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אַף אֹרַח מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ | Af Oraḥ Mishpatekha — an Ofan for Shabbat Ḥazon by Rabbi Elazar ben R’ Yehudah of Worms

“Af Oraḥ Mishpatekha” is an ofan, a type of piyyut recited as a part of the Ḳedushah d-Yotzer liturgy as an introduction to Ezekiel 3:12. Specifically, it is an ofan written by the Rokeaḥ, R. El’azar ben R. Yehuda of Worms, for the morning liturgy on Shabbat Ḥazon, the Shabbat before Tishah b’Av. It is here included along with an original translation and with cited verses marked. Also included is a series of images from a 1714 maḥzor printed in Frankfurt au Main (found here) that includes the piyyut. To note, the text included above is not exactly the same as that of the 1714 maḥzor, having been edited in accordance with Isaac Meiseles’s 1993 critical edition of the Rokeaḥ’s work.

Note: “The CAUSE” is used to translate the Divine Name YHVH, based on the philosophical idea of God as the Prime Mover and on the interpretation of the Name as a causative form of the copula – “causes to be.”


Source (Hebrew)Translation (English)
אַ֣ף אֹ֧רַח מִשְׁפָּטֶ֛יךָ יְהֹוָ֖ה קִוִּינ֑וּךָ
לְשִׁמְךָ֥ וּלְזִכְרְךָ֖ תַּאֲוַת־נָֽפֶשׁ[1] ישעיהו כו:ח  אִוִּינֽוּךָ
עָמְדוּ לְוִיִּים עַל־דּוּכָנָם כְּבָשׁוּם לֹא עֲזַבְנֽוּךָ
זֶה אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ הִסְתַּרְתָּ פָּנִים וַאֲנַֽחְנוּ לֹא שְׁכַחְנֽוּךָ
רָאִֽיתָ וְלֹא חָמַֽלְתָּ כְּמוֹ מֵעוֹלָם לֹא יְדַעֲנֽוּךָ
הִרְאִיתָֽנוּ קָשֶׁה מִן־הַמֵּצַר קְרָאנֽוּךָ
קִנְאָתְךָ וּגְבוּרֹתֶֽךָ אַיֵּה אֵיךְ הִתְאַפַּֽקְתָּ זְכַרְנֽוּךָ
טָבַ֖חְתָּ לֹ֥א חָמָֽלְתָּ[2] איכה ב:כא  שָׂרַֽפְתָּ מְקוֹם בּוֹ בְּחָנֽוּךָ
נָטַֽשְׁתָּ נַחֲלָתֶֽיךָ עָשׂוּ קָמֶֽיךָ וְלֹא חֲנָנֽוּךָ
הֵשַֽׁבְתָּ יְמִין אָחוֹר כְּאִֽלּוּ קָמֶֽיךָ דָּנֽוּךָ׃
Yet for Your just ways, CAUSE, we hope in You, 
For Your name and moniker, the soul’s desire, we desire You. 
Levites standing on their platforms they conquered, but we did not leave You. 
This is our God — You hid your face, but we did not leave You. 
You saw but had no mercy, as if we never knew You. 
You made us see hardship, from the straits we called You. 
Your zeal and power are where? How are You restrained? We remember You! 
You slaugtered without pity, You burned the Place we chose You. 
You neglected Your inheritance, Your enemies did no kindness to You. 
You set Your right hand aside as if Your enemies judged You. 
הוֹשִֽׁיעָה נָא יְמִינְךָ לְקֵץ הַיָּמִין בִּפְלִילוּת
מֶ֖לֶךְ אָס֥וּר[3] שיר השירים ז:ו  בְּֽכָל־צָרָתָ֣ם ל֣וֹ צָ֗ר[4] ישעיהו סג:ט  בְּסִכְלוּת
הֲמוֹן מַֽעְלָה הֻשְׁתְּקוּ וְהֻשְׁפְּלוּ בְּזִילוּת
וְהֽוּא־אָס֤וּר בָּֽאזִקִּים֙ בְּת֨וֹךְ כׇּל־גָּל֤וּת׃[5] ירמיהו מ:א 
Save us, please! May Your right hand judge at the end of days.
A sovereign held captive — THEY suffered all their suffering in folly.
The horde above were silenced, humbled in contempt.
And THEY were bound in manacles amidst all the exile.
בֵּית תִּפְאַרְתֵּֽנוּ לִשְׂרֵפַת אֵשׁ הֲמוֹן גּוֹיִים יֶהֱמָיוּן
קוֹל נָתְנוּ בְּבֵית קׇדְשֶֽׁךָ לְוִיֶּֽיךָ יַחַד יִכְלַיוּן
הִשְׁלַֽכְתָּ מִשָּׁמַֽיִם אֶֽרֶץ תִּפְאַרְתָּם בַּל־יֶחֱזָיוּן
הֵ֚ן אֶרְאֶלָּ֔ם צָעֲק֖וּ חֻ֑צָה מַלְאֲכֵ֣י שָׁל֔וֹם מַ֖ר יִבְכָּיֽוּן׃[6] ישעיהו לג:ז 
Our glorious House, burning in fire, the horde of nations muttered.
A voice given from Your holy House: “Your Levites together will perish.”
You threw from heaven to earth, their glory unseen.
Hey, their Leonine ones shouted out, the peace-angels bitterly wept..
אַחֲרִ֖ישׁ אֶתְאַפָּ֑ק[7] ישעיהו מב:יד  לֻקָּח הַיּוֹם קְלָלָה
אׇהֳלִ֣י שֻׁדָּ֔ד וְכׇל־מֵיתָרַ֖י נִתָּ֑קוּ[8] ירמיהו י:כ  לְחַלְלָהּ
שָׁבַת גְּאוֹן עַלִּיזִים הֻמַּר שִׁיר לִיְלָלָה
וְלֹא־קָרַ֥ב זֶ֛ה אֶל־זֶ֖ה כׇּל־הַלָּֽיְלָה׃[9] שמות יד:כ 
I am silent and restrained, today is taken a curse.
My tent ravaged, all my cords torn up to profane it.
Ceased is exultant pride, embittered is song to wailing.
And one did not come near another other all night.
בְּקִרְבְּךָ קָדוֹשׁ לֹא אָבוֹא בְּעִיר לְהִכָּנֵס
עַל־חֽוֹמֹתַ֣יִךְ יְרוּשָׁלַ֗͏ִם הִפְקַ֙דְתִּי֙ שֹֽׁמְרִ֔ים[10] ישעיהו סב: ו  לְשַׁנֵּס
אַתָּ֣ה תָ֭קוּם תְּרַחֵ֣ם צִיּ֑וֹן[11] תהלים קב:יד  לְהַרְאוֹת אֶת־נֵס
בּוֹנֵ֣ה יְרוּשָׁלַ֣͏ִם יהו֑ה נִדְחֵ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵ֣ל יְכַנֵּֽס׃[12] תהלים קמז :ב 
In Your holy midst, will I not come to enter in the city?
On your walls, Jerusalem, I have set guards to gird.
You will arise and have mercy on Zion to show the miracle!
The CAUSE builds Jerusalem, gathering the exiles of Israel.
שׁ֤וּבוּ אֵלַי֙ וְאָשׁ֣וּבָה אֲלֵיכֶ֔ם[13] מלאכי ג:ז  לַחֲדוֹשׁ
שׂוֹנְאֵיכֶם אַצְמִית וְכׇל־אוֹיבֵיכֶם לַהֲדוֹשׁ
אַצְמִיחַ קֶרֶן לְדָוִד בֵּית תִּפְאַרְתִּי לִגְדוֹשׁ
וְקָרָ֨א זֶ֤ה אֶל־זֶה֙ וְאָמַ֔ר קָד֧וֹשׁ ׀ קָד֛וֹשׁ קָד֖וֹשׁ[14] ישעיהו ו:ג 
“Return to Me and I will return to you to renew.
Your enemies I will destroy, and all Your foes to be trampled.
I will make a Davidide horn sproud, to stack up My glorious House.”
And one called to another and said, “Holy, holy, holy.”
וְהַחַיּוֹת יְשׁוֹרֵרוּ
וּכְרוּבִים יְפָאֵרוּ
וּשְׂרָפִים יָרֹנּוּ
וְאֶרְאֶלִּים יְבָרֵכוּ
פְּנֵי כׇּל־חַיָּה וְאוֹפַן וּכְרוּב
לְעֻמַּת שְׂרָפִים
לְעֻמָּתָם מְשַׁבְּחִים וְאוֹמְרִים׃
בָּר֥וּךְ כְּבוֹד־יהו֖ה מִמְּקוֹמֽוֹ׃[15] יחזקאל ג:יב 
And the Living Ones sang,
And the Steeds glorified,
and the Serpentine Ones cheered,
and the Leonine Ones blessed
the face of every Living One and Wheel and Steed,
facing the Serpentine Ones,
facing them, praising, and saying:
Blessed be CAUSE’s glory from where it is!


Liturgical poems said in Worms throughout the year (Frankfurt 1714), p. 20 recto

Liturgical poems said in Worms throughout the year (Frankfurt 1714), p. 20 verso



1ישעיהו כו:ח
2איכה ב:כא
3שיר השירים ז:ו
4ישעיהו סג:ט
5ירמיהו מ:א
6ישעיהו לג:ז
7ישעיהו מב:יד
8ירמיהו י:כ
9שמות יד:כ
10ישעיהו סב: ו
11תהלים קב:יד
12תהלים קמז :ב
13מלאכי ג:ז
14ישעיהו ו:ג
15יחזקאל ג:יב



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