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Sunday, October 9, 2016

I've been occasionally commenting on some specified piyutim (intricate poems said before and during the High Holy Days) during the Selichot services.

I was struck by a pair of piyutim, one from Friday's service and one from Sunday's, in the Ashkenazic order of the service.

On Friday, the longest piyut was dedicated to Jerusalem. The author is unknown. The word "Jerusalem" introduced every verse and the end of every verse was an explicit Biblical quote about Jerusalem. Altogether the word was mentioned 54 times in this one prayer alone, begging God to restore Jerusalem to its former glory.

That's 54 more than the number of times Jerusalem is mentioned in the Quran.

In Sunday's selichot, there was a remarkably similar piyut using essentially the same form (reverse alphabetical acrostic instead of straight for the second word of each stanza), probably by the same poet-scholar. but instead of "Jerusalem" the motif is "Shalom," peace.

"Peace" and "Jerusalem" are part of the Jewish DNA.

The irony is that the world wants to ensure that the Jewish people have neither.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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