October 24, 2017 ~ Shabbat LEKH LEKHA. Maqam SABA.

Maqam of the Week

This page is in honor of my teacher H/H Mordekhai Claude Nadaf

 

On Shabbat Bereshit (Genesis 1:1- 6:8), Maqam RAST is applied to the prayers, according to SUHV (Red Pizmonim Book), and at least 18 other Syrian sources. This maqam, defined as 'head' in Arabic, and considered the "father of the maqamat," is typically the first maqam used in any collection (diwan) of Arabic songs. This relates here, as Bereshit is the first Torah portion, or 'head,' of Genesis. Maqam RAST is also used each Shabbat at Minha services. HAZZANUT: Naqdishakh: Hasdakh Qadam Al Kol Adam (page 145). PIZMON SEFER TORAH: Miyamim Yamima (page 125). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com.

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For Shabbat Noah (Genesis 6:9- 11:32), Maqam SIGAH (or Maqam IRAQ) is applied according to the Red Pizmonim Book and at least 12 other sources (other opinions: NAWAH or BAYAT). The word 'See-kah' is Persian for 'third.' It gets its name, because this maqam is the third note on the Arabic music scale. One possible explanation for SIGAH is because Noah has 'three' sons or because Noah built an ark with 'three' levels. Sigah is well-known to congregants as the maqam applied for Torah chanting. HAZZANUT: Qaddish: Asis El Bakh (page 441), Semehim: Eshtabeah (page 31). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

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For Shabbat Lekh Lekha (Genesis 12:1- 17:27), Maqam SABA is selected for the Shabbat morning services according to SUHV (Red Pizmonim Book) and all other known Aleppo sources (Damascus sources cite Maqam SIGAH). This maqam has many connotations in various circles, but is known by our community as the maqam used for the Berit Mila (circumcision), being that the word 'Sabi' is Arabic for 'baby boy.' This relates to our Torah portion, because we read about the original Berit Mila covenant. HAZZANUT: Semehim: Yigdal Elohim Hai for Berit Mila, Naqdishakh: Ata Ahubi (page 410). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com
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The maqam for Shabbat Vayera (Genesis 18:1- 22:24) is NAWAH, according to the majority of Aleppo sources, but many will apply the more popular Maqam BAYAT, which is the minority opinion. H Moshe Ashear used to compromise and mix both maqams for this week. NAWAH is familiar to most as the maqam that we use each week for Qabbalat Shabbat. Gabriel A Shrem says that in Psalms 93:5, the words "Nawah Qodesh" allude to the angels, who are ornaments to God's throne and who proclaim His holiness. This connects to our perasha, because we read about the three angels visiting Abraham. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com
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On Shabbat Haye Sarah (Genesis 23:1- 25:18), Maqam HIJAZ, which is named after the Arabian Peninsula, is applied to the prayers according to all Aleppo sources (Damascus sources: SABA). This maqam, reserved for mourning, is warranted, because we read about the deaths and burials of Sarah and Abraham. According to Gabriel A Shrem, Maqam Bayat should be mixed in with Hijaz in order to differentiate this from the deeper sadness of Shabbat Ekha, which is prior to Tisha B'Ab. DATE: 3 Kislev: 1918 passing of H RAPHAEL ANTEBI TABBUSH, composer of most pizmonim in "Shir Ushbaha." Buried in Cairo. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com.

For Shabbat Toledot (Genesis 25:19- 28:9), services are conducted in MAHOUR, a maqam used only twice a year, according to the majority of sources. This maqam, often defined as 'defeated' in Arabic, can be described as a "high Rast," and is used when there is a victory or a reversal of fortune. This relates here, because Esau is defeated as he suffers the consequences of selling his birthright. In addition, the word 'Mahour' is similar to the Hebrew word 'Maher,' which means swift. This relates here, because Jacob had to act swiftly. HAZZANUT: Semehim: Yadekha Tanheni (page 149). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com.

For Shabbat Vayesse (Genesis 28:10- 32:3), services are conducted in Maqam AJAM (or GIRKA) according to 16 Syrian sources (dissenting opinion is SABA). Traditionally, the word 'Ajam,' meaning 'foreigner', was used to refer to the Persians. The melody of this maqam is joyous and has become associated with the wedding ceremony. This relates to our perasha, because in order to get married, Jacob needed to uproot himself and become a 'foreigner' in the Land of Aram. HAZZANUT: Semehim: Yedidi Ro'ee Meqimi (page 417); mentions Rachel coming with her sheep. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com.

For Shabbat Vayishlah (Genesis 32:4- 36:43), Maqam SIGAH-IRAQ is listed in 11 sources, BAYAT or HOSENI is listed in 9 sources, and Maqam SABA is listed in 6 sources. The selection of SUHV (Red Pizmonim Book), is Maqam SABA or SIGAH. An explanation for SABA (Hebrew: army), is because Jacob prepares for war as Esav's army approaches. An explanation for SIGAH, a maqam associated with the building of the tabernacle, is because Jacob fulfills his vow to build an altar (i.e. Tabernacle) in Beth El. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

On Shabbat Vayesheb (Genesis 37:1- 40:23), services are conducted in Maqam RAHAWI-NAWAH (based on the older sources) or NAHWAND (based on the newer sources). A reason for RAHAWI-NAWAH is in order to incorporate the pizmon, Yassa Limlokh (363), into one of the pieces of prayers (i.e. Semehim). This pizmon, composed by Israel Najara, is a poetic depiction of the story of Joseph. A reason for NAHWAND, a maqam that carries the unsettling mood of conflict, is because there is family tension between Joseph and his brothers. PIZMON SEFER TORAH FOR HANUKA: Odekha El Tobot (page 372). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com.

For Shabbat Miqes (Genesis 41:1- 44:17), Maqam SIGAH is applied according to all Aleppo sources, because we are celebrating Hanuka, the festival of the Menora. Maqam Sigah is familiar to most, because it is used for Torah Readings. There is a connection between the Torah and light, as it says in Proverbs, "Ki Ner Missva VeTorah Or." Whenever there is a reference to the Menora, SIGAH is applied, because Yebiun Sefatai Shira, a pizmon that mentions the Menora, is in this maqam, and is traditionally applied for Nishmat. PIZMON SEFER TORAH: Yassa Limlokh MiBet Surim (363). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com.

For Shabbat Vayigash (Genesis 44:18- 47:27), Maqam BAYAT is applied according to at least 13 Aleppo sources (dissenting opinions include: Maqam SABA, MAHOUR, or SIGAH). The definition of the word 'BAYAT' is an oath of allegiance to an emir when one submits themselves and pledges loyalty. In our case, the BAYAT is performed by Judah who submits himself completely to Joseph (the emir) and declares loyalty to him. Similarly, Maqam BAYAT is used at a Bar Missvah, because this is when one makes the BAYAT commitment to observe the missvot and declare loyalty to God. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

On Shabbat Vayehi (Genesis 47:28- 50:26), Maqam HIJAZ, which is named after the Arabian Peninsula, is applied to the prayers according to all Aleppo sources. Dissenting opinion are from the Damascus sources which say to apply Maqam SABA. According to the tradition of Aleppo, this maqam is reserved for sad events. It is warranted here, because we read about the death of Jacob and his funeral procession. According to Gabriel A Shrem, Maqam Bayat should be mixed in with Hijaz in order to differentiate this from Shabbat Hazon, which is viewed as sadder. PIZMON: Im Hakham Libekha Beni (page 486). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com.

For Shabbat Shemot (Exodus 1:1- 6:1), Maqam RAST is traditionally applied to the prayers, according to SUHV (Red Pizmonim Book), and at least 15 other sources. This maqam, defined as 'head' in Arabic ('Ras'), represents a beginning, and is applied when we begin a new book. This relates here, because Shemot is the first Torah portion in Exodus. Dissenting opinion of using Maqam BAYAT, which sounds like the word 'bat' (daughter), is significant, because Pharaoh allows all the Hebrew daughters ('bat') to live. PIZMON SEFER TORAH: El Me'od Na'ala (page 266); introduces Moses and Aaron. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Va'era (Exodus 6:2- 9:35), the prayers are conducted in Maqam BAYAT-HOSENI according to SUHV (Red Pizmonim Book) and at least 13 other Syrian sources. HOSENI (Arabic: 'beautiful') is often described as "a high Bayat," and is applied when there is an aspect in the perasha relating to Matan Torah. We are reminded of the beauty of Matan Torah at the opening of this perasha when we read the words "Ani Adonai" which is similar to the opening of the Ten Commandments (Anokhi Adonai). Dissenting sources cite Maqam NAWAH in order to sing Mi Yemallel (361), a pizmon about the ten plagues. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Bo (Exodus 10:1- 13:16), the third perasha of Exodus, services are conducted in Maqam SIGAH (Persian: "third") according to SUHV and at least 9 other sources. While the Egyptians were afflicted with 3 days of darkness, the Israelites had 'light' in their dwellings. Some say that this was the light of the Torah. SIGAH relates to the Torah, because it is the maqam applied for Torah chanting. Other opinions include: RAST or RAHAWI-NAWAH (Ashear). PIZMON SEFER TORAH: Mi Yemallel (361). DATE: 8 Shebat: 2006 passing of SAM CATTON, founder of Sephardic Heritage Foundation. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

On Shabbat Beshalah (Exodus 13:17- 17:16), we read the Song of the Sea (Shirat Hayam). According to SUHV (Red Pizmonim Book) and ALL Syrian sources, Maqam AJAM, known for its happy tunes, is most appropriate to express our joy, as God delivers us from Egypt. This is one of only three weeks of the year that AJAM is applied. As far as the word 'Ajam,' which is Arabic for 'foreigner,' the Israelites considered themselves foreigners when living in Egypt. HAZZANUT: Shirat Hayam in Zemirot recited in unison. Semehim: Yah El Gadol VeNe'edar (Tu Bishbat; 397). PIZMON SEFER TORAH: Rahum Ata (216). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Yitro (Exodus 18:1- 20:23), the prayers are conducted in Maqam HOSENI according to SUHV (Red Pizmonim Book), and the vast majority of Syrian sources. The highlight of the Torah Reading is the story of Matan Torah; receiving the Ten Commandments. HOSENI, the maqam that means "beautiful" in Arabic, alludes to the Torah's "beauty." Hoseni, which is described as "a high Bayat," is also applied in association with Shabuot, the festival that commemorates receiving the Torah. HAZZANUT: Naqdishakh: Da'at UmZima (page 334). PIZMON SEFER TORAH: Ahallel VeAbia (page 220). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1- 24:18), services are conducted in Maqam NAWAH (~6 sources) or SABA (~11 sources). NAWAH, the maqam applied for Qabbalat Shabbat, is appropriate, because like Shabbat, when God worked for six and then rested on seven, similarly the Hebrew slave works for six and then rests on seven. Another option is to apply Maqam SABA ('Sabi,' in Arabic, means baby boy), which is used to mark 'berit' or covenant. This connects here, because Israel has committed to observing the laws mentioned with "Dam HaBerit" (Exodus 24:8), or blood of the covenant. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Teruma (Exodus 25:1- 27:19), the prayers are conducted in Maqam BAYAT-HOSENI according to at least 11 sources, because we are introduced to the mishkan (tabernacle) and the miqdash (sanctuary). The centerpiece of the tabernacle is the Ark of the Covenant (aron) where the Torah (edut) is placed. Since the mishkan, and specifically, the Torah, is of great beauty, Maqam Hoseni, the Arabic word for 'beauty', is applied. The melody of Hoseni can be described as "a high Bayat." Despite the above, there are at least 10 dissenting sources that cite to apply Maqam SABA. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Tessave (Exodus 27:20- 30:10), the morning prayers are conducted in Maqam SIGAH according to all Aleppo sources. The perasha opens with the commandment to take olive oil and kindle the eternal light (Ner Tamid). There is a connection between the Torah and light; as it states in Proverbs, "Ki Ner Missvah VeTorah Ohr." SIGAH relates to the Torah, because it is the maqam applied for the melody of chanting the Torah. HAZZANUT: Nishmat: Yebiun Sefatai Shirah (discusses the Menora). Most of the time, Tessave is associated with Shabbat Zakhor, but not this year. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

On Shabbat Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11- 34:35), we read about the sad story of the Golden Calf. Therefore, the prayers are conducted in Maqam HIJAZ, according to Aleppo sources, and Maqam SABA according to Damascus sources. Damascus custom is apply SABA to indicate a mood of pain, and to only apply Maqam HIJAZ for extreme sadness, such as Shabbat Ekha; when we mourn over the Bet Hamiqdash. Gabriel A Shrem used to mix Maqam BAYAT with HIJAZ in order to dilute the sadness. DATE: 24 Adar I: 2016 passing of MEYER "MICKEY" KAIREY, a great teacher and community leader. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Vayaqhel (Exodus 35:1- 38:20), the morning prayers are conducted in Maqam BAYAT-HOSENI according to SUHV (Red Pizmonim Book) and most other Aleppo sources. Maqam Hoseni (Arabic for 'beautiful') is applied, because we read about the culmination of the building of the mishkan (tabernacle); a place of great 'beauty'. This explanation is the same for Shabbat Teruma and Shemini. The melody of Hoseni is often described as a higher version of Maqam Bayat. Damascus sources cite Maqam AJAM or MAHOUR for this Shabbat. PIZMON SEFER TORAH: Miqdash Bene Bo (page 171). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Pequdei (Exodus 38:21- 40:38), the last perasha of Sefer Shemot, the prayers are conducted in Maqam NAWAH according to most Aleppo sources. This maqam, as per Aleppo custom, symbolizes an ending or a completion; whether it be the completion of the book (i.e. Sefer Shemot), the week (i.e. Shabbat) or the completion of the tabernacle (this Torah portion). Maqam NAWAH is recognized by most as the melody used for Qabbalat Shabbat. HAZZANUT FOR SHABBAT PRECEDING ZAKHOR: Semehim: Azkir Hasde El (pizmon in Maqam SABA; in honor of upcoming Purim). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com.

For Shabbat Vayaqhel-Pequdei (and Shabbat HaHodesh) the prayers are conducted in Maqam BAYAT-HOSENI, according to SUHV (Red Pizmonim Book) and most other Aleppo sources. Maqam Hoseni (Arabic for 'beautiful') is applied, because we read about themishkan (tabernacle); a place of great 'beauty'. This explanation is the same for Shabbat Teruma and Shemini, which also discuss the mishkan. The melody of Hoseni is often described as a high version of Maqam Bayat. HAZZANUT: Special for Shabbat HaHodesh (as per H Moshe Ashear): Semehim: Ashir LeEl Ayom; song on page 256, mentioning the 12 months of the year. This important pizmon was recently found by the Sephardic Pizmonim Project, and a recording by H Daniel Binker Dwek of Buenos Aires can be found on www.pizmonim.com

On Shabbat Zakhor, Maqam SIGAH is applied to the prayers. A practical explanation for Sigah is because the majority of pizmonim for Purim, as well as the Iraqi chanting of Megillat Esther, are in this maqam. Another explanation is that in the days of Mordekhai, the Jews repented and returned to the Torah (Talmud Shabbat 88a). When it says in Esther 8:16 that the Jews had "light", this is specifically alluding to the light of the Torah. Therefore, to remember this great event and the miracles of Purim, SIGAH, the maqam used for Torah chanting, is applied. HAZZANUT: Semehim: Abarekh Et Shem (459). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

On Shabbat Vayiqra (Leviticus 1:1- 5:26), Maqam RAST is applied to the prayers, according to the Red Pizmonim Book, and at least 18 other sources. This maqam, defined as 'head' in Arabic (ras), and considered the "father of the maqamat," is always the first maqam used in any collection of Arabic songs. This relates here, as Vayiqra is the first perasha, or head, of Leviticus. This maqam also relates to this Torah portion, because, metaphorically speaking, sacrificing the 'head' of an animal is considered an atonement for one's head. Maqam RAST is also used each Shabbat at Minha services. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com.

On Shabbat Sav (Leviticus 6:1- 8:36), one opinion is to apply Maqam NAHWAND, the opinion of H Moshe Ashear is to apply Maqam BAYAT, and the opinion of the older sources is to apply Maqam IRAQ. No explanations are known for how these opinions were formed. In typical years, Maqam RAHAWI-NAWAH would be applied in honor of Shabbat Hagadol and Pesah, but this is a leap year, and Shabbat Hagadol is about one month away. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Shemini (Leviticus 9:1- 11:47), the morning services should be conducted in Maqam HOSENI according to SUHV (Red Book) and at least 14 other sources. This selection is based on the content of the Torah portion which deals with the inauguration of the tabernacle (mishkan). Being that the tabernacle houses the Ten Commandments, something described as "beautiful," HOSENI, a word that means 'beautiful' in Arabic, is most appropriate. The melody of Hoseni is often described as a higher version of Maqam Bayat. Dissenting opinion: NAHWAND (H Moshe Ashear). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Tazria (Leviticus 12:1- 13:59), there are two options in SUHV for the Maqam of the Week: Maqam SABA or BAYAT. Maqam SABA should be applied, because the perasha begins with the circumcision of the baby boy on the eighth day. In our tradition, Saba ("Sabi" in Arabic means 'boy') is reserved for the Berit Mila. The majority of sources, however, indicate to apply Maqam BAYAT. An explanation for Maqam Bayat is because the perasha opens with the laws of a mother when she gives birth. Maqam Bayat is said to symbolize women and therefore is most appropriate here. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

On Shabbat Hagadol, which is the Shabbat before the Pesah festival, the morning prayers are conducted in Maqam RAHAW (NAWAH), according to all Syrian sources. The usage of Maqam Rahaw is associated with this Shabbat, because it is the maqam applied for the Haggadah Shel Pesah. HAZZANUT: Semehim: Emunim Irkhu Shebah (page 359); very old pizmon associated with the Seder of Pesah. PIZMON SEFER TORAH: Mi Yemallel (page 361). HAFTARA: According to Aleppo custom, the regular Haftara of Shabbat Sav is read (Jeremiah 7:21–8:3; 9:22–23). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Tahor (Leviticus 14:1-15:33), Maqam SIGAH or NAHWAND should be applied according to most sources. An explanation for Maqam SIGAH is because the perasha deals with many rituals of holiness, and Maqam Sigah is used to mark rituals. An explanation for Maqam NAHWAND is that leprosy is associated with Lashon Hara (i.e. Miriam's punishment), and this is why the maqam that portrays disharmony and conflict is applied. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Ahare Mot, Maqam HIJAZ is applied according to most Syrian sources, except those from Damascus, which list Maqam SABA. This maqam gets its name from the 'HEJAZ' region, which is the western province of the Arabian Peninsula bordering the Red Sea. This location includes Mecca and Medina, holy to the Islamic faith, as well as Jeddah, the second largest city in Saudi Arabia. The melody of this maqam is associated with sad events, such as funerals. It relates here, because we open the Torah reading with the deaths of Nadab and Abihu, the two children of Aharon. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Qedoshim (Leviticus 19:1- 20:27), the prayers are conducted in Maqam SABA, according to at least 11 different Aleppo sources. An explanation for this maqam is because we open with God's command "to be holy." According to the commentators, "holiness" is defined as refraining from sexual promiscuity (as referenced in surrounding passages; Leviticus 18 & 20). The Berit Mila is often used as the symbol of chastity and holiness. Being that Maqam Saba is associated with the circumcision, it is also connected here where we are reminded to conduct our lives in holiness. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Emor (Leviticus 21:1- 24:23), which most years is the Shabbat prior to Lag La'Omer, prayers are conducted in Maqam SIGAH. The main reason for applying SIGAH is because the flagship song for Lag LaOmer, Bar Yohai (61), is in this maqam. This song has both a slow and a fast version; both of which can be applied to the pieces of prayers. Maqam SIGAH will be familiar to most congregants as the maqam applied for Torah readings. On years that Shabbat Emor is not the Shabbat prior to Lag LaOmer, Maqam SIGAH or HOSENI/ASHIRAN should be applied (without including Bar Yohai). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com.

For Shabbat Behar (Leviticus 25:1-26:2), prayers are chanted in either Maqam SABA or NAWAH. SABA may be an option, because the words "Behar Sinai," which is the place where we were given the Torah, symbolizes the covenant between God and Israel. Maqam SABA is the maqam generally applied for recalling covenants; such as the Berit Mila covenant. NAWAH may be an option, because Nawah is the maqam for Qabbalat Shabbat, and Behar starts off with the concept of working the land for six years and allowing it to rest on the Sabbatical year (Shemita is similar to Shabbat). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Behuqotai (Leviticus 26:3- 27:34), the last portion of Leviticus, prayers are conducted in Maqam NAWAH according to most Aleppo sources. This maqam symbolizes an ending; whether it be the ending of a week (Qabbalat Shabbat) or of a book (Sefer Vayiqra). Another option is NAHWAND, a maqam which expresses the mood of discomfort. This mood is appropriate, because this portion contains the passages of the curses. HAZZANUT: Semehim: Yerushalayim Shel Zahav (for Yom Yerushalayim). DATE: 25 Iyar: 2005 passing of CHARLIE SEROUYA, beloved leader of Young Magen David. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com.

2017- For Shabbat Tazria-Tahor (Leviticus 12:1- 15:33), there are two options in SUHV for the Maqam of the Week: Maqam SABA or BAYAT. Maqam SABA should be applied, because the perasha begins with the circumcision of the baby boy on the eighth day. In our tradition, Saba ("Sabi" in Arabic means 'boy') is reserved for the Berit Mila. The majority of sources, however, indicate to apply Maqam BAYAT. An explanation for Maqam Bayat is because the perasha opens with the laws of a mother when she gives birth. Maqam Bayat is said to symbolize women and therefore is most appropriate here. Dissenting opinion: NAHWAND, in honor of upcoming Israel Independence Day. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

2017- For Shabbat Ahare Mot-Qedoshim (Leviticus 16:1- 20:27), the appropriate maqam, according to all Aleppo sources, is HIJAZ, in order to mourn the deaths of Nadab and Abihu, eldest sons of Aaron the High Priest. Maqam HIJAZ, named after the Arabian peninsula, is generally applied in the Syrian tradition to display the mood of death and sadness. Damascus custom is to only apply Maqam Hijaz for extreme sadness, such as Shabbat Ekha; when we mourn over the Bet Hamiqdash. Gabriel A Shrem used to mix Maqam BAYAT with HIJAZ when Ahare Mot and Qedoshim were combined. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com.

2017- For Shabbat Behar-Behuqotai (Leviticus 25:1- 27:34), the last portions of Leviticus, prayers are conducted in Maqam NAWAH according to most Aleppo sources. This maqam symbolizes an ending; whether it be the ending of a week (Qabbalat Shabbat) or of a book (Sefer Vayiqra). Another option is NAHWAND, a maqam which expresses the mood of discomfort. This mood is appropriate, because this portion contains the passages of the curses. HAZZANUT: Semehim: Yerushalayim Shel Zahav (for Yom Yerushalayim). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com.

On Shabbat Bemidbar (Numbers 1:1- 4:20), Maqam RAST is traditionally applied to the prayers, according to SUHV (Red Pizmonim Book), and at least 18 other Syrian sources. This maqam is considered the "father of the maqamat," is typically the first maqam used in a collection (diwan) of Arabic songs. This relates here, as Bemidbar is the first Torah portion, or head, of the Book of Numbers. This also relates to the content of the Torah portion, because Moses is commanded to count the 'heads' of Israel, and the word 'RAS' means 'head' in Arabic. Maqam RAST is also used each Shabbat at Minha services. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

On Shabbat Kallahthe Shabbat prior to Shabuot, Maqam HOSENI, which is described as 'a high Bayat,' is applied. When Bemidbar (Numbers 1:1- 4:20) is not linked to Shabbat Kallah, RAST is applied, because this is the first perasha of Sefer Bemidbar. Maqam Hoseni is related to Shabuot, because it is when we commemorate receiving the Torah. Since the Torah is of great 'beauty', Hoseni, the maqam that means "beauty" in Arabic, is applied. Maqam Hoseni is also used for the ta'amim of Megillat Ruth and the Ketuba of Shabuot. HAZZANUT: Semehim: Azharot, Naqdishakh: Da’at UmZima (page 334). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com.

For Shabbat Naso (Numbers 4:21- 7:89), prayers are conducted in SABA, the maqam used for a circumcision, as per ALL Aleppo sources. One reason is due to the words "Lissbo SABA" (Hebrew: ‘army’) being mentioned (Numbers 4:23). A deeper reason, however, is the connection between Sota (unfaithful wife) mentioned in Numbers 5, and the circumcision. The Berit Mila serves as a protection against infidelity so that one can maintain a good marriage. Being that this maqam is associated with circumcision, it is also used here in order to remind us to conduct our affairs properly. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Beha'alotekha (Numbers 8:1- 12:16), the third perasha in the book, prayers are conducted in Maqam SIGAH (which means ‘third’ in Persian). This maqam, associated with priestly ceremonies and with the building of the tabernacle, is applied, because the perasha opens with the lighting of the Menora. SIGAH relates to the Torah, because it is the maqam applied for the melody of chanting the Torah. There is a connection between the Torah and light; as it states in Proverbs, "Ki Ner Missva VeTorah Or." HAZZANUT: Nishmat: Yebiun Sefatai Shira (discusses the Menora). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

On Shabbat Shelah (Numbers 13:1- 15:41), the prayers are conducted in Maqam HIJAZ according to the Red Pizmonim Book. Maqam HIJAZ, named after a region on the Arabian peninsula, is generally applied to display the mood of sadness. The reason for applying a maqam that symbolizes mourning is because we read about the transgression of the spies and its tragic aftermath. Despite the above opinion, most older Aleppo sources indicate to apply Maqam IRAQ, and the Jerusalem tradition indicates to apply Maqam NAHWAND. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

On Shabbat Qorah (Numbers 16:1- 18:32), Maqam NAHWAND is applied to the prayers according to SUHV (Red Pizmonim Book). This maqam, used to mark conflict, is selected here, as we read about Qorah's rebellion. The tradition of Aleppo was to combine Qorah with Huqat each year. In that case, Maqam HOSENI would be applied for Shabbat Qorah-Huqat. Other than Aleppo's Jewish communities of Mexico and Buenos Aires, this custom was discontinued, but Knis Ades in Jerusalem continues to apply HOSENI for Qorah as a vestige of that tradition. PIZMON SEFER TORAH: Ma Navu Ragle Mebaser (133). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com.

For Shabbat Huqat (Numbers 19:1- 22:1), Maqam BAYAT-HOSENI is applied, according to most sources (dissenting: MAHOUR or AJAM). HOSENI, the maqam used for Matan Torah, is applied, because we open with Zot Huqat HaTorah; words that reconnect us to the receiving of the Torah. Another explanation is because the description of the Red Cow "Temima," meaning perfect/flawless, is also used in Psalms 19:8 to describe the Torah. Despite this connection to the Torah, no Matan Torah melodies are to be applied to the prayers. PIZMON SEFER TORAH: Ma Neima Veyafa (page 299). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Balaq (Numbers 22:2- 25:9), Maqam MAHOUR (ma' hur means 'defeated' in Arabic), is applied, because Balaq's efforts are defeated after Bilaam's curses are switched into blessings. This maqam can be described as "a high Rast." Some say that Mahour is applied based on the Hebrew word "maher" (quick) which is appropriate because it reflects Bilaam's quickness to pursue monetary bribes in exchange for the mission. Dissenting opinions: Maqam BAYAT (majority of Aleppo sources), NAHWAND (H Moshe Ashear), SIGAH (Amash Damascus source). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

On Shabbat Pinehas (Numbers 25:10- 30:1), the eighth perasha in this book, prayers are conducted in Maqam SABA according to most sources. This is because God gives a “Berit Shalom” (peace treaty) to Pinehas for his courageous actions to defend God's name. Saba is used in other cases with the mention of covenant, because this is the maqam for the Berit Mila (circumcision). According to Qabbala, Eliahu HaNabi, the witness of every Berit Mila, is associated with Pinehas due to their similarities. HAZZANUT: Semehim: Habib Allah Eliahu. PIZMON SEFER TORAH: Shelah Segani (page 480). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Matot (Numbers 30:2-32:42), prayers are conducted in Maqam NAHWAND (named after the city, Nahavand, in the Hamadan province of Iran), because the portion begins with the laws of vows and the importance of keeping ones word. Maqam Nahwand is used in cases of conflict, so one may suggest that making vows, in general, is a source of conflict. This maqam was popular in Turkish and Persian music before making its way to Arabic music. In addition, this maqam is known for its wide variety of Western-sounding melodies. Dissenting opinion: NAWAH. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com.

For Shabbat Masei (Numbers 33:1-36:13), services are conducted in Maqam NAWAH or SABA according to most sources. NAWAH would be appropriate, because it is the maqam used for ending a Humash. Just like we use NAWAH on Shabbat to end the week, we use NAWAH to end the Humash. The melody of this maqam is the same one used for Qabbalat Shabbat. SABA is appropriate because the meaning of the word 'Saba' in Hebrew is army, and this portion lists all of the stops of the Israelite army. ALIYOT: According to our tradition, stopping in the middle of the 42 mase'ot (stops) is prohibited. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com.

For Shabbat Matot-Masei (Numbers 30:2-36:13), services are conducted in Maqam NAHWAND, because the portion begins with the laws of vows and the importance of keeping ones word. Maqam Nahwand is used in cases of conflict, so one may suggest that if one makes a vow that they cannot keep, this causes conflict. Another example of a vow in this perasha is when the tribes of Reuben and Gad, in exchange for inhabiting the eastern Jordan territories, vow to stay on the battlefield until all of Canaan is conquered. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com.

On Shabbat Ekha, as we mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple, all sources, both those from Aleppo and Damascus, unanimously agree that prayers are conducted in HIJAZ, the maqam reserved to express death, mourning, and sadness. The Damascus tradition, as well as some Aleppo sources, specifically state that the only Shabbat of the year that Maqam Hijaz may be applied is this one. Even though, the Torah portion, Debarim (Deuteronomy 1:1- 3:22), is the first of a new book, Maqam Rast is still not applied due to the overriding importance of Tisha B’Ab. PIZMON: Elyon Al Kol Ramim (page 487). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Vaethanan (Deuteronomy 3:23- 7:11), prayers are conducted in Maqam HOSENI (Arabic: beauty) according to all Aleppo sources (Damascus sources: RAST). The highlight of the perasha is the Ten Commandments, and therefore Hoseni is applied; alluding to the Torah’s "beauty." Hoseni, which is a high version of Maqam Bayat, is also applied in association with Shabuot, the festival of receiving the Torah. HAZZANUT: Naqdishakh: Da’at UmZima (334). PIZMON: Re'eh Hashem Ki Sar Li (180); for Shabbat Nahamu. ALIYOT: Ten Commandments reserved for the sixth aliyah. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Eqeb (Deuteronomy 7:12- 11:25), the Shabbat prayers are conducted in Maqam SIGAH according to all Syrian sources except for two, both of which cite Maqam RAST. The main theme of this perasha is the observance of the Torah, and since the melody of Torah is chanted in Maqam Sigah, this is an appropriate selection. In addition, Eqeb is the third perasha of the book, and the name of this maqam, See-Kah, is Persian for 'third position' in relationship to Rast, which is the first position. DATE: 17 Ab: 1986 passing of GABRIEL A SHREM; editor in chief of SUHV, the Red Pizmonim Book. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Re'eh (Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17), there are multiple opinions as to what the maqam should be. Here is the breakdown by the number of sources: BAYAT/ASHIRAN (9), RAST (9), SIGAH-IRAQ (5), NAWAH (3), NAHWAND (1), SABA (1). Although Maqam RAST is listed in Shir Ushbaha Hallel Vezimra (Red Pizmonim Book), cantors Moshe Ashear, Gabriel A Shrem, and Isaac J Cabasso, selected Maqam BAYAT in order to herald the month of Elul by applying the melody of the Selihot; the BAYAT melody of Elekha Hashem (Halabi En Kelohenu) for Semehim Besetam. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Shofetim (Deuteronomy 16:18- 21:9), prayers are conducted in Maqam AJAM according to most sources (dissenting opinion: SABA). AJAM is used to express happiness, and is applied to mark the joyous occasion of electing a new king. In addition, there is mention that one who just get married is exempt from war and AJAM is the maqam used at weddings. HAZZANUT: Nishmat: Ya'arikh Yamim Al Mamlakhto (203). Semehim: Elekha Hashem in Ajam. ALIYOT: Our tradition is to emphasize the theme of electing a new king by extending the weekday reading to the words "Ya'arikh Yamim Al Mamlakhto." Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

On Shabbat Ki Tesse (Deuteronomy 21:10- 25:19), we read about going to war and the protocols of taking female captives. Maqam SABA (Hebrew: army, Arabic: baby boy), the maqam used at the Berit Mila, is appropriate here for two reasons. Firstly, because we open with the mention of an 'army', and the Hebrew word for 'army' is 'SABA'. But more importantly, since the purpose of the Berit Mila is to prevent oneself from sin, this connects to the soldier fighting in the war to avoid the temptation of transgressing with female captives. HAZZANUT: Semehim: Ki Eshmera Shabbat (page 30). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Ki Tabo (Deuteronomy 26:1- 29:8), prayers are conducted in Maqam SIGAH (or more specifically, Maqam IRAQ), according to most Aleppo sources. The perasha opens with the pilgrimage (hag) to the Temple to give the first fruits, bikurim, to the priest. Since this pilgrimage is done on the three festivals, Sigah, the word that means 'third,' and the maqam used for these three holidays, is applied here. This maqam is well-known to congregants as the melody applied for Torah readings. HAZZANUT: Semehim: Adon Yahid Yasad (page 67).  Dissenting opinions: Maqam SABA or NAWAH. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

For Shabbat Nissabim (Deuteronomy 29:9- 30:20), which is the last Shabbat of the year, services are conducted in Maqam NAWAH or NAHWAND. Nawah is typically applied at a conclusion, and in this case, we are ending the year. Nahwand, the maqam associated with conflict, is also an option, because as we are "standing together," we are warned of the punishments that will befall upon us if we veer from the proper path. HAZZANUT: Semehim: Ahot Qetana (in anticipation of Rosh Hashana). Opinion of H Moshe Ashear, which is no longer in practice, is to apply Maqam HIJAZ. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

When Shabbat Vayelekh (Deuteronomy 31:1-30) is Shabbat Shuba (the Shabbat in between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur), the prayers are conducted in Maqam MEHAYAR, a maqam within the Bayat family. Other sources cite to apply Maqam HOSENI, the maqam which alludes to the beauty of the Torah. A possible explanation, based on the perasha, is because Moshe writes down the Torah and gives it to the people. This is also appropriate for Shabbat Shuba, the time of year when we renew our commitment to the laws of the Torah. HAZZANUT: Semehim: Lekha Eli (in anticipation of Yom Kippur). Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

When Shabbat Ha’azinu (Deuteronomy 32:1-52) falls out between Yom Kippur and Sukkot, Maqam NAHWAND is applied, according to H Moshe Ashear. This scenario is a rare occurrence that does not occur frequently and is therefore not independently mentioned in most sources. ALIYOT: Aliyot stops form the acrostic "HAZIV LAKH;" the letters that begin each aliyah (32:1, 32:7, 32:13, 32:19, 32:29, 32:40). DATE: 18 Tishri: 2 Hol Hamoed Sukkot: 1940 passing of H MOSHE ASHEAR, Chief Cantor of Congregation Magen David of 67th Street and author of "Hallel VeZimra." Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com

On Simhat Torah, VeZot HaBerakha (Deuteronomy 33- 34) is read, and Maqam AJAM is applied to the prayers. AJAM is a happy maqam typically reserved for a Yom Tob holiday. On this holiday, we conclude the traditional annual Torah cycle and begin the next cycle immediately with Sefer Bereshit, in order that there should never be an interruption from our Torah learning. PIZMON for Hatan Me'Onah is El Ramah Yeminekha (page 179). The pizmon, Mipi El (370), is most associated with this holiday. The Haqafot ceremony, to honor the Torah, is conducted numerous times throughout the day. Sephardic Pizmonim Project, www.pizmonim.com.


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