Is There a Physical Reality to God?

That’s the question raised by a poem sung at many Ashkenazi services.

Prayer service at Dohány Street Synagogue in Budapest, Hungary. Nathan Benn/Corbis via Getty Images.

Prayer service at Dohány Street Synagogue in Budapest, Hungary. Nathan Benn/Corbis via Getty Images.

Atar Hadari
Observation
June 7 2018
About the author

Atar Hadari’s Songs from Bialik: Selected Poems of H. N. Bialik (Syracuse University Press) was a finalist for the American Literary Translators’ Association Award. His Lives of the Dead: Poems of Hanoch Levin earned a PEN Translates award and was released in 2019 by Arc Publications. He was ordained by Rabbi Daniel Landes and is completing a PhD on William Tyndale’s translation of Deuteronomy.


In many Ashkenazi synagogues, the concluding portions of the Sabbath morning service include the rhymed poem An’im Zmirot, known formally as “The Song of Glory,” a work distinguished by its ornate Hebrew and its shocking anthropomorphism.

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