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אֵל לִבִּי פְּתַח | El Libbi Păthaḥ — a Prayer of Yemenite Jewish Children Before Study, translated by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer
In Yemenite Jewish children’s schools, this prayer of unknown authorship is said before the lesson in unison. The teacher conducts and the children sing together to a melody. The prayer is printed in tajjim (Yemenite trilingual Pentateuch codices) before the book of Leviticus, traditionally the starting point for a child’s education. The first twenty-two lines of the prayer are an alphabetical acrostic wherein each line spells out the entire letter in which it starts. For instance, the first line spells out Alef, Lamed, and Pe, which spells out the full name of the letter Alef. This is followed by three Biblical verses all starting with the word “Good,” a brief poem in Hebrew, and a concluding passage largely in Judeo-Arabic. Here the editor has included the original text, along with a non-gendered English translation and a transcription of the Judeo-Arabic text into Arabic script. . . .
Announcement of the Count of Years since the Destruction of the (First) Temple, from the Yemenite Baladi-Rite (Tikhlal Ets Ḥayyim of Yiḥya Tsalaḥ)
Many communities have a custom of announcing on the night of 9 Av the years since the destruction of the Temple. The Yemenite rite is unique in that it announces both the years since the destruction of the second, but also the years since the destruction of the first, in this poetic form recited after the conclusion of the evening kinnot. Why? Because the Yemenite community traced its origins back to the destruction of the first temple, claiming not to have returned under Ezra. Here the original Hebrew text is included along with a new translation and a transcription in the Yemenite pronunciation style. . . .