Ein Ke-Elohenu

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EIN KE-ELOHENU

EIN KE-ELOHENU (Heb. אֵין כֵּאלׂהֵינוּ; "There is none like our God"), hymn recited at the end of the Additional Service on Sabbaths and holidays in the Ashkenazi ritual and in the Sephardi ritual on weekdays after the Morning Service. This hymn is already mentioned in the prayer books of *Amram Gaon (ninth century), *Maimonides (12th century), and *Rashi (13th century), where, however, the order of its stanzas differs from their present sequence. Now the initial letters of the first three verses form the word "Amen" and the other two verses start with "Barukh" and "Attah," forming the phrase "Amen Barukh Attah" ("Amen, Blessed be Thou"). It is possible that originally there was a final verse starting with Adonai. Rashi states that Ein ke-Elohenu is recited, in the Ashkenazi ritual, on Sabbaths and holidays only, because on those days the Amidah consists of seven benedictions instead of the 19 on weekdays and through this hymn additional praises are recited, making up for those missing (cf. Maḥzor Vitry, no. 134; Zedekiah b. Abraham ha-Rofe, Shibbolei ha-Leket (1966), 131f.). In the Genizah fragments, where the stanzas are in a different order from the present text, the hymn is followed immediately by a quotation from Psalms 90:1, which suggests that it may have been recited at the termination of the Sabbath.

bibliography:

Davidson, Oẓar, 1 (1929), 142; Eisenstein, Dinim, 14f.; Abrahams, Companion, clxvi–clxvii; Sendrey, Music, 2306. 2587–92.

[Meir Ydit]

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