Two poetic and musical highlights of the High Holidays are Et Sha’are Ratzon on Rosh Hashana and E-l Nora Alilah on Kippur. Below are various versions from some of the S&P communities which we hope you will enjoy:
Et Sha’are Ratzon
Written by R. Judah ibn Abbas in the 12th century, this hymn dramatically re-tells the story of the binding of Isaac and is sung as an introduction to the Shofar blowing on Rosh Hashanah. Rabbi Jonathan Cohen notes that the musical motif is identical to the version common among Moroccan Jewry. However, the S&P versions then develop the theme musically into three variations as you will hear below:
New York (Rev. Abraham Lopes Cardozo and Shearith Israel choir):
This prayer is sung in the Ne’ilah service at the end of Kippur to mark the final opportunity for penitential prayers before the closing (ne’ilah) of the heavenly gates. Written by Moses ibn Ezra in 12th Century Spain, the poem is an appeal for Divine pardon in the very last minutes of the Day of Atonement.
New York (Rabbi Ira Rohde and Schola Hebraica choir)—scroll to last selection: