ואחד ג’די | أغنية لعيد الفصح اليهودي | Waaḥid Jady :: Ḥad Gadya in Arabic translation (Syrian Damascus variation)

An Arabic translation of Ḥad Gadya in its Syrian Jewish Damascus variation. . . .

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. . . .

חַד מָה יוּדָא | Ḥad Mah Yuda :: Who Knows One?, a counting-song in Aramaic translation

The text of the popular Passover song “Who Knows One?” in Hebrew set side-by-side with an Aramaic translation. . . .

אֶחָד מִי יוֹדֵעַ | Eḥad Mi Yode’a :: Who Knows One?, a counting song in Hebrew and Yiddish (Prague Haggadah, 1526)

The text of the popular Passover song “Who Knows One?” in its original Hebrew and Yiddish, with a translation in English. . . .

יַכֵּי בּוּזְגָאלַה | Yake Buzghola :: a Judeo-Tajik Translation of Ḥad Gadya, by Rabbi Shimon ben Eliyahu Hakham (1904)

A Judeo-Tajik translation of the popular Passover song, Ḥad Gadya. . . .

בִּסְעוּדָה הַזּוֹ | At this meal!, a piyyut for the Passover seder translated by Rabbi Jonah Rank

A litany of mythical guests and creatures presenting at the Passover seder. . . .

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. . . .

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

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. . . .

יַאן יִכְּרוּ | Yan ikru :: a Judeo-Berber Translation of Ḥad Gadya, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A Judeo-Berber translation of the popular Passover song, Ḥad Gadya. . . .

און קאבﬞריטיקו | Un Kavritiko :: a Judezmo (Ladino) Translation of Ḥad Gadya, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A Judezmo/Ladino translation of the popular Passover song, Ḥad Gadya. . . .

ואחד גׄדי | Waaḥid Jady :: a Judeo-Arabic Translation of Ḥad Gadya, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A Judeo-Arabic translation of the popular Passover song, Ḥad Gadya. . . .

לכה דודי (נוסח אחר)‏ | A different version of Lekha Dodi found in R’ Moshe ibn Makhir’s Seder haYom (1599)

A different version of the poem Lekha Dodi according to the book Seder haYom by R. Moshe ibn Makhir of righteous blessed memory, vocalized and translated into English by Isaac Mayer. . . .

אֶהְיֶה בְּעֵדֶן | Ehyeh b’Aden :: A piyyut containing the 42 Letter Name, in Sefer Ma’avar Yaboq (1626)

A 42 Letter Divine Name acrostic piyyut to comfort someone in the process of dying. . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .

אל רם חסין יה | El Ram Ḥasin Yah, a piyyut for Sukkot by Shlomo haPaytan (egal adaptation by Noam Sienna, 2012)

This is one of my favourite Sukkot piyyutim, not least because of the wonderful and easily singable call-and-response melody! The seven verses each highlight one of the seven traditional ushpizin [mythic guests], and a few years ago I wrote an additional seven verses for the seven female ushpizata according to the order of Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org). . . .

Piyyutim to Introduce the First Aliyot of Each Book in the Torah, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

These are piyyutim written in a traditional style, meant to introduce the opening of each book in the Torah. These piyyutim can be used at any time the opening line of the reading is said – on the Shabbat Minḥa/Monday/Thursday prior to the reading OR on the Shabbat morning of the reading proper. Because of this, the sheets arranged including the readings use two sizes – a larger size for the shorter first reading for weekdays, and a smaller size for the full first reading on Shabbatot. They can only be read when the first verse of the book is read. . . .

ישתבח שמך | Yishtabaḥ Shimkha, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his adaptation of the liturgy for the final section of liturgy from the Pesukei Dezimrah, “Yishtabaḥ Shimkha,” in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

(אתא הוא ואז ישיר (מקוצר | Atah Hu and a condensed Az Yashir, adapted and translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of נחמיה ט׃ו-י (Neḥemyah 9:6-10) in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

ברוך ה׳ לעולם | Barukh Hashem l’Olam :: Bless Yah Always, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

In the daily Shaḥarit (morning) psukei dzemirah service, this centos completes the reading of Psalms 145-150 and precedes the reading of Vayivarekh David” (1 Chronicles 29:10-13). Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of the linked verse piyyut, “Barukh YHVH (Hashem) L’Olam” in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). . . .

נחמו נחמו עמי | Naḥamu, Naḥamu Ami (Comfort, comfort, my people), a piyyut for Tisha b’Aḅ

This beautiful piyyut of unknown authorship is recited in most Sephardic, Mizrahi and Yemenite traditions on Tisha B’ab at Minḥah. In its stanzas, rich and replete with biblical references (as is particularly common in Sephardic Piyyut), God speaks to Jerusalem and promises to comfort her, and comfort and redeem her people. . . .

מעוז צור | Maoz Tsur, attributed to Mordecai ben Yitsḥak haLevi (adapted by R’ Joseph H. Hertz, trans. by Solomon Solis-Cohen)

Maoz Tsur as translated by Dr. Solomon Solis-Cohen, with Hebrew adapted in the first stanza by Joseph Herman Hertz, chief rabbi of the British Empire. . . .

יהי כבוד | Yehi Kh’vod, interpretive translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of “Yehi Kh’vod” in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). To the best of my ability, I have set his translation side-by-side with the verses comprising the piyyut. . . .

A Story of the World (for the Avodah Service on Yom Kippur) by R’ Yonah Lavery-Yisraeli

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אשׂא למרחוק | Essa Lameraḥoq by Aharon ben Yosef of Constantinople (13th c.), translated by Gabriel Wasserman

Loading Source (Hebrew) Translation (English) אֶשָּׂא לְמֵרָחוֹק דֵּעִי אֲתַנֶּה | צִדְקוֹת אֵלִי וּמוֹשִׁיעִי בְּשֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים כִּלָּה כֹּל | מַלְכִּי וְרֹעִי   קהל: וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱלֹהִים | אֶת יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי. (בראשית ב:ג) I will speak my mind regarding [matters] long ago, I will declare the righteous deeds of my God and my rescuer: In six days He . . .

ברוך שאמר | Barukh She’amar, interpretive translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l

This English translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l of “Barukh Sh’amar,” was first published in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). Linear associations of this translation according to the nusaḥ ha-ARI z”l by Aharon Varady. . . .

אָנָּא בְּכֹחַ | Ana b’Khoaḥ, with a singing translation in English by Reb Zalman z”l

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

סליחה מר׳ יצחק אבן גיאת | Seliḥah by Yitsḥak ben Yehudah Ibn Ghayyat (ca. 11th century) translated by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l

The following love poem is one of the Selihot recited between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Ibn Gayat (1038 – 1089) was not timid about using the most intimate symbols in asking God to become reconciled with us. . . .

ידיד נפש | Yedid Nefesh attributed to Elazar ben Moshe Azikri ca. 16th c. (Arabic translation by Hillel Farḥi, ca. 1913)

Yedid Nefesh is a piyyut composed by Elazar ben Moshe Azikri (1533-1600) commonly found in the morning baqashot of Sepharadi siddurim and as a petiḥah for Kabbalat Shabbat in many siddurim. This is a faithful transcription of Yedid Nefesh translated into Arabic from סדור פרחי سدور فرحي Siddur Farḥi (nusaḥ Sefaradi, minhag Egypt 1913, 1917) by Hillel Farḥi (1868-1940). (A copy of Siddur Farhi can be ordered from the Farḥi Foundation here.) Transcription of the Arabic was made by Wikisource contributor Avigdor24, here. Please help to proofread and improve this transcription. Join us in the digital transcription of Siddur Farḥi on Hebrew Wikisource. . . .

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. . . .

פיוט למילה | Piyyut for a Milah (circumcision) by Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen

This is a piyyut (liturgical poem) which is intended to be recited at a brit. It is connected to my liturgy for a “chag hachnassah labrit” (available here). The explanation for the chag is also the basis for the piyyut. Translation into English by Shoshanna Gershenson, Maeera Schreiber and Aryeh Cohen. . . .

אודך כי אנפת בי | Odekha Ki Anafta Bi, a Yotser (Hymn) for Ḥanukkah by Yosef bar Shlomo of Carcassone (ca. 11th cent.)

Odecha ki anafta bi (I give thanks to you although you were angry with me) was composed by Joseph ben Solomon of Carcassonne, who is dated to the first half of the eleventh century. This elegant and abstruse poem tells an epic tale of the Jews’ resistance to the decrees of Antiochus IV and includes accounts of both the Hasmonean bride and Judith. It bears a considerable resemblance to texts 4 and 12 of the Hanukkah midrashim[ref]See Grintz, Sefer Yehudit, pp. 205, 207–08[/ref] and this is evidence for the circulation of the joint Hasmonean daughter-Judith tales in the eleventh century, even if the surviving manuscripts of these stories are from a later date.” (Deborah Levine Gera, “The Jewish Textual Traditions” in The Sword of Judith: Judith Studies Across the Disciplines (2010).) . . .

ז׳ אדר | Ḥonenu Yah Ḥonenu (Forgive Us Yah in the Merit of Moshe Rabbenu)

The 7th of Adar is the traditional date for the yahrzeit of Moshe Rabbeinu and it is also remembered as the day of his birth 120 years earlier. This variation of of the piyyut, Hanenu Yah Hanenu (Forgive Us Yah, Forgive Us), sung on 7 Adar, is attributed to Rabbi Yosef Ḥayyim of Baghdad (the Ben Ish Ḥai, 1832-1909). The earliest published version we could find appears in בקשות: ונוסף עוד פתיחות ופיוטים הנוהגים לומר בזמה הזה (1912) containing piyyutim by Israel ben Moses Najara (1555-1625), a Jewish liturgical poet, preacher, Biblical commentator, kabbalist, and rabbi of Gaza. The contemporary audio recording of the Iraqi nusaḥ presented here was made by משה חבושה (Moshe Ḥavusha). . . .

ז׳ אדר | Tsa’akah Yokheved, a piyyut attributed to Shmuel Shlomo (before 1050 CE)

The 7th of Adar is the traditional date for the yahrzeit of Moshe Rabbeinu and it is also remembered as the day of his birth 120 years earlier. This variation of of the piyyut, Tsa’akah Yokheved, popularly sung on 7 Adar, is first attested in a 1712 Sepharadi mahzor published in Amsterdam, as transcribed above with some minor changes with the contemporary audio recording of the Iraqi nusaḥ made by משה חבושה (Moshe Ḥavusha). (The piyyut appear without niqqud.) An older version (perhaps the original version), attributed in the Maagarim database to Shmuel Shlomo and dated before 1050 CE, is attested in two manuscripts: “London, British Library 699” and “Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, Ham. 288”. Ibn Ezra (1089-1167) quotes a stanza from the version we have presented here (“וכבד אמי אחרי התנחמי”) indicating that this version may be at least as old. . . .

חַד גַּדְיָא | Ḥad Gadya in Aramaic and Yiddish (Prague Haggadah, ca. 1526)

Making sense of Ḥad Gadya beyond its explicit meaning has long inspired commentary. For me, Ḥad Gadya expresses in its own beautiful and macabre way a particularly important idea in Judaism that has become obscure if not esoteric. While an animal’s life may today be purchased, ultimately, the forces of exploitation, predation, and destruction that dominate our world will be overturned. Singing Ḥad Gadya is thus particularly apropos for the night of Passover since, in the Jewish calendar, this one night, different from all other nights, is considered the most dangerous night of the year — it is the time in which the forces of darkness in the world are strongest. Why? It is on this night that the divine aspect of Mashḥit, the executioner, is explicitly invoked (albeit, only in the context of the divine acting as midwife and guardian/protector of her people), as explained in the midrash for Exodus 12:12 . . .

תפילת גשם בזכות האמהות | Prayer for Rain in the Merit of the Matriarchs by Rabbi Jill Hammer

The time of Sukkot is a time of fullness and generosity, but also a time to pray for the coming season. Shemini Atzeret, the festival when we pray for rain, is an expression of our need for water, which in the Jewish tradition symbolizes life, renewal, and deliverance. Tefillat Geshem, a graceful fixture of the Ashkenazic liturgy, invokes the patriarchs as exemplars of holiness and model recipients of God’s love. This prayer uses water as a metaphor for devotion and faith, asking that God grant us life-sustaining rain. While its authorship is unknown, it is sometimes attributed to Elazar Kallir, the great liturgist who lived sometime during the first millenium. Each year, we are reminded of our people’s connection to the patriarchs and to the rhythms of water, spiritual and physical sources of life, through this medieval piyyut. While we know that rain is a natural process, formal thanksgiving for water as a source of life, energy, and beauty reminds us that our Creator is the source of our physical world and its many wonders. . . .

מעוז צור | Maoz Tsur (Rock of Ages), singing translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l

A singing translation of the popular piyyut (devotional poem), “Maoz Tzur,” by Reb Zalman for Ḥanukkah. . . .

ידיד נפש | Yedid Nefesh attributed to Elazar ben Moshe Azikri ca. 16th c. (translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi)

You who love my soul Compassion’s gentle source, Take my disposition and shape it to Your will. Like a darting deer I will flee to You. Before Your glorious Presence Humbly I do bow. Let Your sweet love Delight me with its thrill Because no other dainty Will my hunger still. . . .

פיוט למוזיקאי קודם שיופיע | A Performing Musician’s Piyut by Alan Jay Sufrin

This piyut (liturgical poem) arose after a very meaningful performance of mine in the summer of 2000. It was such a powerful experience that I was moved to say a prayer of thanks to G-d for the opportunity to perform my songs for audiences – but found no such prayer in existence. So I wrote this one. It took about a year to complete and I’ve been saying it backstage right before my performances, and sometimes before recording sessions, since then. . . .

יִגְדַּל אֱלֹהִים חַי | Yigdal by Daniel ben Judah (German translation by Chajm Guski)

Gelobt sei der lebendige Gott! Ihn grenzt nicht Raum, ihn grenzt nicht Zeit. Er ist der Einzige, dem nichts gleicht in seiner hehren Einzigkeit. Er ist nicht Form, ist nicht Gestalt, „der Heilige“, sich gleichend bloß. Der Urbeginn, vor allem Sein: Anfang, der selber anfangslos. So waltet er als Herr der Welt, von dessen Macht das All erzählt. Mit dessen Geist erfüllte er G-ttkünder, die er auserwählt. Nie stand, wie Mosche, einer auf, der je so klar sein Bild erschaut. Die wahre Torah gab uns Gott durch ihn, der seinem Haus vertraut. Und nie verwirft Gott sein Gesetz, nie gibt er es für ein anderes hin. Er schaut in unser Herz und weiß das Ende schon beim Anbeginn. Von ihm wird nach Verdienst und Schuld uns Lohn und Strafe einst zuteil. Die Zeit des G-ttesreiches kommt und bringt den Harrenden das Heil. Die Toten weckt er auf zur Zeit. Gelobt sei Gott in Ewigkeit. . . .


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