V'sham na'aseh...uvahodesh hash'vi'i...uminhatam v'niskeihem 01:21
Ohila la'el 01:31
Malkhuyot: alenue 02:30
Malkhuyot: Al ken n'kaveh l'kha....V'ne'emar lo hibit...V'al y'dei avodekha...M'lokh al kol ha'aretz 15:24
Shofar blasts 00:20
Hayom harat olam 00:27
Areshet s'fateinu 01:02
Zikhronot: ata zokher...vayizkor elohim eth no'ah 07:04
Zikhronot, continued: V'al y'dei avodekha...zokharti lakh...haben yakir li 07:01
Zikhronot, continued:Zokhreinu b'zikhron zokher 04:45
Shofar blasts: Hayom harat olam 04:06
Areshet s'fateinu 01:14
Shofarot: Ata nigleita 05:22
Shofarot, continued: Tik'u vahodesh shofar; Halleluya; V'al y'dei avodekha 07:01
Shof'rot, continued: Uv'yom simhatekhem b'rakha 02:41
Shofar blasts 00:30
Hayom harat olam 00:27
Areshet s'fateinu 01:11
Hoda'ot r'tze...modim...avinu malkenu z'khor...ukh'tov l'hayyim 02:48
Birkt kohanim; Sim shalom; B'sefer hayyim; V'ne'emar ki vi yirbu 03:42
Hayom t'amtzenu; K'hayom hazeh 04:49
Kaddish titkabel / Kaddish shalem 02:43

Liner Notes

 Annotated tracklisting:
1. V'SHAM NA'ASEH . . . .  cantorial recitation
2. OḤILA LA'EL cantorial improvisation on established motif


3. ALEINU  arr. Joshua Samuel Weisser


Jacob Rappaport and cantorial improvisation

cantorial improvisations on malkhuyot motifs

Isaac Kaminsky; Moshe Ganchoff 
6. HAYOM HARAT OLAM  cantorial improvisation
7. ARESHET S'FATEINU congregational tune, anon.


8. ATA ZOKHER . . . .   cantorial improvisation on zikhronot motifs 
9. V'AL Y'DEI AVODEKHA . . . zokharti lakh  Isaac Kaminsky; solo: Elizabeth Shammash 

KI ZOKHER . . . . 
cantorial improvisation on zikhronot motifs

Paul Discount


arr. Sholom Kalib
12. ARESHET S'FATEINU Joshua Lind; solo: Magda Fishman*  


13. ATA NIGLEITA  Isaac Kaminsky; Moshe Ganchoff;
Samuel Kavetsky; solo: Melissa Berman*

HALLELUYA (Psalm 150)


Isaac Kaminsky; Moshe Ganchoff

Jack Goldstein

cantorial improvisation on shofarot motifs

Paul Discount
15. UV'YOM SIMḤATKHEM   Sholom Secunda
17.  HAYOM HARAT OLAM cantorial improvisation
18. ARESHET S'FATEINU Joshua Lind; solo: Shayna Smith* 


19. R'TZEI . . . MODIM . . . AVINU MALKENU Z'KHOR . . . 
cantorial recitation


cantorial recitation

attrib. Israel Goldfarb

cantorial recitation 

Joshua Lind

cantorial reciation 
22. KADDISH TITKABEL (Kaddish Shalem)  Yankl Gottlieb 

* cantorial student at time of recording; subsequently ordained/invested as hazzan.

The notes below pertain to the individual liturgical settings contained within this recording of the Musaf Service for Rosh Hashanah. For more on the liturgical and aesthetic parameters of the musaf service, see here

Continued from part one.

OḤILA LA’EL (Track 2): A r’shut in which the cantor asks God for the gifts of speech and song necessary properly to offer praise and sing of His might and sovereignty in the immediately succeeding malkhuyot division (the fourth b’rakha), commencing with aleinu. The governing misinai motif of oḥila la’el includes motives, intervals, and strains similar to those that pervade the n’ila (concluding) service of Yom Kippur, and it is possible that the two motifs began as a single one.

T’KI’ATOT (Tracks 3–18): The tripartite section comprising the t’filla, biblical quotations, piyyutim, and other insertions of the fourth, fifth, and sixth b’rakhot—each followed by a series of ten shofar blasts (except when the first day of Rosh Hashana falls on Shabbat, when musical instruments cannot be played). T’ki’atot is the presumed plural of the Aramaic t’ki’ata, the term signifying each of the three divisions.

Each of these divisions—malkhuyot (Divine sovereignty), zikhronot (remembrances), and shofarot (shofar soundings and their significance)—concerns and illustrates one of the central theological themes of Rosh Hashana: (1) God’s absolute, supreme kingship of the world and all that it implies, which would include the supremacy of His decrees and judgments; (2) God as the recorder of all human deeds, acts, and thoughts in His unalloyed remembrance of all things, who thus remembers all promises and covenants—hence one of Rosh Hashana’s designations as yom hazikaron (Day of Remembrances, or Remembering); and (3) God as revealer of Himself at Sinai with His teaching, who will reveal Himself again with Israel’s redemption from exile and its return to Zion. This third theme gives us the third of Rosh Hashana’s designations: yom t’ru’a—the Day of the Shofar Blasts, which, we are told, heralded the revelation when the Torah was given through Moses, and which will herald the future redemption.

In modern contexts and for modern sensibilities, these three themes can be understood at the same time as God the Creator of nature, viz., the primeval basis of all existence; God in terms of history, and thus relating to Israel’s collective memory; and God as ultimate revealer of truth and wisdom.

Each of the ten series of biblical quotations within each division is preceded by a prologue, followed by continuing t’filla and an epilogue that leads to the conclusion of the b’rakha. The inclusion of the texts of t’filla as part of each b’rakha, before and after the biblical quotations, is attributed to the third century scholar Rav, who founded the Sura talmudic academy in Babylonia.

A. MALKHUYOT (Tracks 3–5):

ALEINU (Track 3): By most accounts originally exclusive to the High Holy Day musaf, this opening text of the malkhuyot is sometimes called the Great Aleinu, which distinguishes it from its separate recitation upon the conclusion of all services as a quasi-postlude—a practice thought to date to the fourteenth century. Its exalted, lofty, and laudatory poetry is reflected in the magisterial misinai motif assigned to it. That motif is recognized instantly by its incipit of a stately, slowly descending major triad, followed by an octave leap that returns downward to the fifth of the scale and then continues with further phrases of the motif. This particular motif is believed to have been in place as early as the twelfth century in Western Europe. While all cantorial-choral settings of aleinu adhere strictly to the motif, some internal passages are open to additional, fresh but compatible melodic material—as in this setting by Joshua Samuel Weisser [Pilderwasser]. The continuation of aleinu here at al ken n’kaveh l’kha is a cantorial improvisation based on a recitative by Jacob Rappaport. It incorporates emblematic motives and other features of the prayer mode(s) unique to this section.

V’NE’EMAR LO HIBIT (Track 4): Following the cantor’s invocation of the first of the ten biblical quotations, these words introduce the remaining nine. Appropriating the anteceding announcement of each biblical verse, v’ne’emar (And it is said [in Scriptures]), as a refrain for robust (or any) congregational singing is entirely an American invention of long-standing expectation in tradition-oriented congregations. Over the years the custom has spawned numerous, mostly anonymous, lilting and spirited tunes. Despite disapproval under the leadership of more supposedly “Americanized” congregations as “inappropriately boisterous”, unnecessarily repetitive, and impinging upon decorum, a legitimate rationale is nonetheless argued to the contrary. Individual tastes and preferences aside, these admittedly artificial refrains celebrate Scripture as the basis for the t’filla and its themes, and they provide lighthearted relief from the solemnity of the surrounding prayers as well as opportunities for a communal vocal role.

M’LOKH (Track 5): The epilogue of the t’filla leading through the conclusion of the fourth b’rakha, glorying in God’s essence of truth and the splendor of His eternal reign, and praying that human hearts be “purified” so as better to serve Him “in truth”.

This is a juxtaposition of two different but symbiotic musical interpretations. The opening courtly, yet emotionally melodious section is an excerpt of a setting by Isaac Kaminsky (1863–1945) that reflects the declaration of welcome Divine autocracy. Returning to the opening words, the balance is an ennobling, introspective recitative by Moshe

The now ubiquitous, widely expected melody with the conclusion of the b’rakha at melekh al kol ha’aretz, joined by the congregation, is of uncertain origin. It is contained in Zeidl Rovner’s famous composition of the full epilogue. But that was edited by the well-known synagogue choirmaster Oscar Julius, who may (or may not) have incorporated the melody on his own from its preexisting use as anonymous.

Kaminsky—a chorister of the renowned eastern European cantor Nissi Belzer (Nissan Spivak, 1824–1906) prior to immigration to America in 1898—was a well-known cantor in the New York area during the first few decades of the twentieth century. He composed extensively, but nearly all his music has been preserved only in the notations, refinements, and arrangements of Oscar Julius, who championed Kaminsky’s repertoire and is probably largely responsible for its harmonizations.

HAYOM HARAT OLAM (Track 6): An early piyyut (piyyut kadum) that follows each of the three sets of shofar blasts of the fourth, fifth, and sixth b’rakhot. It is recited even when the shofar soundings are omitted on Shabbat. Reminding us that this day (“today”) represents the birth of the universe, the paytan muses on its significance as yom hadin in observing that all will be judged either as God’s children or as His servants. If the former, God is asked to relate to them as a father; if the latter, to realize that we search for Him, viz., for how best to serve Him as willing servants.

A cantorial-choral setting is usually restricted to one of the three occurrences of this piyyut, with the other two left—as here, following the fourth b’rakha—to simple cantorial recitation.

ARESHET S’FATEINU (Track 7): An anonymous piyyut (a slightly different version of which was found in the Cairo Geniza) that follows hayom harat olam but is omitted on Shabbat as it refers directly to the shofar blasts. Each of its three occurrences applies specifically to malkhuyot, zikhronot, and shofarot, respectively. Nearly all musical realizations are animated, buoyant, and vivifying. Many, though not all, are congregational tunes that provide an interval of joyful communal gratification. Others are choral settings in the same mood. The anonymous version here became widely known through its recording (in a slightly different variant) by Yossele Rosenblatt, the most internationally famous cantor of all time. But he neither composed nor claimed credit for it. All attempted attributions are unsubstantiated.

B. ZIKHRONOT (Tracks 8–10)

ATA ZOKHER (Track 8): The prologue to the biblical verses of the zikhronot. The cantorial improvisation, which extends through the fifth biblical verse quotation, is based on the prayer mode applicable to this section, incorporating established motives, turns of phrase, and cadences attached dramatically to particular words and sentiments. The vocally expressed references range from God’s compassionate mindfulness of His covenants to His relenting from anger, and from the possibility of deserved consequences of strict judgment to trust in His leniency—if nothing else, for the sake of memory. Especially notable in this improvisation are the subtle momentary vacillations between major and minor tonalities mixed with modal echoes, fluctuations in timbres, and sensitive shadings of particular operative words. It is also peppered with occasional restrained metricalizations for emphasis. The interplay among all these features exudes an overall spirit of confidence in the force of historical memory to tip the balance of judgment in our favor.

V’AL Y’DEI AVADEKHA . . . ZAKHARTI LAKH . . . (Track 9): A popular melodious setting by Isaac Kaminsky that includes without interruption the seventh, eighth, and ninth Prophetic verse quotations of zikhronot, beginning with the introductory line in the t’filla (“And in the words of Your servants and prophets it is written . . .”).

Even though the aggregate repertoire includes many ornate, decorous cantorial-choral settings of other parts of zikhronot that once enjoyed wide use (zokhrenu b’zikhron tov, for example, which follows the ninth b’rakha), somehow and at some point in America the three verses introduced by v’al y’dei avadekha became the central musical focus—often, eventually, to the exclusion of choral treatments of any other parts of this t’filla text. Elongated, repetitious, and even theatrical pieces such as this one by Isaac Kaminsky—probably his most widely known creation—became an eagerly accepted norm. (At the same time, Lewandowski’s enduring, succinct, and classically oriented setting of the same verses—written for German synagogues but soon known throughout eastern Europe—also remains a “standard” among American congregations and is often performed on one of the two days of Rosh Hashana.)

The poetic metaphor of Israel as a child whose father’s parental anger is lovingly assuaged and short-lived—the more so in memory of Israel’s “youthful devotion”—has intrigued composers and worshippers alike. And this no doubt accounts for some of the sentimental melodies and even theatrical antics—some legitimate, some overboard—that have accompanied the ninth quoted verse, from Jeremiah 31:20 (“For is not Efraim my beloved son, my dear child? For even when I reprove him I remember him with love”).

This Kaminsky setting abounds with traditional clichés, such as forte-piano and sforzando attacks on certain words or syllables, as well as suddenly contrasting timbres. There is also a measure of manufactured nostalgia, for which the composer might well have drawn on elements of the Yiddish theater. The solo melody for haven yakir li efra’im that tugs undeniably at heartstrings, though tastefully if not abused, became so familiar that it is sometimes extracted and sung independently as a mistakenly perceived “traditional tune”.

The immediately following continuation of zikhronot here, which incorporates the tenth biblical quotation, is intoned in a cantorial improvisation according to the established prayer mode, emphasizing individual features of minhag ashkenaz. The culminating passage (“You remember things forgotten from the very beginning of time”), which leads into the conclusion of the fifth b’rakha, is a charming miniature setting by Paul Discount.

HAYOM HARAT OLAM (Track 11): A rich cantorial-choral setting of the piyyut with a complicated and still inconclusive story behind both its origin and its dissemination. With a few prior separate and/or developmental iterations, its manuscript circulation in its present form (never published) began in the 1950s as a result of its recording by Cantor Moses J. Silverman. The arrangement comprises four sections, of which the duet melody at im kavonim is the most memorable.

The illustrious virtuoso “star” cantor, Mordecai Hershman, sang a somewhat different version in a 1937 cantorial film, The Voice of Israel, which featured a number of the most internationally famous cantors as well as choral accompaniments. But Hershman was one of the few major cantors of his time (and earlier) who did not compose what he sang; and, typically in those days, composer attributions were not provided on films, records, or radio broadcasts. Moreover, by the 1950s the film was lost and long forgotten—to be discovered and mostly reconstructed from disassembled segments only decades later. A young cantor sojourning in Chicago in the 1950s, however, Shaye [Charles] Englehardt (a.k.a. Jerry Abbott in his later Hollywood career as an arranger and composer, among other studio roles)—whom Cantor Silverman had befriended and helped—had been a boy chorister and soloist in the 1937 film. For Silverman’s recording, he sang what he could recall of Hershman’s rendition in the film to Cantor Silverman and his protegé, the choirmaster and music director Sholom Kalib. Kalib notated Englehardt’s recollection and then turned it into the present cohesive, musically structured, and judiciously harmonized arrangement. Englehardt was always convinced that the duet melody was anonymous at the time of the film (and remains so), and that whoever made the arrangement for Hershman had simply made use of it.

In his typically excessive humility, Kalib identified himself on his circulated manuscript as secondary to Englehardt, as if they had been its joint composers or arrangers, whereas the piece as it had evolved by then is really Kalib’s work based on received materials.

As it turned out years later, Hershman’s rendition in the film resembles in some respects (though not completely) a version now believed to have been written by Sholom Secunda around that time. But Secunda first published it more than two decades after Kalib’s construction of the present form of the piece; and prior to publication, Secunda never made public his version, which he might have written as a “work for hire” for Hershman. By the time it was published, Secunda’s role was more or less irrelevant.

ARESHET S’FATEINU (Track 12): A setting by Joshua Lind (1890–1973) for alto or mezzo-soprano soloist and choir, which exhibits his hallmark natural gift for infectious melody. The clever if theatrical riffs on the operative phrase l’kol t’ki’atenu (to the voice of our shofar soundings) feature repetitive syllabic articulations that underscore—with a bit of license—the centrality of the shofar blasts in the context of the t’ki’atot liturgy. The rendition here following the fifth b’rakha is a chorally souped-up, pulsating arrangement based on a similar version heard in cantorial footage of a vintage film. Lind’s original setting according to his manuscript is heard here on Track 18 in the shofarot section.

Born in Rawa Russko, near Lemberg (L’vov) in Galicia (now Lviv in the Ukraine), Joshua Lind began his cantorial life as a boy chorister in the choir of his father, the Lemberger Shtothazzan (town cantor); and then—and into adulthood—in the choir of the venerable cantor and cantor-composer Zeidl Rovner [Jacob Samuel Maragowsky] before occupying his own pulpits while still in Europe. Rovner’s influence is unmistakable in Lind’s hundreds of compositions following his immigration to America, in 1913. After serving several important pulpits in New York, and after a transcontinental guest pulpit and concert tour with a choir of his children (three of whom became prominent cantors), Lind settled with his family in Chicago, where he became an acknowledged dean of the area’s traditional cantors as well as a cantorial teacher.

Melody, dramatic impact, and cantorial virtuosity were paramount for Lind as a composer. Although he always credited Rovner as his teacher—along with Rovner’s choirmaster—he was basically self-taught. Only a small part of his solo cantorial recitatives was published posthumously; his vast opera of choral settings, with and without cantorial solo roles, remains in manuscript—which is how they were circulated during his lifetime.


ATA NIGLEITA (Track 13): The prologue of the shofarot division and the commencement of the t’filla of the sixth b’rakha, assuring that God “hears with mercy the shofar sounds” of His people Israel. The opening lines are sung here to the beginning of another contribution of Isaac Kaminsky. The image of the “cloud of glory”, by which God is said to have revealed Himself at Sinai, finds expression in the jubilant stride and flourish of the choral statement, employed here as an introduction to shofarot excerpted from the full setting. Returning to the opening lines, the balance of the rendition is a cantorial recitative by Moshe Ganchoff that encompasses the first five biblical verse quotations. It proceeds with artistic sensitivity, bringing life to the various pictorial references, portrayals, and symbols contained in the words. The interpolated alto solo within the second verse quotation (Exodus 19:19) is a melody by Samuel Kavetsky.

TIKU VAḤODESH SHOFAR – PSALM 150 (Track 14): The continuation of shofarot with the sixth biblical verse quotation (Ps.81:4–5), which is assigned here to a stylistically conventional bass solo passage by Kaminsky that suggests a shofar blast by its open intervallic leaps. This leads into the jubilant exposition of Psalm 150 (halleluya) in a setting by Jack Goldstein, a once-popular cantor in the New York area. A catalogue of the musical instruments or instrument families and types of ancient Israel, Psalm 150 calls upon their use in the praise of God. It is widely regarded as a concluding doxology for the entire Book of Psalms.

In its quotation in shofarot, Psalm 150 appears always to have been left open to free composition and not subject to any prayer mode or other aspect of minhag ashkenaz. It has typically invited major tonality on Western models, even in unwesternized heartlands of eastern Europe; and unconcealed influences and assimilations of oratorio and sometimes operatic choral styles and devices seem in general to have been welcome even in the most traditional contexts.

V’AL Y’DEI AVADEKHA – UV’YOM SIMḤATKHEM (Tracks 14–15): Except for the final verse quotation, those remaining verses following Psalm 150 are intoned here in a well-considered cantorial improvisation that adheres closely to certain traditionally established, recognizable motives and phrases, all of which animate the references to the shofar and its significance both historically and with regard to ultimate redemption. The melodic metered choral responses also have traditional pedigree.

The final verse quotation (Numbers 10:10) appears here in the opening of a dramatic cantorial-choral composition by Sholom Secunda (1894–1974), uv’yom simḥatkhem (And on the days of your gladness), which also includes the very brief epilogue prior to its extension through the conclusion of the sixth b’rakha.

T’ka b’shofar (Sound the “great shofar”), the passage of t’filla leading to the final biblical verse quotation of shofarot and the conclusion of this sixth b’rakha, is treated in this setting by Paul Discount with a judicious, appropriate mixture of ceremonial reverence, restrained grandeur, and celebration. The prayer for ingathering of the exiled Jewish people from the Diaspora to Zion (whether spiritually or in actual corporeal terms, depending upon one’s interpretation or orientation)—when collective devotion to God will match the fervor of the former ritual offerings in antiquity—is followed by optimistic anticipation of that ultimate national and religious redemption. The exultation of that joyous eventuality is reflected in the graciously triumphant mood of the music, which suggests a collective procession introduced and heralded by the sounding of a “great shofar”.

Born in Aleksandriya, in the Kherson region of the Ukraine, the thirteen-year-old Secunda came to America with his family in 1907 following a pogrom in Nikolayev, where they had relocated. He will always be remembered first and foremost as one of the most successful and prolific songwriters for the so-called Second Avenue variety of Yiddish musical theater. Still, dating to his childhood as a coveted synagogue boy chorister and then a wunderkind boy cantor, Secunda was also actively involved throughout his life in the music of the synagogue—both as a conductor and a composer. He composed a considerable body of Hebrew liturgical music, which was championed and performed by the celebrated cantor and internationally renowned opera tenor Richard Tucker. Tucker sang this setting of uv’yom simḥatkhem at many of his Rosh Hashana cantorial appearances.

HODA’A (Tracks 19–21): The concluding section of the Rosh Hashana musaf, comprising its remaining three b’rakhot. Their theme—as the umbrella label suggests (hoda’a, viz., thanks or gratitude)—is worship of God in gratitude for one or more things. Except for the interpolated piyyutim and other insertions on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, these three b’rakhot are common to all services throughout the year. For musaf on the High Holy Days, however, they are governed by the applicable prayer mode unique to those occasions, which is the basis for the typically declamatory cantorial recitation here.

Birkat kohanim, the threefold “priestly blessing(s)” established in the Torah (Numbers 6:24–26), with this ceremony dating to the Temple era, is part of the daily morning and afternoon liturgies throughout the year. On the Three Festivals and the High Holy Days in the Diaspora, however, birkat kohanim is ideally pronounced by descendants of the priests or priestly class—the kohanim—in a complicated ritual known as seder dukhan (so named after the platform in the Temple from which the priests issued the blessings). For those congregations in which this is not possible or that choose to omit the ceremony for one or more reasons, prayerbooks provide an option whereby the cantor pronounces the blessings in the name of the kohanim. This option is exercised here.

B’sefer ḥayyim (in the Book of Life) is a hosafa inserted into the final b’rakha—beginning with sim shalom—that is also recited throughout the Ten Days of Repentance. The familiar melody here is attributed to Israel Goldfarb.

Hayom t’amtzeinu (Track 21): Also an insertion into the final b’rakha, this is a litany of the various requests, hopes, and pleas for God’s favorable consideration on “this day”. Only eight lines of the piyyut have been retained, with a ninth added on Yom Kippur.

In eastern European tradition, this poem seems always to have been read with unflinching, auspicious optimism, with nearly all musical expressions matching that buoyant, mirthful spirit of positive expectations. But this setting by Joshua Lind probably outdoes them all in its unbridled gaiety, dancelike enthusiasm, entertaining frolic, and even a sense of humor (perhaps for some, a bit “over the top” in contemporary parlance). It is not, however, structurally or melodically a cohesive piece. Indeed, each line of the poem amounts to a separate “mini-composition” that rarely fails to captivate even the most sober worshippers.

KADDISH SHALEM (Kaddish Titkabel) (Track 22): The full version of kaddish as recited at the conclusion of the statutory liturgy of all services with a minyan (quorum of ten). It has no prescribed mode or melodic content, and it is frequently declaimed simply and rapidly. The engaging, tuneful, and now widely embraced rendition here, however, is a version of a setting composed in Europe by Hazzan Jacob Gottlieb (1852–1900), better known as Yankl der Heiziker (Yankl the Hoarse, or Husky-Voiced). It is now commonly but erroneously called the Hassidic kaddish, only because Gottlieb apparently claimed to have heard Hassidim singing kaddish shalem on Rosh Hashana “cheerfully”—although not to this or any other specifically identified tune in his recollection. In fact, neither the principal melody nor its secondary motives as Gottlieb devised them have been found in the authentic repertoire of any Hassidic dynasty; and Gottlieb referred to his composition simply as yitgadal, the initial word of the text incipit. But he intended it specifically for Rosh Hashana. And from the pulpit he substituted the Yiddish phrase a heym for the final pronouncement of v’al (and all [Israel]), which, he explained, gave it the meaning “And all can now go home [since your prayers have been accepted.”]). Unrelated to the tune, that expresses a typical Hassidic sensibility.



Sung in Hebrew

“In the seventh month, on its first day, you shall celebrate a holy assembly; you must do no work on that day. It shall be a day for loud shofar blasts for you. Prepare a burnt offering for the Lord, a sweet scented offering-- one young bullock, one ram, and seven unblemished one-year-old male lambs .

The accompanying flour offerings and libations were stipulated: for the bullock: three tenths of an ephah of flour; for the ram: two tenths of an ephah; for each lamb: one tenth of an ephah. Requisite wine for the libations is to be added.

In addition: two male goats for atonement, and of course, the two regular daily offerings, and an offering for the New Moon observance, (with the proper libations) ---sweet scented offerings to the Lord!” (Numbers 29: 1-2)

My hopes, my requests are directed to God. I plead before His presence.

I beg of Him the gifts of the musings of my heart that I might sing of His might in the assembled community, express with proper music and chant the magnificence of His deeds. Man can attempt to clarify the musings of his heart, but the power of speech is a gift from God. Oh Lord, open my lips, and let my mouth speak Your praise. Let the words of my mouth and the deliberations of my heart be acceptable to You, my rock, my redeemer.


It is our responsibility to praise the Master of all things, to ascribe greatness to the Creator of all that came into being from the beginning of time.

For He did not make us like other nations of the world, nor place us in positions similar to those of other families of the earth. He did not allot to us a portion like those given to others, nor a destiny like that assigned to their multitudes. Therefore, we bend the knee and bow and give thanks to the Supreme King of kings, the Holy-One, blessed be He.

For it is He who spread out the heavens and established the earth, whose seat of glory is in the heavens above, and whose mighty presence is in the loftiest of heights. He is our God, there is none other. It is true, our King---there is none beside Him. As it is written in Holy Scripture: “Know today, and let your heart consider, that the Lord is God in the heavens above and on the earth below; there is none other.”(Deuteronomy 4: 39)

We therefore put our hope in You, Lord, our God, hope that we will soon see the glory of Your power, when You will remove abominations from the earth; when idolatry will be completely destroyed; when the entire world will be repaired and will become a kingdom of God. Then all children of flesh will call upon Your name, and the wicked of the world will turn towards You. Let all the inhabitants of earth recognize and understand that every knee must bend before You, every tongue swear allegiance to Your name. Before You, oh Lord, our God, let them bow and prostrate themselves, and glorify Your honored name. Let them all accept the yoke of Your kingdom, and rule over them forever and ever. For the dominion is Yours, and You will reign in honor till the end of time. As it is written in Holy Scripture: “The Lord shall reign forever and ever.” (Exodus 15:18)


The Malkhuyot (God’s sovereignty) section of the Rosh Ha-Hashanah Musaf service contains a series of ten biblical texts pertaining to God’s kingship of the universe and of its effect on and relationship to the people of Israel. These verses are identified and translated here. The prayer, aleinu, (see above) is an introduction to the Malkhuyot, and the prayer al ken is a continuation of that introduction. The last text quoted in the introductory section is the first text quoted in the Malkhuyot section of musaf.

As it is said [in the Holy Scriptures]:
God does not focus on Jacob’s sins, nor even see the perverseness of Israel. The Lord their God is with this people, and like shofar blasts they shout in honor of their King.” (Numbers: 23:21) 

And it is said [in the Holy Scriptures]:
“When the leaders of the people assembled, and all of Israel’s tribes were there, God became King in Jeshurun.” (Deuteronomy: 33:5)

And it is said [in the Holy Scriptures]:
“For sovereignty is the Lord’s, and it is He who governs the nations.” (Psalms: 22:29)

And it is said [in the Holy Scriptures]:
“The Lord is King; He is robed in glory. The Lord is robed, girded in strength. His world is firmly fixed in place. It can never be moved.” (Psalms: 93:1) 

And it is said [in the Holy Scriptures]:
“Oh you gates, raise up your heads! You ancient doors, get yourselves up! Let the King of Glory enter! Who then is the King of Glory? The Lord is firm and mighty. Oh you gates, raise up your heads! You ancient doors, get yourselves up! Let the King of Glory enter! Who then is the King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts is the King of Glory. Selah.” (Psalms: 24:7-10)

And in the words of your servants the prophets it is written:
“This is the message of the Lord, the King of Israel, Israel’s redeemer, the Lord of Hosts: ‘ I am the first, and I am the last, and besides Me there is no God.” (Isaiah: 44:6)

And it is said [in the Holy Scriptures]:
“Deliverers will go up onto Mount Zion to bring judgment to the Hill Country of Esau, and dominion shall be the Lord’s.” (Obadiah: 1:21)

And it is said [in the Holy Scriptures]:
“And the Lord shall be sovereign over all of the earth. At that time, it will be understood that the Lord is one and His name one.” (Zachariah: 14:1)

And in Your Torah it is written:
“Listen, Israel! The Lord is our God. The Lord is the only God -- His unity is His essence.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Our God and God of our fathers, reign over all the earth in Your glory, be exalted over all the universe in Your grandeur, and appear with the glorious majesty of Your power to all the inhabitants of Your world. Let it be known to every creature that You are its creator, and to all that exists, that You are their maker. Let all that breathes proclaim: “The Lord, God of Israel is King, and all in the world are subject to His dominion.

Our God and God of our fathers, make us holy with our observance of Your commandments, and provide us with a share in Your Torah; satisfy us with Your goodness, cheer us with Your deliverance. Purify our hearts so that we may truly serve You. For You are the God of truth, and Your words are true and lasting --- forever. You are the source of blessings, oh Lord, sovereign over all the earth, who sanctifies the people Israel and the Day of Remembrance.

Today we commemorate the birth of the universe. Today all the world’s creatures are called to judgment, and will be dealt with either as God’s children or as His servants. If seen as children, relate to us with mercy, as a father has mercy on his child. If, though, as servants, know that our eyes search for You, waiting for Your graciousness towards us, waiting to hear that You will pronounce our judgment with the clarity of light, You, so revered, so awesome! 

God, most high and exalted, You who hears and understands, who regards and considers the meaning of our shofar blasts, may the requests of our lips be found favorable before You; accept with mercy and with good will our just completed recital of the Malkhuyot verses. 


Like the Malkhuyot section of the prayer book, The zikhronot (memories) section of the Rosh Hashanah musaf service also contains ten biblical verses preceded and followed by a number of related paragraphs. Zikhronot, as its title implies, deals with the importance of memory, of history, of the sustaining myths of the Jewish people. Poetically, it recalls specific memories important to God as well as to humanity in general, and of course, to the Jewish people in particular. The biblical verses in zikhronot and the introductory and concluding paragraphs are identified and translated here.

You, God, remember all that has transpired since the world’s beginning. You are mindful of that which was created even in the days of the ancient past. There is no forgetting before the seat of Your honor. Nothing is hidden from Your sight. You remember all activity, all movement, and that awareness extends to everything created. Everything is known, open to Your scrutiny, oh Lord, our God. You examine and foresee events to the very end of all generations. You established a particular time for the exercise and use of memories--- a time to revisit every soul – every spirit; to bring to mind the numerous and varied deeds of the countless multitudes of Your creatures. Thus, from the beginning of time, You made it known, and in days of yore You confirmed to us, that this day celebrating the beginning of Your creation is a special time for taking note of everything in creation from its genesis till now. This is a precept in Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob. 

On this day it is decreed for all nations: Which are destined for the sword, which for peace, which for famine, which for plenty. All creatures stand in judgment, to be remembered for life or for death. All are judged on this day. The records of every creature are brought before You – a person’s deeds, his works; human plans, human steps, man’s thoughts, schemes, motives for his acts—all are remembered and reviewed. Happy is the person who does not forget You, the human being who garners strength from You. For those who search for You will never stumble, and those who trust in You will never be put to shame. For the record of every act comes before You, and You examine the implications of them all. 

With love You took note of that righteous man, Noah, and promised to save him and be merciful to him. This, at the time when You brought the waters of the flood to destroy all flesh ---the world having been contaminated by evil. On this day, bring the memory of Noah to the fore, together with Your promise to increase his seed like the dust of the earth --- that of his descendents like the sands of the sea.

As it is written in Your Torah:
“And God remembered Noah, and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark. And God made the wind to blow over the earth, and the waters were quieted.” (Genesis: 8:1)

And it is said [in the Holy Scriptures]:
“And God heard their cries, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob”. (Exodus 2:24)

And it is said [in the Holy Scriptures]:
“And I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and surely My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham. And as for the land, of course I will remember the land!” (Leviticus: 26:42)

And in Your holy scriptures it is written: 
“God has made a memorial for His wonders, the Lord is gracious and merciful.” (Psalms: 91:4) 

And it is said [in the Holy Scriptures]:
“He provides food for those who revere Him. He will remember His covenant for eternity.” (Psalms: 91:5)

And it is said [in the Holy Scriptures]:
“And He remembered for their sake His covenant; and He relented from His anger; for such is the magnitude of His loving-kindness.” (Psalms: 106:45)

And in the words of Your servants the prophets it is written: 
“Go, proclaim the following to all who have ears in Jerusalem, ‘I remember, to your everlasting honor, the devotion shown to Me in the days of your youth; and your love at the time of your wedding vows--- you followed me into the wilderness, into an uncultivated land!” (Jeremiah: 2:2) 

And it is said [in the Holy Scriptures]:
“And I will remember My covenant with you made in the days of your youth, and I will establish with you an everlasting covenant.” (Ezekiel 16:60.)

And it is said [in the Holy Scriptures]:
“Is Efraim not My beloved son, my dear child? For even when I reprove him, I remember him with love. When I think of him, My heart turns over with emotion. Surely, I will have mercy on him. So says the Lord.” (Jeremiah: 31:20)

Our God and God of our fathers, focus on Your favorable memories of us, and from Your sublime heights remember us for salvation and for mercy. Remember, for our sake, oh Lord, our God, Your covenant with us, Your loving-kindness, and the promise that You gave to Abraham, our father, on Mount Moriah. May the memory of Abraham’s binding of Isaac his son on the altar be before You. Our father Abraham overcame his mercy towards his son in order to fulfill Your will with a full and complete heart. May Your mercy, thus, conquer Your sense of anger against us, and with Your great goodness, turn that anger away from Your people, Your city and from Your inheritance. 

Fulfill for us, oh Lord, our God, that which You promised us in Your Torah through the word of Moses Your servant: “For their sake I will remember the covenant with their fathers which I made when I brought them out of the Land of Egypt to be their God – in the sight of all of the nations. I am the Lord.” (Leviticus: 26:45)

You remember things forgotten from the very beginning of time. There is no forgetfulness before the seat of Your honor. Remember in mercy today, for the sake of his descendents, the binding of Isaac. You are the source of blessings, oh Lord, who remembers the covenant.


God, most high and exalted, You who hears and understands, who regards and considers the meaning of our shofar blasts, may the requests of our lips be found favorable before You; accept with mercy and with good will our just completed recital of the Zikhronot verses. 


As in the previous sections of the Rosh Hashanah musaf service, the shofarot segment includes ten Biblical verses. Each of the verses discusses God’s revelation to Israel and its accompaniment by sounds of the shofar, or other events that include references to the shofar. This dramatic section is both preceded and followed by a related paragraph. (The concluding paragraph includes the tenth biblical quotation.)

You revealed Yourself to Your holy people in a cloud of glory, speaking to them. 

They heard Your voice from the heavens, and You revealed Yourself to them from within mists of purity. The entire universe trembled before Your presence, and all of Your creatures from the beginning of time were in awe of You. At the time when You revealed Your presence, our King, at Mount Sinai, to teach Your people Torah and commandments, You let them hear the majesty of Your voice -- Your holy speech -- from the midst of the flames. With thunder and lighting You reveled Yourself to them, and accompanied by sound of the shofar You appeared to them. 

As it is written in Your Torah:
“And it was on the morning of the third day--- there was thunder and lightning and a dense cloud on the mountain, and loud shofar blasts --- all of the people in the camp trembled.” (Exodus: 19:16)

And it is said [in the Holy Scriptures]:
“As the shofar blasts grew stronger and stronger, Moses spoke, and God’s voice answered him.” (Exodus: 19:19)

And it is said [in the Holy Scriptures]:
“And all the people ‘saw’ the thunder and the lightening and the voice of the shofar and the mountain in smoke, and when they saw it all, they trembled and stood from afar.” (Exodus: 20:15)

And in Your holy scriptures it is written:
“God’s presence came up with loud blasts, the Lord amidst sounds of the shofar”. (Psalms: 47:6)

And it is said [in the Holy Scriptures]:
“With trumpets and shofar sounds, sing joyfully before the King, the Lord.” (Psalms: 98:6)

And it is said [in the Holy Scriptures]:
“At the time of the New Moon, sound the shofar; and at the time of the full moon --- for our festival day. For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.” (Psalms: 81: 4-5)

And it is said [in the Holy Scriptures]:
“Hallelujah. Praise God in His holy place, praise Him in the vault of His power.
Praise Him for His mighty acts, praise Him as befits His abounding greatness.
Praise Him with the blast of the shofar, praise Him with the nevel[1] and kinor[2].
Praise Him with tof [3] and dance, praise Him with strings and ugav[4].
Praise Him with sounding cymbals, praise Him with crashing cymbals.
Let all that has breath praise the Lord.Hallelujah!” (Psalms: 150)

And in the words of Your servants the prophets it is written: 
“To all who dwell on earth, to all who inhabit the world: Listen well when a banner is raised on the mountain top! Give heed when you hear the shofar sounded!” (Isaiah:18:3)

And it is said [in the Holy Scriptures]:
“On that day, a great shofar will be sounded: and those lost in the Land of Assyria, and those cast out to the Land of Egypt will come to bow to the Lord on His holy mountain in Jerusalem.” (Isaiah: 27:13)

"And it is said [in the Holy Scriptures]:
“The Lord will appear above them and His arrow will go forth like lighting; and the Lord, God, will sound the shofar and march in the midst of Teman, the Lord of Hosts will defend them.” (Zechariah 9:14)

With Your peace, then, be a shield for Your people Israel.

Our God and God of our fathers, sound a great shofar to signal our freedom, and raise a banner to gather our exiled ones and bring our scattered ones from among the nations. Gather our dispersed from the far corners of the earth. Bring us with joy to Zion, Your city, and with everlasting happiness to Jerusalem, the home of Your sanctuary. There we will bring the offerings required by the Torah, as told to us by Moses, Your servant --- in Your own honored words: “And on the days of your joy, and on your festivals, and on the day of the New Moon, you shall sound the trumpet over your offerings; and it shall be remembered in the presence of God. I am the Lord, you God.” (Numbers: 10:10)

For You listen to the sounds of the shofar, and give heed to the meaning of its calls. There is none like You! You are the source of blessings, oh Lord, who hears with mercy the shofar sounds of Your people Israel.


God, most high and exalted, You who hears and understands, who regards and considers the meaning of our shofar blasts, may the requests of our lips be found favorable before You; accept with mercy and with good will our just completed recital of the Shofarot verses.

Be accepting, oh Lord our God, of Your people Israel and of their prayers. Restore the worship and holy offerings to Your sanctuary, and accept in love the fire offerings and prayers of Israel. May the worship of Your people Israel always be acceptable to You.
May our eyes see Your merciful return to Zion. You are the source of blessings, oh Lord, who restores His presence to Zion. 

We gratefully thank You, our God and the God of our fathers, for having been for all eternity the Rock of our lives, the shield of our salvation – from generation to generation. We are grateful to You and praise You for our lives which are entrusted to Your hands, and for our souls given over to Your care, and for all the miracles and favors which are with us everyday—evening, morning, and afternoon. You are all goodness; Your love never fails us. You are merciful, Your kindness never ceases. Our hopes are with You forever.
For all this may Your name, oh our King, be blessed and exalted for all time.

Our Father, our King, remember Your mercy, overcome Your anger and remove from our midst and from the midst of all the children of Your covenant pestilence, sword, famine, captivity, destruction, sin, loss of faith, plague, accidents, all disease, every stumbling block, all contention, evil occurrences, severe decrees against us and causeless hatred.

Inscribe all of the children of Your covenant for a good life.

And may all that lives show gratefulness to You, and praise Your Name with sincerity, God, who is our salvation and our help. You are the source of blessings, oh Lord, Your name itself is “Goodness”, and expressing our thanksgiving brings us joy.

Our God and God of our fathers, bless us with the three-fold blessing written in the Torah by the hand of Moses, Your servant, and delivered by Aaron and his descendants --- Your holy nation; as it is written:
“May the Lord bless you and guard you.
May the Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you.
May the Lord turn His face towards you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-2) 

Grant peace, goodness, blessing, grace, loving-kindness and compassion to us and to all Israel Your people. Bless us, our Father, all of us as one, with the light of Your presence. For with that light, You, our Lord our God, gave us a life-giving Torah, an appreciation of loving-kindness, righteousness, blessing, mercy, life, and peace. May it be good in Your sight to bless Your people Israel at all times, at every hour with Your peace.

In the book of life, blessing, peace and good sustenance – remember us and inscribe us and all Your people, the House of Israel, for a good life and for peace. 
It is written in Holy Scripture: “Through Me shall your days be multiplied, and your years of living be increased.” Inscribe us for a good life. Oh living god, inscribe us in the Book of Life, as it is written: “And you who cleave to the Lord, your God, you are all alive this day.”

Strengthen us today.
Bless us today.
Exalt us today.
Seek our well-being today.
Inscribe us for a good life today.
Hear our supplications today.
Accept our prayers with mercy and good will today.
Support us with Your mighty arm of righteousness today.

On a day such as this, bring us in rejoicing to a rebuilt Jerusalem. As Your prophet wrote: “And I will bring them to My holy mountain, and make them rejoice in My House of Prayer. Their offerings will be accepted on My altar, and My House will be called a House of prayer for all the nations.” 
And it has been said: “And the Lord commanded us to observe all of these statutes—to revere the Lord our God; so that goodness be with us all of our days and so that He keep us in life, as we are on this day.”
And it has been said: “And it shall be considered righteousness on our part when we take care to observe all these statutes before the Lord our God, just as He commanded us.”
And may there be righteousness, blessing, compassion, life, and peace for us and for all Israel forever. You are the source of blessings, oh Lord, who creates peace.

Magnified and sanctified be His great name throughout the world which He hath created according to His will. And great is His glorious Creation!
And may His kingdom come during our lives and days, and during the life of all the House of Israel. May His kingdom come, His will be done on earth as in heaven. Speedily, soon, and let us say amen.
May His great name be blessed.

O worshiped be His holy name, forever and to all eternity. 

Blessed and praised, and glorified and exalted and extolled, and honored and magnified and lauded be the name of the Holy One, Blessed be He. Though He be beyond all blessings and songs and praises and consolations that can be uttered in this world, and let us say amen.
May the supplications and petitions of all Israel be accepted before our Father in heaven. Will all present here assent by saying amen.
May there be abundant peace for us and for all Israel; and those praying here signal assent and say amen.
May He who establishes peace in His high place establish peace for us and for all Israel; and those praying here signal assent and say amen.



Composer: Various
Length: 78:00
Genre: Liturgical

Performers: Neil Levin, Conductor;  Alberto Mizrahi, Cantor;  New York Cantorial Choir

Additional Credits:

Translation from the Hebrew by Rabbi Morton M. Leifman (edited by Eli Mishulovin and Neil Levin).


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