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Pre-Shabbat Song-Karev Yom

One of my favorite Israeli radio programs is Sof Shavua Zugi that is broadcast on Galei Tzahal every Friday afternoon. The show features the husband and wife team of Yedidya Meir and Sivan Rahav Meir. They talk about current events, religion, culture, and just about anything else that is on their mind. The show is posted online (here) soon after it is broadcast, so if you missed it live, you can listen to it at your leisure.

On today’s program Yedidya broadcast a version of the piyyut for Pesaḥ that is found at the end of the Haggadah, Karev Yom [Ba-Ḥatzi ha-Laylah], written by Yannai, the Byzantine era poet (also see this recent post on Karev Yom). See here for the Hebrew text along with a version performed by Shuli Natan. The following is an English translation of the final stanza from Josh Kulp’s The Schechter Haggadah: Art, History and Commentary.

Draw near the day which is neither day nor night;
Exalted One, proclaim that Yours are day and night;
Set guards over Your city all day and night;
Brighten as day the darkness of the night;
And it came to pass at midnight!

Josh wrote the following comments on this piyyut. (p. 272)

This piyyut was composed by the famous paytan (liturgical poet) Yannai (6th-7th century, Eretz Yisrael), as part of a krovah and it was recited by Ashkenazim on Shabbat Hagadol.  Yannai, whose cycle of poems is based on the Eretz Yisraeli triennial cycle for reading the Torah, composed the krovah in connection with a Torah portion which began with Exodus 12:29, “And it came to pass at midnight,” the refrain of the poem.  The first Haggadah in which it is found is an Italian Haggadah from 1269 (Kasher: 188).

Every stanza of this alphabetically ordered piyyut cites one or more miracles that occurred on Pesah at night.  The miracles are ordered chronologically.  Although there is usually no biblical proof that these miracles occurred on Pesah, for most of them the idea that they occurred on Pesah is found in various places in rabbinic literature…

Additional discussion about this piyyut by Peretz Rodman can be found here.

The version that Yedidya played was performed by the Israeli musicians Yonatan Razel and Evyatar Banai at the recent brit of the son of another musician, Daniel Zamir. Yedidya recorded it on his iPhone, so you’ll excuse the quality, and you may have to increase the volume a bit.

Here are two other recording of Karev Yom sung by Banai.

Evyatar Banai is a very talented Israeli musician, and I recommend this TV program that features him and his music.

Karev Yom has been performed by many other musicians. Here is a performance by the recently deceased Yaffa Yarkoni.

The following is a recording of the Israeli actress Hanna Rovina from what seems to be an old Israeli TV Passover program.

Youtube has numerous other versions of Karev Yom that can be found here.

I couldn’t refrain from posting this one video. I don’t think that Yannai ever imagined the following scene.

3 Responses to “Pre-Shabbat Song-Karev Yom”

  1. 1
    Mar Gavriel:

    Given the amount that Yannai bitterly complains about Christians in much of his work….

  2. 2
    Peretz Rodman:

    Thank you, Menachem Mendel.

    A bit more analysis of the _piyyut_ appears in my article on “Passover Songs” on

  3. 3
    Menachem Mendel:


    Thanks for the reference. I added it to the post. Hag Sameah.




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