Shabbat music

Zemirot or Z'mirot (Hebrew: זמירות‎) (Yiddish: Zmiros; Biblical Hebrew: Z'miroth; singular: zemer/z'mer) are Jewish hymns, usually sung in the Hebrew or Aramaic languages, but sometimes also in Yiddish or Ladino. The best known zemirot are those sung around the table during Shabbat and Jewish holidays. Some of the Sabbath zemirot are specific to certain times of the day, such those sung for the Friday evening meal, the Saturday noon meal, and the third Sabbath meal just before sundown on Saturday afternoon. In some editions of the Jewish prayerbook (siddur), the words to these hymns are printed after the opening prayer (kiddush) for each meal. Other zemirot are more generic and can be sung at any meal or other sacred occasion.

The words to many zemirot are taken from poems written by various rabbis and sages during the Middle Ages. Others are anonymous folk songs that have been passed down from generation to generation. The words generally focus on the themes of the Sabbath or the specific holiday being celebrated.

The melodies vary greatly from one Jewish community to another, as local tunes and styles of music are adapted to the same liturgical poems. One famous hymn, Adon Olam, (Ruler of the Universe) has been set to literally hundreds of different tunes. Jews of different backgrounds enjoy sharing the various versions when they meet around the Sabbath table. New tunes continue to be written today for the same ancient lyrics. It is now rare, however, for new zemer-type lyrics to be written.

The term zemirot is used by Spanish and Portuguese Jews to refer to the sequence of psalms in the morning service, known to other communities as pesuke de-zimrah.

See also

External links

  • The Zemirot Database
  • Traditional Sephardi Zemirot
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.