EL NORA ALILAH (Heb. אֵל נוֹרָא עֲלִילָה; "God that doest wondrously"), name of a solemn hymn for the *Ne'ilah service of the Day of Atonement. The initial letters of the stanzas (משה חזק) form the name of its author, Moses b. Jacob *Ibn Ezra of Spain. The motive of this hymn is expressed in the refrain of each of its eight stanzas: "Pardon at Thy people's cry,/As the closing hour draws nigh," referring to the last hours of the Day of Atonement. The hymn (which is to be found in the prayer books of Aragon, Barcelona, Algiers, Tunisia, Leghorn, Constantine, and Tlemcen) originally formed part only of the Sephardi and Yemenite (Tiklal) Ne'ilah liturgy, but because of its moving text and solemn melody some Ashkenazi congregations also included it in their liturgy (cf. High Holiday Prayerbook, ed. M. Silverman (19542), 458).
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.