פיוט למילה | Piyyut for a Milah (circumcision) by Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen

Hebrew English

צִפּוֹרָה צוֹר בְּיָדָה לָקְחָה
וּבְרִית אֵל בִּבְשַׂר בְּנָה נֶחְתְּמָה
אֶת מַשְׁחִית נִיצְחָה בִכְרוֹת עָרְלָה
עָנָיו נִיצָל בְּמִילָת פְּרִי בִּטְנָה

עוּרִי עוּרִי שִׁיר דַבֵּרִי, כְּבוֹד ה׳ עָלַיִךְ נִגְלָה.

Tzipporah took a flint in her hand
and sealed God’s covenant in her son’s flesh
the Destroyer was defeated with the cutting of the foreskin
the Humble one[1]Moshe was saved by the circumcision of the fruit of her womb.[2]Exodus 4:24-26

Awaken and sing, the glory of God is revealed upon you.


אוֹת בְּרִית קוֹדֶשׁ בַּמָלוֹן נֶחְתַּם
תְּשׁוּבַת אֵל לִשְׁאֵלַת עָנָיו וָתָּם
הַיִרְפֶּה יָד אוֹיֵב לִפְנֵי חֶנֶק עָם
בַּת כֹּהֵן עָנְתָה מוּל מַשְׁחִית‮ — ‬בְּדָם

עוּרִי עוּרִי שִׁיר דַבֵּרִי, כְּבוֹד ה׳ עָלַיִךְ נִגְלָה.

The sign of the holy covenant was sealed at the night-camp
God’s answer to the question of the Humble and Pure one:
“will the hand of the enemy loosen before the people are choked?”
the daughter of the Priest answered in the face of the Destroyer — with blood.

Awaken and sing, the glory of God is revealed upon you.


הַגוֹרָל נִסְתָּם בְּחֶשְׁכַת לֵיל
‮”‬וְהוֹצֵאתִי וְהִצַלְתִּי‮,” ‬פַָּנָה אֵל
קֵץ יָמִין נִדְחָק וְסָר צֵל
בַּדֶרֶךְ בַּמָלוֹן נִיטַע אַרִיאֵל‮.‬

עוּרִי עוּרִי שִׁיר דַבֵּרִי, כְּבוֹד ה׳ עָלַיִךְ נִגְלָה.

The fate was sealed in the darkness of the night
“And I will take you out and I will save you,”[3]Exodus 6:6 God said then
the end of days was hastened and the life force passed
on the way, in the night-camp the seeds of Ariel[4]Jerusalem or the Temple were planted.

Awaken and sing, the glory of God is revealed upon you.


בֹּקֶר וְנוֹדָע‮, ‬שְׁחַרְחוֹרֶת וְיָפָה‮,‬
לְאֵם וּלְאָחוֹת לַרוֹעֶה נִהְיָיתָּה‮.‬
נִמְשְׁכָה וְרָצָה‮, ‬מְעוֹרֶרֶת אַהַבָה‮,‬
בְּ”נַעַשֶׂה‮” ‬הִשְׁלִימָה בְּרִית יְדִידְיָה‮.‬

עוּרִי עוּרִי שִׁיר דַבֵּרִי, כְּבוֹד ה׳ עָלַיִךְ נִגְלָה.

In the morning it was known, the dark and comely one
had become as mother and sister to the shepherd
she was pulled, she ran, this awakener of love
with “we will do”[5]Exodus 24:7 she fulfilled the covenant of Yedidiah[6]Avraham.

Awaken and sing, the glory of God is revealed upon you.


This is a piyyut (liturgical poem) which is intended to be recited at a brit. It is connected to my liturgy for a “chag hachnassah labrit” (available here). The explanation for the chag is also the basis for the piyyut. Translation into English by Shoshanna Gershenson, Maeera Schreiber and Aryeh Cohen.

Notes   [ + ]

  1. Moshe
  2. Exodus 4:24-26
  3. Exodus 6:6
  4. Jerusalem or the Temple
  5. Exodus 24:7
  6. Avraham

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