tagged: Alphabetic Acrostic

 

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

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

כִּי בְּשִׁבְעָה עָשָׂר בְּתַמּוּז | Ki b’Shivah Asar b’Tamuz, a seliḥah for the 17th of Tamuz

A penitential piyyut for the fast of the 17th of Tammuz. . . .

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. . . .

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

As we prepare to observe Tishah 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. . . .

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. . . .

מִי כָמֽוֹךָ וְאֵין כָּמֽוֹךָ | Mi Khamokha v’Ein Kamokha, a retelling of Megillat Esther in a piyyut for Shabbat Zakhor by Yehudah ben Shmuel haLevi (ca. 11th c.)

The poem Mi Khamokha v-Ein Khamokha, an epic retelling of the book of Esther in verse, was written for Shabbat Zakhor, the Shabbat before Purim, by the great paytan Yehuda ben Shmuel haLevi. It was originally written as a “geulah,” meant to be inserted into the prayer after the Shema in place of the verse beginning with “A new song…” But later Sephardic poskim ruled that it was forbidden to insert piyyutim into the Shema blessings, so in the communities that recite it today it is generally either read after the Full Kaddish as an introduction to the Torah service, or (for instance, in most Spanish and Portuguese communities) within the verse “Kol atzmotai tomarna” in the Nishmat prayer. Wherever you include it in your service, it’s a beautiful and intricately rhymed piyyut, and surprisingly easy to understand at that. It is presented here in a gender-neutral translation with all the Biblical verses cited, alongside a new translation that preserves the fourfold acrostic, two alphabetical and two authorial. –Isaac Gantwerk Mayer . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .

אַקְדָמּוּת מִלִּין | The Aḳdamut, a piyyut for introducing the Decalogue by Meir ben Yitsḥaq Nehorai of Orléans (acrostic translation by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer)

The piyyut read as an introduction to the Decalogue during the Torah reading on Shavuot. . . .

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. . . .

ברכת המזון לראש השנה לבהמה | Birkat haMazon Supplement for Rosh haShanah la-Behemah, 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. . . .

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 . . .

אַרְעָא רַקְדָא | Ar’a Raqda (And the Earth Danced), a piyyut in Aramaic for introducing the Decalogue as read in the Targum

“Ar’a Raqda,” a piyyut read directly before the Ten Commandments in the Targum, uses wedding imagery and language from the Shir haShirim to paint Sinai as a ḥuppah. . . .

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. . . .

אֱלִי צִיּוֹן וְעָרֶיהָ | Eli Tsiyon v’Arehah — 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. . . .

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.” . . .

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. . . .

אֲנָא אַתְקֵינִית | Ana Atqenit (I am the one), a piyyut in Aramaic for introducing the first commandment as read in the Targum

Ana is a poem for the first commandment, that discusses all that God did for the ancestors. . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .

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.” . . .

אַשְׁרֵי יוֹשְׁבֵי בֵיתֶךָ | Ashrei Yoshvei Veitekha :: Sitting in your home is happiness (Psalms 145), translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

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

אַשְׁרֵי יוֹשְׁבֵי בֵיתֶךָ | Ashrei Yoshvei Veitekha (Psalms 145), an Alphabetical English Translation by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Why is Ashrei such a beloved part of the service? Partially it is because of its alphabetical structure, making it perfect for communal reading. This translation attempts to preserve this in an English equivalence. . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .

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). . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .

אֵל אָדוֹן (ספרד) | El Adōn, a piyyut attributed to the Yordei Merkavah (translation by Sara-Kinneret Lapidot)

The piyyut, El Adon, in Hebrew with an English translation. . . .

אֵל אָדוֹן (אשכנז) | El Adōn, a piyyut attributed to the Yordei Merkavah (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. . . .

אֵשֶׁת חַיִל | Éshet Ḥayil (Proverbs 31:10-31) For an Accomplished Woman, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi’s interpretive translation of Proverbs 31:10-31, popularly read before the first festive meal for shabbat on Friday night. . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .

תהלים כ״ה | Psalms 25, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of Psalms 25 in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009) for days on which Taḥanun is practiced after the morning Amidah. . . .

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. . . .

בּױגעזאנג | Baugesang (Building Song): an alphabetical Yiddish adaptation of the piyyut Adir Hu (1769)

This Western Yiddish alphabetical adaptation of Adir Hu is first found in the 1769 Selig Haggadah, under the name of “Baugesang” (meaning Building Song). It grew to be a beloved part of the Western Ashkenazi rite, to the point where the traditional German Jewish greeting after the Seder was “Bau gut,” or “build well!” . . .

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). . . .

אדיר הוא | Awesome One: an Alphabetical English Interpretation of the piyyut Adir Hu, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Adir Hu, a classic Pesaḥ song if ever there was one, is a part of Seder tables all over the planet. Its alphabetical list of God’s attributes, combined with its repeated pleas for a return to Jerusalem, make it a classic, to the point where the traditional German farewell greeting for Passover was not “chag sameach” or “gut yontef” but “bau gut” – build well. This interpretation, while not a direct translation by any means, has the same rhythmic pattern and alphabetical structure, giving a sense of the greatness of God. . . .

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

Psalms 145 in Hebrew with English translation. . . .

אֱמוּנֵי שְׁלוּמֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל | Emunei Shlumei Yisrael — a seliḥah witnessing the Blois incident of 1171 by Hillel ben Yaaqov of Bonn

Some Jewish communities, especially those in the region of the Four Lands, have a custom of fasting on the 20th of Sivan. This day has a full seliḥot service, commemorating a series of horrors that occurred on that day, most prominently the Chmielnicki (Khmielnetsky) massacres of 1648-49. But this poem was written for another horrific occurrence on 20 Sivan, the blood libel of Blois in 1171. This was the first time the accusation of ritual murder was ever made against the Jews of France, but it wasn’t the last. This seliḥah poem, written by Hillel ben Jacob of Bonn, starts with the dramatic accusation that God has abandoned the people Israel, continuing by listing those who died in myriad horrid ways, and ending with several citations from the apocalyptic final chapter of the book of Joel. . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .