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אֶזְכְּרָה מָצוֹק | Ezkerah Matsōk (“I remember the distress”), a seliḥah for the Fast of Tevet attributed to Joseph ben Samuel Bonfils (11th c.)

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאֹלהֵי אָבוֹתֵינוּ
Our God, and the God of our fathers.

אֶזְכְּרָה מָצוֹק אֲשֶׁר קְרָאַנִּי.
בְּשָׁלֹשׁ מַכּוֹת בַּחֹדֶשׁ־זֶה הִכַּנּי.
גִּדְּעַנִּי הִנְיאַנִּי הִכְאַנִּי.
אַךְ־עַתָּ֥ה הֶלְאָ֑נִי׃ (איוב טז:ז חלק)
 I remember the distress which befell me;
 three blows he inflicted on me in this month.
 He enfeebled and depressed me,
but now I am weary.[1] Job 16:7 a.

דִּעֲכַנִּי בִּשְׁמוֹנָה בּוֹ שְׂמׇאלִית וִימָנִית.
הֲלֹא שְׁלָשְׁתָּן קָבַעְתִּי תַעֲנִית.
וּמֶלֶךְ יָוָן אִנְּסַנִּי לִכְתּוֹב דַּת יְוָנִית.
עַל־גַּ֭בִּי חָרְשׁ֣וּ חֹרְשִׁ֑ים הֶ֝אֱרִ֗יכוּ לְמַעֲנִית׃ (תהלים קלט:ג חלק)
 On the eighth of this month I was thrust to the right and to the left,
 and three fasts were instituted.[2] viz., The 8th, 9th, and 10th, the two former being only partially observed.
 A Greek king compelled me to translate the holy Law into Greek;[3] Ptolomeus Philadelphus ordered the Hebrew Bible to be translated into Greek (3518, A.M.), and this version is supposed to be the so-called Septuaginta.
the ploughers ploughed upon my back; they made long their furrows.[4] Psalm 139:3, last word altered.

זוֹעַמְתִּי בְּתִשְׁעָה־בּוֹ בְּכְלִמָּה וְהֵפֶר.
חָשַׂךְ מֵעָלַי מֵעִיל הוֹד וָצֶפֶר.
טָרֹף טֹרַף בּוֹ הַנֹּתֵ֖ן אִמְרֵי־שָֽׁפֶר׃ (בראשית מט:כא)
הוּא עֶזְרָא הַסּוֹפֵר׃
 On the ninth I was rejected, and exposed to ignominy:
 I was stripped of the robe of majesty,
 and of the diadem, and the eloquent speaker,[5] Genesis 49:21.
Ezra the scribe, was snatched from me.[6] The 9th of Tebeth being the anniversary of his death.

יוֹם עֲשִׂירִי צֻוָּה בֶּן־בּוּזִי הַחוֹזֶה.
כְּתׇב־לְךָ בַּסֵּפֶר הַמַּחֲזֶה.
לְזִכָּרוֹן לְעַם נָמֵס וְנִבְזֶה.
אֶת־עֶ֖צֶם הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה׃ (יחזקאל כד:ב)
 On the tenth, the son of Būzi, the prophet,[7] Ezekiel.
 was commanded to write him the name of the day,
 even of this same day for a memorial
for the despised and decaying people.[8] Ezekiel 24:2.

מִנְיַן סֵדֶר חֲדָשִׁים בַּעֲשָׂרָה בּוֹ הֵעִיר.
נְהִי וְיֵילִיל בְּמוֹפִי אַפְעִיר.
סֵדֶר פּוּרְעָנִיּוֹת בְּתוֹךְ לְבָבִי יַבְעִיר.
בְּבוֹא־אֵלַ֨י הַפָּלִ֧יט… לֵאמֹ֖ר הֻכְּתָ֥ה הָעִֽיר׃ (יחזקאל לג:כא חלק)
 On the tenth, in the tenth month, after the number and succession of the months,[9] Teḅeth is the tenth month of the ecclesiastical year.
 wailing and howling awake within me as I open my mouth.
 The long series of punishments burns within my heart.
I still remember when the fugitive came to me and said, “The city of Jerusalem is taken!”;[10] Ezekiel 33:21 b, with the word “Jerusalem” elided.

עַל אֵלֶּה עַל פָּנַי אָבָק זֵרִיתי.
פַּצְתִּי עַל אַרְבַּעְתָּן לוּ חַץ בְּלִבִּי יָרִיתִי.
צָרוֹת עַל אֵלֶּה קֶבֶר לִי כָּריתִי.
צַדִּ֥יק ה֛וּא יְהֹוָ֖ה כִּ֣י פִ֣יהוּ מָרִ֑יתִי׃ (איכה א:יח חלק)
 For this I strew ashes on my face,
 and exclaim with regard to those four calamities,
 Would I had pierced my heart with the arrow, had dug me a grave, because of these troubles:—
YHVH is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandment.[11] Lamentations 1:18 a.

קָרָאתִי שִׁמְךָ מִתְנַחֵם עַל רָעָתִי.
רְאֵה עׇנְיִי וּשְׁמַע קוֹל פְּגִיעָתִי.
שְׁמַע תְּחִנָּתִי הִישׁ־נָא יְשׁוּעָתִי.
אַל־תַּעְלֵ֧ם אׇזְנְךָ֛ לְרַוְחָתִ֖י לְשַׁוְעָתִֽי׃ (איכה ג:נו חלק)
 I call upon thy name who repents of the evil which thou did think to do unto me.
 Look upon mine affliction, and hear the voice of my prayer.
 Hear my supplication, and hasten, I beseech thee, my salvation;
 hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry.[12] Lamentations 3:56 b.

יֶרַח טֵבֵת מְאוֹד לֻקִּיתִי בוֹ.
וְנִשְׁתַּנוּ עָלַי סִדְרֵי נְתִיבוֹ.
סָרַרְתִּי פְּשַׁעְתִּי גַּלֵּה־לִי טוּבוֹ.
הָאוֹמֵר לַיָּם עַד־פֹּ֣ה תָ֭בוֹא׃ (איוב לח:יא)
In this month of Teḅeth I have been sorely afflicted;
and the order of things has been changed in my case;
I was refractory, I transgressed: O may he manifest his goodness unto me,
who saith to the sea: “Thus far shalt thou come!”[13] Job 38:11.

“Ezkerah Matsok” (I remember the distress) is a seliḥah in alphabetic acrostic recited on the Fast of Tevet in the Ashkenazi nusaḥ minhag Polin. Isaac Gantewerk Mayer transcribed the Hebrew and added citations. The English translation (transcribed here by Aharon Varady) was made by David Asher for his 1912 collection of seliḥot. I have replaced “the Lord” with YHVH and “th” suffixes from several verbs. –Aharon Varady

Source(s)

Notes

1 Job 16:7 a.
2 viz., The 8th, 9th, and 10th, the two former being only partially observed.
3 Ptolomeus Philadelphus ordered the Hebrew Bible to be translated into Greek (3518, A.M.), and this version is supposed to be the so-called Septuaginta.
4 Psalm 139:3, last word altered.
5 Genesis 49:21.
6 The 9th of Tebeth being the anniversary of his death.
7 Ezekiel.
8 Ezekiel 24:2.
9 Teḅeth is the tenth month of the ecclesiastical year.
10 Ezekiel 33:21 b, with the word “Jerusalem” elided.
11 Lamentations 1:18 a.
12 Lamentations 3:56 b.
13 Job 38:11.

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