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אַזְכִּֽירָה יָמִים עִם יָמִים | Azkira Yamim Im Yamim, a piyyut for the First Shabbat of Admonition by Rabbi Yannai (ca. early 6th c.)

https://opensiddur.org/?p=45732 אַזְכִּֽירָה יָמִים עִם יָמִים | Azkira Yamim Im Yamim, a piyyut for the First Shabbat of Admonition by Rabbi Yannai (ca. early 6th c.) 2022-07-22 02:27:46 The works of the great paytan Yannai were, with the exception of a small handful of poems, almost completely lost until their rediscovery in the Cairo Geniza. This poem, an acrostic comparison of the days of Moses and Jeremiah, was written by Yannai to serve as part of the Musaf Ḳedushah on the first Shabbat after 17 Tammuz, on which the opening section of Jeremiah is recited. It bears structural and linguistic similarities to the later famous ḳinah <a href="https://opensiddur.org/?p=11853">Esh Tuqad</a>. In its liturgical context, it was intended to introduce the final few verses of the Ḳedushah . Nowadays the custom of poetic inserts into the ḳedushah is nearly extinct, but the poem stands as a moving and powerful work nonetheless. Text the Open Siddur Project Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription &amp; naqdanut) Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) Yanai haPayetan https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription &amp; naqdanut) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Shivah Asar b'Tamuz Tishah b'Av Asarah b'Tevet 6th century C.E. פיוטים piyyutim קינות Ḳinnot Mourning this Broken World Three Weeks of Mourning 43rd century A.M. Yetsiat Mitsrayim Ḥurban Siege of Jerusalem (597 BCE) Siege of Jerusalem (70 CE) alphabetic mesostic Acrostic translation Cairo Geniza First Shabbat of Admonition Shabbatot of Admonition
The works of the great paytan Yannai were, with the exception of a small handful of poems, almost completely lost until their rediscovery in the Cairo Geniza. This poem, an acrostic comparison of the days of Moses and Jeremiah, was written by Yannai to serve as part of the Musaf Ḳedushah on the first Shabbat after 17 Tammuz, on which the opening section of Jeremiah is recited. It bears structural and linguistic similarities to the later famous ḳinah Esh Tuqad. In its liturgical context, it was intended to introduce the final few verses of the Ḳedushah . Nowadays the custom of poetic inserts into the ḳedushah is nearly extinct, but the poem stands as a moving and powerful work nonetheless.

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)
אַזְכִּֽירָה יָמִים עִם יָמִים —
יְמֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ עִם יְמֵי מֹשֶׁה
Let me remember days with days:
Moses’s days with Jeremiah’s days.
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
אָז כְּנַֽעַר נֶאֱהָֽבוּ
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
נִתְחַיְּיבוּ וְנֶאֱיָֽיבוּ׃
In Moses’ days,
as a lad we were adored.
But in Jeremiah’s days,
we were loathed and abhorred.
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
בָּטְלָה עַבְדוּת פָּֽרֶךְ
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
בָּטְלָה עֲבוֹדַת עֵֽרֶךְ׃
In Moses’ days,
banned was work demeaning.
But in Jeremiah’s days,
banned was work of meaning.
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
גְּאוּלִים נִגְאָֽלוּ
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
גְּעוּלִים גָּֽלוּ׃
In Moses’ days,
came the redeemed one’s redemption.
But in Jeremiah’s days,
our misdeeds had no exemption.
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
דְּרוֹר חֵרוּת יָצָֽאוּ
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
כַּעֲבָדִים כְּבוּלִים יָצָֽאוּ׃
In Moses’ days,
deliverance and liberty came out.
But in Jeremiah’s days,
like chained slaves they went out.
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
הׇבְקְעוּ מֵי תְּהוֹמוֹת
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
הׇבְקְעָה עִיר חוֹמוֹת׃
In Moses’ days,
even the abyssal depths split to beach.
But in Jeremiah’s days,
the walled city was made a breach.
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
וְעַל הַיָּם נָֽמוּ אָז יָשִׁיר
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
וְעַל נְהָרוֹת נָֽמוּ אֵיךְ נָשִׁיר׃
In Moses’ days,
facing the sea “Israel did then sing.” (Exodus 15:1)
But in Jeremiah’s days,
facing Babylon’s rivers, “how could we sing?” (Psalms 137:1-4)
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
זָֽבוּ מַֽיִם עַם עֵת צָמָא
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
יָבֵשׁ חִכָּם בַּצָּמָא׃
In Moses’ days,
gushed waters for the thirsty folk.
But in Jeremiah’s days,
in thirst our dried-out palates choke.
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
חַשְׁרַת מָן וּבָשָׂר אָכָֽלוּ
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
מִבְּשַׂר בְּנֵיהֶם אָכָֽלוּ׃
In Moses’ days,
holy manna and quail they would eat.
But in Jeremiah’s days,
their own children’s flesh served as meat!
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
טַֽעַם כֹּל רָווּ וְשָׂבֵֽעוּ
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
לַעֲנָה רָווּ וּמְרוֹרִים שָׂבֵֽעוּ׃
In Moses’ days,
in all tastes it quenched and sated.
But in Jeremiah’s days,
bitter wormwood was all that was plated.
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
יָד הַגְּדוֹלָה רָאוּ
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
יָדוֹ פָּרַשׂ צַר וַיִּירָאוּ׃
In Moses’ days,
Jeshurun saw God’s great hand.
But in Jeremiah’s days,
they saw the foe spread out over the land.
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
כְּכַלָּה כְּבוּדָה הָיוּ
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
כְּאִשָּׁה גְּרוּשָׁה הָיוּ׃
In Moses’ days,
kin to an honored bride were they.
But in Jeremiah’s days,
like one whose ex-husband sent her away.
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
לִפְנֵיהֶם הִלַּֽכְתָּ
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
מִפְּנֵיהֶם הָלָֽכְתָּ׃
In Moses’ days,
leading the way, You would guide them,
But in Jeremiah’s days,
You were after them, no longer beside them.
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
מָה יָּפוּ וּמָה נָּעֵֽמוּ
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
מָה עֻזְּבוּ וּמָה הֻכְאָֽרוּ׃
In Moses’ days,
my, how lovely and sweet!
But in Jeremiah’s days,
how disgusting, like dust under feet!
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
נָֽמוּ נַעֲשֶׂה וְנִשְׁמַע
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
נַעֲשׂוּ כְּחֵרֵשׁ לֹא שׁוֹמֵֽעַ׃
In Moses’ days,
newly they said, “We will do and hear!” (Exodus 24:7)
But in Jeremiah’s days,
we’ve been made deaf, and cannot hear.
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
סֻבְּלוּ עַל עֲנָנִים
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
שֹׂנְאֵיהֶם עָלוּ כַּעֲנָנִים׃
In Moses’ days,
on clouds they were carried.
But in Jeremiah’s days,
overhead the bigots harried.
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
עָלוּ עַל נְשָׁרִים
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
רֹדְפֵיהֶם קַלּוּ מִנְּשָׁרִים׃
In Moses’ days,
passing through sky on wings of eagles.
But in Jeremiah’s days,
quicker were their pursuers than eagles.
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
פְּדִיתָם וּקְנִיתָם
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
אָנַֽפְתָּ וְהִקְנֵאתָם׃
In Moses’ days,
redeemed and reclaimed them You did.
But in Jeremiah’s days,
From Your rage and jealousy we hid.
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
צְנִיפֵֽימוֹ לֹא בָֽלוּ
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
צָפְדוּ וְנִתְכַּֽלּוּ׃
In Moses’ days,
somehow their clothes did not fray.
But in Jeremiah’s days,
shriveled and eaten away.
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
קְרָאתָם בָּנִים וְאַתָּה לָֽמוֹ אָב
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
יְתוֹמִים הָיִֽינוּ אֵין אָב׃
In Moses’ days,
they were called Your children, You their parent.
But in Jeremiah’s days,
we were made like orphans, without any parent!
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
רְעִיתָם בְּבִטְחָה כְּצֹאן
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
נְתַתָּם לְטִבְחָה כְּמוֹ צֹאן׃
In Moses’ days,
ushering us in trust, like a shepherd his sheep.
But in Jeremiah’s days,
violence-given to be mutton in a heap!
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
שֻׁכְּנוּ בִּצְבִי אָֽרֶץ
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
נִגְזַר עֲלֵיהֶם שֶׁלֹּא יִכָּנְסוּ לָאָֽרֶץ׃
In Moses’ days,
we were set like the wild gazelle.
But in Jeremiah’s days,
expulsion was ordained from the promised dell.
בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה
תׇּקְפוּ מִכׇּל גּוֹי
וּבִימֵי יִרְמְיָֽהוּ
תֻּעְתְּעוּ בְּכׇל גּוֹי׃
In Moses’ days,
yet stronger were we than every nation.
But in Jeremiah’s days,
zigged and zagged, scattered through every nation.
נָשִׁינוּ טוֹבָה
מֵרֹב רָעָה׃
We have forgotten goodness
from a surfeit of badness.
שָׁמַעְנוּ רָעוֹת
הַשְׁמִיעֵנוּ טוֹבוֹת׃
We hear only bad things
Let us hear good things!
בָּאוּ רִאשׁוֹנוֹת
יִצְמְחוּ חֲדָשׁוֹת׃
Oh first and last,
hear [us, remember our past!]
רִאשׁוֹן וְאַחֲרוֹן
תַּשְׁמִיעֵ[נוּ בְּזִכָּרוֹן]׃
The first ones came at their hour
so the new ones could flower.
אֲנִי לָרִאשׁוֹנִים
וַאֲנִי לָאַחֲרוֹנִים
לִהְי֥וֹת לָכֶ֖ם לֵאלֹהִ֑ים…
“I am for the first,
and I am for the last,
to be for them a GOD…”[1]  Cf. Leviticus 11:45. 

 

Notes

Notes
1 Cf. Leviticus 11:45.
 

 

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