בסיעתא דשמיא

בורא עד אנה | Borei Ad Anah, “Creator! How long” (after 1492 C.E.)

Bore ‘Ad Anah” is a kinah recited in a number of Sephardic communities on Tisha B’av (or in some cases on Shabbat Hazon, the Shabbat preceding Tisha B’av), particularly in the Spanish-Portuguese and North African traditions. The author is unknown, but his name is likely Binyamin based on the acrostic made up of the first letters of the verses. In the kinah, the Children of Israel are compared to a wandering dove caught in a trap by predators, crying out its father, God. The kinah was likely written as a poignant response to the Spanish Inquisition, appropriate to Tisha B’av since the expulsion of the Jews from Spain occurred on the 9th of Av in the year 1492. The version presented here was likely censored, as many manuscripts have the fifth verse presented in the following manner directly calling out their Catholic oppressors,” יועצים עליה עצות היא אנושה זרים העובדים אלילים שלושה אם ובן ורוח כי אין להם בושה גדול ממכאובי.” “They counsel against her and she languishes, the strangers who worship three idols, father, son and spirit, for they have no shame and great is my suffering.”

Translation of verses 1-5 by Isaac Leeser, 1837; Gabriel Kretzmer-Seed (verse 6).


בּוֹרֵא עַד אָנָּה יוֹנָתְךָ בִּמְצוּדָה
תּוֹךְ פַּח הַמּוֹקֵשׁ עֲנִיָּה וּמְרוּדָה
וּבְלִי בָנֶיהָ יוֹשֶׁבֶת גַּלְמוּדָה
צוֹעֶקֶת אָבִי
Creator! How long shall thy dove remain in the toils of the fowler’s snare?
She is afflicted and humbled, and lonely sitting,
deprived of her children,
she calleth to thee, O my father!

נָעָה גַּם נָדָה מִקִּנָּהּ הַיּוֹנָה
וּלְקֶרַח וְחֹרֶב יוֹם וָלַיְלָה חוֹנָה
הִיא מִתְחַרֶדֶת מֵחֶרֶב הַיּוֹנָה
מִשִּׁנֵּי לָבִיא
The dove driven from her nest now wandereth about,
exposed day and night to frost and heat;
she dreadeth the destroying sword,
and the lioness’ teeth, Lord!

יָהּ עֵת עָזַבְתָּ אוֹתָהּ בְיַד טוֹרֵף
אָכַל הַצַּוָּאר וּמָלַק הָעֹרֶף
עָבְרוּ הַשָּׁנִים גַּם קַיִץ גַּם חֹרֶף
אֶשָּׂא עֹל אוֹיְבִי
 
When thou didst surrender her into the hands of the spoiler he devoured her,
as it were to the neck without mercy;
many years have since then passed, yet summer and winter
I bear the yoke of my enemy.

מִי יִתֵּן אֵלֶיהָ אֵבֶר כַּנְּשָׁרִים
לָעוּף בִּגְבָעוֹת וּלְדַלֵּג בֶּהָרִים
לָבוֹא עִם דּוֹדָהּ אֶל תּוֹךְ הַחֲדָרִים
אָז אֶשְׁכַּח עָצְבִּי
 
O who would give her wings like eagles,
to fly on the hills, and to leap over mountains,
to come to her beloved into the sacred chambers;
then I could forget my grief.

יוֹעֲצִים עָלֶיהָ עֵצוֹת הִיא אֲנוּשָׁה
זָרִים אַכְזָרִים שָׂמוּהָ חֲלוּשָׁה
בְּעֹל כָּבֵד בְּחֶרְפָּה וּבוּשָׁה
גָדוֹל מַכְאוֹבִי
 
Cruel aliens take council against her,
she is afflicted, because they have weakened her
by a heavy yoke with scorn and shame,
whereat my pain is great.

נַחֵם עַל לִבָּהּ אֵל שׁוֹכֵן בִּמְרוֹמִים
דַּבֵּר נֶחָמָה עַל לֵב הָעֲגוּמִים
קַבֵּץ נִדָּחִים פְּזוּרִים בָּעַמִּים
וְגוֹאֵל תָּבִיא
Comfort her heart, O God who dwells in the heavens,
speak comfort to the hearts of the downtrodden;
gather those dispersed among the nations
and a redeemer bring.

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