Anim Zemirot and Shabbtai Tzvi

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    My host over Shabbat brought up something I’d never heard before, namely, that at least some yeshivish/chareidi shules don’t say “Anim Zemirot” because of some kind of connection the words have to Shabbati Tzvi. Has anyone heard of this?

    I’ve been in shules where it’s not said in Shabbat, and if I asked why, the answer was almost always, “I dunno. We just don’t. Only on Yomim Tovim.”


    If the reason for refraining from saying it on Shabbos were Shabsai Tzvi, it wouldn’t make sense to then say it on Yuntif. So you must be incorrect.

    Reb Eliezer

    Asjhkanazim don’t say שעות עניים אתה תשמע צעקת הדל תקשיב ותושיע but others don’t say it because of the ר’ת of the verses.


    Anim Zemirot is said to have been composed by R’ Yehuda Hechassid, who predates Shabbatai Tzvi by some 450 years. It certainly already appears, word for word as we have it today, in a machzor printed in Venice in 1599, about 27 years before Shabbatai Tzvi was born.


    about 27 years before Shabbatai Tzvi was born

    Well, we’re not goint to let a pesky thing like an ironclad, irrefutable fact get in our way.

    Shabbatai Tzvi was a time-traveller. He went back in time to before he was born and influcenced and/or wrote A’anim Z’miros just to fool everything into thinking that he couldn’t be responsible.

    The Wolf

    Reb Eliezer

    Could be 4 places צבי is mentioned.


    Some people limit the use of An’im Zemiros for the same reason nusach Ashkenaz limits the use of Ho’aderes veho’emuno — because of its extreme kedusha. The way it’s said in some shuls, at the end of davening, with half the people talking, folding their taleisim, or otherwise not paying attention, is truly not appropriate; if a rov sees that this is happening he should either move it to after shachris or stop saying it until people get the message.


    I believe that the GR”A said to say it only on Yamim Nora’im due to its great Kedushah, as sme previous posters mentioned. Shabtai Tzvi connection seems extremely unlikely.


    In the yeshivish velt, A”Z is only said on Y”K night, due to it being full of Kabbalah, and ramozim, after the shir hayichud. I think that’s why it’s not said every shabbos- not to lose the erech of it. In fact, its brought down in halacha that if you normally daven somewhere that doesn’t say it on Shabbos and daven somewhere where it is said, you’re not allowed to walk out or do anything that would be mevazeh A”Z. I think this is the general idea why the yeshivishe oilam only says it on Y”K; due to its awesome holiness.

    Uncle Ben

    I once heard that due to its Kedusha and chashivus there was extreme competition among the wealthy and chashuvim over who would receive the kibud to lead the tzibur for Aanim Zemiros. Therefore to avoid this strife in Germany a takanah was instituted that it could only be led by someone under Bar Mitzvah. We see until this day this minhag in many Ashkenaz shuls. Other kehillos seem to have dealt with this issue by having the Shliach Tzibur of Musaf lead it.


    I think he is confusing Anim Zemiros with a different song sang on Shabbos that is alleged to have been composed by Shabsei Tzvi. I’m not saying which one.

    (most people attribute that song to the Arizal)

    Avi K

    Laskern, what about ראשי תיבות?

    Mobico, I also heard that. I also heard that some do not like the idea of a child saying it for that reason. BTW, the Gra did not sing ברכוני לשלום because we do not make requests of angels and the Chatam Sofer did not sing צאתכם לשלום because we should not throw them out.

    Smerel (were you demoted from your chieftainship?), forthat matter some tunes come from Russian and Polish folk songs and marches of Napoleon’s army.


    Smerel, I know which song you mean, and it is definitely from the AriZal, but some omit the last few verses, claiming those were added by Shabsai Tzvi. (There’s no basis for that belief, but it does exist. For reference purposes, the person I heard it from was an old Alexander chosid.)


    I mentioned Ho’aderes Veho’emuno. Chassidim, based on the AriZal’s instructions, say it every Shabbos and yomtov, and some also on chol hamoed. Some (such as Chabad) treat it so casually that they sing it at random occasions just like any other nigun. Yet minhag Ashkenaz is to treat it as so holy that it is to be said only on Yom Kippur; certainly, in this view, it would be wrong to sing it casually. Nahara nahara upashtei.


    [A:]…alleged to have been composed by Shabsei Tzvi.
    [B:] …for that matter some tunes come from Russian and Polish folk songs and marches of Napoleon’s army.

    Perhaps he shouldn’t have used “composed,” but he meant the words, not the melody.


    AviK, I was not demoted. Smerel is someone else.

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