Poetry, Pedagogy, and Prayer: An Introduction to the Azharot
Yitz Landes / May 15, 2021
The holiday of Shavuot features many unique prayers, the majority of which touch upon themes relating to the giving of the Torah. In this class, we will take a close look at the history and development of the Azharot, a specific form of Piyyut (Hebrew Liturgical poetry) recited on the festival that enumerates the 613 commandments. We will begin with a brief historical introduction to Piyyut and its role in Jewish prayer before looking at the overall features and content of the special Shavuot liturgy. We will then turn to the Azharot piyyutim themselves, focusing especially on their poetic and didactic elements.