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. . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .

יוֺם פּײַ | On the Rabbinical Approximation of π, by Boaz Tsaban and David Gardner

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. . . .

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

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. . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .

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? . . .

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). . . .

מדרש מעשה חנוכּה | Midrash Ma’aseh Ḥanukkah, another Ḥanukkah story

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. . . .

מגילה ליום ניקנור | A Reading for Yom Niqanor, the Day of the Elephantarch: II Maccabees, chapters 13-15

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. . . .

מגילת רות | Megillat Ruth with 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. . . .

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

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 יהודית לאמרה בחנוכּה | Megillat Yehudit, the Medieval Scroll of Judith to be said on Ḥanukkah

Below we have made 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, originally published as “Food, Sex, and Redemption in Megillat Yehudit: Appendix to Chapter 6,” in Sword of Judith. ed., Kevin R. Brine, Elena Ciletti, Henrike Lähnemann (Open Book Publishers, 2010) p.110-125. Our transcription sources are the same as Dr. Weingarten’s: A.M. Habermann’s transcribed text in “Megillat yehudit le-omrah be-hanukkah,” Mahanayim 52 (1961), pp. 42–47, and the “Midrash No.8” found in A.M. Dubarle’s Judith: formes et sens des diverses traditions II: textes (Rome, 1966), pp. 140–53. Dubarle provided section numbers by which the extant variations of the midrashim for Judith might be compared. As Dr. Weingarten notes, Dubarle only transcribed the second portion of the only extant manuscript. We have provided his section numbers in curly brackets. “Missing” numbers refer to portions of the story appearing outside the Megillah in the other variations transcribed by Dubarle. (Please refer to Dubarle’s work for these.) We are grateful to Dr. Weingarten and to Open Book Publishers for sharing their work under an Open Content license. Please read Dr. Weingarten’s complete chapter in Sword of Judith for additional context. . . .

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. . . .

מגילת אנטיוכס | Megillat Antiokhus in Ladino 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. . . .

MLK Day | 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. . . .

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. . . .

“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.'” . . .

A Haftarah for Martin Luther King Shabbat, by Rabbi Marcia Prager and 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.” . . .

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. . . .

A Modern Esther Tribute for Purim and Women’s History Month, by Rabbi David Evan Markus

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.” . . .

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. . . .

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). . . .

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. . . .

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

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

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 . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .

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). . . .

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). . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .

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). . . .

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. . . .

מְגִלַּת וָשִׁעְתּוֹן | Megillat Washington: A Scroll for Thanksgiving, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

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). . . .

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. . . .

Haftarah Reading for the Second Day of Sukkot (1 Kings 7:51-8:21): Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

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

Haftarah Reading for the Second Shabbat of Ḥanukkah (I 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. . . .

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. . . .

פרקי אבות | Pirqei Avot, with Ta’amei Miqra by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

The Pirqei Avot (chapter of fundamental principles) with cantillation and English translation. . . .

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

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

מְגִלַּת שַׂאֲרָגוֹשָׂה | Megillat Saragossa, a Purim Sheni legend 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. . . .

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. . . .

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 first se’udah of Shabbat

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

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). . . .

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). . . .


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