— Bibliographic Items

Atanu Lehalot panekha

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In honor of Hodesh Elool, this month’s Song of the Month is Atanu Lehalot Panekha Piyyut.
This is one of the oldest "Selichot" melodies in the Sephardi ritual set to an ancient poem that dates back to the post-Talmudic period. The short poem consists of three stanzas in an: aaba rhyming scheme, whereas the last two lines of each stanza are identical and thus they function as a refrain (selach lanu u-shlach lanu yeshu'a ve-rachamim mi-me'onekha, "forgive us and send us redemption and mercy from Your abode"). The melodies to which this text is performed in all Sephardi communities share a common, ancient kernel as was demonstrated by Avenary (1986). The Amsterdam version, like all the related Western Sephardi ones, is characterized by a repetitive structure in which the same melody is used for the verses of each stanza and for the refrain sung by the congregation.

The Hebrew words:

אָתָאנוּ לְחַלּוֹת פָּנֶיךָ
כִּי חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת יְקַדְּמוּ פָנֶיךָ
נָא אַל תְּבִישֵׁנוּ
נָא אַל תְּשִׁיבֵנוּ
רֵיקָם מִלְּפָנֶיךָ
סְלַח לָנוּ
וּשְׁלַח לָנוּ
יְשׁוּעָה וְרַחֲמִים מִמְּעוֹנֶךָ

אָתָאנוּ לְבַקֵּשׁ מִמְּךָ כַּפָּרָה
אָיֹם וְנוֹרָא
מִשְׂגָּב לְעִתּוֹת בַּצָּרָה
תְּחַיֵּינוּ תְּחָנֵּנוּ
וּבְשִׁמְךָ נִקְרָא
סְלַח לָנוּ
וּשְׁלַח לָנוּ
יְשׁוּעָה וְרַחֲמִים מִמְּעוֹנֶךָ