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אבלה נפשי | Avlah Nafshi (My soul mourns), a seliḥah for Tsom Gedalyah attributed to Rav Saadia Gaon (10th c.)

https://opensiddur.org/?p=33708 אבלה נפשי | Avlah Nafshi (My soul mourns), a seliḥah for Tsom Gedalyah attributed to Rav Saadia Gaon (10th c.) 2020-09-21 07:05:18 A seliḥah for the Fast of Gedalyah, attributed to Rav Saadia Gaon. Text the Open Siddur Project Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Aharon N. Varady (transcription) David Asher (translation) Saadiah ben Yosef Gaon https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Aharon N. Varady (transcription) https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ Tsom Gedalyah סליחות seliḥot acrostic קינות Ḳinnot Alphabetic Acrostic elegies 47th century A.M. 10th century C.E.
Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)
אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ
 
אָבְלָה נַפְשִׁי וְחָשַׁךְ תָּאֳרִי
בֵּית־תִּפְאַרְתִּי כְּנָשַׁף־בּוֹ הָאֲרִי
גַּם פּלֵיטָתִי אֲשֶׁר־עָזְבוּ וּשְׁאֵרִי
דּוֹעֲכוּ כְּהַיּוֹם בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה בְתִשְׁרִי׃
Our elo’ah, and elo’ah of our ancestors.
 
 My soul mourns, and my visage is gloomy,
 because a lion assaulted my beautiful temple;[1] Nebuchadnezzar, the destroyer of the first temple. (Jeremiah 4:7).  
 even the small remnant which he left me
 was destroyed on the third day of the month of Tishri.
הָאֵשׁ וְהַמַּיִם הַזֵּידוֹנִים שְׁטָפוּנוּ בְּדָלְקָם
וּבָסְסוּ מִקְדָּשׁ וּבָזְזוּ חֶלְקָם
זִקְנֵי שְׁאֵרִית אֲשֶׁר־פָלְטוּ מִיּוֹם־נָקָם
חֻבָּלוּ עַתָּה בְּיוֹם צוֹם־גְּדַלְיָה בֶּן־אֲחִיקָם׃
 The raging flames and the floods overwhelmed us in the enemy’s pursuit of us;
 he trod down our sanctuary, and divided the spoil.
 The elders of the remnant who escaped the day of vengeance,
 were destroyed on the fast of Gedalyah, the son of Aḥiqam.
טוֹרָפוּ דַּלַּת עַם־הָאָרֶץ
יֶתֶר־הַגָּזָם אָכַל הָאַרְבֶּה בְּמֶרֶץ
כֹּרְמִים וְיוֹגְבִים פְּקוּדַת מַרְגִּיז הָאָרֶץ
לוּהָטוּ וְלֹא־הָיָה־בָם גּוֹדֵר־גֶּדֶר וְעוֹמֵד בַּפֶּרֶץ׃
 Then were the poorest class of the people of the land torn;
 that which the palmer-worm has left, the locust eat up completely.[2] cf. Joel 1:4.  
 The vine-dressers and husbandmen perished in the flames at the command of him who made the earth to tremble.
 Nor was there left among them one to make up a hedge, and stand in the gap.[3] i.e., there was no pious man left to intercede for the people. 
מָה אֲסַפֵּר וְאַנְחוֹתַי עֲצוּמוֹת
נָקְטָה נַפְשִׁי וּמַקְהֵלוֹתַי עֲגוּמוֹת
שְׂרִידֵנוּ אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁאֲרוּ מִיקוֹד־אֵשׁ לְתַעֲצוּמוֹת
עוֹד הֵם לֹא־נִתְקַיְּמוּ וְנִתְּשׁוּ בְּחֵמוֹת׃
 Why shall I narrate it, seeing that my sufferings are so mighty;
 my soul is weary, my congregations are grieved;
 the remaining few of us who escaped the raging flames,
 even they were not spared, but were crushed by tyrants.
פָּנִיךָ עַד־מָתַי מִמֶּנּוּ תַּסְתִּיר
צַעֲקָתֵנוּ שְׁמַע וַאֲסִירֵנוּ תַּתִּיר
קָדוֹשׁ בִּיטָה כִּי אֵין־בַּעֲדֵינוּ מַעֲתִּיר
רְאֵה בּדַלּוֹתֵינוּ וְשֶׁבַח־לְךָ נַכְתִּיר׃
 How long will thou yet hide thy countenance?
 O hear our cry and loosen our fetters!
 O Holy One! behold, there is none to entreat thee on our behalf;
 look on our misery, and let us crown thee with praise.
שֻׁדַּדְנוּ מִדּוֹר לְדוֹר וּמִקֵּץ לְקֵץ
שֹׁרֶשׁ־צֶפַע מְעוֹפֵף אוֹתָנוּ עוֹקֵץ
תַּקִּיף לְמִשְׁפָּטֵנוּ־הָעֵר וְהָקֵץ
תְּכַפֵּר עֲוֺנוֹתֵינוּ וְתֹאמַר קֵץ׃
 We have been spoiled from generation to generation, and from period to period;
 the flying cockatrice’s root molests us:
 Decisive One, awaken to plead our cause,
 pardon our iniquities, and command our sufferings to end.

“Avlah Nafshi” is a seliḥah attributed to Rav Saadia Gaon (892-942). The translation here is one I lightly adapted from the one made by David Asher. –Aharon Varady

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Notes

Notes
1 Nebuchadnezzar, the destroyer of the first temple. (Jeremiah 4:7).
2 cf. Joel 1:4.
3 i.e., there was no pious man left to intercede for the people.

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