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EL NORA 'ALILAH ():

Ahymn attributed to Moses ibn Ezra, and chanted, in the Sephardic liturgy, before the commencement of the "Ne'ilah" or closing service of the Day of Atonement. It is sung to spirited tunes by English-speaking, Dutch, and Italian Sephardim. The Italian melody is of a modern character, but that of the northern Sephardim has some claim to the Peninsular origin attributed to it. The six verses, containing the acrostic , are sung with the refrain from which the hymn takes its name.

The stirring Spanish melody has been further utilized for the Scriptural verses which conclude the section "U-ba' le-Ẓiyyon" and immediately precede the " Ne'ilah" prayer in the Ashkenazic liturgy. The transcription given on page 87 follows the tradition of Bevis Marks, London.

Bibliography:
  • De Sola and Aguilar, Ancient Melodies, No. 36;
  • Verrinder, Day of Atonement (West London Synagogue music books), p. 195;
  • Cohen and Davis, Voice of Prayer and Praise, No. 279;
  • Pauer and Cohen, Traditional Hebrew Melodies, No. 19.
A. F. L. C.
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