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צוּר מִשֶּׁלּוֹ אָכַֽלְנוּ | Tsur Mishelo Akhalnu, a paraliturgical Birkat haMazon (rhymed translation by Alice Lucas, 1898)

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

צוּר מִשֶּׁלּוֹ אָכַֽלְנוּ
בָּרְכוּ אֱמוּנַי
שָׂבַֽעְנוּ וְהוֹתַֽרְנוּ
כִּדְבַר יְיָ׃
Our Rock, with loving care,
According to His word,
Bids all His bounty share;
Then let us bless the Lord.

הַזָּן אֶת עוֹלָמוֹ
רוֹעֵֽנוּ אָבִֽינוּ
אָכַֽלְנוּ אֶת לַחְמוֹ
וְיֵינוֹ שָׁתִֽינוּ
עַל כֵּן נוֹדֶה לִשְׁמוֹ
וּנְהַלְּלוֹ בְּפִֽינוּ
אָמַֽרְנוּ וְעָנִֽינוּ
אֵין קָדוֹשׁ כַּייָ׃
His flock our Shepherd feeds
With graciousness divine,
He satisfies our needs
With gifts of bread and wine.
Therefore with one accord
We will His name adore,
Proclaiming evermore
None holy as the Lord.

בְּשִׁיר וְקוֹל תּוֹדָה
נְבָרֵךְ לֵאלֹהֵֽינוּ,
עַל אֶֽרֶץ חֶמְדָּה טוֹבָה
שֶׁהִנְחִיל לַאֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ,
מָזוֹן וְצֵדָה
הִשְׂבִּֽיעַ לְנַפְשֵׁנוּ,
חַסְדּוֹ גָּבַר עָלֵֽינוּ
וֶאֱמֶת יְיָ׃
The land desired so long,
Our father’s heritage,
Inspires our prayer and song
To God from age to age:
His bounteous gifts afford
Our sustenance each day,
His mercy is our stay
Yea, faithful in the Lord.

רַחֵם בְּחַסְדֶּֽךָ
עַל עַמְּךָ צוּרֵֽנוּ,
עַל צִיּוֹן מִשְׁכַּן כְּבוֹדֶֽךָ
זְבוּל בֵּית תִּפְאַרְתֵּֽנוּ,
בֶּן דָּוִד עַבְדֶּֽךָ
יָבוֹא וְיִגְאָלֵֽנוּ,
רֽוּחַ אַפֵּֽינוּ
מְשִֽׁיחַ יְיָ׃
O be Thy mercy moved,
Our Rock, to dwell with us,
With Zion, thy beloved,
Our temple glorious.
May we, redeemed, restored,
Be led there every one
By David’s holy Son,
The anointed of the Lord.

יִבָּנֶה הַמִּקְדָּשׁ
עִיר צִיּוֹן תְּמַלֵּא
וְשָׁם נָשִׁיר שִׁיר חָדָשׁ
וּבִרְנָנָה נַעֲלֶה
הָרַחֲמָן הַנִּקְדָּשׁ
יִתְבָּרַךְ וְיִתְעַלֶּה
עַל כּוֹס יַֽיִן מָלֵא
כְּבִרְכַּת יְיָ׃
Thy city build once more,
Thy temple walls upraise,
There will we Thee adore
With joyful songs of praise,
Thee, merciful, adored,
We bless and sanctify,
With wine-cups filled up high,
By blessings of the Lord.

Alice Lucas’s rhymed paraliturgical translation of the piyyut “Tsur Mishelo” by an unknown paytan, was first published in her The Jewish Year (1898), pp. 178-179, under the title “Grace After Meals.” The table song is traditionally sung as a lead-in to the Birkat haMazon.

Thanks to Aliza Arzt for identifying the piyyut from Lucas’s English verse. –Aharon Varady

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