(s) |

This English translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l of “Barukh Sh’amar,” was first published in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). Linear associations of this translation according to the nusaḥ ha-ARI z”l by Aharon Varady. . . .


יהי כבוד | Yehi Kh’vod, interpretive translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l

Contributed on: כ״ב במרחשון ה׳תשע״ח (2017-11-11) by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi | Unknown Author(s) | the Masoretic Text |

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of “Yehi Kh’vod” in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). To the best of my ability, I have set his translation side-by-side with the verses comprising the piyyut. . . .


נִשְׁמַת כָּל חַי | Nishmat Kol Ḥai, in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

Contributed on: ט׳ בניסן ה׳תשפ״א (2021-03-21) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Johann Stephan Rittangel (Latin translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

The text of the prayer Nishmat Kol Ḥai in Hebrew with a Latin translation . . .


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

Contributed on: ט׳ בניסן ה׳תשפ״א (2021-03-21) 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. . . .


שׁוֹכֵן עַד | Shokhen Âd, in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

Contributed on: ט׳ בניסן ה׳תשפ״א (2021-03-21) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Johann Stephan Rittangel (Latin translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

The text of the short prayer Shokhen Ad in Hebrew with a Latin translation. . . .


וּבְמַקְהֲלוֹת | uv’Maqhalōt, in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

Contributed on: ט׳ בניסן ה׳תשפ״א (2021-03-21) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Johann Stephan Rittangel (Latin translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

The text of the short prayer uv’Maqhalōt in Hebrew with a Latin translation. . . .


מעשה טוביה ליום שני של שבועות | The Story of Toḇiyah for the second day of Shavuot

Contributed on: י״ז בטבת ה׳תשע״ט (2018-12-25) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Moses Gaster (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

The story of Toviah (Tobit) in Hebrew translation, in an abridged version arranged for public reading on the second day of Shavuot. . . .


תהלים ק״ז | Psalms 107, arranged by Aharon Varady

Contributed on: י״ג בטבת ה׳תש״פ (2020-01-09) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | the Masoretic Text | Unknown Author(s) |

Psalms 107 in Hebrew with English translation as arranged by Aharon Varady. . . .


תהלים צ״ה | Psalms 95, translated by Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman & Shaul Vardi

Contributed on: י״ב בשבט ה׳תש״פ (2020-02-06) by Shaul Vardi (translation) | Levi Weiman-Kelman | the Masoretic Text | Unknown Author(s) |

Psalms 95, in Hebrew with an English translation. . . .


תהלים קי״ב | Ashrei Ish (Psalms 112)

Contributed on: י״ג בטבת ה׳תש״פ (2020-01-09) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | the Masoretic Text | Unknown Author(s) |

Psalms 112 in Hebrew with English translation, arranged by Aharon Varady. . . .


תהלים צ״ו | Psalms 96, translated by Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman & Shaul Vardi

Contributed on: י״ב בשבט ה׳תש״פ (2020-02-06) by Shaul Vardi (translation) | Levi Weiman-Kelman | the Masoretic Text | Unknown Author(s) |

Psalms 96 in Hebrew, with an English translation. . . .


על הכל יתגדל ויתקדש | A Ḳaddish During the Removal of the Torah from the Ark in the Seder Rav Amram Gaon

Contributed on: ה׳ בתמוז ה׳תשע״ז (2017-06-28) by Oren Steinitz | Unknown Author(s) |

This Kaddish was first published online at Jewish Renewal Chassidus by Gabbai Seth Fishman. Rabbi Oren Steinitz translated the kaddish on the 3rd yahrzeit after Reb Zalman’s passing. . . .


אֲדוֹן הַסְּלִיחוֹת | Adon Seliḥot (Lord of Forgiveness), a pizmon for Seliḥot and Yom Kippur

Contributed on: כ״ה באלול ה׳תש״פ (2020-09-14) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Masorti Movement in Israel | Unknown Author(s) |

A pizmon in the nusaḥ hasepharadim recited at Seliḥot during the monh of Elul and Yom Kippur. . . .


רָחֵל מְבַכָּה עַל־בָּנֶיהָ | Rokhl M’vako al Boneho: A Nayye Shas Tekhine :: Raḥel Weeps for Her Children: A New Collection of Teḥinot (Vilna 1910)

Contributed on: י״ז במרחשון ה׳תשע״ט (2018-10-26) by Rokhl Esther bat Aviḥayil | Unknown Author(s) |

A compilation of Jewish women’s prayers in Yiddish published in Vilna in 1910, with prayers attributed to Rokhl Esther bat Aviḥayil, a Jewish woman living in Jerusalem. . . .


מִדְרַשׁ מַעֲשֶׂה חֲנֻכָּה א׳ | Midrash Ma’aseh Ḥanukkah “alef,” a tale of the people’s resistance to the Seleucid Greek occupation

Contributed on: כ״ה בכסלו ה׳תשע״ו (2015-12-06) by Anat Hochberg (translation) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Unknown Author(s) |

This digital edition of Midrash Ma’aseh Ḥanukkah was transcribed from the print edition published in Otzar Hamidrashim (I. D. Eisenstein, New York: Eisenstein Press, 5675/1915, p.189-190). With much gratitude to Anat Hochberg, this is the first translation of this midrash into English. . . .


תהלים קמ״ו | Psalms 146, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Contributed on: כ״א באב ה׳תשע״ח (2018-08-02) by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi | Unknown Author(s) | the Masoretic Text |

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of Psalms 146 in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .


תהלים קמ״ז | Psalms 147, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Contributed on: כ״א באב ה׳תשע״ח (2018-08-02) by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi | Unknown Author(s) | the Masoretic Text |

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of Psalms 147 in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .


መጽሐፈ ኩፋሌ | ספר היובלים | Sefer haYovelim (the book of Jubilees, in Ge’ez) chapters 1-23

Contributed on: י״ט בכסלו ה׳תשע״ו (2015-11-30) by Unknown Author(s) |

We are grateful to Dr. James VanderKam for preparing this critical text of the Book of Jubilees (Sefer Yubalim) in its Ge’ez translation in Ethiopic script. The book of Jubilees is an early Jewish deutero-canonical text originally written in Hebrew and composed during the Second Temple period sometime before the Maccabean struggle (164 BCE). . . .


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

Contributed on: ט״ז בתמוז ה׳תשע״ח (2018-06-28) 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. . . .


ברוך ה׳ לעולם | Barukh Hashem l’Olam :: Bless Yah Always, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Contributed on: כ״ב באב ה׳תשע״ח (2018-08-03) by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi | Unknown Author(s) | the Masoretic Text |

In the daily Shaḥarit (morning) psukei dzemirah service, this centos completes the reading of Psalms 145-150 and precedes the reading of Vayivarekh David” (1 Chronicles 29:10-13). Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of the linked verse piyyut, “Barukh YHVH (Hashem) L’Olam” in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .


ויברך דויד | Vayivarekh David :: And David Blessed (1 Chronicles 29:10-13), translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Contributed on: כ״ד באב ה׳תשע״ח (2018-08-04) by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi | Unknown Author(s) | the Masoretic Text |

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of “Vayivarekh David” (1 Chronicles 29:10-13) in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .


אַתָּה־הוּא וְאָז יָשִׁיר (מקוצר)‏ | Atah Hu and a condensed Az Yashir, adapted and translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Contributed on: כ״ד באב ה׳תשע״ח (2018-08-04) by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi | Unknown Author(s) |

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of נחמיה ט׃ו-י (Neḥemyah 9:6-10) in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .


הַיּוֹם תְּאַמְּצֵנוּ | haYom T’amtseinu, a piyyut for the end of musaf on Rosh haShanah and Yom Kippur

Contributed on: ה׳ בתשרי ה׳תשפ״א (2020-09-23) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Unknown Author(s) |

The full text of the alphabetic mesostic piyyut, Hayom, according to the Italian nusaḥ. . . .


בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן בִּקְצָרָה | Birkat HaMazon Biqtsarah :: Abbreviated Blessing after the Meal

Contributed on: י״ט באדר א׳ ה׳תשע״ט (2019-02-24) by Aharon N. Varady (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

The formula for the abbreviated Birkat Hamazon, in Hebrew with English translation. . . .


יִשְׁתַּבַּח שִׁמְךָ | Yishtabaḥ Shimkha, in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

Contributed on: ט׳ בניסן ה׳תשפ״א (2021-03-21) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Johann Stephan Rittangel (Latin translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

The text of the prayer Yishtabaḥ Shimkha, in Hebrew with a Latin translation . . .


יִשְׁתַּבַּח שִׁמְךָ | Yishtabaḥ Shimkha, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Contributed on: כ״ד באב ה׳תשע״ח (2018-08-04) by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi | Unknown Author(s) |

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his adaptation of the liturgy for the final section of liturgy from the Pesukei Dezimrah, “Yishtabaḥ Shimkha,” in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .


מדרש לחנוכה | Midrash l’Ḥanukkah, an interwoven miscellany of Ḥanukkah stories

Contributed on: כ״ד בכסלו ה׳תשפ״א (2020-12-10) by Aliza Arzt | Isabel Bard (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

The following is the Midrash l’Ḥanukkah, one of a collection of three midrashim and two megillot containing the details of the story of Ḥanukkah in the Jewish rabbinic tradition. Those already familiar with these other works will quickly recognize portions or summaries of them here albeit with precious additional information added not found anywhere else. . . .


הַנּוֹתֵן תְּשׁוּעָה | A Prayer for the Welfare of the Government of Franklin D. Roosevelt during WWII (from A Naye Shas Tkhine Rav Pninim, ca. 1942)

Contributed on: י״ט במרחשון ה׳תשע״ח (2017-11-07) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Unknown Author(s) |

A prayer for the welfare of the government in Yiddish from A Naye Shas Tkhine Rav Pninim (after 1933). . . .


Gebet für das Vaterland | A Prayer for the Fatherland (Siddur Sephat Emeth, Rödelheim, 1938)

Contributed on: ט״ו באב ה׳תש״פ (2020-08-04) by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

This prayer for the country is found in the Siddur Sephat Emeth, which was published by the venerable Rödelheim publishing house in Frankfurt in 1938. This was probably the last siddur ever published in pre-Holocaust Germany. This prayer is full of pathos and yearning, and in a time of rising government-sponsored antisemitism worldwide it’s worth keeping in mind. . . .


תהלים צ״ז | Psalms 97, abridged translation by Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman & Shaul Vardi

Contributed on: י״ב בשבט ה׳תש״פ (2020-02-06) by Shaul Vardi (translation) | Levi Weiman-Kelman | the Masoretic Text | Unknown Author(s) |

Psalms 97, in Hebrew with an abridged translation. . . .


בִּרְכָּת אַהֲבַה | Ahavat Olam, for Shaḥarit, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Contributed on: י״ח באלול ה׳תשע״ח (2018-08-28) by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi | Unknown Author(s) |

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of “Ahavat Olam” in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .


מְגִילַּת אַנטְיוּכַס | Megillat Antiokhus for Ḥanukkah in Aramaic, translated in Hebrew, Yiddish, and English

Contributed on: ו׳ בטבת ה׳תשע״ד (2013-12-09) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Tsvi Hirsch Filipowski (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

The Megillat Antiochus was composed in Palestinian Aramaic sometime between the 2nd and 5th century CE, likely in the 2nd Century when the memory of the Bar Kochba revolt still simmered.. The scroll appears in a number of variations. The Aramaic text below follows the critical edition prepared by Menaḥem Tzvi Kaddari, and preserves his verse numbering. The English translation by Rabbi Joseph Adler (1936) follows the Hebrew translation in the middle column, the source of which is a medieval manuscript reprinted by Tzvi Filipowsky in 1851. Adler and Kaddari’s verse ordering loosely follows one another indicating variations in manuscripts. Where Aramaic is missing from Kaddari’s text, the Aramaic version from Adler’s work is included in parentheses. Adler also included a Yiddish translation which we hope will be fully transcribed (along with vocalized Hebrew text, a Hungarian translation, and perhaps even a Marathi translation from South India) for Ḥanukkah 5775 , G!d willing. . . .


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

Contributed on: ח׳ באב ה׳תשע״ה (2015-07-24) by Gabriel Kretzmer Seed (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

Aish Tukad is a kinah 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. . . .


בורא עד אנה | Borei Ad Anah, “Creator! How long” (after 1492 C.E.)

Contributed on: ד׳ באב ה׳תשע״ו (2016-08-07) by Gabriel Kretzmer Seed (translation) | Isaac Leeser (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

Bore ‘Ad Anah” is a kinah 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 kinah 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.” . . .


וְאָהִימָה מִיָּמִים יָמִימָה | v’Ahimah Miyamim Yamimah: I Will Wail for All Time (translated by Hillary and Daniel Chorny)

Contributed on: ט׳ באב ה׳תשע״ה (2015-07-25) by Hillary Chorny | Daniel Chorny | Unknown Author(s) |

V’ahimah Miyamim Yamimah” is a kinah that recounts the tragic tale of the children of Rabbi Yishmael as told in the Babylonian Talmud (Gittin 58a). The handsome brother and fair sister were separated and sold into slavery during the conquest of Jerusalem. Their respective masters, not knowing the two were siblings, paired them with the intent of creating beautiful offspring. In their shared cell, the two wept all night until morning, when they recognized one another. They cried on each other’s necks until their souls departed from their bodies. The narrator of our story laments their terrible fate, ending each verse with a haunting refrain: “And so I will wail for all time.” . . .


מַה נִּשְׁתַּנָּה | Ma Nishtana, a Spanish-Portuguese Qina for Ngereb Tishnga beAḇ

Contributed on: ד׳ באב ה׳תשע״ט (2019-08-04) by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer | Unknown Author(s) |

This qina is recited in the Spanish-Portuguese rite (as practiced in the Snoge in Amsterdam, the Bevis Marks Synagogue in London, and Shearith Israel in New York City among many other communities) at the conclusion of the recitation of qinot on the evening of the Ninth of Aḅ. Its refrain, taken from the Four Questions of the Passover liturgy, is reframed* as a reflection of the suffering of such a day, contrasting the celebration of salvation on Passover with the fear and desolation of the fast day. . . .


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

Contributed on: י״ד באב ה׳תשע״ח (2018-07-26) 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. . . .


תהלים קנ״ה | Psalms 155, according to the Nusaḥ of the Judean Desert Scrolls, Edited, Vocalized, Cantillated, and Translated into English by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Contributed on: כ״ה באייר ה׳תש״פ (2020-05-18) by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

Psalm 155 is an incomplete acrostic (the Dead Sea Scrolls text records it going from ב to נ, and the Syriac can be reconstructed to include up to פ) with similarities to petitionary psalms like Psalm 3, 22, and 143. It is unclear why it was not included in the Masoretic canon, but one can hazard a guess that it was just not familiar to the compilers. . . .


מגילת אנטיוכס עם טעמי מקרא | Megillat Antiokhus, with ta’amei miqra (for cantillation) by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Contributed on: ט׳ באב ה׳תשע״ח (2018-07-21) by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) | Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Tsvi Hirsch Filipowski (translation) | Unknown Author(s) |

Perhaps Megillat Antiokhus could be read a la Esther on Purim (the holiday with the most similarities), going to Eicha trope in the upsetting parts. A few notes: on the final mention of Bagris the Wicked I included a karnei-farah in the manner of the karnei-farah in Esther. I also included a merkha kefulah in the concluding section, which (according to David Weisberg’s “The Rare Accents of the Twenty-Eight Books”) represents aggadic midrash material. It also serves as a connection to the Chanukah haftarah, which is famously the only one that has a merkha kefulah. –Isaac Mayer . . .


תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֹדֶשׁ אַדָר רִאשׁוֹן | Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Adar א on Leap Years (1877)

Contributed on: כ״ז בשבט ה׳תשע״ח (2018-02-12) by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Unknown Author(s) |

To the best of my ability, this is a faithful transcription of the תְּחִנָה לְשַׁבָּת מְבָרְכִים רֹאשׁ חוֺדֶשׁ אַדָר רִאשׁוֹן (“Tkhine for Shabbat Mevorkhim Rosh Ḥodesh Adar I”) which appeared in תחנות מקרא קודש (Teḥinot Miqra Qodesh, Widow and Brothers Romm, Vilna 1877). English translation adapted slightly from Techinas: A Voice from the Heart “As Only A Woman Can Pray” by Rivka Zakutinsky (Aura Press, 1992). –A.N. Varady . . .


צָעֲקָה יוֹכֶבֶד | Tsa’akah Yokheved, a piyyut attributed to Shmuel Shlomo (before 1050 CE)

Contributed on: ח׳ באדר ב׳ ה׳תשע״ו (2016-03-17) by Unknown Author(s) |

The 7th of Adar is the traditional date for the yahrzeit of Moshe Rabbeinu and it is also remembered as the day of his birth 120 years earlier. This variation of of the piyyut, Tsa’akah Yokheved, popularly sung on 7 Adar, is first attested in a 1712 Sepharadi mahzor published in Amsterdam, as transcribed above with some minor changes with the contemporary audio recording of the Iraqi nusaḥ made by משה חבושה (Moshe Ḥavusha). (The piyyut appear without niqqud.) An older version (perhaps the original version), attributed in the Maagarim database to Shmuel Shlomo and dated before 1050 CE, is attested in two manuscripts: “London, British Library 699” and “Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, Ham. 288”. Ibn Ezra (1089-1167) quotes a stanza from the version we have presented here (“וכבד אמי אחרי התנחמי”) indicating that this version may be at least as old. . . .