The Eve of Rosh haShana
- in Synagogue -
On the Eve of Rosh haShana, the service starts with the recitation of Psalm 81, a beautiful, stirring poem called Aḥōt Qetannā (Little Sister). Many sources believe the author of this poem to be the 13th century Spanish poet Abraham Hazzan of Gerona. Others believe it was written by another Abraham Hazzan who lived in 15th century Salonika, Greece. Below is a YouTube link that contains the words and translation of this song. The different stanzas are sung by the late Reverend Abraham Lopes Cardozo (stanzas 1 and 3), Rabbi Albert Gabbai (stanzas 2 and 8), and Rabbi Sjimon den Hollander (stanzas 4-7). The recorded melody is customary among Spanish-and-Portuguese (Western Sephardi) Jews, although within this community, local variations exist.
For the full text of the Rosh haShana evening service, see below.