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☞   Festival & Fast Day Readings

תוספות לקריאות התורה לשבת כלה (אחרי החתונה)‏ | Additions to the Torah Reading for Shabbat Kallah (after the wedding)

There are all sorts of customs associated with weddings in Judaism. But one custom that has been practiced for a long time and deserves a comeback is the additions to the Torah reading for Shabbat Kallah. Shabbat Kallah, the Shabbat in the “Sheva Berakhot” week after the wedding, is in many Sephardic communities preferred over Shabbat Ḥatan, the aufruf Shabbat before the wedding. And in all sorts of communities across the Jewish world, there have been customs for specific readings for Shabbat Kallah, treating it as a Special Sabbath in its own right. Traditionally this special maftir and haftarah would recited by the groom (along with an Aramaic translator interpolating for the maftir). The maftir is from the story of Abraham’s servant tasked with finding a wife for Isaac, and the haftarah is from the book of Isaiah and compares a groom and bride to the relationship between God and Israel. . . .

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

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). . . .

די דעקלאראציע פון אומאָפּהענגיקײט | הצהרת העצמאות של ארצות־הברית | The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America (1776)

The text of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America and its signatories in English, with a Yiddish translation published in 1954. . . .

መጽሐፈ ኩፋሌ | ספר היובלים | Sefer haYovelim (the book of Jubilees, in Ge’ez) chapters 24-50

Continued from the book of Jubilees Chapters 1-23. The book of Jubilees is an early Jewish deuterocanonical text composed in Hebrew during the Second Temple period sometime before the Maccabean struggle (ca. 167 BCE). . . .

סֵפֶר פְּטִירָת מֹשֶׁה | Motä Musē (the Book of the Passing of Mosheh), in Hebrew and English translation

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. . . .

מגילת לינקון | Megillat Lincoln, a Purim Sheni scroll for the 13th of Tevet commemorating the revocation of Ulysses S. Grant’s General Order № 11

A megillah for a Purim Sheni commemorating a day of salvation the Jewry of the United States during the Civil War. . . .

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

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. . . .

Torah Reading for Parashat Yitro (Exodus 18:1-20:22): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

A Torah reading of Parashat Yitro in English translation, transtropilized. . . .

Haftarah Reading for the First Day of Shavuot (Ezekiel 1:1-28 & 3:12): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

The haftarah reading for the first day of Shavuot, in English translation, transtropilized. . . .

מגילת רות | Megillat Rūt: Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

A Megillah reading of Rūt (Ruth) with English translation, transtropilized. . . .

קריאות לימי זכרון השואה ורצח עם | Torah and Haftarah Readings for Holocaust & Genocide Memorial Days

A Torah reading (divided into three aliyot) and a Haftarah reading to be recited for days commemorating genocides such as (but not limited to) the Holocaust. . . .

שִׁיר הַשִּׁירִים | The Song of Songs, English translation by Paltiel Birnbaum (1949)

Paltiel (Philip) Birnbaum’s translation of The Song of Songs (Shir haShirim) in Ha-Siddur Ha-Shalem (The [Complete] Daily Prayer Book), Hebrew Publishing Company, 1949. . . .

Haftarah Reading for Parashat Zot haBrakhah and Simḥat Torah (Joshua 1:1-18): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

The hafatarah reading for Parashat Zot haBrakhah and Simḥat Torah in English translation, transtropilized. . . .

מְגִלַּת פִּסְגָּה | Megillat Fustat, a Purim Sheni legend for the 28th of Adar translated and cantillated by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Behold, a full text of the Megillah of Fustat, telling a story of a great miracle that happened in 1524 CE (5284 AM). . . .

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

The Open Siddur Project is pleased to offer the world the first freely licensed Seder Megillat Esther. We would like to thank our contributors: the Jewish Publication Society for sharing an authoritative digital edition of their 1917 English Translation of the TaNaKh (The Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic Text), Christopher Kimball and the Westminster Leningrad Codex digitzation project for an authoritative digital text of the TaNaKh. We would also like to thank Rabbi Rallis Wiesenthal for his contribution of the Siddur Bnei Ashkenaz, Shmueli Gonzales for his transcriptions of siddurim witnessing the Nusach Ha-Ari, and Aharon Varady, the editor of opensiddur.org and founder of the Open Siddur Project. If you have any free licensed resources representing other nuschaot and minhagim, please share them. . . .

Haftarah Reading for the first day of Rosh haShanah (1 Samuel 1:1-2:10): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

This is an English translation of the Haftarah reading for the first day of Rosh Hashanah (I Samuel 1:1-2:10), transtropilized. . . .

שִׁיר הַשִּׁירִים | Shir haShirim :: the Song of Songs, chantable English translation with trōp by Len Fellman

A reading of Shir haShirim (the Songs of Songs, a/k/a Canticles) with English translation, transtropilized. . . .

מְגִלַּת וָשִׁעְתּוֹן | Megillat Washington: A Scroll for Thanksgiving, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (1790, 2018)

In many Jewish communities around the world, there have been traditional scrolls read for “local Purims,” celebrating redemptions for a specific community. Here in America, we don’t really have an equivalent to that. But we do have Thanksgiving, a day heavily inspired by Biblical traditions of celebration, and one long associated with all that is good about America. Some Jewish communities have a tradition on Thanksgiving of reading Washington’s letter to the Jews of Newport, where he vows to support freedom of religion, famously writing that the United States “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance” – thus rephrasing words originally written in a prior letter by Moses Seixas (say-shas), the sexton of the Touro Synagogue in Newport. This text includes the original English of both Moses Seixas’ letter to Washington and Washington’s return, as well as a somewhat simplified version of the story of Washington’s visit to Newport. Inspired largely by the style of the Book of Esther, it could be read on Thanksgiving morning during the service, using Esther melodies (or going on detours as per personal choice). . . .

מגילת רות | Megillat Ruth, Yiddish translation by Yehoyesh Blumgarten (1910)

For the reading of Megillat Ruth on Shavuot, I have presented here the Masoretic text of Ruth according to the R’ Seth (Avi) Kaddish’s experimental Miqra ‘al pi haMesorah side-by-side with Yehoyesh (Yehoash) Blumgarten’s masterful translation in Yiddish. . . .

Torah Reading for Parashat R’éh (Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

A Torah reading of Parashat R’éh in English translation, transtropilized. . . .

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

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. . . .

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

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. . . .

פָּרָשַׁת בְּרֵאשִׁית | Parashat Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8), color-coded according to its narrative layers

The text of parashat Bereishit, distinguished according to the stratigraphic layers of its composition according to the Supplementary Hypothesis. . . .

נחמיה ט׳ | Rededication Ceremony (Neḥemiah 9): the second reading for the Sigd festival

The second reading for the Sigd festival, the Rededication Ceremony (Nehemiah 9). . . .

מגילת קהלת | Megillat Qohelet (Ecclesiastes): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

This is an English translation of Megillat Qohelet, (Kohelet/Ecclesiastes), transtropilized (a term coined by Fellman to describe texts where the Masoretic cantillation has been applied to the translation). This translation is based on the translations by H.L.Ginsberg, Stone Ed. Tanach, Jerusalem Bible, New King James Bible, and the JPS Tanach (both 1917 & 1999). This English translations is sung to the tropes by Len Fellman according to the melodies of Portnoy & Wolff. . . .

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

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 . . .

תיקון לערב יום הכיפורים | Tiqun for Erev Yom Kippur, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

This Tikkun for Erev Yom Kippur is an assortment of texts, beginning with Torah and its targum, continuing with the Writings, then prophetic and psalmodic works, each accompanied by related Mishnaic passages from Tractate Yoma and surrounded by petitionary prayers in the manner of a traditional tikkun. It is meant to be studied in the nightly period after Kol Nidrei, either as a community or alone. . . .

מגילת יונה | Megillat Yonah: Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

A Megillah reading of Yonah with English translation, transtropilized. . . .

Torah Readings for the first day (Genesis 21:1-34) and second day (Genesis 22:1-24) of Rosh Hashanah: Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

Transtropilation of an English translation for the first and second days of Rosh Hashanah, by Len Fellman. . . .

Haftarah Reading for the Second Day of Shavuot (Ḥabaquq 2:20-3:19): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

The haftarah reading for the second day of Shavuot, in English translation, transtropilized. . . .

יוֺם פּײַ | On the Rabbinical Approximation of π, by Boaz Tsaban and David Garber (1998)

There is a Rabbinical tradition that the value of pi is hidden within a ktiv-kri (reading-versus-writing disparity) in I Kings 7:23. According to Hebrew scriptural tradition, the word meaning ‘line’ is written as קוה, but read as קו. . . .

הַצְהָרַת הָאֵמַנְצִיפַּצְיָה | The Emancipation Proclamation (1863), translated, vocalized and cantillated by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

In honor of Juneteenth, the holiday of American liberation, this is a translation of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation into Biblical Hebrew. . . .

כִּי בְּהַרְאָיָה הַשֵּׁנִית | The Second Inaugural Address of President Abraham Lincoln on 4 March 1865

The second inaugural address of President Abraham Lincoln in English with a cantillized Hebrew translation suitable for chanting. . . .

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

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

עשרה בטבת | Asarah b’Tevet and the Tragic Side of Ḥanukkah, by Rabbi Shem Tov Gaguine (1934)

Why is the military victory of the Maccabees not referred to in the Mishna or Gemara but is mentioned only in later writings and in the prayer of Al Ha’Nissim? . . .

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

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. . . .

מגילת אנטיוכס | Megillat Antiochus, translated into German by Chajm Guski

Es war in den Tagen des Antiochus, dem König der Griechen, eines großen und starken Königs, fest in seiner Herrschaft, und alle Könige hörten auf ihn. Er eroberte viele Länder und besiegte starke Könige, verwüstete ihre Paläste, verbrannte sie im Feuer und warf ihre Bewohner gefesselt in den Kerker. Seit den Tagen Alexanders stand kein solcher König auf, an der Küste des großen Meeres. Und er erbaute am Ufer des Meeres eine mächtige Stadt, als Königssitz, und nannte die Stadt Antiochia – nach seinem Namen. . . .

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

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

מִדְרַשׁ מַעֲשֶׂה חֲנֻכָּה ב׳ | Midrash Ma’aseh Ḥanukkah “bet,” a retelling of Megillat Antiokhus as Midrash Aggadah

A retelling of the story found in Megillat Antiokhus as midrash aggadah. . . .

מְגִלַּת אֵיכָה | Megillat Eikhah (Lamentations) for Reading on Tisha b’Av, translation by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

This translation of Laments, the book of mourning poems read on Tish’a B’Av, uses principles of the Buber-Rosenzweig Bible. It strives to be “concordant”, translating related Hebrew words with related English words and following the order and syntax of the Hebrew where possible. It also focuses on the more physical, earthy meaning of words, in order to draw the reader from modern towards more ancient ways of seeing and feeling. Sometimes alternate translations are given, indicated by a slash. (When reading aloud, simply pick one of the translations. For YHVH, you can read Adonai or Hashem or “the Eternal”.) James Moffat’s 1922 translation was consulted. As a somewhat literal translation, Laments uses “He” and “His” as pronouns for God, even though Torah and common sense command us not to make an exclusively male or female image of God. If you are using Laments liturgically, please feel encouraged to change the pronouns. For brief essays on the theology of Eikhah and more, see the bottom of this page. This work is dedicated to all refugees fleeing war and upheaval, and to our remembering their needs. . . .

מִדְרַשׁ מַעֲשֶׂה חֲנֻכָּה ב׳ | Midrash Ma’aseh Ḥanukkah “bet” in Ladino, a retelling of Megillat Antiokhus by Rabbi Isaac Magriso (Me’am Lo’ez: Bamdibar BeHa’alothekha, Constantinople 1764)

This is a largely uncorrected transcription of Rabbi Isaac Magriso’s telling of Megillat Antiokhus in Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) from the Me’am Loez: Bamidbar Parshat BeHe’alotekha (Constantinople, 1764). The paragraph breaks are a rough estimation based on my comparison with the English translation of Dr. Tzvi Faier (1934-2009) appearing in The Torah Anthology: Me’am Loez, Book Thirteen – In the Desert (Moznaim 1982). I welcome all Ladino speakers and readers to help correct this transcription and to provide a complete English translation for non-Ladino readers. . . .

A New Declaration of Independence, by Emma Goldman (1909)

A New Declaration of Independence by Emma Goldman. . . .

סדר לקריאת מגילת העצמאות | Reading of the Israeli Declaration of Independence for Yom Ha’atsma’ut (1948)

Jews have read sacred texts to commemorate miracles of redemption for a long time. Purim has Megilat Esther. Many communities read Megilat Antiochus or Megilat Yehudit for Chanukah. But to many modern Jews, the most miraculous redemption in recent history was the founding of the state of Israel, as we commemorate on Yom haAtzmaut. Like Purim, the story of the founding of Israel was entirely secular on a surface level, with no big showy miracles like a sea splitting or a mountain aflame. Like Chanukah, a Jewish state in the land of Israel won its independence against mighty forces allied in opposition. But we don’t have a megillah to read for Yom haAtzmaut. Or do we? Just as Megillat Esther is said to be a letter written by Mordekhai to raise awareness of the events of Shushan, so too does the Israeli Scroll of Independence, Megilat haAtzmaut, raise awareness of the events of the founding of the State of Israel. In this vein, I decided to create a cantillation system for Megilat haAtzmaut. Ta’amei miqra were chosen attempting to follow Masoretic grammatical rules – since modern Hebrew has a different grammatical structure, the form is somewhat loose. Because of the thematic similarities to Purim, I chose Esther cantillation for the majority of the text. Just as some tragic lines in Esther are read in Eikhah cantillation, some lines regarding the Shoah or bearing grim portents for the wars to follow are to be sung in Eikhah cantillation. And the final phrases of chapters II and III are to be sung in the melody for the end of a book of the Chumash, or the Song of the Sea melody. They can be done in a call-and-response form, with the community reading and the reader repeating. . . .

מגילת אסתר | Megillat Esther: Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

A Megillah reading of Esther with English translation, transtropilized. . . .

Readings from the Speeches and Letters of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Selections from speeches and letters by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. read in ecumenical services for Martin Luther King Day in the United States. . . .

Haftarah for MLK Shabbat, excerpts from speeches 1956-1968 selected by Rabbi Marcia Prager & Ḥazzan Jack Kessler

These quotations from Dr. King’s speeches were edited by Rabbi Marcia Prager and set to Haftarah Trop by Hazzan Jack Kessler. This adaptation was first published in Kerem (Fall 2014), in Jack Kessler’s article, “English Leyning: Bringing New Meaning to the Torah Service.” . . .

תהלים קכ״ב | Psalm of Gathering in Jerusalem (Psalms 122): the fourth reading for the Sigd festival

The fourth reading for the Sigd festival, the Psalm of Gathering in Jerusalem — Psalms 122 Masoretic (121 Tewahedo). . . .

“I have a Dream” by Martin Luther King, Jr.: a Haftarah reading for MLK Shabbat with cantillation added by Rabbi David Evan Markus

In 2017, Rabbi David Evan Markus prepared the end of Dr. King’s famous speech read at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (August 28, 1963) with trope (t’amim, cantillation). The following year on Facebook he shared a recording of the reading hosted on Soundcloud. Rabbi Markus writes, “This weekend at Temple Beth El of City Island, I offered the end of Dr. King’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech, which I set to haftarah trope because I hold Dr. King to be a prophet. When my community applauded, I offered President Obama’s response, ‘Don’t clap: vote.’ And do more than vote: organize, donate, volunteer, help, heal, advocate. Only then, in Dr. King’s words quoting Isaiah 40:5, will ‘all flesh see it together.'” . . .

מְגִלַּת אֵיכָה | Megillat Eikhah: Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

A “transtropilation” of an English translation of Lamentations (Eikhah) by Len Fellman. . . .

מדרשים על אדם הראשון וקלנדס על תקופת החורף | Midrashim on the Origin of the Festival of Ḳalends on the Winter Solstice by the Primordial Adam

Our Rabbis taught: When Adam HaRishon (primitive Adam) saw the day getting gradually shorter, he said, ‘Woe is me, perhaps because I have sinned, the world around me is being darkened and returning to its state of chaos and confusion; this then is the kind of death to which I have been sentenced from Heaven!’ So he began keeping an eight days’ fast. But as he observed the winter solstice and noted the day getting increasingly longer, he said, ‘This is the world’s course’, and he set forth to keep an eight days’ festivity. In the following year he appointed both as festivals. Now, he fixed them for the sake of Heaven, but the [unenlightened] appointed them for the sake of star worship. . . .

כְּגַוְנָא | K’gavna, on the Secret of Oneness and the Mystery of Shabbat, a reading from the Zohar (Parashat Terumah §163-166 & §169-170)

In siddurim following the nusaḥ ha-ARI z”l, the Barekhu call to prayer is immediately preceded by a passage from the Zohar, Parshat Terumah, explaining the profound significance of the Maariv service. . . .

מגילת יונה | Megillat Yonah, translated by J.R.R. Tolkien (1966)

This is the Masoretic text of Megillat Yonah set side-by-side with its translation, made by J.R.R. Tolkien for the Jerusalem Bible (1966). . . .

Torah Reading for Simḥat Torah Morning (Genesis 1:1-2:3): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

This is an English translation of the Torah reading for Simḥat Torah Morning (Genesis 1:1-2:3), transtropilized. . . .

The Rainbow Haftarah by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (1993)

A declaration in 1993 by Rabbi Arthur Waskow in response to the impending danger of global warming and other ecotastrophes brought about by the callous harm of human industry and land use decisions. Translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. . . .

Haftarah Reading for Parashat Vayaqhel & Ḥanukkah Day 2 (1 Kings 7:13-26 & 7:40-50): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

The hafatarah reading for Parashat Vayaqhel in English translation, transtropilized. . . .

Haftarah Reading for the First Shabbat of Ḥanukkah (Zekharyah 2:14-4:7): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

The hafatarah reading for the first Shabbat of Ḥanukkah in English translation, transtropilized. . . .

Haftarah Reading for the Second Shabbat of Ḥanukkah (1 Kings 7:40-50): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

The hafatarah reading for the second Shabbat of Ḥanukkah in English translation, transtropilized. . . .

Haftarah Reading for Parashat Ph’qudei & Sukkot Day 2 (1 Kings 7:51-8:21): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

The hafatarah reading for Parashat Ph’qudei, in English translation, transtropilized. . . .

פָּרָשַׁת כִּי תִשָּׂא | Parashat Ki Tissa (Exodus 30:11-34:35), color-coded according to its narrative layers

The text of parashat Ki Tissa, distinguished according to the stratigraphic layers of its composition according to the Supplementary Hypothesis. . . .

מגילת ניקנור | Megillat Niqanor (II Maccabees, chapters 13-15), a Reading for the Day of the Elephantarch

It is challenging to think of how to mark Nicanor Day, as it remains at a disadvantage, not only on years when it conflicts with Ta’anit Esther but on all years since it has no mitzvot. This is probably the main reason that, unlike Chanukah and Purim, it was lost to Jewish practice for more than a thousand years. Nevertheless, we do have its megillah, which has been translated into Hebrew and English. Perhaps, if we start reading chapters 13-15 of 2 Maccabees, even just to ourselves, on the 13 of Adar, we can begin to resurrect a holiday that was celebrated and instituted by Judah Maccabee and his followers over two millennia ago, and which they envisioned would continue throughout Jewish History. With the return of Jews to Israel and Jewish sovereignty to Jerusalem, I believe it is about time. . . .

שמות י״ט-כ׳ | Revelation at Sinai (Exodus 19-20): the first reading for the Sigd festival

The first reading for the Sigd festival, the Revelation at Sinai (Exodus 19-20). . . .

The Megillah of Esther: An Original English Rendition Set to Trōp, by Ḥazzan Jack Kessler

The Megillah of Esther: An Original English Rendition (set to trop) by Ḥazzan Jack Kessler was first published in 1990. This second “version 2.0” edition was published in 2016. . . .

Torah Reading for Ḥol HaMo’ed Sukkot (Exodus 33:12-34:26): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

This is an English translation of the Torah reading for Ḥol HaMo’ed Sukkot (Exodus 33:12-34:26), transtropilized (a term coined by Fellman to describe texts where the Masoretic cantillation has been applied to the translation). This translation is based on the translations by H.L.Ginsberg, Stone Ed. Tanach, Jerusalem Bible, New King James Bible, and the JPS Tanach (both 1917 & 1999). . . .

מְגִלַּת שַׂאֲרָגוֹשָׂה | Megillat Saragossa, a Purim Sheni legend for the 17th of Shevat translated and cantillated by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

The Megillat Saragossa, also known as the Megillat Syracusa, in Hebrew and English, to be read on the 17th of Sh’vat. . . .

Haftarah Reading for Shemini Atseret (1 Kings 8:54-9:1): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

The haftarah reading for Shemini Atseret, in English translation, transtropilized. . . .

Haftarah Reading for Shabbat Maḥar Ḥodesh (1 Samuel 20:18-42): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

The haftarah reading for shabbatot that coincide with erev Rosh Ḥodesh, in English translation, transtropilized. . . .

Torah Reading for Yom Kippur morning (Leviticus 16:1-34): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

Transtropilation of an English translation for the morning Torah reading on Yom Kippur (Leviticus 16:1-34), by Len Fellman. . . .

Haftarah Reading for Shabbat Ḥol haMo’ed Pesaḥ (Ezekiel 36:37-37:17): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

The haftarah reading for Shabbat Ḥol haMo’ed Pesaḥ, in English translation, transtropilized. . . .

התפילות של מרדכי ואסתר | the Prayers of Mordekhai and Esther, from Divrei haYamim l’Yeraḥmiel (ca. 11-12th c.)

The dream and prayer of Mordecai, and the prayer of Esther, as copied in the medieval pseudo-historical Chronicle of Yeraḥmiel. . . .

Haftarah Reading for the second day of Rosh haShanah (Jeremiah 31:1-19): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

This is an English translation of the Haftarah reading for the second day of Rosh Hashanah (Jeremiah 31:1-19), transtropilized. . . .

קריאות ליום הזכרון | Torah and Haftarah Readings for Days Memorializing Fallen Military Personnel, compiled by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

This is a Torah reading (divided into three aliyot) and a Haftarah reading to be recited on Memorial Day or any local equivalent day to honor those who died for their nation. . . .

זָכוֹר אֶת־יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת לְקַדְּשׁוֹ | Remember the Shabbat day to keep it holy, a reading from the Zohar for the third se’udah of Shabbat

A reading from the Zohar providing context for the third meal of Shabbat (the Saturday afternoon meal, se’udah shlishit/shaleshudes). . . .

קריאות ליום העצמאות האמריקאי | Torah and Haftarah Readings for United States Independence Day, compiled by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

The Fourth of July is a day on which Americans celebrate liberty, equality under heaven, and freedom from tyranny and foreign rule. Thus it is an appropriate day to read Torah. This is a Torah reading (divided into three aliyot) and a Haftarah reading to be recited on the Fourth of July. . . .

Haftarah Reading for the First Day of Pesaḥ (Joshua 3:5-7, 5:1-15, 6:1, and 6:27): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

The haftarah reading for the first day of Pesaḥ, in English translation, transtropilized. . . .

Haftarah Reading for Ḥol haMo’ed Shabbat Sukkot (Ezekiel 38:18-39:16): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

The haftarah reading for Ḥol haMo’ed Shabbat Sukkot, in English translation, transtropilized. . . .

The Last Tisha b’Av: A Tale of New Temples, by Rabbi Arthur Ocean Waskow and Rabbi Phyllis Ocean Berman (2006)

Long ago there came a Ḥassid, visiting from Vitebsk to see his Rebbe. Struggling up hills, over cobblestones, through narrow alleyways, the Ḥassid came panting, shaking, to the door of a pale and quiet synagogue. So pale, so quiet was this shul that the pastel paintings on the wall and ceiling stood out as though they were in vivid primary colors. As the Ḥassid came into the shul, he saw his Rebbe high on a make-shift ladder, painting a picture on the ceiling above the bimah. . . .

תשעה באב | Eikha for the Earth: Sorrow, Hope, and Action from the Shalom Center

Tisha b’Av, the ninth day of the month of Av, has historically been a day to mourn the Destruction of the First and Second Temples, centers of Israelite practice before the rise of Rabbinic Judaism (First Temple 975 BCE – 586 BCE; Second Temple 515 BCE – 70 CE) and the exiles that followed those destructions. Over the course of Jewish history this day of mourning and fasting has also come to commemorate many other tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people throughout history. This year we are beginning a new tradition. We are suggesting that in addition to, or instead of (depending on the norms of your community and personal practice) the traditional observance of Tisha b’Av, the time has come to use this powerful day to mourn the ongoing destruction of the “temple” that is our Earth, a tragedy for all peoples, creatures and living things, but one that is not complete and thus, with sufficient will and action, is in part, reversible. . . .

Nevertheless She Persisted: A Modern Esther Tribute for Purim and Women’s History Month, by Rabbi David Evan Markus (2018)

Purim affirms Esther’s stand against official silencing, abuse of power, misogyny and anti-Semitism. At first an outsider, Queen Esther used her insider power to reveal and thwart official hatred that threatened Jewish life and safety. We celebrate one woman’s courageous cunning to right grievous wrongs within corrupt systems. The archetype of heroic woman standing against hatred continues to call out every society still wrestling with official misogyny, power abuses and silencing. For every official silencing and every threat to equality and freedom, may we all live the lesson of Esther and all who stand in her shoes: “Nevertheless, she persisted.” . . .

קריאות לימי הותיקים | Torah and Haftarah Readings for Days Recognizing Military Veterans, compiled by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

This is a Torah reading (divided into three aliyot) and a Haftarah reading to be recited for such holidays. The aliyot are from Shoftim, describing the rules for just warfare and treatment of those in need. . . .

קריאות לימי העבודה | Torah and Haftarah Readings for Days Recognizing Organized Labor and Labor Rights, compiled by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

This is a Torah reading (divided into three aliyot) and a Haftarah reading to be recited on a national labor holiday. The aliyot are from Vayakhel, describing the construction of the Tabernacle. . . .

דברים כ״ז | Blessings and Curses on the Mountains (Deuteronomy 27): the third reading for the Sigd festival

The third reading for the Sigd festival, Blessings and Curses on the Mountains (Deuteronomy 27). . . .

The Story of Gedalyah, as told by Titus Flavius Josephus in Antiquities of the Jews

The story of Gedaliah as recorded by Josephus in his Jewish Antiquities. . . .

Haftarah Reading for Yom Kippur morning (Isaiah 57:14-58:14): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

This is an English translation of the Haftarah reading for Yom Kippur (Isaiah 57:14-58:14), transtropilized (a term coined by Fellman to describe texts where the Masoretic cantillation has been applied to the translation). . . .

Haftarah Reading for the Second Day of Pesaḥ (2 Kings 23:1-9 & 23:21-25): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

The haftarah reading for the second day of Pesaḥ, in English translation, transtropilized. . . .

Haftarah Reading for Yom Kippur morning (Isaiah 57:14-58:14), a slightly midrashic translation by Arthur O. Waskow

As we move not just toward a new “year” (shanah) but toward a moment when repetition (sheni) becomes transformation (shinui), I hope we will remember the roots of Jewish renewal in the upheavals of the 1960s as well as the upheavals of the 1760s, the roots of Judaism in the great “political” speeches of the Prophets, and the teachings of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who said that in a great civil rights march his legs were praying, and who argued again and again that “spirituality” and “politics” cannot be severed. As Heschel also said, “Prayer is meaningless unless it is subversive.” . . .

Haftarah Reading for Shabbat Rosh Ḥodesh (Isaiah 66): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

The haftarah reading for shabbatot that coincide with Rosh Ḥodesh, in English translation, transtropilized. . . .

פָּרָשַׁת וְזֹאת הַבְּרָכָה | Parashat v’Zōt haBrakhah (Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12), color-coded according to its narrative layers

The text of parashat v’Zot haBrakhah, distinguished according to the stratigraphic layers of its composition according to the Supplementary Hypothesis. . . .

Haftarah Reading for the Eighth Day of Pesaḥ (Isaiah 10:32-12:6): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

The haftarah reading for the eighth day of Pesaḥ, in English translation, transtropilized. . . .

Torah Reading for Parashat v’Zot haBrakhah (Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

A Torah reading of Parashat v’Zot haBrakhah in English translation, transtropilized. . . .

Haftarah Reading for the First Day of Sukkot (Zekharyah 14:1-21): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

The haftarah reading for the first day of Sukkot, in English translation, transtropilized. . . .

שירת הים | Shirat haYam :: the Song of the Sea (Exodus 15:1-19)

According to Rabbinic tradition, the 21st of Nissan is the day in the Jewish calendar on which Pharaoh’s army was drowned in the Sea of Reeds, and the redeemed children of Yisrael sang the Song of the Sea, the (Shirat Hayam, Exodus 15:1-19). The song, as included in the the morning prayers, comprises one of the most ancient text in Jewish liturgy. The 21st of Nissan corresponds to the 7th day of Passover, and the recitation of the Shirat HaYam is part of the daily Torah Reading. Rabbi Hillel Ḥayim Yisraeli-Lavery shares a performance of a melody he learned for the Shirat Hayam from צוף דבש Tzuf Devash, a Moroccan synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem. If there is something about this tune that strikes one as particularly celebratory, it might be because the relationship between G!d and the Jewish people is traditionally described as a marriage consummated with the Covenant at Mt. Sinai. The passage of Bnei Yisrael through the Sea of Reeds towards Mt. Sinai thus begins a bridal march commencing in the theophany at Mt. Sinai, 42 days later. . . .

The Presence of an Absence: a Public Reading for the Fast of Esther, the dark side to Purim, by Rabbi Arthur O. Waskow

A public reading offered by Rabbi Arthur Waskow for the Fast of Esther in response to recent events in the State of Israel by the right-wing government of Bibi Netanyahu admitting Jewish fascists into their administration. . . .

יום קשת מ״ב בעומר | The 42nd Day of the Omer is Rainbow Day

The time we are in now is a time to ask: are we so determined to undo God’s rainbow covenant? Will we truly burn the sea, chemically and literally, with the oil we unleash from inside the Earth? Will we flood the sea with death as the land was flooded according to the Noah story of so long ago? As the cleanup continues and the effects will continue for decades, what new floods will we unleash in the coming years? . . .

the past didn’t go anywhere: making resistance to antisemitism part of all of our movements, by April Rosenblum (2007)

It’s always a real struggle for the Left to successfully tackle oppression within its own ranks. But when we do it, our movements gain, every time, from the deeper understandings that emerge. To start the process this time, we need some basic information about what anti-Jewish oppression is and how to counter it. But it has to come from a perspective of justice for all people, not from opportunistic attempts to slander or censor social justice efforts that are gaining strength. . . .

זָכוֹר אֶת־יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת לְקַדְּשׁוֹ | Remember the Shabbat day to keep it holy, a reading from the Zohar for the second se’udah of Shabbat

A reading from the Zohar providing context for the second meal of Shabbat (the Saturday lunch meal). . . .

פורים | Learn the Kriyat Megillat Esther with Rabbi Hillel Yisraeli-Lavery

The following seven lessons by Rabbi Hillel Ḥayim Yisraeli-Lavery to help the student prepare for their reading of Megillat Esther. The nusaḥ taught is Israeli style Ashkenaz-Lithuanian. . . .

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

For aspiring ba’al koreh (readers) of Megillat Esther studying its various styles of cantillation (Hebrew, ta’amei hamiqra or in Yiddish, trope), 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 3.0 Unported license. We’re honored to share Gabriel’s recording of a zarqa table for Megillat Esther read in the Nusaḥ Ashkenaz style. Megillat Esther – Ta’amei Hamiqra: MP3 | OGG . . .

איכה פרק ו׳ | Lamentations “chapter 6” in cantilized English, a supplement to public readings of Eikhah by HIAS (2018)

As we prepare to observe Tisha B’Av and commemorate the destruction of Jerusalem that led to the exile of the Jewish people for centuries to come, we are acutely aware that we find ourselves in the midst of the worst refugee crisis in recorded history, with more than 68 million people displaced worldwide. Given these extraordinary numbers, the continued attacks on asylum and the refugee resettlement program in the United States over the last eighteen months are even more inhumane. Of course, we know that the proverbial 10th of Av will come, and we will rise up from our mourning with renewed resolve to support refugees and asylum seekers. First, though, we take time to dwell fully in the mourning demanded by the 9th of Av. We fervently lament the many cruel actions this administration has taken to limit the ability of refugees and asylum seekers to seek safety in our country, and we mourn for lives destroyed and lives lost. . . .

פֶּרֶק שִׁירָה | Pereq Shirah, a litany of verses pronounced in the voice of the creatures & works of Creation (after the arrangement of Natan Slifkin)

Talmudic and midrashic sources contain hymns of the creation usually based on homiletic expansions of metaphorical descriptions and personifications of the created world in the Bible. The explicitly homiletic background of some of the hymns in Perek Shira indicates a possible connection between the other hymns and Tannaitic and Amoraic homiletics, and suggests a hymnal index to well-known, but mostly unpreserved, homiletics. The origin of this work, the period of its composition and its significance may be deduced from literary parallels. A Tannaitic source in the tractate Hagiga of the Jerusalem (Hag. 2:1,77a—b) and Babylonian Talmud (Hag. 14b), in hymns of nature associated with apocalyptic visions and with the teaching of ma’aseh merkaba serves as a key to Perek Shira’s close spiritual relationship with this literature. Parallels to it can be found in apocalyptic literature, in mystic layers in Talmudic literature, in Jewish mystical prayers surviving in fourth-century Greek Christian composition, in Heikhalot literature, and in Merkaba mysticism. The affinity of Perek Shira with Heikhalot literature, which abounds in hymns, can be noted in the explicitly mystic introduction to the seven crowings of the cock — the only non-hymnal text in the collection — and the striking resemblance between the language of the additions and that of Shi’ur Koma and other examples of this literature. In Seder Rabba de-Bereshit, a Heikhalot tract, in conjunction with the description of ma’aseh bereshit, there is a clear parallel to Perek Shira’s praise of creation and to the structure of its hymns. The concept reflected in this source is based on a belief in the existence of angelic archetypes of created beings who mediate between God and His creation, and express their role through singing hymns. As the first interpretations of Perek Shira also bear witness to its mystic character and angelologic significance, it would appear to be a mystical chapter of Heikhalot literature, dating from late Tannaitic — early Amoraic period, or early Middle Ages. . . .

זָכוֹר אֶת־יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת לְקַדְּשׁוֹ | Remember the Shabbat day to keep it holy, a reading from the Zohar for the first se’udah of Shabbat

A reading from the Zohar providing context for the first meal of Shabbat on Friday evening. . . .


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