Anna Be-Kho'aḥ

views updated


ANNA BE-KHO'AḤ (Heb. אָנָּא בְּכֹחַ), prayer hymn ascribed to the tanna R. Neḥunya b. ha-Kanah, but probably composed in the circle of the 13th-century Spanish kabbalists. The hymn, originally part of a group of kabbalistic prayers known under the title Tefillat ha-Yiḥud, gives expression to the longing of Israel for deliverance from the Diaspora and implores God's support and protection. It consists of seven verses of six words each, the initials of which form the 42-lettered Holy Name of God and similar mystical combinations (e.g., the initials of the second verse form the sentence קְרָע שָׂטָן (Kera Satan; "Rend Satan"), i.e., silence the adversary of Israel. The prayer is recited, according to some rites, in the order of sacrifices contained in the daily morning prayer and on the Sabbath eve before the hymn Lekhah Dodi. Among the rites of Eastern Europe influenced by the Kabbalah it is recited in the counting of the *Omer.