|Source (Hebrew)||Translation (English)|
When a person goes out
[alone] The addition of “alone” is found in Ms. Opp. Add. Q° 28 (Bodleian Library) also known as the Manuscript O for Seder Rav Amram. Levene, Marx, and Bharyo note that “When the Tosefta defines the halakhic category of a fool, it mentions among other things ‘one who goes out at night alone,'” Tosefta Terumot 1.3.
at night, See Bavli Berakhot 43b on the dangers of traveling at night.
at no specific hour,
they should say:
שכינת אל על ראשי.
May El be on my right,
and on my left, Uziel,
and Nemuel before me,
and behind me, Sha’ashuel.
Shekhinat-El is above my head.
Save me YHVH
from an evil affliction
and from an evil satan. lit. accuser.
This “angels on all sides” formula for protection while traveling at night can be found on page 60 of the Codex Sulzberger manuscript of the Seder Rav Amram Gaon, transcribed by Dr. Daniel Goldschmidt (Mossad haRav Kook 1971) on p. 184. Codex Sulzberger is widely considered the best of all the surviving manuscripts of Seder Rav Amram. Named after Mayer Sulzberger (1843-1923), the manuscript first became known through the research of the scholar Alexander Marx in 1907. The full manuscript may be viewed online courtesy of the digital library of the Jewish Theological Society of America.
This invocation is discussed briefly within the context of other liturgical and theurgical works containing an “angels on all sides” formula in “‘Gabriel is on their Right’: Angelic Protection in Jewish Magic and Babylonian Lore” by Dan Levene, Dalia Marx, and Siam Bharyo in Studia Mesopotamica (Band 1: 2014) pp.185-198. The authors include a chart listing the various numinous entities associated with each direction in a number of comparative bowls, amulets, and other texts.
The translation as it appears here differs slightly from that published in the article. –Aharon Varady
|1||The addition of “alone” is found in Ms. Opp. Add. Q° 28 (Bodleian Library) also known as the Manuscript O for Seder Rav Amram. Levene, Marx, and Bharyo note that “When the Tosefta defines the halakhic category of a fool, it mentions among other things ‘one who goes out at night alone,'” Tosefta Terumot 1.3.|
|2||See Bavli Berakhot 43b on the dangers of traveling at night.|
“כשיוצא אדם בלילה | When a person goes out at night: an apotropaic invocation of angelic protection in the Seder Rav Amram Gaon (ca. 9th c.)” is shared by the living contributor(s) with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International copyleft license.
Works of related interest:
מימיני מיכאל | “Mikhael is on my right,” an apotropaic invocation of angelic protection in the Bedtime Shema from the Maḥzor Vitry (ca. 11th c.)
מִימִינִי מִיכָאֵל | “Mikhael is on my right,” the angelic invocation for divine protection from the Ḳriyat Shema al haMitah
גבריאל מימינהון | “Gavriel is on the right,” an apotropaic invocation of angelic protection in the amulet bowl SD12 (ca. mid-first millennium C.E.)