Oxford Jewish Thought

Lectures, essays, questions & articles

by Rabbi Eli Brackman

Rabbi Yom Tov of York: A Yom Kippur liturgical poet, legalist and martyr

Rabbi Yom Tov of York is the author of one of the liturgical poems (piyutim) recited during the Yom Kippur evening service – the only High Holiday prayer to have as its author an English medieval rabbi. The Piyut reads as follows:


It is indeed true that passion rules us; So it is for You to justify, O abundantly just and to answer us, ‘I have forgiven!’


Abominate the slanderer (Satan), and invalidate his testimony, O Beloved, Who roars loudly, may He grant us the sound of His word, ‘I have forgiven!’  


Silence the Accuser, and let the Defender replace him, And may G-d be his support, so that He may say, ‘I have forgiven!’


Let the merit of the easterner… Read More »

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