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Anim Zemirot

ANIM ZEMIROT (Heb. אַנְעִים זְמִירוֹת; "Let me chant sweet hymns"), also called Shir ha-Kavod ("Song of Glory"); synagogue hymn ascribed to *Judah he-Ḥasid , of Regensburg (d. 1217) and, with less probability, to a number of other medieval authors. The hymn is an alphabetical acrostic of 31 lines, the first and last four being a prologue and epilogue respectively. Each line consists of two half-lines which rhyme. The first three of the last four lines may not be part of the original poem.

The theme is a fervent paean of God's greatness and might, drawing upon Bible and Midrash but also showing the influence of philosophical ideas. The metaphors used are bold to the point of anthropomorphism. The hymn is recited in Ashkenazi rites at the end of the Sabbath and festival Musaf service, though in some synagogues it is said before the Reading of the Law after Shaḥarit. The custom to recite it daily is disappearing, although it has appeared at the end of the daily Shaḥarit in most editions of the prayer book since that of Venice in 1547 (see also Singer , Prayer (1962), 81 ff.). Anim Zemirot and all the Songs of Unity (Shir ha-Yiḥud) are recited at the conclusion of the *Kol Nidrei service in some Orthodox synagogues. Objections against the recital of Anim Zemirot in general were voiced by Solomon Luria, and against its daily use by Mordecai *Jaffe , *Judah Loew of Prague, Jacob *Emden , and *Elijah b. Solomon of Vilna, because these considered it an extremely holy poem. It is customary to open the Ark for Anim Zemirot, and in most synagogues the hymn is sung antiphonally. There are a variety of tunes.

A Purim parody of the hymn was composed by Aryeh Leib Cordovero of Torczyn (d. 1721; Davidson, Oẓar, 1 (1924), 310, no. 6828). The custom has developed of having Anim Zemirot recited by a child at the close of the Saturday morning service.


Baer S., Seder, 250; Abrahams, Companion, xc, clxviii; Simonsen, in: MGWJ, 37 (1893), 463 ff.; A. Berliner, Randbemerkungen, 1 (1909), 72 ff.; A.M. Habermann, Shirei ha-Yiḥud (1948), 46–51.

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