||Bi-lingual Sabbath zemirot (songs), in Hebrew and German, arranged by Dr. L. Hirschfeld. The title page has a single line in Hebrew, “and make a joyful noise to Him with psalms” (Psalms 95:2), followed in Geeman translation. The remainder of the title page is in German, describing the book as Die häuslichen Sabbathgesängen für Freitag=Abend, Sabbath=Tag und Sabbath=Ausgang erklärt und metrich übersetzt von Dr. L. Hirschfeld (Sabbath songs for the home for Frdiay night, Shabbat day and the passing of Shabbat, explained and translated according to its metre by Dr. L. Hirschfeld. The zemirot follow, the Hebre and German on facing pages, the former with detailed footnotes in German with occasional Hebrew.
Zemirot are, in Ashkenazi usage, the table hymns sung during or directly after Sabbath meals. Their recitation was considered meritorious by the early authorities. Three groupings achieved prominence and were printed in most prayer books: (a) eight zemirot for the Friday evening meal (Kol Mekaddesh Shevi'i, Menuhah ve-Simhah, Mah Yedidut, Matt Yafit, Yom Shabbat Kodesh, Yah Ribbon Olam, Zur mi-Shello Akhalnu, Yom Zeh le-Yisrael); the first five apparently date from the early Middle Ages, the last two from the 16th century; (b) eight for the Sabbath noon meal (Barukh Adonai Yom Yom, Barukh El Elyon, Yom Zeh Mekhubbad, Yom Shabbaton, Ki Eshmerah Shabbat, Shimru Shabbetotai, Deror Yikra, Shabbat ha-Yom la-Adonai); tenth to 15th centuries; (c) nine for the end of Sabbath (Ha-Mavdil, Eliyahu ha-Navi, Be-Moza'ei (Yom) Menuhah, Haddesh Sesoni, Agil ve-Esmah, Elohim Yisadenu, Eli Hish Go'ali, Addir Ayom ve-Nora, Ish Hasid Hayah); early to late Middle Ages. A number of these are to be found in Mahzor Vitry (11th century) and some were also accepted by Sephardi communities who had their own traditional table hymns. The kabbalists, especially Isaac Luria, added new zemirot. Among Sephardi and oriental Jewry the writing of this type of hymn has continued.
Designated for either home or synagogue, the zemirot are not a special literary category. Rather, they belong to the group of songs and liturgical poems called zemer or pizmon or shevahot by Sephardi communities; these are not recognized as obligatory prayer. Examples of these zemirot are the bakkashot ("requests") said each morning before prayer by Sephardi Jews (some of which are recited at meals by other communities) and the many songs dedicated to special occasions such as the Sabbath, festivals, marriage, circumcision, redemption of the firstborn son, Zeved ha-Bat (a Sabbath celebration for a newborn daughter), Simhat Torah, the 15th of Shevat, Hanukkah, Purim, etc. Many have been printed in standard and holiday prayer books, while others have been published in collections such as Shirim u-Zemirot (Istanbul, 1539). Among collections with zemirot not found elsewhere are Sefer Shir u-Shevahah (1921, ed. by Rafael Hayyim Ha-Cohen, 561 songs), Sefer Pizmonim (1929, ed. by Mordekhai Hayyim Eliyahu Levi, 408 songs), Sefer Shirim, Tehillat Yesharim ha-Shalem (1954, ed. by Zalah Manzur, 373 songs).