From Neil W. Levin's Introduction to Volume 14:
Although it was composed in America and aimed primarily at American orthodox and traditional services for Hoshana Rabba—the seventh day of the Festival of Sukkot—Moshe Ganchoff’s setting of Hosha na even sh’siya comes closest among the compositions in this volume to reflecting the spirit of the solo cantorial style one might have heard in the modern khor shul of eastern Europe. The text is an acrostic piyyut comprising twenty-two alphabetical synonyms that refer to the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. Chanted during the second of seven processions on Hoshana Rabba, this is one of Ganchoff’s most beloved works. Its cantorial lines combine emotional intensity with restraint and dignity, and its formal structure is carefully conceived with judicious timing and pacing. The refrain, which the congregants join in singing during their procession, is at once uplifting and awesome in its regal simplicity.
Sung in Hebrew
(This poem, recited during the Sukkot festival, is a paragraph dedicated to Jerusalem the city and to the holy temple that stood in its midst.
The poem begins with the phrase “Please help for the sake of…” which becomes the refrain, and continues on with an alphabetic acrostic.)
Please help for the sake of…
א. even sh’ti’a: the temple’s foundation stone.
ב. bet hab’ḥira: the home that God chose for himself.
ג. goren arnan: the threshing floor upon which the temple was built.
ד. d’vir hamutzna: the hidden palace— the Holy of the Holies— a closed room where the tablets of the law were placed in an ark— a room never opened except for the entrance of the high priest on Yom Kippur.
ה. har hamoriya: Mount Moria— the Temple Mount.
ו. v’har yera’e: the mountain where God is to be seen.
ז. zvul tifartekha: God’s glorious royal residence.
ח. hana david: the city where king David camped.
ט. tov hall’vanon: the glory of the temple mount, which is connected in scripture to the glories of Lebanon.
י. y’fe nof m’sos kol ha’aretz: city of ecstatic beauty—the joy of all the world, Jerusalem.
כ. k’lilat yofi: the sum of all beauty, Jerusalem.
ל. linat hatzedek: the city where righteousness dwells, Jerusalem.
מ. makhon l’shivt’kha: the place for God to dwell, Jerusalem.
נ. nave sha’anan: the secure homestead, Jerusalem.
ס. sukat shalem: ancient Jerusalem, which eventually became Gods abode.
ע. ali’yat shvatim: the place to where the tribes of Israel came up for the pilgrimage festivals, Jerusalem.
פ. pinnat yikrat: a small most precious corner of the world, Jerusalem.
צ. tziyon ham’tzuyenet: Zion, distinguished in good deeds.
ק. kodesh hakadoshim: the temple’s holiest room—the Holy of the Holies.
ר. ratzuf ahava: the three elements bonded in love: the ark, the cherubim and the tablets of the law.
ש. skhinat k’vodekha: God’s holy presence.
ת. tel talpi’yot: the Temple Mount; all corners of the earth face it.
Hosha na, for the sake of all of these, help us!
Performers: Finchley Children's Music Group; Neil Levin, Conductor; Alberto Mizrahi, Cantor; Schola Hebraeica
Translation: Rabbi Morton M. Leifman
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