YEKUM PURKAN


YEKUM PURKAN (Aram. יְקוּם פֻּרְקָן; lit. "may deliverance arise"), the name of two prayers recited in the Ashkenazi rite immediately after the reading of the *haftarah on the Sabbath. Written in Aramaic, the prayers derive their name from their opening words. Both are very similar in form. The first consists of a prayer for the welfare of the students in the academies of Ereẓ Israel and Babylonia, their teachers, the exilarchs, and the judges. Many of the phrases of this prayer resemble those of the *Kaddish de-Rabbanan ("the scholars' Kaddish"). In modern times, some communities have added the phrase Ve-di be-khol arat galvatana ("and all that are in the lands of the dispersion") in order to make this prayer more meaningful (Baer's Siddur, 229). The second is a more general prayer for the welfare of the congregation, similar in content to the Hebrew prayer Mi she-Berakh which follows it. The prayers are not found in the Babylonian siddurim of *Amram Gaon and *Saadiah Gaon, although they were probably written in Babylonia. The first is found in the *Maḥzor Vitry, and the second in the Roke'aḥ of *Eleazar b. Judah of Worms (1160–1238). Both prayers are absent from the Sephardi rite, although a similar but more lengthy prayer entitled "Prayer for the Congregation" is found in some Yemenite prayer book manuscripts (Duschinsky, in bibl., 194–7).

These prayers are not recited on festivals. A reason given for this is to enable the worshippers to leave the synagogue earlier and enjoy the meals which they are permitted to cook on the holidays (S. Shuck, Siddur Rashban (Vienna, 1894), 20b).

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Duschinsky, in: Livre d'Hommage … S. Poznański (1927), 182–98.


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