Thursday, December 06, 2007

An important message from Mar Gavriel

[All silly spelling SIC]

Dear readers of DovBear:

You know that piyyut אודך כי אנפת בי, which we Ashkenazzim recite on the morning of Shabbas Chanukko?

Right, that one.

Oh, your shul doesn't do it, and you still claim to be Ashkenazzi? You silly reformers. Piyyut is what makes davvening capture our attention on special occasions, and not show bizzoyôn to the day by simply using the same old words and same old tunes as on any other day.

Anyway, there is a line in the piyyut which has an error in the printed editions:
סָחַף: מָחָר הַקִּרְיָה כְּאַגְחִילסְיָפִי בְּרֹאשׁ זֶה אַתְחִילסַנֵּגְרוֹן מְשַׂנְאַי תְּמוּר הִשְׁחִיל.


He [...]ed: “Tomorrow, when I incinerate the city, I shall begin using my sword on this head, since he has brought forth words of defense [on behalf] of my enemies.”

But what does that first word mean? סחף means "he swept", which makes no sense in this context. In fact, the good manuscripts read סָעַף, he thought (as in מדוע אתם פסחים על שתי הסעפים, where it means "opinions"). In my own Machzor, I print it as סָעַף, with a footnote indicating that the printed editions do not read this way.

I hope that every single one of you who is Ashkenazzi or Italki will be davvening that piyyut this Saturday morning, with the proper reading סעף.


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