Composer: Rabbi David Menahem / Maqam: Hijaz
This piyyut for Simḥat Torah appears in the maḥzor after the service and Torah reading for that holiday. We readily recognize its opening—Mi-pi El, mi-pi El, titbarach Israel—from the well-known Simḥat Torah piyyut beginning Ein adir ka-Adonai, ein baruch ke-ben Amram (which does not appear in the maḥzor). Like other piyyutim that were originally written for Shavuot (Pentecost) but were also sung on Simḥat Torah, the topic is the giving of the Torah. Some ascribe it to R. Elazar ha-Bavli (13th century, Baghdad), but this attribution has not been conﬁrmed.
Ascribed to Shmuel Ha-Dayan Ben Moshe
Composer: Rabbi David Menahem / Maqam: Bayat-Huseyni
A piyyut for brit milah (circumcision) included in the section of seliḥot for the Sabbaths of the month of Elul. The author is apparently R. Shmuel Ha-Dayan ben Moshe of Aram Zova (c. 1150-1200). R. Shmuel was a proliﬁc poet, and several of his poems are of an exceptionally high level. We do not know whether the description dayan (religious judge) refers to a position he occupied, or whether he was the son of the well-known Dayan family of Aram Zova. The piyyut was written for a brit milah of a boy born into the community, as we learn from the last verse—“We welcome you, people of Aram Zova.”