An Invitation to Piyut – A Jewish Liturgical Database


Source: An Invitation to Piyut


An Invitation to Piyut is a website dedicated to the bringing the world of Piyut (Jewish Liturgy) to an ever-growing audience. The online database contains a wide growing selection of piyutim, including their texts, melodies, literary, historical and social interpretation. The website aims to gather in one place a meaningful selection of piyutim from all Jewish cultures in a manner recognizing the varied styles and influences existing in the Jewish tradition, turning the website into an “international home” for piyut.

There are two archives at the core of the website. The central archive is a collection of piyutim and melodies. Here one can find piyutim divided into various categories and run a general search on all of the piyutim. Each piyut has two central “pages.” The first offers an in-depth look at the piyut, presenting different perspectives of background, commentary, and explanation. The second is a list of melodies, including a range of melodies and performances of the piyut.

The second archive contains texts and melodies not classically defined as piyutim – such as selections from Psalms or traditional Jewish prayers. This category of the archive is necessary because there is a close functional relationship between these types of texts and melodies and the world of piyut, both aesthetically and in terms of practical traditional uses.

Additional categories on the website include sub-listings within the two main archives (such as the piyut of the week, the piyut of the month, the top 12 selected piyutim, a “send a piyut” service, and “what’s new").

The Vision of An Invitation to Piyut

" Much of our effort is invested in the development of our archive of piyutim. We aspire to create a platform of varied repertoire reflecting many generations, broadcasting a wide variety of performances for each piyut. At the same time, we hope to concentrate on a variety of in-depth writing and research providing the background and tools to improve the understanding of the piyut and its perspective and place in Jewish life – from the past and into the present and future. In addition to gathering the existing material and adapting it to a style which blends well with the website, we are preparing production of new recordings of the best of different traditional piyutim performed by contemporary artists. We hope that the website will gradually become the central address for all that is happening in Israel and beyond in connection with piyut – from groups and seminars to concerts and conferences and more."

Updated: Jun. 17, 2008