Ahot Ketannah

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ahot Ketana - Sephardim - Portuguese version, Amsterdam, Performer: Abraham Lopes Cardozo, Recorded in the 1950's

The Ahot Ketannah ("Little Sister", אחות קטנה) is a pizmon of eight stanzas sung in the Sephardic ritual before the commencement of the Rosh Hashanah evening prayer.

The refrain runs "May the year end with her woes!" and is changed in the last stanza to "May the year begin with her blessings!" The poem symbolizes Israel by a little sister, who must suffer greatly yet remains faithful to her heavenly lover.[1] The author, Abraham Ḥazan, a cantor born in Thessaloniki in 1533, probably also composed the melody, which is in the hypodorian mode. His name appears in acrostic form in the poem.[2]

The melody has points of similarity to contemporary airs from the Greek archipelago.


  1. ^ Donald G. Schilling; Jeffry M. Diefendorf (13 May 1998). Lessons and Legacies: Teaching the Holocaust in a changing world. Northwestern University Press. p. 216n. ISBN 978-0-8101-1562-0. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Elli Kohen (2007). History of the Turkish Jews and Sephardim: Memories of a Past Golden Age. University Press of America. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-7618-3600-1. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSinger, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901–1906). "Ahot Ketannah". Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.