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למנצח שיר | Lamnatse’aḥ Shir (Cantique), a piyyut to the tune of ‘Le Marseillaise’ by Moïse Ensheim with a paraliturgical French translation by Isaïah Berr Bing (Metz, 21 October 1792)

https://opensiddur.org/?p=47402 למנצח שיר | Lamnatse'aḥ Shir (Cantique), a piyyut to the tune of 'Le Marseillaise' by Moïse Ensheim with a paraliturgical French translation by Isaïah Berr Bing (Metz, 21 October 1792) 2022-11-06 17:53:12 "Lamnatseaḥ Shir" composed by Moses Ensheim, and its accompanying paraliturgical French translation by Isaïah Berr Bing, was first published in 1792 when it was sung in the synagogue of the Jewish community of Metz in celebration of the victory of the French Revolution and their emancipation as full citizens of France in 1791. Text the Open Siddur Project Aharon N. Varady (translation) Aharon N. Varady (translation) Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Ronald Schechter (translation) Isaïah Berr Bing Moïse Ensheim https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Aharon N. Varady (translation) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Bastille Day France פיוטים piyyutim Emancipation 56th century A.M. French translation French Jewry 18th Century C.E. the Enlightenment Great French Revolution Metz Le Marseillaise
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Source (Hebrew) Translation (English) Paraliturgical translation (French) Translation of French (English)
נָפְלָה, נָפְלָה מַלְכוּת הָרֶשַּׁע
חֵרֶם הִיא וּתְהִי תוֹעֵבָה,
נִגְדַע עֹל, נִתְּקוּ מוֹסֵרוֹת
שָׁבְתָה, שָׁבְתָה הַמַדְהֵבָה׃
Fallen, fallen is the wicked reign,[1] Cf. Isaiah 21:9.  
Anathema it is and an abomination it will remain
Cut off is the yoke, our fetters have snapped,
Ceased, ceased[2] Cf. Leviticus 25:2  is the crushing oppression.
Enfin la tyrannie est domptée;
son sceptre s’est brisé contre l’égide républicaine,
et nos défenseurs marchent triomphans
sur les débris des ennemis vaincus.
Tyranny is finally subdued.
It’s scepter has been shattered against the republican shield,
and our defenders march triumphantly
over the wreckage of conquered enemies.
מַלְכֵי אֶרֶץ יַחְדָו נוֹעָדוּ,
לָשׂוּם אוֹתָנוּ לַעֲבָדִים,
כַּשׁוֹאָה מֶמֶרְחָק תָּבוֹא
מִצָפוֹן בָּאוּ הַשׁוֹדְדִים׃
The kings of the earth have come together
to place us in slavery.
As a devastating storm approaching from afar,[3] Cf. Isaiah 10:1-3.  
from the North, the despoilers will come.[4] Cf. Jeremiah 51:47-48.  
Dès l’aurore de la Liberté,
les despotes nous avoient préparé de nouveaux fers;
long-temps ils concertèrent les moyens de nous y asservir:
ils vinrent, et la dévastation accompagna leurs traces.
Since the dawn of Liberty,
the despots have prepared new irons for us;
they have long schemed new means of subjugating us.[5] Cf. the “Marseillaise”: “Que veut cette horde d’esclaves, / De traîtres, de rois conjurés? / Pour qui ces ignobles entraves, / Ces fers dès longtemps préparés?”  
They came, and devastation followed in their tracks.
קוּמוּ הַמְלֻמָדִים לַקְרָב,
קוּמוּ וַעֲשׂוּ שֵׁם וּתְהִלָּה,
מַעֲרְכוֹת עָרִיצִים לִפְנֵיכֶם
רִדְפוּם, שִּׁימוּ בָהֶם תָּהְלָה׃
Arise, those trained in battle!
Arise, and merit us name and praise!
the tyrants’ ranks before you
pursue, make them scorned[6] cf. Job 4:18 !
Mais, ô prodige! ô merveille!
à peine leurs nombreux bataillons avoient-ils fait quelques pas sur notre territoire,
que l’aspect des Guerriers armés par la Patrie, les fit reculer d’épouvante;
ils ont fui, emportant avec eux la honte et l’opprobre.
But, oh wonder! Oh marvel!
Scarcely had their numerous battalions taken a few steps into our territory,
when the sight of warriors armed for the Fatherland made them recoil in terror;
they fled, carrying shame and opprobrium with them.
קוּמוּ הַמִתְנַדְבִים בָּעָם
הִתְחַזְקוּ וִהְיוּ לָאֲנָשִׁים,
חֶרֶב לָכֶם, חֶרֶב נוֹקֶמֶת
חֶרֶב לַשָׁוִים וּלְחָפְשִׁים
Arise, volunteers of the people![7] Cf. Judges 5:9.  
Take courage and act as men.
You have a sword, a sword of vengeance.
A sword of the equal and free.
Généreux Citoyens!
vous combattez pour l’Égalité et pour la Liberté:
elle a consacré vos bras à sa défense;
elle vous a rendus à jamais invincibles.
Generous Citizens!
You fight for Equality and for Liberty:
She has consecrated your arms in her defence;
she has made you forever invincible.
אַנְשֵׁי חַיִל לָכֶם הָעֹז
לַמִתְנַשֵׂא אֶפֶס תִּקְיָה,
מַרְגִיזֵי אֲרֶץ, שָׁוא לָכֶם
לֹא תָבוֹא עוֹד רֶגֶל גַאְוָה׃
Soldiers, yours is might,
The aristocrats have no hope,
shakers of the earth[8] Cf. Isaiah 14:16  are for nought
the end is coming for your arrogant step.
Tremblez, oppresseurs!
tremblez jusques sous vos lambris dorés;
nos chants d’allégresse vont retentir dans tous les cœurs,
et les enflammer pour la divine liberté.
Tremble, oppressors![9] Cf. the “Marseillaise”: “Tremblez, tyrans!”  
Tremble under your gilded panels;
our songs of joy will remain in our hearts
and will ignite them for Divine Liberty.
גוּרוּ לָכֶם אַנְשֵׁי הַזְרוֹעַ
וַאֲשֶׁר קִרְבָּם רוּחַ עִוְעִים,
הִנֵה יוֹם עַל גֵאֶה וְרָם
בָּא הַקֵץ חִרְדוּ לִרְגָעִים
Be afraid[10] Cf. Job 19:29  men of violence
and those who have brought a spirit of distortion[11] Cf. Isaiah 19:14  
Behold, the day against the proud and lofty.[12] Cf. Isaiah 2:12.  
Tremble at every moment![13] Cf. Ezekiel 32:10, also Ezekiel 26:16.  
Et vous, enfans dénaturés d’une tendre et indulgente mère!
que vous reste-t-il maintenant de vos ténébreux complots,
si ce n’est la honte de les avoir formés,
et le désespoir de n’y avoir pas réussi.
And you, denatured children of a tender and indulgent mother.[14] Cf. the “Marseillaise”: “Tous ces tigres qui, sans pitié, / Déchirent le sein de leur mère!”  
What is left of you and your sinister plots now,
if not the shame of having conceived them
and the despair of their not having succeeded?
בּוֹשׁוּ הִכָּלְמוּ מִדַרְכְכֶם
הַמְשַׁלְחִים בֵּין אַחִים מָדוֹן,
כָּבוֹד לָכֶם שֶׁבֶת מֵרִיב׃
כִּי לֹא תָקוּם תִקְוַת זָדוֹן׃
Be ashamed and confounded of your ways[15] Cf. Ezekiel 36:32.  
You who sow discord among brothers
It is an honor for you to end your strife.[16] Proverbs 20:3.  
for the hope of the arrogant will not endure
Et vous aussi, qui preniez la religion pour prétexte de vos inutiles fureurs!
votre espoir est évanoui;
de vos projets destructeurs vous ne recueillerez
que l’indignation des cœurs droits et sensibles.
And you too, you who use religion as a pretext for your useless passions!
Your hope has vanished;
for your destructive projects you will receive
only the indignation of upright and sensitive hearts.
הַלוֹבְשִׁים אַדֶרֶת שֵׁעָר
וּבְפֶה חָלָק יַעֲשׂוּ מִרְחֶה,
הֵן שִׁמְכָם לִשְׁבוּעָה תַּנִיחוּ
אַף חַטַאתְכֶם לֹא תִמָּחֶה׃
Those who wear cloaks of fur[17] Cf. Zechariah 13:4.  
with a flattering mouth make ruin[18] Proverbs 26:28.  
and abandon their good name by making false oaths
Your sins will not be erased[19] Nehemiah 4:5.  
פִּנוֹת הָעָם יַחְדָו נֶאְסָפוּ
הֵמָה חֻקֵּי צֶדֶק יוֹרוּנוּ,
יַעֲמִידוּ אֶרֶץ בַּמִשְׁפָּט
וּבְמַעְגְלֵי מִישׁוֹר יַדְרִיכוּנוּ
All corners of the nation have assembled.
They will instruct us in the laws of righteousness.
They will make the nation stand in justice.
And they will guide us on the right paths.[20] Cf. Proverbs 4:11.  
Peuple françois! tes Représentans s’assemblent dans le sanctuaire
que tu leur as ouvert;
ils vont te donner des loix
fondées sur les bases immuables de la nature et de la justice.
People of France! Your representatives assemble in the sanctuary
that you have opened to them;
they will give you laws
founded upon the immutable bases of nature and justice.
כַּשֶׁמֶשׁ מַרְפֵּא בִכְנָפָיהָ
לִשְׂבֵעַת מַיִם עֵת זוֹרַחַת,
כֵּן רִפְאוּת גוֹי יוֹם אַהְבַת יֹשֶׁר
בִּלְבַב צַדִיקִים מִתְלַקַחַת׃
As the sun with healing in its wings[21] Cf. Malachi 3:20.  
Shines on a surfeit of water,
So the nation’s cure is the love of justice
That flames in the hearts of the righteous.
Tel que les rayons vivifians de l’astre du jour
fertilisent un champ abreuvé par la rosée du ciel,
tel le salut d’une nation s’opère dès que
l’amour de la Liberté enflâme des ames fortes et vertueuses.
Just as the vivifying rays of the sun
fertilize a field soaked by the dew of the sky,
so the health of a nation is brought about the moment
the love of Liberty animates the souls of the strong and virtuous.
לִפְנֵיהֶם בַּחֲמַת מוֹשֵׁל מַוֶת
חַסְדוֹ לַאֲשֶׁר יַחְפוֹץ יַטֵהוּ,
אַחְרֵיהֶם הַדָּת עַל תִּלָה
אִישׁ כִּפְעֻלָתוֹ יִקְרָאֵהוּ׃
Before a despot reigned in deadly wrath,
granting his favor to whomever he pleased.
Now the law is authoritative
And all receive their just desert.
Il n’est plus, ce temps où un dominateur
terrible dans sa colère, et capricieux dans ses faveurs,
punissoit souvent sans offenses, et récompensoit sans motifs!
la loi règne: elle seule punit le crime et récompense la vertu.
It is no more, this time when a dominator,
terrible in his wrath and capricious in his favor,
often punished without offense and rewarded without reason!
The law reigns: it alone shall punish crime and reward virtue.
לִפְנֵיהֶם יַעְבָר אִישׁ שָׂרֵהוּ
וַאֲשֶׁר לֹא עָמֵל בּוֹ יֹאכְלֶנוּ,
אַחְרֵיהֶם מֵעֲמָלוֹ יִשְׂבַּע
בֶּטַח כִּי קוֹל נוֹגֵשׂ אֵינֶנוּ׃
Before, a man would cultivate his land
But one who hadn’t toiled would eat the produce.[22] Cf. Jonah 4:10  
Now each man will be sated with the fruit of his labor,
for the voice of the taskmaster is no more.[23] Job 3:18  
Il n’est plus, ce temps, où les fruits du champ
fécondé par les efforts du paisible cultivateur,
étoient le partage de l’oisif intrigant qui l’opprimoit!
la loi règne: elle protège les propriétés, et les assure à leurs légitimes possesseurs.
It is no more, this time when the fruit of the field
made fertile by the efforts of the peaceful cultivator
was the share of the idle ones who oppressed him!
The law reigns: it protects property and its legitimate owners.
בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה הָעָם מִרְמָס
הַפְּקֻדּוֹת לַאֲשֶׁר חֵן יִמְצָאוּ,
כַּיוֹם אַל יִפּוֹל לֵב אִישׁ חָיִל
הֵן עַמִים חַכְמֵי לֵב יִקְּרָאוּ׃
In the Old Regime the people were trampled underfoot
and officials took whatever they desired.
Today the heart of the brave man will not fail[24] Cf. 1 Samuel 17:32.  
For the legislators[25] lit. ‘people of the wise hearts’  have arrived.
אִישׁ הָאֲדָמָה שׂרֵקּ נֹטֵעַ
יִשְׁקוֹט וִיקַּו לַעֲשׂוֹת פִּרְיֵהוּ,
כֵּן לֹא תִּכָּזֵב תִּקְוַת עָם
יָשִׂים אַנְשֵׁי דַעַת מַחְסֵהוּ׃
The man of the earth plants his vine;
he will rest and hope to make his fruit.[26] Cf. Isaiah 5:2.  
yea, the hope of the nation will not be disappointed;
an understanding people will provide its shelter
אִם אֵיבָה בֵּין אַחִים פָּרָחָה
יַד הִסְכְלוּת הָיְּתָה בַּמָעַל,
יוֹם הַתְּבוּנָה מָרוֹם זָרָחָה
הִנֵה נֻתַּץ מִזְבַּח הַבָּעַל׃
When enmity between brothers proliferates
the power of the fool is acendant.
(But now) the day of reason has risen on high –
Behold, the altar of Ba’al has been broken down![27] Cf. Judges 6:28. Comparing monarchy to idolatry.  
Il n’est plus, ce temps, où le fanatisme
alimenté par quelques Prêtres sanguinaires,
sema les haines et les divisions entre les enfans d’un même père!
la bienfaisante philosophie a compris tous les hommes dans les liens de la fraternité.
It is no more, this time when fanaticism,
nourished by a few bloody priests,
sowed hatred and discord among children of the same father![28] Cf. Grégoire, “Children of the same father, rid yourselves of all pretext for the hatred of your brothers, who one day will be reunited in the same cradle.” Essai, 177.  
Beneficent philosophy has embraced all men in the bonds of fraternity.
כָּבְתָה לַהַב הַמַשְׁטֵמָּה
כׇּל עוֹשֵֹה טוֹב נָכוֹן בָּטוּחַ,
לִיסוֹד מוּסָר הִנֵה שׁוּמָה׃
אֵין שַׁלִיט לִכְּלוֹא אֶת הָרוּחַ׃
Extinguished by the sword, the hateful!
All who do good, are firm and trusting[29] Cf. Psalms 112:7  
in the foundation of morality, set in place here.
There is no ruler to imprison the spirit.[30] Ecclesiastes 8:8.  
עַל כׇּל מַעֲשֶׂה אִם טוֹב אִם רָע
הָאָדָם יִרְאֶה לָעֵינָיִם,
הַאֱמֶת אִם שֶׁקֶר יִנְחַל לֵב
יִבְחַן הַיוֹשְׁבִי בַשָׁמָיִם׃
Upon all actions whether good or evil,
Man will see with his eyes.
Whether truth or falsehood the heart possesses,
God will observe from Heaven.[31] Cf. 1 Samuel 16:7.  
La loi juge l’homme selon ses actions;
il en est comptable à sa Patrie et à ses concitoyens;
mais ses opinions sont à lui,
il n’en doit compte qu’à son Créateur.
The law judges the man according to his actions;
he is accountable for them to his Fatherland and his fellow citizens;
but his beliefs are his own,
and for them he is answerable only to his Creator.
מוֹסְרוֹת הַמַדָע כִּי נִתָּקוּ
שָׁלוֹם לָאִישׁ יֵיטִיב מַעְשֵׂהוּ
יוֹם נִגְלוֹת תּוֹרַת הָאָדָם
סָרָה קִנְאַת אִישׁ מֵרֵעֵהוּ׃
For the bonds of knowledge have snapped[32] Cf. Jeremiah 5:5  
Peace to the man who benefits from their work
(On this) day revealing the Torah (instruction) of Humanity
Departed is man’s jealousy for his neighbor.
תּוֹסֵף אֶרֶץ כֹּחָהּ לָעָם
יָשִׁימוּ מִשְׁפָּחוֹת עָלֶיהָ,
כִּי כֵן צִוָה יוֹצְּרָה לָשָׁבֶת
תֵרֶב טּוֹבָה בִּרְכוֹת אוֹכְלֶיהָ׃
Add land to her nation’s strength –
they will set families upon it
for indeed, it was commanded to be inhabited
goodness great! the blessings of those who eat from her.
בֵּית יַעֲקֹב! שָׁבַעְתָּ יָגוֹן
יָרַדְתָּ פֶלָא עַל לֹא פָּשַׁע
הָסֵר תּוּגָה כִּי יֵשׁ אַחְרִית,
הִנֵה יוֹם הַפְּדוּת וּשְׁנַת יֶשַׁע׃
House of Jacob! You have suffered so.
You fell through no fault of your own.
Away with your sadness, for there is a future.
Behold the day of redemption, the year of salvation!
O! Israël, trop longtemps la cruelle intolérance t’a persécuté;
elle t’avoit presque terrassé,
et le découragement s’est emparé de ton cœur.
Réveille-toi aux accens de la Liberté, les jours de ta félicité sont arrivés.
Oh! Israel, for too long cruel intolerance has persecuted you;
it almost overwhelmed you,
and despair took possession of your heart.
Awake to the strains of Liberty, the days of your happiness have arrived.
גַם לֵב אַרְיֵה וּפְרִיץ חַיוֹת
יִפּוֹל יוֹם נַפְשׁוֹ בִנְחֻשְׁתָּיִם,
אַף חָכְמַת אָדָם תִּתְבַלָע
תָּמָס יַהְלוֹךְ לִבּוֹ בַּמָיִם׃
Indeed, the heart of a lion and ferocious creature[33] Cf. Isaiah 35:9  
will, one day, have their spirit shackled
not even the wisdom of man will avail them
their heart will leave (as if) dissolved in water
Le superbe lion perd sa force et sa noble fierté,
dès qu’il ne respire plus l’air libre de ses forêts;
tel l’homme se dégrade
et perd sa dignité sous un joug indigne.
The magnificent lion loses his strength and his noble pride
the moment he no longer breathes the free air of the forests;
and man sinks into vice
and loses his dignity under the shameful yoke.
גַם בָּנֶיךָ הוֹסִיפוּ לֶקַח —
דִרְשׁוּ סִפְרֵי עִתִּים וּקְרָאוּ׃
כִּי לִבָּם לֹא נִצְפַּן מִשֵׂכֶל —
עֵת רַחֲמִים בָּאֲרָצוֹת מָצָאוּ׃
Your children have also added a teaching
Devote yourselves to works of governance[34] Cf. Isaiah 1:17  and proclaim them
For their heart is not hidden by their intellect.
they found, in (their) country, a moment of compassion
Ouvrez les fastes de l’histoire,
consultez les annales du monde,
elles vous diront que nous avons toujours suivi les progrès des peuples,
par-tout où nous étions traités avec humanité.
Open the records of history,
consult the annals of the world,
they will show you that we have always followed the progress of peoples
wherever we have been treated with humanity.[35] Cf. Bing, “When one compares…the Jewish merchant of America, of London, of Amsterdam and of Berlin to those whom public opinion disdains among us, one will be persuaded that the Jew becomes patriotic to the extent that the patrie becomes beneficent towards him.” Mémoire particulier pour la communauté des Juifs établis à Metz…., Paris, 1790.  
קוּמוּ אַחִים וּתְנוּ תוֹרָה
הִתְחַזְקוּ וַעְשׂוּ כַמִצְוָה,
דַת הָאָרֶץ לָנוּ מִשְׁמָרֶת
כִּי בָאנוּ בִּבְרִית הָאַחְוָה׃
Arise, brothers! Recount the law!
Take courage! Do as the law prescribes!
The law of the land is our protection.
For we have entered into a covenant of brotherhood.
Répandez-vous, ô mes freres! en actions de grace;
la terre sacrée sur laquelle nous vivons, est devenue notre Patrie;
les loix de la République Françoise sont aussi nos loix;
une sainte alliance nous a tous compris dans la grande famille des hommes libres.
Burst forth, oh my brothers! in thanksgiving;
the sacred land in which we live has become our Fatherland;
the laws of the French Republic are our laws too;
a holy alliance has embraced us in the great family of free men.
עֵדִים אַתֶּם יוֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ
עֵד מִזְבַּח הַבְּרִית בֵּינוֹתֵנוּ,
אִם חֵפֶץ לָנוּ בַּחַיִים
יוֹם בּוֹא שֵׁנִית בַּרְזֶל נַפְשֵׁנוּ׃
Inhabitants of the land, bear witness
The altar of the covenant between us, bear witness
if life is what we desire
for our souls, the day of change will come with iron
Citoyens! soyez tous témoins de nos sermens;
nous le renouvelons aujourd’hui sur cet Autel,
nous jurons de renoncer plutôt à la vie qu’aux droits imprescriptibles de l’homme;
oui! nous périrons tous avant que de courber la tête sous le joug de l’esclavage.
Citizens! Bear witness to our solemn oath;
we renew it today before this Altar,
we swear to renounce life itself before we renounce the imprescriptible rights of man;
Yes! we will sooner perish than bow our heads to the yoke of slavery.
נוֹרָא עֶלְיוֹן עַל כׇּל נוֹצָר
נִפְלָאוֹת אֵלֵינוּ עָשִׂיתָ,
צִבְאוֹת שַׁחַק יִשְׁמְרוּ חֻקֶּיךָ
אִישׁ אִישׁ אֶל יַד מַעְגָל צִוִיתָ׃
O awesome God on high, God of all creation.
You have done wonders unto us.
the heavenly hosts will preserve your laws
each man in their circle abiding the hand of their fellow
Souverain maître de l’univers! Dieu tout-puissant!
qu’elles sont grandes, tes merveilles! qu’elles sont sublimes!
quel mortel est digne de les prononcer?
ces globes innombrables qui roulent dans l’immensité, sont l’effet de ta volonté:
ils suivent constamment la marche que tu leur as indiquée.
Sovereign Master of the Universe! God Almighty!
How great are your marvels! How sublime!
What mortal is worthy to speak of them?
The countless globes that revolve in boundless space are the result of your will;
they continually follow the course that you have shown them.
לָרוּח מִשְׁקָל לַיָם חֹק
קֶצֶב לַכֹּל יָדְךָ עָשָׂתָה,
מִצַלְמָוֶת תַּהְלוּכוֹת אוֹר
וּסְדָרִים מִתֹּהוּ קָרָאתָ׃
To the wind you give weight, to the sea its bounds.
Your hand has given rhythm to everything.
From darkness you have made processions of light.
And you have called order out of chaos.
C’est toi qui a imprimé le mouvement au vent:
c’est toi qui contiens l’océan dans les limites que tu a posées à ses flots,
le chaos a entendu ta voix,
et l’ordre et la symétrie se sont développés dans son sein.
It is you who have imparted motion to the wind;
It is you who contain the ocean within its bounds.
Chaos has heard your voice,
and order and symmetry have developed in your care.
הָאֵר פָּנֶיךָ לִישָׁרִים
יִתְרוֹן אֶרֶץ בַּכֹּל יִדְרוֹשׁוּ
כִּי תוֹרֵם אַתָּה הַנְכוֹחָה
דָתֵי עָם בִּתְבוּנָה יִפְרוֹשוּ,
Shine your face upon the righteous.
They will seek the good of the nation.
For you contribute the truth.
The pious of nations will interpret with understanding
אִם בַּרְזֶל שָׁמֶיךָ מַעָל
שָוְא יַעְמּוֹל הַחוֹרֵשׁ לִזְרוֹעַ,
וּמִי יִשְׁפּוֹט רֵאשִׁית עַמִים
בִּלְתִּי תִּתְּךָ לוֹ לֵב לִשְׁמוֹעַ׃
If the sky above is (as) iron
Futile will be the plow’s work for sowing –
Who will govern the birth of nations
If you have not given him a listening heart?
אַשְׁרַיכֶם מַחְזִּיקֵי בַתּוֹם
דוֹר אַחֲרוֹן בָּכֶם יִשְׁתַּבֵּחַ,
הִנֵה הִצַבְתֶּם לָכֶם יָד
שֵׁם יִכּוֹן עוֹלָם כַּיָרֵחַ׃
Blessed be you, men of integrity.
You will be praised unto the last generation,
Behold! You have established a monument unto yourselves.
Your name will be eternal like the moon.[36] Psalms 89:38.  
Daigne, Dieu éternel!
daigne répandre ta sagesse
sur les représentans de ce peuple généreux,
que les loix qu’ils nous préparent, soient inspirées par elle.
Deign, eternal God!
Deign to shed your wisdom
upon the representatives of this generous people;
may the laws that they make for us be inspired by it.
עַם נִבְרָא בָּכֵֶם יִתְבָּרֵךְ
יַעַן קַמְתֶּם לַעְמוֹד בָּפָרֶץ,
עֵקֶּב טוֹב תִּהְיוּ לִתְהִלָה
כִּימֵי שָׁמַיִם עַל הָאָרֶץ׃
A nation created through you will be blessed
Since you arose to stand in the breech
For your goodness you will be praised
As long as the heavens are above the earth.[37] Cf. Deuteronomy 11:21.  
Législateurs vous vous êtes élevé un monument plus durable que l’airain:
la postérité la plus reculée, en jouissant de vos bienfaits,
prononcera vos noms avec la plus tendre reconnoissance.
Legislators, you have erected a monument more durable than bronze:
the most remote posterity, praising your good deeds,
will pronounce your names with the fondest gratitude.
אַשְׁרֵךְ אֶרֶץ צָרְפַת אַשְׁרֵךְ,
שָׁחוּ לֶעָפָר מַחְרִיבָיִךְ,
שַלְוַת הַשְׁקֵט בִּנְוָת צִדְקֵּךְ,
מִבְטַח עֹז בִּזְרוֹעַ בָּנָיִךְ׃
Blessed be you! Land of France. Blessed be you!
Protect the soil in all your struggles.
Your justice dwells in peaceful tranquility,
Strength and trust in your children’s arms.
France! Contrée délicieuse! ceux qui ont médité ta ruine,
la terreur les retient maintenant loin de tes cités.
Jouis de de la paix, sois heureuse du bonheur de tes enfans
et reposetoi sur leurs armes invincibles.
France! Delightful country! For those who have contemplated your downfall,
terror now keeps them far from your cities.
Enjoy the peace, be joyful of the happiness of your children
and rest in their invincible arms.

“Lamnatseaḥ Shir” composed by Moses Ensheim, and its accompanying paraliturgical French translation by Isaïah Berr Bing, was first published in 1792 when it was sung in the synagogue of the Jewish community of Metz in celebration of the victory of the French Revolution and their emancipation as full citizens of France in 1791. Ronald Schechter, in “Translating the Marseillaise: Biblical Republicanism and the Emancipation of Jews in Revolutionary France” (Past and Present, 143, 1994), pp. 108-135, explains:

On 21 October 1792 the Jews of Metz joined their Gentile compatriots in celebrating a republican victory. Emancipated by the Constituent Assembly (Assemblée nationale constituante) only one year previously, the newcomers to French citizenship took the occasion of a civic festival to celebrate their recently won freedom. Testimony to this public show of Jewish patriotic zeal is an extraordinary document, a Hebrew version of the “Marseillaise,” which the “citizens professing the faith of Moses” sang to republican soldiers in the synagogue of Metz. There was nothing blasphemous in the patriotic hymn, and indeed the Jews were following an ancient tradition by praying for the land to which they had been dispersed. For the period of the Revolution, however, it was an unique event, and as such provides the historian with a rare opportunity to glimpse into the world of French Jewry on the morrow of its emancipation. One sees in the Hebrew “Marseillaise” a Jewish attempt to understand the staggering events of Revolution and emancipation, to comprehend the historical situation in which they suddenly found themselves, to articulate their relationship to the nation and to sacralize the Revolutionary values of their patrie. By placing the Hebrew battle hymn and its French translation in the context of Revolutionary demands vis-à-vis the newly emancipated Jews, one perceives the power of republican ideas such as indivisibility, fraternity, and regeneration to penetrate even into the long-isolated world of orthodox Jewry, and the attempt of a traditional people to embrace the values of its liberators without losing its ancient identity. By singing a Hebrew version of the republican hymn, the Jews of Metz found a “traditional” means of identifying with France’s struggles, of integrating themselves mentally into the French nation, in short, of picturing themselves as Frenchmen.

Here we have transcribed for the first time, the full Hebrew text of Lamnatseaḥ Shir as published in 1792, along with Isaïah Berr Bing’s adapted translation in French. To note, seven of Ensheim’s thirty-one stanzas were left untranslated by Bing. A full English translation of Bing’s French was first made by Dr. Schechter and published in his article linked above. In that same article, many references to the Hebrew verses provided a partial translation, about 3/5 of the whole, which we then completed with the permission and approval of Dr. Schechter. (Thank you!) Using these English translations as my guide, I have set Isaïah Berr Bing’s translation side-by-side with Moses Ensheim’s Hebrew. I have also noted biblical references in addition to the many that Dr. Schechter first noted in his article.

Many thanks to Nir Krakauer and Ari Adler for their corrections and improvements to our translation of “Lamnatseaḥ Shir.” The page images from which this transcription was derived was made from a volume held in the collection of the HUC-JIR Klau library in Cincinnati. (Thank you!) If you recognize an additional biblical reference or find any significant errors in this transcription or translation, please leave a comment or contact us. –Aharon Varady

Source(s)

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Notes

Notes
1 Cf. Isaiah 21:9.
2 Cf. Leviticus 25:2
3 Cf. Isaiah 10:1-3.
4 Cf. Jeremiah 51:47-48.
5 Cf. the “Marseillaise”: “Que veut cette horde d’esclaves, / De traîtres, de rois conjurés? / Pour qui ces ignobles entraves, / Ces fers dès longtemps préparés?”
6 cf. Job 4:18
7 Cf. Judges 5:9.
8 Cf. Isaiah 14:16
9 Cf. the “Marseillaise”: “Tremblez, tyrans!”
10 Cf. Job 19:29
11 Cf. Isaiah 19:14
12 Cf. Isaiah 2:12.
13 Cf. Ezekiel 32:10, also Ezekiel 26:16.
14 Cf. the “Marseillaise”: “Tous ces tigres qui, sans pitié, / Déchirent le sein de leur mère!”
15 Cf. Ezekiel 36:32.
16 Proverbs 20:3.
17 Cf. Zechariah 13:4.
18 Proverbs 26:28.
19 Nehemiah 4:5.
20 Cf. Proverbs 4:11.
21 Cf. Malachi 3:20.
22 Cf. Jonah 4:10
23 Job 3:18
24 Cf. 1 Samuel 17:32.
25 lit. ‘people of the wise hearts’
26 Cf. Isaiah 5:2.
27 Cf. Judges 6:28. Comparing monarchy to idolatry.
28 Cf. Grégoire, “Children of the same father, rid yourselves of all pretext for the hatred of your brothers, who one day will be reunited in the same cradle.” Essai, 177.
29 Cf. Psalms 112:7
30 Ecclesiastes 8:8.
31 Cf. 1 Samuel 16:7.
32 Cf. Jeremiah 5:5
33 Cf. Isaiah 35:9
34 Cf. Isaiah 1:17
35 Cf. Bing, “When one compares…the Jewish merchant of America, of London, of Amsterdam and of Berlin to those whom public opinion disdains among us, one will be persuaded that the Jew becomes patriotic to the extent that the patrie becomes beneficent towards him.” Mémoire particulier pour la communauté des Juifs établis à Metz…., Paris, 1790.
36 Psalms 89:38.
37 Cf. Deuteronomy 11:21.
 

 

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