Baal Shem Tov, or Besht — the founder of Chasidism —
Ana Bekhoach liturgy
Ana Bekhoach is one of the masterpieces of mystical prayer. Neohasid includes half-a-dozen nigunim for this prayer. You'll notice something unusual about Ana Bekhoach: the word "God" does not appear, nor do any traditional names for God like Adonai-YHVH or Eloheinu. Like the Kaddish, Ana BeKhoach addresses the divine at a level that is beyond the names for God that we normally use. This special language makes it a very powerful prayer, whether it's said in (well-translated) English or Hebrew.
Ana BeKhoach is traditionally recited right before L'kha Dodi on Friday night, which makes it easy to fit into the Kabbalat Shabbat service even if it doesn't appear in your prayerbook. (It's also recited after counting the omer and even as part of lighting the Menorah.) One way to introduce the prayer to a community that hasn't seen it before is for the shaliach tsibur (prayer leader) to chant each line in Hebrew, and then have the community respond by chanting or reading the corresponding line in English.
While Ana Bekhoach is sung aloud in many communities, it's also traditional to recite Ana Bekhoach in a whisper, reflecting the mystical idea that the initial letters of Ana BeKhoach spell out the secret 42-letter name (or names) of God. Because of this belief, the line "Barukh Shem K'vod..." (Blessed be the name...) is added after the last verse of the prayer.
Read a Chasidic story about the mystical power and secret names of Ana BeKhoach.
The translation and transliteration shown here come from Siddur Chaverim Kol Yisraeil, one of the finest prayerbooks devoted to Kabbalat Shabbat. Siddur Chaverim Kol Yisraeil was created by the Progressive Chavurah in Boston, with the help of people from chavurot across North America. It uses an original format and style that embodies the values of commitment to learning and openness to newcomers that the Havurah movement is known for. The English text for Ana BeKhoach found in the siddur is based on David Seidenberg's '93 translation of Kabbalat Shabbat.
Mark Frydenberg, the editor of the Siddur Chaverim Kol Yisrael, produced the formatting you see here, which fits a regular 8.5 x 11 sheet, especially for NeoHasid.org. For more information, sample pages, etc., go to: Siddur Chaverim Kol Yisraeil.
I am wanting music using the SOLfegio scale.
[Can anyone help her? - Reb Duvid]
Posted by: phyllis kay sisson at December 4, 2007 4:52 AM
this a beautiful prayer.
Posted by: richard tanzer at May 1, 2008 4:16 AM
Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006