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הֲשִׁיבֵֽנוּ | Hạs͡hịˈvénụ | Return Us is a תְּפִלָּה | təfịˈḷàh | prayer sung during the Hebrew month of אֱלוּל | ’Èˈḷụḷ | Elul and the subsequent יָמִים נוֹרָאִים | Yàˈmịm Nọṛàˈ’ịm | Days of Awe. In some congregations, the song is also included in the liturgy recited just before returning the Torah scroll to the Ark during the weekly Torah services.
The text of the prayer is from Lamentations 5:21:
הֲשִׁיבֵ֨נוּ יי֤ ׀ אֵלֶ֨יךָ֙ וְֽנָשׁ֔וּבָה חַדֵּ֥שׁ יָמֵ֖ינוּ כְּקֶֽדֶם׃ | Hạs͡hịˈvénụ hạˈS͡hém ’éˈḷèk͡hà vənàs͡hụˈvàh! Ħạˈdés͡h yàˈméynụ kəˈqèđèm! | Return us, G!d, toward you, and we will return! Renew our days as of old!
The book of אֵיכָה | ’Éyˈk͡hàh | Lamentations (literally How?, from the incipit of the first poem), comprises five poems lamenting the siege, destruction, and desolation of Jerusalem by נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר | Nəvụk͡hạđnèˈt͡sạṛ | Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylonia, culminating in the razing of the בֵּית־הַמִּקְדָּשׁ | Bét͡h hạMịqˈdạs͡h | Temple of Solomon in 586 BCE. Lamentations is traditionally read on תִּשְׁעָה בְּאָב | Tịs͡hˈ‘àh bə’Àv | The Ninth of [the Hebrew month of] Av, the day on which both Solomon's Temple and, in 70 CE, the בֵּית־הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי | Bét͡h hạMịqˈdạs͡h hạS͡héˈnị | Second Temple were destroyed.
This hauntingly beautiful melody in the melodic minor scale, a square round for 3 voices, was composed to this text by מאיר בן אורי Meir Ben-Uri (1908..1983), an Israeli architect, composer, director, painter, illustrator, and copper-plate engraver, born Maximilian Vasbotzky in Riga, Latvia.
http://sefaradizo.org/muzica/hashivenu/ Sephardic Association of Órgiva, Granada, Andalusia, Spain 2018.11.18 English edition
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