By Michael D. Swartz, Joseph Yahalom
Avodah: old Poems for Yom Kippur is the 1st significant translation of 1 of an important genres of the misplaced literature of the traditional synagogue. referred to as the Avodah piyyutim, this liturgical poetry used to be composed through the synagogue poets of 5th- to ninth-century Palestine and sung within the synagogues on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. even though it used to be suppressed through generations of Rabbis, its decorative attractiveness and deep exploration of sacred tales ensured its reputation for hundreds of years. Piyyut literature can train us a lot approximately how old Jews understood sacrifice, sacred area, and sin. The poems also are a wealthy resource for retrieving myths and logos no longer present in the traditional Rabbinic assets equivalent to the Talmuds and Midrash. furthermore, those compositions upward push to the extent of excellent literature. they're the goods of serious literary attempt, proceed and expand the culture of biblical parallelism, and show the cultured sensibilities of the Mediterranean in past due Antiquity. The book's layout is cutting edge and acceptable for this advanced, allusive style of poetry. The Hebrew and English seem on dealing with pages with the references revealed in a column to the aspect of the web page. because the historic listener may pay attention the poem chanted within the synagogue and remember the biblical references and legends in keeping with them, the fashionable reader will learn the physique of the poem and be capable to seek advice the references with out being distracted via footnotes. The booklet comprises an in depth creation that not just describes the Avodah style of piyyut but additionally areas the poetry of the synagogue into the context of the artwork and civilization of the Mediterranean in overdue Antiquity. Avodah: historic Poems for Yom Kippur is the 1st quantity within the Penn country Library of Jewish Literature, overseen through Baruch Halpern and Aminadav Dykman. This sequence will represent a library of basic resource fabric for the Jewish and Hebrew literary traditions. The library will current Jewish and Hebrew works from all eras and cultures, delivering either students and normal readers unique, smooth translations of formerly neglected texts.
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Extra info for Avodah: an anthology of ancient poetry for Yom Kippur
1921), 178‒208. 64. For summaries of the history of the Avodah, see Elbogen, Jewish Liturgy, 174, 217, 238‒39, and 249‒50; Goldschmidt, Mahzor, 18‒25; and Ezra Fleischer, Shirat ha-Qodesh Ha-5Ivrit Be-Yeme µ ha-Benayim (Jerusalem: Keter, 1975), 173‒77. An important early discussion is found in Elbogen, Studien; cf. ” 65. ” See also idem, Be-No5am Siah: µ Peraqim mi-Toldot Sifrutenu (Lod: Haberman Institute for Literary Research, 1983), 46‒113. 66. See, for example, Lawrence A. Hoffman, Beyond the Text: A Holistic Approach to Liturgy (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987), 108‒13; Zohar, “U-Mi Metaher 6Etkhem”; Yahalom, Az be-6En Kol; idem, Piyyut u-Mesi6ut, 107‒36; Michael D.
70 Biblical poetry had earlier relied on parallel structure to convey poetic meaning and style. Piyyut often extended the biblical tradition of parallelism by emphasizing relationships between hemistichs within lines of verse. Thus the opening of Yose ben Yose’s Azkir Gevurot uses syntactic and semantic parallelism between the hemistichs as well as between whole lines. Here the lines are arranged from left to right so as to illustrate this technique: Let me recount the wonders Who is unique, there is no other, of the magnificent God, self-sufficient and none second to Him.
The last major poet to compose an Avodah poem was the nineteenth-century Italian scholar Samuel David Luzzatto. 63 The Avodah has been the subject of scholarly attention since the beginning of modern liturgical studies, and the literary history of the Avodah has been traced by such scholars as Ismar Elbogen, S. D. Luzzato, A. 66 l it e r a r y t e c h n iq u e s Avodah piyyutim follow most of the conventions of piyyut as a whole. The poems are based on an alphabetic acrostic. Occasionally the acrostic goes in reverse order of the alphabet, and often each letter of the alphabet is repeated several times.
Avodah: an anthology of ancient poetry for Yom Kippur by Michael D. Swartz, Joseph Yahalom