TEḤINNAH (Heb. תְּחִנָּה), a piyyut form which originated in the taḥanun prayer for the fasts of Monday and Thursday. The term was also transferred to piyyutim for the seliḥot days, and indeed both the construction and subject of the teḥinnah are similar to seliḥot. The teḥinnah is usually said quietly, its subject being the relationship between God and the people of Israel. It is sometimes constructed in rhymed verses, sometimes in rhymed rhetoric, or even unrhymed, in the style of a bakkashah. In addition to Hebrew teḥinnot, there were early modern Yiddish *tkhines for women published in small brochures from the beginning of the 17th century in Bohemia (Prague), Switzerland (Basle), Germany (Sulzbach, Fuerth, Roedelheim), and many towns of Russia and Poland. Occasionally teḥinnot were added as appendixes to editions of the prayer book.


Elbogen, Gottesdienst, 229; Schirmann, Sefarad, 718.

[Abraham Meir Habermann /

Chava Weissler (2nd ed.)]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.