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תַשְׁפִּיעַ עָלַי חָכְמָה בִּינָה וָדַעַת מֵאִתְּךָ | Pour upon me your wisdom, understanding, and knowledge (Liqutei Tefilot Ⅰ:58 part 1) by Reb Noson Sternhartz of Nemyriv (ca. 1820s) and “A Student’s Prayer” as adapted by Rabbi Morrison David Bial (1962)


Source (Hebrew)Translation by Yaacov David Shulman, 2009 (English)Adaptation by Morrison David Bial, 1962 (English)
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ
יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ,
הַחוֹנֵן לָאָדָם דַּעַת.
שֶׁתְּחָנֵּנִי בְּרַחֲמֶיךָ הָרַבִּים,
וְתַשְׁפִּיעַ עָלַי חָכְמָה בִּינָה וָדַעַת מֵאִתְּךָ,
May it be your will,
Hashem our eloah and eloah of my ancestors
you who grants knowledge to human beings,
be gracious and compassionate with me
and pour upon me your wisdom, understanding, and knowledge.
וּתְזַכֵּנוּ לְדַעַת שָׁלֵם דִּקְדֻשָּׁה,
עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה לִי כֹחַ עַל־יְדֵי שְׁלֵמוּת הַדַּעַת
לְהַמְשִׁיךְ הַשְׁלֹשָׁה הַשְׁפָּעוֹת, שֶׁהֵם,
אֲכִילָה וּשְׁתִיָּה וּמַלְבּוּשִׁים,
שֶׁהֵם כְּלוּלִים בְּדַעַת הַתּוֹרָה.
Bring me to a perfect awareness of holiness,
so that with the power of that perfect awareness,
I can draw down the three streams of abundance —
food, drink, and clothing —
which are incorporated into the awareness of the Torah.
וְתַעַזְרֵנִי וּתְזַכֵּנִי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה דַעְתִּי נִכְלָל
בְּהַשְׁלֹשָׁה אָבוֹת,
אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב.
Guide me so that my awareness will be absorbed
into the three patriarchs,
Avraham, Yitsḥaq, and Yaaqov.
וְאֶזְכֶּה לְתוֹרַת חֶסֶד
לִלְמֹד תּוֹרָה עַל מְנַת לְלַמְּדָהּ,
וּלְהַכְנִיס דַּעַת דִּקְדֻשָּׁה בַּחֲבֵרִים וְתַלְמִידִים,
וְלִקְנוֹת נְפָשׁוֹת רַבּוֹת
לְהַכְנִיסָם תַּחַת כַּנְפֵי הַשְּׁכִינָה,
וּלְקָרְבָם בֶּאֱמֶת לַעֲבוֹדָתֶךָ.
Bring me to the Torah of kindness,
so that I will learn Torah in order to teach it,
and fill my friends and students with the awareness of holiness,
until I inspire many souls
and bring them under the wings of your Presence
and bring them to truly serve you.
May I learn Thy Torah of loving-kindness,
And may I learn that holiness means
bringing love to friends and fellow students,
Love of them
and the love of Thee.
וְתַשְׁפִּיעַ עָלַי יִרְאַת שָׁמַיִם יִרְאַת חֵטְא,
וְאֶזְכֶּה שֶׁתִּהְיֶה יִרְאָתִי קוֹדֶמֶת לְחָכְמָתִי.
וְתַמְשִׁיךְ עָלַי שֶׁפַע הַחֵן וְהַחֶסֶד,
Imbue me with the fear of Heaven — the fear of sin —
so that my fear will precede my wisdom.
Draw onto me a flow of grace and kindness.
May I in reverence of Thee
Keep far from sin and wrongdoing.
That I may be a vehicle of grace and loving-kindness.
וְתִהְיֶה עִם פִּי בְּעֵת הֲטִיפִי וְדִבּוּרִי עִם בְּנֵי אָדָם
לְקָרְבָם אֵלֶיךָ.
וְתַעַזְרֵנִי שֶׁאֶזְכֶּה לֵידַע
וּלְדַקְדֵּק אֵיךְ לְהוֹצִיא חָכְמָתִי,
שֶׁיִּהְיוּ דִּבּוּרַי דִּבְרֵי חֵן וְתִפְאֶרֶת,
וְלֹא יִהְיוּ נִבְזִים, וְיִהְיוּ דְבָרַי עֲרֵבִים לְשׁוֹמְעֵיהֶן בְּאֹפֶן
שֶׁיִּתְקַבְּלוּ דְבָרַי בְּעֵינֵי כֹל,
וְיִתְעוֹרְרוּ כֻלָּם לַעֲבוֹדָתְךָ בֶּאֱמֶת עַל־יְדֵי דִבּוּרַי
When I speak with people
to bring them close to you,
help me to choose my words.
Help me to know exactly how to express my wisdom
so that what I say will be gracious and beautiful,
so that it elicits not disdain but delight,
and let my words be acceptable to everyone,
inspiring everyone to serve you.
Guide my tongue when I speak with my fellows
That my words may be filled with grace and beauty,
That my actions may be of goodness and help.
Before Thee and before my fellow man.
שֶׁתְּזַכֵּנִי לְדַבֵּר בִּקְדֻשָּׁה גְּדוֹלָה,
דִּבּוּרִים יָפִים וְנָאִים בֶּאֱמֶת לַאֲמִתּוֹ,
דָּבָר דָּבֻר עַל אָפְנָיו (משלי כה:יא)
כִּרְצוֹנְךָ הַטּוֹב׃
Guide me to speak truly beautiful
and pleasing words in great holiness—
“a word spoken in its place” (Proverbs 25:11)
in accordance with your desire.

“A Student’s Prayer,” was adapted by Rabbi Morrison David Bial from Reb Nosson Sternhartz of Nemyriv’s Liqutei Tefilot I:58.1, itself adapted from the teachings of Rebbe Naḥman of Bratslav in Liqutei Moharan I:58.1. The adaptation by Rabbi Bial was first published in his anthology, An Offering of Prayer (1962), p. 83, from where the English was transcribed. I have set his adaptation side-by-side with the Hebrew as well as I could determine, providing for a reference Yaacov David Shulman’s translation as originally published by the Breslov Research Institute, The Fiftieth Gate (Likutei Tefilot), vol. 3, prayers 41-66 (2009), pp. 342-345. –Aharon Varady






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