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Tal u’Matar: The Prayer for Dew and Rain
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In the winter months, the words “v’tein tal u’matar livracha” (“send dew and rain for a blessing”) are inserted in Shemoneh Esrei, in the bracha “Birkat HaShanim.” (That’s the one that ends “m’vareich hashanim”). Outside of Israel, we start saying the request for dew and rain at Maariv on the sixtieth day after the autumnal […]
Eilu Devarim: Part I – The Mishna in Peah
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Introduction There’s something recited every day of the year as part of the preliminary morning blessings that most people probably don’t give too much thought. I refer to the two paragraphs of Eilu Devarim, which we recite after the blessings on Torah study. Each day, we recite the brachos of laasok b’divrei Torah (that God […]
Understanding Anim Zemiros
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Introduction Shir HaKavod – The Hymn of Honor – is better known by its opening words, Anim Zemiros (“I will compose pleasant songs”). The song is popularly attributed to Rav Yehuda HaChasid, though it was more likely composed by his father, Rabbi Shmuel ben Kalonymus HaChasid of Speyer (12th century), who also composed Shir HaYichud […]