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PIZMON (Heb. פִּזְמוֹן, pl. פִּזְמוֹנִים, pl. pizmonim), a term transferred to Hebrew from Greek by way of Aramaic, meaning "adoration and praise," i.e., a poem praising God. It was first applied to the refrain in piyyutim in which either the first or the last line of the first stanza was repeated at the end of each stanza. Subsequently, the piyyutim themselves in which these refrains occur were called pizmonim. Pizmonim can be inserted almost anywhere in the liturgy; the Sephardi paytanim inserted them in the kerovot (the groups of piyyutim in the Amidah). In Spain the one who sang or read the pizmon before the congregation was called pizmanana. In a later period editors used the word pizmonim for poems and songs in general. The name often appears on the title page of collections of poems, particularly those printed in Oriental countries. In modern Israel the word is used to mean a popular song.


Zunz, Poesie, 88–89, 367–8; Elbogen, Gottesdienst, 208; Schirmann, Sefarad, 2 (1956), 714.

[Abraham Meir Habermann]

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