tagged: acrostic

 

קרובות לתשעה באב | Ḳerovot for Tishah b’Av, by Elazar ben Kilir (ca. 7th c.)

Many communities recite a series of poems interwoven with the Amidah on Purim. These poems, known as the “krovets,” were written by Elazar b. Rabbi Kalir, the greatest of the early paytanim. But lesser known than the krovets for Purim are the krovets for Tisha b’Av, written as well by Elazar b. Rabbi Kalir. A fine example of Elazar’s intricate poetry, the krovets for Tisha b’Av is rife with Biblical citations, finally culminating with the prayer for Jerusalem. Each stanza begins with five tightly rhymed lines beginning with a constant א followed by a quintuple half-acrostic on the second letter, then a poetic volta on the word אֵיכָה, followed by a Biblical citation, a verse starting with the last word in the citation, a letter from Elazar’s name, and a final Biblical citation. The krovets for Tisha b’Av is meant to be part of the morning service, tied into the cantorial repetition for Tisha b’Av. . . .

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

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

אוֹמֶץ גְּבוּרוֹתֶיךָ | Omets G’vuratekha, a piyyut by Eleazar ben Qalir for the second night of Pesaḥ in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

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

יָהּ רִבּוֹן | Yah Ribōn, a piyyut by Rabbi Yisrael Najara (16th c.) translated by Rabbi Israel Brodie (1962)

The piyyut, Yah Ribon, in Aramaic with an English translation. . . .

יָהּ רִבּוֹן | Yah Ribōn, a piyyut by Rabbi Yisrael Najara (16th c.) translated by Paltiel Birnbaum (1949)

The piyyut, Yah Ribon, in Aramaic with an English translation. . . .

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

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

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

אַשְׁרֵי | Ashrei (Psalms 145), arranged by Aharon N. Varady

Ashrei, complete with introductory verses and a lost verse to complete the acrostic from the Chronicle of Gad the Seer. . . .

הושענא להושענא רבה תשפ״א | Save Us! A Hoshana Prayer, by Rabbi Shlomo Zuckier for Hoshana Rabbah 2020

A Hoshana prayer supplement for Hoshana Rabbah during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in 2020. . . .

אבלה נפשי | Avlah Nafshi (My soul mourns), a seliḥah for Tsom Gedalyah attributed to Rav Saadia Gaon (10th c.)

A seliḥah for the Fast of Gedalyah, attributed to Rav Saadia Gaon. . . .

סליחה לימים הנוראים | Seliḥah for the Days of Awe, by Rabbi Ben-Tsiyon Meir Ḥai Uziel

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אחות קטנה במאה ה -21 | A 21st century “Aḥot Ḳetanah” (Little Sister), by Rabbi Dr. Raysh Weiss

A 21st century recasting of the iconic 13th century Spanish mystical Rosh haShanah piyyut. . . .

ברכת המזון לסעודה מפסקת לפני יום הכפורים | Birkat haMazon for the Pre-Fast Meal for Yom Kippur, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

This acrostic poetic form of Birkat haMazon was written for the se’udah mafseqet (pre-fast meal) before Yom Kippur, in the manner of the poetic Birkat haMazon variants recorded in the Cairo Geniza. . . .

ברכת המזון לראש השנה לבהמה | Birkat haMazon Supplement for Rosh haShanah laB’hemah, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

This is a poetic text for Birkat haMazon, signed with an alphabetical acrostic and the name of the author, to be recited on the first of Elul. It celebrates the variety of God’s creation as exemplified by the natural diversity of species, as well as alluding to the livestock tithes traditionally assigned on the first of Elul. . . .

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

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

ברכת המזון לסעודה מפסקת ערב תשעה בעב | Birkat haMazon for the Seudah Mafseqet (Pre-Fast Meal) of Tisha b’Av, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A Birkat haMazon with additions for the pre-Fast meal of Tisha b’Av . . .

צָמְאָה נַפְשִׁי | Tsam’ah Nafshi, a piyyut attributed to Avraham ibn Ezra (interpretive translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi)

An interpretive translation of a piyyut composed as an introduction to the prayer Nishmat Kol Ḥai. . . .

הַוִּדּוּי הַמַּשְׁלִים | HaVidui haMashlim (Complementary Confession), by Rabbi Binyamin Holtzman

A complementary (positive vidui) to supplement the harsh communal and personal vidu’im (confessions) being offered during the Zman Teshuvah. . . .

ודוי חיובית | Positive Vidui, by Rabbi Avi Weiss

Melissa Scholten-Gutierrez writes, “Rav Avi spoke to us a few times as he was working through [composing] this [vidui] and I am truly moved by it. Let us not only remember and confess our wrong doings, but also what we did right this year.” . . .

אַקְדָמוּת מִילִין | Aḳdamut Milin, a preface to the Targum for the Shavuot Torah Reading, attributed to Meir ben Isaac Nehorai of Orléans (ca. 11th c.)

An Aramaic piyyut composed as an introduction to the reading of the Targum for the Torah reading on Shavuot. . . .

אָמוֹן יוֹם זֶה | Amon Yom Zeh, an introduction to the Azharot of ibn Gabirol by David ben Elazar ibn Paquda (ca. 12th c.)

A poetic introduction to the Azharot of Solomon ibn Gabirol read in the afternoon of Shavuot by Sefaradim. . . .

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

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

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

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

אֱלִי צִיּוֹן וְעָרֶיהָ | Eli Tsiyon v’Areha — Coronavirus, by Daniel Olson & Rabbi Benjamin Goldberg (2020)

An adaptation of the kinnah, “Eli Tsiyon v’Ar’eha,” Composed for Tisha B’Av 5780 in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. . . .

כָּל־בְּרוּאֵי | Kol B’ru-ei, a piyyut by Shlomo ibn Gabirol (ca. 11th c.)

A piyyut by Shlomo ibn Gabirol included in the arrangement of Baqashot before the morning service in the liturgical custom of Sefaradim. . . .

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

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

יְדִיד נֶפֶשׁ | Yedid Nefesh, translation by Rabbi Sam Seicol

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

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

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

לְכָה דוֹדִי | Lekhah Dodi, the piyyut for Kabbalat Shabbat by Shlomo haLevi Al-Qabets (translation by Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman & Shaul Vardi)

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שיר הכבוד (אַנְעִים זְמִירוֹת)‏ | Shir haKavod (An’im Zemirot), part eight of the Shir haYiḥud (translation by Israel Wolf Slotki)

A translation of the piyyut, Anim Zemirot. . . .

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

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. . . .

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

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

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

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)

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

אַשְׁרֵי יוֹשְׁבֵי בֵיתֶךָ | Ashrei Yoshvei Veitekha (Psalms 145), an Alphabetical English translation by Rabbi Sam Seicol

A modern translation of the Ashrei in alphabetic parallel to the Hebrew. . . .

תהלים קי״א | Psalms 111, translated by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Psalms 111, an alphabetic acrostic translated into English by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer. . . .

תהלים קי״ב | Ashrei Ish (Psalms 112)

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

אֲבוֹתַי כִּי בָטְחוּ | Avotai ki vatkhu (“When our forefathers trusted”), a pizmon for the Fast of Tevet ascribed to Ephraim ben Avraham ben Yitsḥaq of Regensburg (12th c.)

A pizmon recited on the Fast of Tevet in the tradition of nusaḥ Ashkenaz. . . .

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

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

אַשְׁרֵי | Ashrei, a paraliturgical reflection by Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman

A paraliturgical reflection of Ashrei for a shame resilience practice. . . .

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

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

עַל חֵטְא | Interpretive Al Ḥeyt for Yom Kippur, by Rabbi Emily Aviva Kapor-Mater

The Al Cheyt (literally meaning “For the sin…”) is a confessional litany recited on Yom Kippur. It is an alphabetical acrostic; each one of its verses starting with a successive letter of the aleph-beit, to represent not only the moral failings that are specifically enumerated there, but the fullness of every way in which we missed the mark in the previous year. . . .

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

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. . . .

אֵשֶׁת חַיִל | Eyshet Ḥayil, adapted by Alex and Peri Sinclair

Peri and Alex Sinclair’s adaptation of the traditional Eishet Ḥayil, replacing a number of verses with ones selected from Shir haShirim (the Song of Songs/Canticles), Genesis, and elsewhere in Mishlei (Proverbs). . . .

אֶת כּוֹס יְשׁוּעוֹת | Et Kos Yeshu`ot, a Havdalah song by Elyaḳim

A zemirah for havdallah by an otherwise unknown rabbinic payyetan known only by his signature acrostic. . . .

הושענא לתיקון ולנחמה | Hoshana for Healing and Consolation, by Rabbi Dr. Dalia Marx

A supplemental hoshana (prayer for salvation) for healing and consolation for the sake of true love, needed blessings, rainfall in a timely fashion, paths and their repair, mountains and their crossing, goals and objectives, lasting memories, good dreams, cosmic goodness, etc. . . .

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

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

אַתָּה ה׳, מָגֵן בַּעֲדִי | Attah Adonai Magen Ba’adi, a piyyut by R’ Fradji Shawat (late 16th c.)

A (kosher-for-Passover) prayer for redemption from exile. . . .

שריך לינקאלען | Memorial Prayer for Abraham Lincoln, by Isaac Goldstein haLevi (1865)

Exalted are you Lincoln. Who is like you! You were highly respected among Kings and Princes. All that you accomplished you did with a humble spirit. You are singular and cannot be compared to anyone else. Who among the great are like Lincoln? Who can be praised like you? . . .

יְדִיד נֶפֶשׁ | Yedid Nefesh, interpretive translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Yedid Nefesh is a piyyut of uncertain authorship. Rabbi Elazar Moshe Azikri (1533-1600) included the piyyut in his Sefer Haḥaredim (1588). (The images below are of pages with Yedid Nefesh handwritten by Azikri.) A version of the piyyut “with noteworthy text, spelling and pointing” may be found on folio 146 (verso) of Samuel b. David b. Solomon’s Commentary On the Book of Numbers (ca. 1437 CE, see Stefan C. Reif, The Hebrew Manuscripts at Cambridge University Libraries: A Description and Introduction Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997, page 93). Presumably, this text was added to the 15th century manuscript sometime in the 17th century after the popularization of Yedid Nefesh. The piyyut has since appeared with a number of variations in various siddurim. . . .

אֵל אָדוֹן | El Adōn, a piyyut attributed to the Yordei haMerkavah (interpretive translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi)

The piyyut, El Adon, in Hebrew with an interpretive “praying translation” by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalom, z”l. . . .

שיר הכבוד (אַנְעִים זְמִירוֹת)‏ | Shir haKavod (An’im Zemirot), part eight of the Shir haYiḥud (interpretive translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi)

A “praying translation” of the piyyut, Anim Zemirot. . . .

יוֹם זֶה לְיִשְׁרַאֵל | Yom Zeh l’Yisrael, a Shabbat hymn attributed to Rabbi Yitsḥaq Luria (interpretive translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi)

An interpretive translation in English of the shabbes hymn Yom Zeh l’Yisrael. . . .

יוֹם שַׁבָּתוֹן | Yom Shabbaton, a Shabbat song by Yehudah haLevi (interpretive translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi)

An interpretive translation of Yehudah haLevi’s shabbat song, “Yom Shabbaton.” . . .

קרובות לראש שנה לאילנות | Ḳerovot for Tu biShvat, by Yehudah ben R’ Hillel haLevi (ca. 11th c.)

Ḳerovot for Tu biShvat, a celebration of Divine verdancy, which namedrops a stunning array of flora from throughout the land of Israel. . . .

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

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. . . .

אֵל בָּרוּךְ | El Barukh :: A piyyut containing the 42 Letter Name, recorded by Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz

A piyyut providing the 42 letter divine name as an acrostic, recorded in the work of Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz. . . .

אַדִירְיַרוֹן בַהִירְיַרוֹן | Adiryaron Ḅahiryaron, a litany of angelic names associated with the 42 letter name, recorded in Sefer haPeliah

A litany of angelic names recorded in Sefer haPeliah whose initial letters spells out the 42 letter divine name as also found (in variation) in Sefer HaQanah. . . .

אַדִירְיַרוֹן בַהִירְיַרוֹן | Adiryaron Ḅahiryaron, a litany of angelic names associated with the 42 letter name, recorded in Sefer haQanah

A litany of angelic names recorded in Sefer HaQanah, whose initial letters spells out the 42 letter divine name as also found in Sefer haPeliah. . . .

אֱלֹהִים בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל | Elohim b’Yisrael :: A piyyut containing the 42 Letter Name, recorded in Sefer haPeliah

The earliest recorded prayer or piyyut providing an acrostic for the 42 letter divine name. . . .

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

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

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

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

תהלים קמ״ה | Psalms 145 by David, translated by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Psalms 145 in Hebrew with English translation. . . .

אֵל מִסְתַּתֵּר | El Mistater :: The God who is hidden, by Avraham Maimin (circa 1550)

The mystical piyyut of Avraham Maimin, a student of Moshe Cordovero, translated by Len Fellman. . . .

קָפֶה בֵּית מַכְּסְוֶיל | Items for the Second Seder Plate: Maxwell House coffee

Why is this coffee different from all other coffees? Because Maxwell House coffee is a deeply spiritual representation of the Diaspora experience. . . .

יָצַר הָאֵל | Yatsar ha’El, a Shabbat song by Ya’aqov ha-Qara’i

A song for celebrating the Shabbat. . . .

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

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

Prayer for the Government in honor of George Washington, First President of the United States of America by Ḳ.Ḳ. Beit Shalome (1789)

The following prayer for the government was composed by Congregation Beth Shalome in Richmond, Virginia in 1789. Please note the acrostic portion of the prayer in which the initial letters of the succeeding lines form the name: Washington. . . .

אֵל בָּרוּךְ | the alphabetic acrostic piyyut El Barukh in the weekday Yotser Ohr blessing, with the song “Aleph Bass,” by Darshan

A song by Darshan including the alphabetic acrostic piyyut, El Barukh, part of the morning Yotser Ohr blessing made prior to the Shema at the official beginning of the Shaḥarit service. . . .

יוֹם זֶה לְכׇל דוֹרוֹת | Yom Zeh l’Khol Dorot, a piyyut for Pesaḥ Sheni by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A piyyut for an under-recognized holiday, Pesaḥ Sheni, the festival of second chances (as described in Numbers 9:6-13 and Mishnah Pesaḥim 9:1-3. I attempted to write this in the manner of a traditional piyyut. The meter is equivalent to the Shabbat zamir “Ot Hi l’Olmei Ad.” The Hebrew spells out Yod – Tzadi – Ḥet – Kuf, because that’s my name. The translation is original, along with the notes. . . .

אָנָּא בְּכֹחַ | Ana b’Khoaḥ, with Spanish translation by Rabbi Isaac ben Shem Tov Cavallero (1552)

An early printing of the 42 divine name letter acrostic piyyut, Ana b’Khoaḥ. . . .

ברכת המזון לשבת א׳ דנחמתא (נחמו)‏ | Birkat Hamazon additions for Shabbat Naḥamu, by Gabriel Wasserman

Supplemental prayers for the Birkat Hamazon on Tisha b’Av, Tu b’Av, and Shabbat Naḥamu by Gabriel Wasserman . . .

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

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