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Sefarađizo סאראיז

Sephardic Association of Órgiva

בִּירְכַּת פְּרִי הָעֵץ

Birkat Peri Ha‘Ets

Tree-Fruit Blessing

בִּירְכַּת פְּרִי הָעֵץ | Bịṛˈkạt Pəˈṛị Hàˈ‘Ét͡s | Birkat Peri Ha‘Ets Tree-Fruit Blessingבנדיסײן דל רוק׳׿ דל רל׿   | Bẹndịˈsỵọn dẹl ˈFṛục͡họ dẹḷ ˈẠṛvọḷẹ | Bendición del Frucho del Árvole in Ladino— is a בְּרָכָה | bəṛàˈk͡hàh | blessing sung immediately before eating any tree fruit or drinking its juice.

The lyrics of this canon, while based on the traditional blessing, avoid the traditional feudal and patriarchal formulation, and are furnished in two versions —feminine and masculine— because the Hebrew G!d is to be imagined as much as woman as as man: According to the Torah,

וַיִּבְרָ֨א אֱלֹהִ֤ים ׀ אֶת־הָֽאָדָם֙ בְּצַלְמ֔וֹ בְּצֶ֥לֶם אֱלֹהִ֖ים בָּרָ֣א אֹת֑וֹ זָכָ֥ר וּנְקֵבָ֖ה בָּרָ֥א אֹתָֽם׃
| Vạyịvˈṛà’ ’Ĕḷọˈhịm ’èt͡h-hà’àˈđàm bət͡sạḷˈmọ, bəˈt͡sèḷèm ’Ĕḷọˈhịm bàˈṛà’ ’ọˈt͡họ, zàˈk͡hàṛ ụnqéˈvàh bàˈṛà’ ’ọˈt͡hàm. |
And G!d created the human in G!d's image, in G!d's image G!d created it, man and woman G!d created them.
—Genesis 1:27

In this stretto canon in the key of D harmonic minor by David ben Or, intended for Qabbalat Shabbat, up to four voices sing the melody, one after the other at an interval of one measure. Sung with more than four voices, the music sounds repetitive. The melody is in two sections, of which the first (i) section ends on the mediant; and the second (ii), with a slight variation, ends on the tonic.

The feminine and masculine versions are sung to the same melody, so their lyrics are interchangeable. For example, in a mixed choir, the female voices could sing the feminine lyrics, and the male voices the masculine lyrics, or vice versa; or one version could be sung in section (i) and the other in section (ii).

A version of this blessing with Ladino lyrics, בנדיסײן דל רוק׳׿ דל רל׿  Bendición del Frucho del Árvole, also shares the same melody, so the Ladino and Hebrew lyrics are interchangeable. For example, the Ladino lyrics could be sung in section (i), and the Hebrew lyrics in section (ii).

Also sharing the same melody are the modernised traditional blessings

בִּירְכַּת פְּרִי הַגָּֽפֶן Birkat Peri HaGafen Vine-Fruit Blessing
בִּירְכַּת פְּרִי הָאָדָמָה Birkat Peri Ha’Adamah Earth-Fruit Blessing
בִּירְכַּת הַלֶּֽחֶם Birkat Halekhem Bread Blessing

as well as the corresponding Ladino blessings

בנדיסײן דל רוק׳׿ דלה פא׸ה Bendición del Frucho dela Parra Vine-Fruit Blessing
בנדיסײן דל רוק׳׿ דלה טײ׸ה Bendición del Frucho dela Tierra Earth-Fruit Blessing
בנדיסײן דל פאן Bendición del Pan Bread Blessing

so they can be sung together, for example when the participants are about to eat or drink different foods or beverages.

feminine lyrics

piece  (MIDI MP3)
melody  (MIDI MP3)

1st voice  (MIDI MP3)
2nd voice  (MIDI MP3)
3rd voice  (MIDI MP3)
4th voice  (MIDI MP3)
audio recordings

Birkat Peri Ha‘Ets: Lyrics 1/1
lyrics
(PDF)
Birkat Peri Ha‘Ets : Lead sheet 1/1
lead sheet
(PDF)
Birkat Peri Ha‘Ets: Partition 1/3Birkat Peri Ha‘Ets: Partition 2/3 Birkat Peri Ha‘Ets: Partition 3/3
Partition
(PDF)

masculine lyrics

piece  (MIDI MP3)
melody  (MIDI MP3)

1st voice  (MIDI MP3)
2nd voice  (MIDI MP3)
3rd voice  (MIDI MP3)
4th voice  (MIDI MP3)
audio recordings

Birkat Peri Ha‘Ets: Lyrics 1/1
lyrics
(PDF)
Birkat Peri Ha‘Ets : Lead sheet 1/1
lead sheet
(PDF)
Birkat Peri Ha‘Ets: Partition 1/3Birkat Peri Ha‘Ets: Partition 2/3 Birkat Peri Ha‘Ets: Partition 3/3
Partition
(PDF)

http://sefaradizo.org/muzica/birkat_peri_haets/ Sephardic Association of Órgiva, Granada, Andalusia, Spain 2019.04.12 English edition

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