NISHMAT KOL ḤAI (Heb. נִשְׁמַת כָּל חַי; "The soul of every living being"), the initial words and name of a prayer recited at Sabbath and festival morning services at the conclusion of the pesukei de-zimra introductory biblical hymns. This prayer expresses the gratitude men owe to God for His mercies in sustaining them. In talmudic literature it is called Birkat ha-Shir ("Benediction of the Song," Pes. 10:7, and 117b–118a). Based upon the opinion of R. Johanan, Nishmat also became part of the Passover haggadah . Nishmat consists of three main sections. The first contains an avowal of God's unity: "Besides Thee we have no King. Deliverer, Savior, Redeemer… We have no King but Thee." Some scholars believed that this passage was composed by the apostle Peter as a protest against concepts foreign to pure monotheism (A. Jellinek, Beit ha-Midrash, 6 (19382), 12; Maḥzor Vitry, ed. by S. Hurwitz (19232), 282; Hertz, 416). The second section starting with the words: "If our mouths were full of song as the sea… "originated in the tannaitic period. It is similar to the formula of thanksgiving for abundant rain recited in that period. The passage: "If our eyes were shining like the sun and the moon… we could not thank God for the… myriads of benefits He has wrought for us" especially, is thought to substantiate this ascription to the tannaitic period since it reflects the opinion of Rav Judah that God has to be praised for each drop of rain (Ber. 59b; Ta'an. 6b; Maim. Yad, Berakhot, 10:5). The third section, starting with the words: "From Egypt Thou hast redeemed us," is believed to have originated in the geonic period (c. tenth century C.E.). There is considerable disagreement among scholars about the original version of the Nishmat. There is, however, a general consensus that there existed an ancient but shorter version, called Birkat ha-Shir, which was later amplified and enlarged. This view is supported by the fact that the Nishmat in the Ashkenazi and in the Sephardi ritual, respectively, differ only in the wording of two or three sentences (compare Seder R. Amram Ga'on , 27b and Maḥzor Vitry (1923), 148–54). In most prayer books the words ha-Melekh, Shokhen ad and ha-El are printed in large type, since the ḥazzan starts the central part of the morning service at these places, on High Holy Days, Sabbath, and festivals respectively. In the section Be-fi yesharim ("By the mouth of the upright") some prayer books mark an acrostic of the names Isaac and Rebekah, which was not customary in Jewish liturgical poetry prior to the Middle Ages. Some scholars consider it a later addition, but it could be also coincidental. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Eisenstein, Dinim, S.V.; Elbogen, Gottesdienst, 113–4; Davidson, Oẓar, 3 (1930), 231–2; E. Levy, Yesodot ha-Tefillah (19522), 134–5, 228; E.D. Goldschmidt, Haggadah shel Pesaḥ, Mekoroteha ve-Toledoteha (1960), 66–68, 107–8; E. Munk, The World of Prayer, 2 (1963), 29–32; J. Heinemann, Ha-Tefillah bi-Tekufat ha-Tanna'im ve-ha-Amora'im (19662), 41–45, 152; idem, in: Tarbiz, 30 (1960/61), 409–10.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • MUSIC — This article is arranged according to the following outline: introduction written sources of direct and circumstantial evidence the material relics and iconography notated sources oral tradition archives and important collections of jewish music… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • PRAYER BOOKS — Books containing the texts of the customary daily prayers did not exist in ancient times. Sources of tannaitic and amoraic times take it as understood that prayer is by heart (e.g., Ber. 5:3–5; RH 4:5–6; Ta an. 2:2). In public prayer the reader… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Hayim Palaggi — or Palache ( MaHaRHaF or HaVIF , 1788, Smyrna, Turkey – 1869, Smyrna) was a Turkish rabbinical author; maternal grandson of Joseph ben Hayyim Hazan, author of Hikre Leb ; pupil of Isaac Gategno, author of Bet Yitzhak . After serving as president… …   Wikipedia

  • Haim Palachi — Tomb of Rabbi Chaim Palagi in İzmir, Turkey. Haim Palachi, also spelt Palaggi, (Acronym: MaHaRHaF or HaVIF) (1788, Smyrna, Turkey – 1869, Smyrna) was a Turkish author; maternal grandson of Joseph ben Hayyim Hazan, author of Hikre Leb; pupil of… …   Wikipedia

  • HAGGADAH, PASSOVER — (Heb. הַגָּדָה; telling ), a set form of benedictions, prayers, midrashic comments and psalms recited at the seder ritual on the eve of passover .   INTRODUCTION The Haggadah is based on the seder service prescribed by the Mishnah (Pes. 10),… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • PALACHE (Palaggi), ḤAYYIM — (also called by the acronym Ḥabif; 1788–1869), rabbi and ḥakham bashi. Born in Izmir (Smyrna), Palache, a member of the distinguished palache family, was the grandson on his mother s side of Joseph Raphael Ḥazzan (author of Ḥikrei Lev) and was a… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • ASCOLI — ASCOLI, Italian family, originating from the city of ascoli piceno near Ancona. Members of the family are known from the 15th century. Among its members was JACOB BEN ABRAHAM OF ASCOLI (15th century), rabbi, physician, and liturgical poet. He… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • PESUKEI DE-ZIMRA — (Aram. פְּסוּקֵי דְזִמְדָא; lit. verses of song/praise ; cf. Shab. 118b; Soferim 18:1, ed. Higger), in the Ashkenazi rite, the Psalms and cognate biblical passages recited in Shaḥarit immediately following the morning benedictions ; the Sephardi …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • RENASSIA, YOSSEF — (1879–1962), Algerian rabbi. Renassia was a dayyan (rabbinical judge) in constantine , algeria , the chief rabbi of the community, and a primary force behind all types of Jewish education in that community. He was a significant figure in the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • KABBALAH — This entry is arranged according to the following outline: introduction general notes terms used for kabbalah the historical development of the kabbalah the early beginnings of mysticism and esotericism apocalyptic esotericism and merkabah… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”