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מִי כָמֽוֹךָ וְאֵין כָּמֽוֹךָ | Mi Khamokha v’Ein Kamokha, a retelling of Megillat Esther in a piyyut for Shabbat Zakhor by Yehudah ben Shmuel haLevi (ca. 11th c.)

The poem Mi Khamokha v-Ein Kamokha, an epic retelling of the book of Esther in verse, was written for Shabbat Zakhor, the Shabbat before Purim, by the great paytan Yehuda ben Shmuel haLevi. It was originally written as a “geulah,” meant to be inserted into the prayer after the Shema in place of the verse beginning with “A new song…” But later Sephardic poskim ruled that it was forbidden to insert piyyutim into the Shema blessings, so in the communities that recite it today it is generally either read after the Full Ḳaddish as an introduction to the Torah service, or (for instance, in most Spanish and Portuguese communities) within the verse “Kol atsmotai tomarna” in the Nishmat prayer. Wherever you include it in your service, it’s a beautiful and intricately rhymed piyyut, and surprisingly easy to understand at that. It is presented here in a gender-neutral translation with all the Biblical verses cited, alongside a new translation that preserves the fourfold acrostic, two alphabetical and two authorial. –Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

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.”

[If you’d like to commission a Jewish creative work, check out my website at igmjewishcreativeworks.com!]


Source (Hebrew)Translation (English)
מִי כָמֽוֹךָ
וְאֵין כָּמֽוֹךָ
מִי דוֹמֶה לָּךְ
וְאֵין דּוֹמֶה לָּךְ
Who is like You?
And none is like You!
Who can be to You compared?
And None can be to You compared!
אָ֯דוֹן חַסְדְּךָ בַּל יֶחְדָּל
אֲמִתְּךָ מִבְצָר עֹז וּמִגְדָּל
כִּי־הָיִ֨יתָ מָע֥וֹז לַדָּ֛ל
מָע֥וֹז לָאֶבְי֖וֹן בַּצַּר־ל֑וֹ (ישעיהו כה:ד)
Ah, Merciful Master, unceasing,
Your Truth is a strong fortress and tower.
“For You have been a refuge for the poor
A refuge for the needy in his trial.” (Isaiah 25:4)
בִּ֯ימֵי חׇרְפִּי מִקַּדְמוֹנָי
בִּי דִּבֵּר רֽוּחַ יהוה
וְהַיּוֹם אִם גֵּרְשֽׁוּנִי עֲוֹנָי
דּוֹדִ֥י לִי֙ וַאֲנִ֣י ל֔וֹ (שיר השירים ב:ז)
By my winter days before me
In me the spirit of the CAUSE spoke
And today, if my sins are expelled,
“My beloved is mine and I am my beloved’s.” (Song of Songs 2:7)
גְּ֯מָלַֽנִי מֵאָז טוֹבוֹת
גְּלוּיוֹת יְדוּעוֹת לַלְּבָבוֹת
גַּם אִם יִהְיוּ הַצָּרוֹת קְרוֹבוֹת
אַשְׁרֵ֖י כׇּל־ח֥וֹכֵי לֽוֹ (ישעיהו ל:יח)
Caring for me with endless good
Known and visible to the hearts
Even if troubles are imminent
“Content is the one who waits for the One.” (Isaiah 30:18)
דְּ֯מֵי מִתְקוֹמְמַי אַזֶּה
דִּגְלִי אָרִים כִּדְבַר כׇּל־חוֹזֶה
הִנֵּ֨ה אֱלֹהֵ֥ינוּ זֶ֛ה
קִוִּ֥ינוּ ל֖וֹ (ישעיהו כה:ט)
Defiant against me, their blood I’ll sprinkle
My flag I lift up like every seer sees.
“Behold, our God is this,”
“We trust in the One.” (Isaiah 25:9)
הַ֯יּוֹם אַבִּֽיעָה חִידוֹת
הָיוּ מִנִּי קֶֽדֶם עֲתִידוֹת
נִפְלָא בָם הַמֵּבִין צְפוּנֵי סוֹדוֹת
יֽוֹצְרִ֤י מִבֶּ֙טֶן֙ לְעֶ֣בֶד ל֔וֹ (ישעיהו מט:ה)
Expressing my parables today
They have been ready since long ago.
Wondrous, One who knows hidden secrets
“Who formed me in the womb to be a divine servant.” (Isaiah 49:5)
וַ֯יְהִ֖י בִּימֵ֣י אֲחַשְׁוֵר֑וֹשׁ (אסתר א:א)
מֶֽלֶךְ הֻקָם עָל כִּבְרוֹשׁ
נִשָּׂא וָרָם עַל כׇּל־קָצִין וָרֹאשׁ
וַיהֹוָ֛ה הֵנִיחַֽ־ל֥וֹ (שמואל ב׳ ז:א)
“For it was in the days of Aḥashverosh (Esther 1:1)
Sovereign highly exalted like the cypress
High above all captains and chiefs
“For the CAUSE had granted him rest.” (II Samuel 7:1)
זִ֯מֵּן בִּשְׁנַת שָׁלֹשׁ לְמַלְכוּתוֹ
לְהַרְאוֹת לְכׇל־עֲבָדָיו תְּכוּנָתוֹ
וְאַבְנֵי נֶֽזֶר מִתְנוֹסְסוֹת עַל אַדְמָתוֹ
וְעַפְרֹ֖ת זָהָ֣ב לֽוֹ (איוב כח:ו)
Gave invite in the third year of his rule
For his property to be seen by all his servants
And the crown jewels sparkling o’er the land
“And its dusts with gold.” (Job 28:6)
חֵֽ֯לֶק לְכׇל־בְּנֵי שׁוּשָׁן נָתַן
וְהִקְדִּישׁ קְרוּאָיו כְּחָתָן
בַּחֲצַ֕ר גִּנַּ֥ת בִּיתַ֖ן (אסתר א:ה)
אִ֝וָּ֗הּ לְמוֹשָׁ֥ב לֽוֹ (תהלים קלב:יג)
Had a portion to every Shushanite given
And consecrated his attendants as a groom
“In the courtyard of the palace garden (Esther 1:5)
“He desired to dwell in it.”
טָֽ֯עַם עֲשׂוֹת רְצוֹן כׇּל־אִישׁ וְיִצְרוֹ
וְאֵין אֹנֵס לְאִישׁ יַֽיִן עֲבָרוֹ
וְלָתֵת לְכׇל־שׁוֹאֵל דֵּ֚י מַחְסֹר֔וֹ
אֲשֶׁ֥ר יֶחְסַ֖ר לֽוֹ (דברים טו:ח)
Impulse and craving each man could fulfill
And there was no limit to the wine they passed
Giving to all who asked “enough for their need,”
“That they needed of it.” (Deuteronomy 15:8)
יַֽ֯חַד אֻסְּפוּ כׇּל־הַנִּדְרָשִׁים
גַּ֚ם וַשְׁתִּ֣י הַמַּלְכָּ֔ה עָשְׂתָ֖ה מִשְׁתֵּ֣ה נָשִׁ֑ים (אסתר א:ט)
וּמִשְׁתֵּה הַנָּשִׁים כָּאֲנָשִׁים
שִׁבְעַ֥ת יָמִ֖ים יִסְפְּרוּ־לֽוֹ׃ (יחזקאל מד:כו)
Just as those sought for were gathered
“So too Queen Vashti made a women’s feast (Esther 1:9)
And the women’s feast was like the men’s
“They would count it for seven days.” (Ezekiel 44:26)
כְּ֯ט֥וֹב לֵב־הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ בַּיָּ֑יִן (אסתר א:י)
אָמַר לְהָבִיא לְפָנָיו אֶת־יְפַת הָעָֽיִן
וַתְּמָאֵן בִּדְבָרוֹ לֵאמֹר אָֽיִן
הֵעֵ֥זָה פָ֝נֶ֗יהָ וַתֹּ֣אמַר לֽוֹ (משלי ז:יג)
“King’s heart was aflutter from all the wine (Esther 1:10)
And he said to bring him the pretty girl to look at
And she delayed to do it, saying, “I can’t!”
“Brazen-faced, saying [no] to him.” (Proverbs 7:13[1] a pun on לוֹ to him vs לֹא no. 
לַ֯קְּרוֹבִים אֵלָיו הַיּוֹשְׁבִים עֲלֵי כָן
שָׁאַל וַיִּעָצֵֽהוּ מְמוּכָן
הוּא הָמָן לְפֻרְעָנוּת מוּכָן
לִבּ֗וֹ יִקְבׇּץ־אָ֥וֶן ל֑וֹ (תהלים מא:ז)
Loudly, to those sitting by him there,
He asked, and who advised him but Memucan,
That is Haman, preparing for disasters,
“His heart gathering up evil for him.” (Psalm 41:7)
מֹ֯עֲצוֹתָיו כַּדָּת נְתוּנוֹת
הָיוּ לְעַמִּי רְפוּאוֹת צְפוּנוֹת
כִּי לוּלֵא אִגְּרוֹת רִאשׁוֹנוֹת
וְגַם־פְּלֵיטָ֖ה לֹא־הָ֥יְתָה לּֽוֹ (יואל ב:ג)
Memucan’s advice, as the law given
Was for my people a remedy hidden
For were it not for these first letters,
“Nothing would have escaped him.” (Joel 2:4)
נ֯וֹעַץ לִקְרֹא לְכׇל־הֲמוֹנָיו
לְהָבִיא כׇל־יְפַת תֹּאַר לְפָנָיו
וְהַֽנַּעֲרָ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֤ר תִּיטַב֙ (אסתר ב:ד) בְּעֵינָיו
מָהֹ֛ר יִמְהָרֶ֥נָּה לּ֖וֹ (שמות כב:טו)
Now he was advised to call to all his legions
To bring every beautiful girl to him,
“And the girl who was best (Esther 2:4) “in his eyes
“Would be given a dowry as his wife.” (Exodus 22:15)
סַ֯נְסַן לְיָאִיר הֵאִיר וְזָֽרַח
יָשִׂ֥ישׂ כְּ֝גִבּ֗וֹר לָר֥וּץ אֹֽרַח (תהלים יט:ו)
טֶֽרֶם מַכָּה צִיץ רְפוּאָה פָֽרָח
כִּֽי־הִפְלָ֣ה יְ֭הֹוָה חָסִ֣יד ל֑וֹ (תהלים ד:ד)
O, the frond of enlightenment it lit up and shone,
“Eager, like a hero, to run its course,” (Psalm 19:6)
Before the plague flowered, the cure sprouted,
“For the CAUSE reverses things for the faithful.” (Psalm 4:4)
עִ֯מּוֹ נֶאֶמְנָה הֲדַסָּה תַמָּה
הִ֤יא אֶסְתֵּר֙ בַּת־דֹּד֔וֹ (אסתר ב:ז)
בָּרָה֙ כַּֽחַמָּ֔ה (שיר השירים ו:י)
וּבְמ֤וֹת אָבִ֙יהָ֙ וְאִמָּ֔הּ
לְקָחָ֧הּ מׇרְדֳּכַ֛י ל֖וֹ (אסתר ב:ז)
Proceeding with him, the faithful pure Myrtle,
“Who is Esther his niece,” (Esther 2:7)
bright as the sun. (Song of Songs 6:10)
“And when her father and mother died,”
“Mordechai took her as his.” (Esther 2:7)
פָּ֯גְעָה חֵן וַתֵּֽלֶךְ וַהֲלוֹם
וַתִּלָּקַח אֶסְתֵּר אֶל־בֵּית הַמֶּֽלֶךְ גִּזְרַת יַהֲלוֹם
וּמׇרְדְכַי צִוָּה־לָהּ לְכִי לְשָׁלוֹם
כִּי־ה֥וּא אֲ֝דֹנַ֗יִךְ וְהִשְׁתַּֽחֲוִי־לֽוֹ (תהלים מה:יב)
Quite gracefully she went strikingly,
And Esther took cut diamonds to the king’s house
And Mordechai commanded her, “Go in peace,
“For he is your master, and bow to him”.” (Psalm 45:12)
צֶֽ֯דֶק לָבְשָׁה בְּמַמְלַכְתָּהּ
לֹא הִגִּידָה אֶסְתֵּר עַמָּהּ וּמוֹלַדְתָּהּ
וְהַמֶּֽלֶךְ אֲהֵבָהּ וַיֶּֽרֶב תִּפְאַרְתָּהּ
כִּ֥י מֵיְהֹוָ֖ה הָ֥יְתָה לּֽוֹ׃ (מלכים א׳ ב:טו)
Righteousness she wore in her reign.
Esther did not tell her people or heritage,
And the king loved her and increased her glory,
“Because the matter was from the CAUSE.” (I Kings 2:15)
קֶ֯שֶֽׁב רַב קָשַׁב צְר֨וֹר הַמֹּ֤ר (שיר השירים א:יג)
מִסָּרִיסֵי הַמֶּֽלֶךְ הַקְּבוּעִים לִשְׁמֹר
וְהִנָּם חוֹשְׁבִים עַל הַמֶּֽלֶךְ לֵאמֹר
הָ֥בָה נִֽתְחַכְּמָ֖ה ל֑וֹ (שמות א:י)
So attentively listened “the satchel of myrrh (Song of Songs 1:13)[2] punningly referring to Mordechai 
As the king’s eunuchs, meant to guard —
They were plotting against the king, saying:
“Come, let’s be cunning about him.” (Exodus 1:10)
רָ֯חֲשָׁה אֶסְתֵּר לַמֶּֽלֶךְ בְּאִמְרֵי שֶֽׁפֶר
בְּשֵׁם מׇרְדְּכַי וְנִכְתַּב בַּסֵּֽפֶר
בֻּקַּשׁ וְנִמְצָא לִפְנֵי צְבִי עֹפֶר
כִּי־ב֭וּל הָרִ֣ים יִשְׂאוּ־ל֑וֹ (איוב מ:כ)
Until Esther ran to the king with lovely words
In the name of Mordechai, written in a book
Vetted out and found before the gazelle or stag
“That the mountains’ crop was given to him.” (Job 40:20)
שְׁ֯נֵיהֶם נִתְלוּ עַל־הָעֵץ
כִּי שָׁמַע מׇרְדְּכַי לְשׁוֹנָם בְּהִוָּעֵץ
נַשְׁקֶה לַמֶּֽלֶךְ סַם הַמָּוֶת רוֹעֵץ
אוּלַ֤י יְפֻתֶּה֙ וְנ֣וּכְלָה ל֔וֹ (ירמיהו כ:י)
With haste the two were hanged on the gallows
For Mordechai heard and understood their tongue
“eXpose the king to a deadly poison,
“Perhaps he’ll be trapped and we’ll defeat him!” (Jeremiah 20:10)
תְּ֯שׁוּעָה זֹאת צְפוּנָה לְדוֹר אַחֲרוֹן
נִכְתְּבָה עַל־סֵֽפֶר הַזִּכָּרוֹן
לִהְיוֹת־לוֹ מִן־הַמֶּלֶךְ תַּגְמוּל וְיִתְרוֹן
כִּ֤י פֹ֣עַל אָ֭דָם יְשַׁלֶּם־ל֑וֹ (איוב לד:יא)
Yet this salvation was hidden to a later time.
It was written in the book of chronicles of the
Zeitgeist, for the king a bounty and benefit
“For per a man’s actions he pays him back.” (Job 44:11)
אַ֯חַר כׇּל־אֵֽלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים
אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ אֶת־הָמָן הֵרִים
וַיְנַשְּׂאֵהוּ מֵעַל כׇּל־הַשָּׂרִים
וְתוֹעֲפֹ֖ת הָרִ֣ים לֽוֹ (תהלים צה:ד)
Immediately after all these things
Aḥashverosh lifted Haman up
And exalted him over all the princes
“The peaks of the mountains were his.” (Psalm 95:4)
נִ֯מְנַע מׇרְדֳּכַי מִסְּגֹד לָרָֽשָׁע
נִין עֲמָלֵק אֲשֶׁר מִבֶּֽטֶן פָּשַׁע
וְזֶה הוֹסִיף עַל־חַטָּאתוֹ פֶּֽשַׁע
לֹא־יֹאבֶ֣ה יְהֹוָה֮ סְלֹ֣חַֽ לוֹ֒ (דברים כט:יט)
And Mordechai refused to bow to the wicked
Grandson of Amalek who sinned from the womb
And this added to his sinful iniquity
“The CAUSE did not want to forgive him.” (Deuteronomy 29:19)
י֯וֹם כָּרְעוּ לוֹ כׇּל־עַבְדֵי הַמֶּֽלֶךְ
וּמׇרְדֳּכַי בְּתֻמּוֹ הוֹלֵךְ
בִּקֵּשׁ לְחַרְחֵר רִיב עַל־עַם דַּל וָהֵֽלֶךְ
עֹבֵ֥ר מִ֝תְעַבֵּ֗ר עַל־רִ֥יב לֹּא־לֽוֹ (משלי כו:יז)
Mordechai, on the day all the kings’ servants bowed
Would walk in his purity, [so Haman] sought
to kindle strife against the poor and needy people
“A passerby engaging in a strife not his.” (Proverbs 26:17)
יָ֯עַץ תַּחְבּוּלוֹת כְּשִׂכִּים בְּצִדּוֹ
וַיִּ֣בֶז בְּעֵינָ֗יו (אסתר ג:ו) בִּגְאוֹן חֶמְדּוֹ
לִשְׁלֹ֤חַ יָד֙ בְּמׇרְדֳּכַ֣י לְבַדּ֔וֹ (אסתר ג:ו)
בָּ֣ז לְ֭דָבָר יֵחָ֣בֶל ל֑וֹ (משלי ג:ג)
Jabbing his side like a thorn, he plotted a strategy.
“But his eyes disdained —” how prideful they were!
“To raise a hand against Mordechai alone.” (Esther 3:6)
“One who disdains a matter will be injured by it.” (Proverbs 3:3)
הִ֯רְבָּה כֶֽסֶף וְזָהָב לִבְלִי חֹק
וַיֹּֽאמֶר בְּלִבּוֹ זֶה עֵ֣ת לִשְׂח֔וֹק (קהלת ג:ד)
וַיָּבֵא עֵצ֥וֹת מֵרָחֹ֖ק (ישעיהו כה:א)
לָרֶ֖שֶׁת מִשְׁכָּנ֥וֹת לֹּא־לֽוֹ (חבקוק א:ו)
Unmeasurable silver and gold,
And he said in his heart, It’s “time to laugh.” (Ecclesiastes 3:4)
And he brought “counsel from afar,” (Isaiah 25:1)
“Seizing dwellings not his.” (Habakkuk 1:6)
וַ֯יַּפֵּל פּוּר וְיָדוֹ בַגּוֹרָל הָדָה
וַיַּרְא כִּי בַאֲדָר מֵת אֲבִי הַתְּעוּדָה
וְלֹא זָכַר כִּי הִיא עֵת הַלֵּידָה
חֶבְלֵ֥י יוֹלֵדָ֖ה יָבֹ֣אוּ ל֑וֹ (הושע יג:יג)
Divining by “pur”, his hand cast down the lot,
And saw the Father of Testimony [Moshe] died in Adar.
And did not remember he was born then too!
“Pangs of childbirth came to him.” (Hosea 13:13)
דֹּ֯ב אוֹרֵב יְעָצֽוּהוּ רַעְיוֹנָיו
וַיִּשְׁאַל שְׁאֵלָה מֵאֲדוֹנָיו
וְגַם הוּא שִׁנֵּי אֲרָיוֹת שִׁנָּיו
וּֽמְתַלְּע֥וֹת לָבִ֖יא לֽוֹ (יואל א:ו)
A ravenous bear, he took counsel with his schemes
and asked a question of his master.
And of him, his teeth were lion’s teeth,
“The lion’s fangs were his.” (Joel 1:6)
הֵ֯ן עָם אָחוֹר נָזֽוֹרוּ
וְדָתֵיהֶם שׁוֹנוֹת וְדָתְךָ בַּל־יִנְצֹֽרוּ
ר֥וּחַ יִזְרָ֖עוּ וְסוּפָ֣תָה יִקְצֹ֑רוּ
קָמָ֣ה אֵֽין־ל֗וֹ (הושע ח:ז)
Here is scattered a distinct people,
their laws differ and they keep not your laws.
“Wind they sow, gales they reap;”
“this cannot stand.” (Hosea 8:7)
הֲ֯כִינוֹתִי כֶֽסֶף לִגְנָזֶֽיךָ יַעַל
לְאַבֵּד זֶה הַגּוֹי הַנִּגְעָל
כׇּל־הַבִּרְכַּ֗יִם אֲשֶׁ֤ר לֹא־כָֽרְעוּ֙ לַבַּ֔עַל
וְכׇ֨ל־הַפֶּ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר לֹֽא־נָשַׁ֖ק לֽוֹ (מלכים א׳ יט:יח)
Large sums I have accrued in your treasury
So I can destroy this rejected people,
“Every knee that has not bowed to Baal,”
“And every mouth that has not kissed him.” (I Kings 19:18)
לְ֯הָבִיא אֶל־גִּנְזֵי הַמֶּֽלֶךְ אֹסֶף
עֲשֶֽׂרֶת אֲלָפִים כִּכְּרֵי כֵֶֽסֶף
וְנֶֽפֶשׁ אַכֶּה לְכׇל־בֵּית יוֹסֵף
פַּ֣עַם אַחַ֔ת וְלֹ֥א אֶשְׁנֶ֖ה לֽוֹ (שמואל א׳ כו:ח)
Excess I bring to the king’s treasury:
Ten thousand talents of silver,
That I may smite out the whole house of Joseph
“One time, and not need to repeat it.” (I Samuel 26:8)
וַ֯יֹּֽאמֶר לוֹ הַמֶּֽלֶךְ יְהִי לְךָ קִנְיָנֶֽךָ
וְזֹאת טַבַּעְתִּי עַל יַד יְמִינֶֽךָ
וְהָעָ֕ם לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת בּ֖וֹ כַּטּ֥וֹב בְּעֵינֶֽיךָ (אסתר ג:י)
וּבָא֙ עַד־קִצּ֔וֹ וְאֵ֥ין עוֹזֵ֖ר לֽוֹ (דניאל יא:מה)
Verily! — said the king — Let your pay be yours!
And this is my ring upon your right hand.
“To do as you see fit to the people (Esther 3:10)
“And it will meet its doom with no one to help it.” (Daniel 11:45)
יָ֯צָא וְסוֹפְרֵי הַמֶּֽלֶךְ נִקְרָֽאוּ
וַיִּכְתְּבוּ כְּכׇל־אֲשֶׁר הוֹרָֽהוּ
וְאֶל־כׇּל־עַם וָעָם רוֹכְבִים יָצָֽאוּ
שָׂרֵי֩ הָרֶ֨כֶב אֲשֶׁר־ל֜וֹ (מלכים א׳ כב:לא)
In a flash he left, and the king’s scribes were called
And wrote as each had been instructed,
And to every people riders went out,
“The chariot officers that were his.” (I Kings 22:31)
הָ֯יָה דְבָרוֹ נָחוּץ לֵאמֹר
כֶּֽרֶם חֶֽמֶר בְּיוֹם אֶחָד לִזְמֹר
בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה עָשָׂר בַּאֲדָר הָחֵל וְגָמֹר
לֹא־אוֹסִ֥יף ע֖וֹד עֲב֥וֹר לֽוֹ (עמוס ז:ח)
Rapidly went his decree, saying:
On one day the vineyard will be pruned,
On the thirteenth of Adar, begin and end.
“I will let it go no longer.” (Amos 7:8)
קָ֯רַע מׇרְדֳּכַי בְּגָדָיו לִפְנֵי־אֵל
וַיִּצְעַק מַר עַל־גּוֹלַת אֲרִיאֵל
הֲבָנִ֥ים אֵין֙ לְיִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל
אִם־יוֹרֵ֖שׁ אֵ֣ין ל֑וֹ (ירמיהו מט:א)
And Mordechai ripped his clothes before God
And bitterly cried over Ariel’s exile
“Has Israel no children, ”
“Is there no heir for him?” (Jeremiah 49:1)
טָ֯רֹ֥ף טֹרַ֖ף (בראשית לז:לג) שְׁאָר הֲמוֹנָי
מִֽי־נָתַ֨ן לִמְשִׁסָּ֧ה יַעֲקֹ֛ב (ישעיהו מב:כד) לְמוֹנָי
וְיִשְׂרָאֵ֥ל לְבֹזְזִ֖ים הֲל֣וֹא יְהֹוָ֑ה
ז֚וּ חָטָ֣אנוּ ל֔וֹ (ישעיהו מב:כד)
“Broken, torn (Genesis 37:33) is the remnant of my multitudes!
“Who gave Jacob —” to my oppressors —” for spoil”
“And Israel to be pillaged? Was it not the CAUSE”
“Whom we sinned against?” (Isaiah 42:24)
נַ֯עֲרוֹת אֶסְתֵּר הִגִּידוּהָ דָּבָר
שָׁמַֽעְנוּ צְעָקָה כַּיְ־עֵינִ֖ים בַּמִּדְבָּֽר (איכה ד:ג)
וּמׇרְדֳּכַי בִּלְבוּשׁ שַׂק עָבַר
לֹ֥א יָדַ֖עְנוּ מֶה־הָ֥יָה לֽוֹ (שמות ל:א)
So Esther’s maids told her the matter:
We heard a cry “like ostriches in the desert!” (Lamentations 4:3)
And Mordechai sackcloth-garbed went by,
“We don’t know what happened to him.” (Exodus 30:1)
בְּ֯גָדִים שָׁלְחָה לְהַלְבִּישׁוֹ
וְלֹא קִבֵּל מִמְּרִירוּת נַפְשׁוֹ
וַתִּשְׁלַח לַהֲתָךְ לְחׇקְרוֹ וּלְדׇרְשׁוֹ
לְדֵעָ֕ה מַה־יֵּעָשֶׂ֖ה לֽוֹ (שמות ב:ד)
Although she sent clothes to dress him,
He refused them out of bitterness of spirit.
And she sent Hatakh to check on him and inquire
“To find out what would become of him.” (Exodus 2:4)
ר֯וּחוֹ הוֹצִיא לַהֲתָךְ וְחִוָּה
וּפָרָשַׁת הַכֶּֽסֶף לְפָנָיו שִׁוָּה
וְהַפַּתְשֶׁגֶן שָׁלַח וְעַל־אֶסְתֵּר צִוָּה
לָב֨וֹא אֶל־הַמֶּ֧לֶךְ לְהִֽתְחַנֶּן־ל֛וֹ (אסתר ד:ח)
Mordechai’s spirit came out and pointed to Hatakh,
And measured the portion of silver before him,
And the letter he sent, and he commanded Esther
“To go before the king and petition him.” (Esther 4:8)
דַּע כִּי בֶן־מָוֶת אֲשֶׁר לֹא יִקָּרֵא וְיָבוֹא
לְ֠בַ֠ד מֵאֲשֶׁ֨ר יֽוֹשִׁיט־ל֥וֹ הַמֶּ֛לֶךְ אֶת־שַׁרְבִ֥יט (אסתר ד:יא) זְהָבוֹ
בִּקְרׇב־אִ֔ישׁ לְהִֽשְׁתַּחֲוֺ֖ת ל֑וֹ (שמואל ב׳ טו:א)
Know this: you’re a dead man if you enter unprompted
“Unless the king stiffens up his rod (Esther 4:11) of gold
“When a man comes near to bow to him.” (II Samuel 15:1)
יַ֯קִּיר כְּשׇׁמְעוֹ דִבְרֵי הֲדַסָּה
זָעַק אֲהָהּ כִּי־אֵין מְנוּסָה
זַ֤עַף יְהֹוָה֙ אֶשָּׂ֔א
כִּ֥י חָטָ֖אתִי ל֑וֹ (מיכה ז:ט)
Esther’s words the great man heard,
And cried: Ah, there is no escape!
“I bear the anger of the CAUSE,”
“whom I sinned against.” (Micah 7:9)
שָׁ֯לַח לָהּ לֵאמֹר אַל־תְּדַמִּ֣י…
לְהִמָּלֵ֥ט בֵּית־הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ (אסתר ד:יג) מִכׇּל־לְאֻמִּי
כִּי אַתְּ תֹּאבְדִי וְאוּלָם עַמִּי
אַחֲרֵ֣י נִמְכַּ֔ר גְּאֻלָּ֖ה תִּהְיֶה־לּ֑וֹ (ויקרא כה:מח)
Letting back a response, he said: “Don’t think you’re”
“Safe” — of all my nation —” in the king’s palace (Esther 4:13).
Rather you will be lost, but nevertheless my people
“After it is sold, it will have redemption.” (Leviticus 25:48)
מִ֯מָּק֣וֹם אַחֵ֔ר (אסתר ד:יד) יִשְׁלַח שְׁלוֹמָיו
עֹשֶׂ֥ה שָׁ֝ל֗וֹם בִּמְרוֹמָֽיו (איוב כה:ב)
כִּ֥י לֹא־כָל֖וּ רַחֲמָֽיו (איכה ג:כב)
עַל־כֵּ֖ן אוֹחִ֥יל לֽוֹ (איכה ג:כד)
Lo, “a different Place (Esther 4:14) will send us peace”,”
“The Maker of peace on high (Job 25:2)
“for God’s mercies have not ended.” (Lamentations 3:22)
“Thus I hope in God.” (Lamentations 3:24)
וַ֯תַּעֲנֵֽהוּ לֵךְ כְּנוֹס כׇּל־חוֹכֵי פִדְיוֹם
וְצ֣וּמוּ עָ֠לַ֠י… שְׁלֹ֤שֶׁת יָמִים֙ לַ֣יְלָה וָי֔וֹם (אסתר ד:טז)
וְרַחֲמִים בַּקְּשׁוּ מֵאֵל נוֹרָא וְאָיוֹם
וְאַֽל־תִּתְּנ֥וּ דֳמִ֖י ל֑וֹ (ישעיהו סב:ז)
Esther responded: Gather all who hope for rescue
“And fast for me… three days night and day (Esther 4:16)
And beg for mercy from the Awesome and Mighty God
“And give no rest to the CAUSE.” (Isaiah 62:7)
אֵ֯ל נִדְרָשׁ בְּכׇל־לֵב יִדְרְשֶֽׁנּוּ
כִּֽי־נִכְמְר֤וּ רַחֲמָיו֙ (בראשית מג:ל) עַל־עַם יִקְרָאֶֽנּוּ
וַיֹּֽאמֶר עוֹד זָכֹ֥ר אֶזְכְּרֶ֖נּוּ
ע֑וֹד עַל־כֵּ֗ן הָמ֤וּ מֵעַי֙ ל֔וֹ (ירמיהו לא:יט)
Vigilant God, who seeks out wholehearted seekers,
“Was overcome with mercy (Genesis 43:30) on the people who called.
And said: Still I “remember, remember”
“Still, thus my innards tremor for it!” (Jeremiah 31:19)
לָ֯בְשָׁה חֵן בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי וַתֵּֽלֶךְ
וַתִּיקַר עַד־מְאֹד בְּעֵינֵי הַמֶּֽלֶךְ
וַיִּֽבֶז בְּכׇל־אֲשֶׁר הוּא מוֹלֵךְ
וְעַל֙ כׇּל־אֲשֶׁ֣ר יֶשׁ־ל֔וֹ (בראשית לט:ה)
In three days she dressed up and went
And was cherished greatly in the king’s eyes,
And he denigrated all over which he ruled
“And all that was his.” (Genesis 39:5)
הַ֯יָּפָ֖ה בַּנָּשִׁ֑ים (שיר השירים ו:א) נֶֽטַע נַעֲמָן
מַה שְּׁאֵלָתֵךְ כִּי הַכֹּל מְזֻמָּן
וַתֹּ֣אמֶר… יָב֨וֹא הַמֶּ֤לֶךְ וְהָמָן֙…
אֶל־הַמִּשְׁתֶּ֖ה אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂ֥יתִי לֽוֹ (אסתר ה:ד)
“Sublimest of women!” (Song of Songs 6:1) Sweetest sapling!
What is your request, for anything is welcomed!
“And she said… let the king and Haman come”
“To the feast that I made him.” (Esther 5:4)
לְ֯מָחָר קְרָאָתָם לְסוֹד נִכְמָס
וַיֵּֽצֵא הָמָן בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא שָׂמֵֽחַ וְנֶעֱלָס
וְהוּא֙ בַּמְּלָכִ֣ים יִתְקַלָּ֔ס
וְרֹזְנִ֖ים מִשְׂחָ֣ק ל֑וֹ (חבקוק א:י)
Secret concealed, the next day she called them,
And Haman went out on that day happy and joyful,
“And he derided kings”
“And laughed at princes.” (Habakkuk 1:10)
וַ֯יָּבֵא אֹהֲבָיו וְזֶֽרֶשׁ אִשְׁתּוֹ
וַיְּסַפֵּר לָהֶם כְּבוֹדוֹ וּמֶמְשַׁלְתּוֹ
וּגְזֵרָה עוֹמֶֽדֶת לְעֻמָּתוֹ
ה֚וֹי הַמַּרְבֶּ֣ה לֹּא־ל֔וֹ (חבקוק ב:ו)
Over with his friends and Zeresh his wife,
He regaled them with his glory and his reign,
And a decree was set for him.
“Woe to he who increases what is not his!” (Habakkuk 2:6)
יְ֯עָצֽוּהוּ עֲשׂוֹת עֵץ גָּבֽוֹהַּ חֲמִשִּׁים
לִתְלוֹת עָלָיו קֹֽדֶשׁ קׇדָשִׁים
וּלְהָכִינוֹ כְּחֶפְצוֹ מִכׇּל־חָרָשִׁים
חָרָ֤שׁ חָכָם֙ יְבַקֶּשׁ־ל֔וֹ (ישעיהו מ:כ)
Now they adviced him to build a fifty-cubit pole
On which to hang the holiest of holy men
To establish him as he desired over all workers,
“A skilled woodworker he sought out.” (Isaiah 40:20)
אֱ֯לֹהִים עֵֽדֶר צֹאנוֹ בִּקֵּר
וַתִּדַּד שְׁנַת הַמֶּֽלֶךְ עַד יְהִי חוֹקֵר
בְּסֵֽפֶר הַזִּכְרוֹנוֹת וְהָיָה בֹּ֠קֶר
וְיֹדַ֨ע יְהֹוָ֧ה אֶת־אֲשֶׁר־ל֛וֹ (במדבר טז:ה)
And God, like a shepherd his flock, sought it out,
And disturbed the kings’s sleep until he perused
the book of chronicles, and it was morning,
“and the CAUSE would make known who was God’s.” (Numbers 16:5)
בְּ֯מָצְאוֹ דְּבַר מׇרְדֳּכַי מְפֹרָשׁ
מַה נַּעֲשָׂה יְקָר וּגְדֻלָּה דָּרַשׁ
וַיֹּאמְרוּ כִּ֚י לֹ֣א פֹרַ֔שׁ
מַה־יֵּעָשֶׂ֖ה לֽוֹ (במדבר טו:לד)
Behold he found explained Mordechai’s deeds,
And asked, What honor and reward did we do?
And they said: “It was never explained ”
“What should be done to him.” (Numbers 15:34)
גִּ֯לָּה אֹֽזֶן הָמָן בִּדְבָרוֹ
מַה־לַּעֲשׂ֕וֹת בָּאִ֕ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֥ר הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ חָפֵ֣ץ בִּיקָר֑וֹ (אסתר ו:ו)
וַיַּֽעַן וַיִּנָּקֵשׁ בְּמַאֲמָרוֹ
פִּֽי־כְ֭סִיל מְחִתָּה־ל֑וֹ (משלי יח:ז)
Cheering up Haman’s ears were these words:
“What to do for the man the king wishes to honor?” (Esther 6:6)
And he answered, seductively in his speech.
“The fool’s speech is his ruin!” (Proverbs 18:7)
דִּ֯בֵּר לַעֲדוֹתוֹ בַּעֲדָיֵי מְלָכִים
וְלָלֶֽכֶת לְפָנָיו אֶחָד מֵהַנְּסִיכִים
וְלִבּוֹ בְּמַחֲשָׁבָיו הוֹלֵךְ חֲשֵׁכִ֗ים
וְאֵ֥ין נֹ֙גַהּ֙ ל֔וֹ (ישעיהו נ:י)
Decree to fix him in the fixings of kings,
and have one of the princes go before him!
And his heart and thoughts went “in darkness,”
“And there was no light in him.” (Isaiah 50:10)
הֱ֯שִׁיבוֹ הַמֶּֽלֶךְ כֵּן דִּבַּֽרְתָּ
עֲשֵׂה לְמׇרְדֳּכַי הַיְּהוּדִי כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר אָמַֽרְתָּ
מִשְׁפָּטֶ֖ךָ אַתָּ֥ה חָרָֽצְתָּ (מלכים א׳ כ:מ)
כַּמִּשְׁפָּ֥ט הַזֶּ֖ה יֵעָ֥שֶׂה לּֽוֹ (שמות כא:לא)
Enact it thus, responded the king,
to Mordechai the Jew, all that you said.
“You pronounced your judgement yourself!” (I Kings 20:40)
“As is this judgement, let it be done!” (Exodus 21:31)
וַ֯יָּ֥שׇׁב מׇרְדֳּכַ֖י (אסתר ו:יב) אֶל־מִשְׁמַרְתּוֹ
וְהָמָן֙ נִדְחַ֣ף אֶל־בֵּית֔וֹ (אסתר ו:יב)
וַיִּוָּעֲדוּ אֹהֲבָיו וְזֶֽרֶשׁ אִשְׁתּוֹ
לָב֥וֹא לָנֽוּד־ל֖וֹ (איוב ב:יא)
“Flew Mordechai back” — to remain at his post —
“And Haman slunk back to his home.” (Esther 6:12)
And his friends and Zeresh his wife advised him,
“to come and sympathize with him.” (Job 2:11)
זֶֽ֯רַע יְשֻׁרוּן זָכְרוּ נְבוֹנָיו
אִם־יֵשׁ מׇרְדֳּכַי אֶחָד מִבָּנָיו
אֲשֶׁר֩ הַחִלּ֨וֹתָ לִנְפֹּ֤ל לְפָנָיו֙
לֹא־תוּכַ֣ל ל֔וֹ (אסתר ו:יג)
Gauging the Jeshurunite line, they advised:
If Mordechai is one of their sons,
“Before whom you have begun to fall,”
“You will not defeat him.” (Esther 6:13)
חֲ֯כָמָיו עוֹדָם מְדַבְּרִים עִמּוֹ
וְסָרִיסֵי הַמֶּֽלֶךְ הִבְהִילֽוּהוּ לַהֲקִימוֹ
וְלֹא רָ֝אָ֗ה כִּֽי־יָבֹ֥א יוֹמֽוֹ (תהלים לז:יג)
אֲדֹנָ֥י יִשְׂחַק־ל֑וֹ (תהלים לז:יג)
His sages were still speaking with him
When the king’s eunuchs hurried him in
But he did not “know that his day had come…”
“The Master laughs at him.” (Psalm 37:13)
טֶ֯רֶם כְּלוֹת מִשְׁתֵּה הַיַּיִֽן
אָמַר הַמֶּֽלֶךְ אֶל־יְפַת הָעַֽיִן
שַׁאֲלִי כִּי הַכֹּל לְנֶגְדֵּךְ כְּאַֽיִן
וַתֵּ֣בְךְּ וַתִּתְחַנֶּן־ל֗וֹ (אסתר ח:ג)
In the wine feast, before it had ended,
The king said to the beautiful one:
Just ask, and anything for you will be like nothing!
“And she cried and begged him: (Esther 8:3)
יִ֯נָּֽתֶן לִ֤י נַפְשִׁי֙ בִּשְׁאֵ֣לָתִ֔י
וְעַמִּ֖י אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּֽלֶךְ בְּבַקָּשָׁתִֽי (אסתר ז:ג)
כִּי נִמְכַּֽרְנוּ לְצוֹרֵר לְהַכְרִיתִי
תַּאֲוַ֣ת לִ֭בּוֹ נָתַ֣תָּה לּ֑וֹ (תהלים כא:ג)
“Keep me alive, is what I ask”!
“And my people —” o lord king — “is my request!” (Esther 7:3)
For we were sold to the enemy to cut me off!
“You’ve given him what he wants!” (Psalm 21:3)
כִּ֯י מַה חֶפְצִי אַחַר זֶה הַצַּֽעַר
וּכְלֵי הַקְּרָב שֹׁ֖ת שָׁ֥תוּ (ישעיהו כב:ז) הַשַּֽׁעַר
הֲיִשְׁאַ֤ג אַרְיֵה֙ בַּיַּ֔עַר
וְטֶ֖רֶף אֵ֣ין ל֑וֹ (עמוס ג:ד)
Look, what I want after all this trouble
And the weapons “prepared, prepared (Isaiah 22:7) at the gate!
“Does a lion roar in the forest”
“When it has no prey?” (Amos 3:4)
לָ֯הּ אָמַר מִ֣י ה֥וּא זֶה֙ (אסתר ז:ה) מִכׇּל־אֲנָשַׁי
וְאֵֽי־זֶ֣ה ה֔וּא (אסתר ז:ה) מִכׇּל־מִגְרָשַׁי
א֚וֹ מִ֣י מִנּוֹשַׁ֔י
אֲשֶׁר־מָכַ֥רְתִּי אֶתְכֶ֖ם ל֑וֹ (ישעיהו נ:א)
My men around me, he asked, “of them who is this?”
“And” “which is this one (Esther 7:5) of all my syncophants?
“Or to which of my creditors ”
“Did I sell you off to?” (Isaiah 50:1)
מִ֯הֲרָה לַעֲנוֹתוֹ הָמָן זֶה הָרָע
אֲשֶׁר פְּרָעוֹת בְּגוֹי צַדִּיק פָּרָע
א֖וֹי לְרָשָׁ֣ע רָ֑ע
כִּֽי־גְמ֥וּל יָדָ֖יו יֵעָ֥שֶׂה לּֽוֹ (ישעיהו ג:יא)
Nasty oppressor, this Haman the wicked,
Who made the righteous nations’ locks untrimmed.
“Woe to the wicked evil one,”
“For the work of his hands will be done to him!” (Isaiah 3:11)
נִ֯מְלָא חֵמָה וְקָם אֶל־גַּנּוֹ
וּבְשׁוּבוֹ רָאָֽהוּ נוֹפֵל עַל־כַּנּוֹ
יְגַלּ֣וּ שָׁמַ֣יִם עֲוֺנ֑וֹ
וְ֝אֶ֗רֶץ מִתְקוֹמָ֘מָ֥ה לֽוֹ (איוב כ:כז)
Overwhelmed by rage, he went to the garden,
And when he returned, saw him crouched at his feet!
“Heaven exposes his iniquity, ”
“And earth rises up against him!” (Job 20:27)
סָ֯רִיס אֶחָד גִּלָּה חַטָּאתוֹ
הֵן־עֵץ עָשָׂה לְמׇרְדֳּכַי בְּבֵיתוֹ
וַיְצַו הַמֶּֽלֶךְ לִתְלוֹתוֹ
עַל־הָעֵ֖ץ אֲשֶׁר־הֵכִ֥ין לֽוֹ (אסתר ו:ד)
Quickly one eunuch revealed his guilt:
He made this pole for Mordechai at his house.
And the king commanded to hang him
“On the very pole he had prepared!” (Esther 6:4)
עָ֯מְדָה אֶסְתֵּר לְבַקֵּשׁ עַל עַמָּהּ
לְהָשִׁיב סִפְרֵי הָאַף וְהַחֵמָה
כִּי נִחַם יְהֹוָה עַל מַכָּה עֲצוּמָה
וָשָׁ֖ב וְרָ֥פָא לֽוֹ (ישעיהו ו:י)
Rose up Esther to beg for her people
To repeal the books of anger and rage,
For the CAUSE had repented from the great plague
“And returned and healed it.” (Isaiah 6:10)
פַּ֯תְשֶֽׁגֶן הַכְּתָב לִהְיוֹת הַיְּהוּדִים
לַהֲרֹג בְּשׂוֹנְאֵיהֶם עֲתִידִים
כִּֽי־נָפַ֥ל פַּֽחַד־מׇרְדֳּכַ֖י (אסתר ט:ב) עַל־הַמּוֹרְדִים
וְשָׁל֗וֹם הָ֥יָה ל֛וֹ (מלכים א׳ ה:ד)
So the letter was written for all the Jews
To be ready to kill those who hate them.
“For the fear of Mordechai fell (Esther 9:2) “on the rebels,
“And he had peace.” (I Kings 5:4)
צֻ֯וָּה מׇרְדֳּכַי עַל־עַם לֹא־אַלְמָן
מוֹשִֽׁיעַ וָרָב נָגִיד וְנֶאֱמָן
וְהׇפְקַד עַל־בֵּית הָמָן
וְעַל֙ כׇּל־אֲשֶׁ֣ר יֶשׁ־ל֔וֹ (בראשית לט:ה)
Then Mordechai was ordered over the unwidowed people
A redeemer and leader, faithful noble.
And was appointed over the house of Haman
“And all that was his.” (Genesis 39:5)
קִ֯דַּֽשְׁתִּי לְצוֹרְרִי מִזְבֵּֽחַ
וְאָכִין לְבָנָיו מַטְבֵּֽחַ
בַּעֲוֹן אֲבִיהֶם הַמְרַצֵּֽחַ
וְאֵ֗לֶּה שְׁמ֛וֹת הַיִּלֹּדִ֥ים ל֖וֹ (שמואל ב׳ ה:יד)
Upon my enemies I sanctified an altar
And made of his sons a massacre
For the iniquity of their murderous father.
“And these are names of those born to him: (II Samuel 5:14)
רִ֯צַּֽצְתִּי פַּרְשַׁנְדָּֽתָא דַּלְפוֹן אַסְפָּֽתָא
פּוֹרָֽתָא אֲדַלְיָא אֲרִידָֽתָא פַּרְמַֽשְׁתָּא
אֲרִיסַי אֲרִידַי וַיְזָֽתָא
וְגַם־קְבוּרָ֖ה לֹא־הָ֣יְתָה לּ֑וֹ (קהלת ו:ג)
Vengeance on Parshandatha, Dalphon and Aspatha,
Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, Parmashta,
With Arisai, Aridai and Vaizatha
“And they had no burial.” (Ecclesiastes 6:3)
שָׁ֯לַֽלְתִּי שֹׁלְלַי וְאָרִֽיעַ רֵֽעַ
כִּי עָלָה מִשְּׁאֹל אֶבְיוֹן גֹּוֵֽעַ
וַיְמַלֵּט עָנִ֣י מְשַׁוֵּ֑עַ
וְ֝יָת֗וֹם וְֽלֹא־עֹזֵ֥ר לֽוֹ (איוב כט:יב)
eXtracting my spoil, I paid evil unto evil,
For arisen from Sheol are the poor dead ones,
Yea, he saved “the poor man crying out,”
“And the orphan with none to help.” (Job 29:12)
תִּ֯כָּתֵב זֹאת לְדוֹר אַחֲרוֹן
וְלִבְנֵי בָנִים תִּהְיֶה לְזִכָּרוֹן
וְכׇל־הַמַּזְכִּיר אֹתָהּ יָרוֹן
אַשְׁרֵ֣י הָ֭עָם שֶׁכָּ֣כָה לּ֑וֹ (תהלים קמד:טו)
Zealously write it to the last generation
To the children of children let it be remembered
And all who recall it rejoice!
“Content is the people whose fate is so!” (Psalm 154:15)
אִ֯כְלוּ רֵעִים שְׁתוּ וְשִׁכְרוּ
וִימֵי הַפּוּרִים בְּשִׂמְחָה שִׁמְרוּ
וְעִם שִׂמְחַתְכֶם הָאֶבְיוֹנִים זִכְרוּ
וְשִׁלְח֤וּ מָנוֹת֙ לְאֵ֣ין נָכ֣וֹן ל֔וֹ (נחמיה ח:י)
Imbibe, friends, eat and drink,
And keep these Purim days in joy,
And with your rejoicing remember the needy,
“And give portions to those without any ready: (Nehemiah 8:10)
נִ֯סֵּי אֵל מֵאָז נְשָׂאֽוּנִי
וּבְנִבְכֵי הַיָּם הֶעֱבִירֽוּנִי
וְלָכֵן כִּלְיוֹתַי יִסְּרֽוּנִי
דּ֤וֹם ׀ לַיהֹוָה֮ וְהִתְח֢וֹלֵֽ֫ל־ל֥וֹ (תהלים לז:ז)
As from old, the miracles of God have lifted me
And brought me through the sources of the sea.
And thus my innards tell me,
“Be patient and wait for the CAUSE.” (Psalm 37:7)
י֯וֹם צֵאת פַּרְעֹה אַחֲרַי
לִטְרֹף כְּאַרְיֵה עֲדָרַי
נִצְּבוּ כַחוֹמָה מֵימֵי מִשְׁבָּרַי
וַיִּֽתְגָּעֲשׁ֖וּ כִּי־חָ֥רָה לֽוֹ (שמואל ב׳ כב:ח)
My pursuit, when Pharaoh went out after me
To prey on my flock like a lion
My breaking waters stood like a wall
“Shaken, for the One was indignant.” (II Samuel 22:8)
יָ֯צָא צָר אַחֲרֵי עַם קְדוֹשׁוֹ
וַיִּשְׁלַח צוּר עֲנָנוֹ לְהַפְרִישׁוֹ
לִֽהְי֥וֹת צֵל֙ עַל־רֹאשׁ֔וֹ
לְהַצִּ֥יל ל֖וֹ (יונה ד:ו)
Just as the stressor came after the holy people,
God sent a rock and cloud to lead them
“To provide shade over their head”
“And save them.: (Jonah 4:6)
הֶ֯עֱבִירוֹ בַיַּבָּשָׁה וְצָרָיו הֶחֱרִיד
בֵּינוֹ וּבֵין רוֹדְפָיו הִפְרִיד
וּלְתַחְתִּיּוֹת מְצוּלָה אוֹתָם הוֹרִיד
חֹקְקִ֥י בַסֶּ֖לַע מִשְׁכָּ֥ן לֽוֹ (ישעיהו כב:טז)
Upon land they crossed, and their stressors panicked
God divided between them and their pursuers
And sank them to the deepest depths
“Those who cut out their dwelling in the crag.” (Isaiah 24:16)
וּ֯בְשׁוּב הַיָּם לְאֵיתָנוֹ
נִטְבַּע פַּרְעֹה וְכׇל־הֲמוֹנוֹ
כִּי הַיָּם הִכְבִּיד מַרְכְּבוֹת גְּאוֹנוֹ
וַיַּ֗רְא כִּ֣י לֹ֤א יָכֹל֙ ל֔וֹ (בראשית לב:כו)
Directing the sea back to normal,
Pharaoh sank with all his multitudes,
For the sea was stronger than his proud chariots,
“And they saw they could not defeat it.” (Genesis 32:26)
דַּ֯הֲרוֹת אַבִּירִים בְּאַדִּירִים נָפְלוּ
וְכַעוֹפֶֽרֶת בְּמַֽיִם רַבִּים צָלְלוּ
וְדוֹרְשֵׁי יְהֹוָה שְׁמוֹ יְהַלְלוּ
בְּנֵ֥בֶל עָ֝שׂ֗וֹר זַמְּרוּ־לֽוֹ (תהלים לג:ב)
As the mighty dashed and fell to the glorious
And like lead in great waters they sank
And the seekers of the CAUSE praised the Name
“Hymning to it on a ten-stringed lute.” (Psalm 33:2)
הֶ֯רְאָֽנוּ יָדוֹ הַנִּפְלָאָה
עַל שְׂפַת הַיָּם נוֹרָאָה
אָשִׁ֤ירָה לַֽיהֹוָה֙ כִּֽי־גָאֹ֣ה גָּאָ֔ה (שמות טו:א)
בִּ֝זְמִר֗וֹת נָרִ֥יעַֽ לֽוֹ (תהלים צה:ב)
How wondrous the Hand we saw
At the shore of the awesome sea
“Let me sing to the CAUSE for triumph, triumph!” (Exodus 15:1)
We’ll cheer the One with hymns.” (Psalm 95:2)
דְּגָלִים עָבְרוּ בַיַּבָּשָׁה
וְלִפְנֵיהֶם אֵל נַעֲרׇץ בִּקְדֻשָּׁה
אָז שׁוֹרְרוּ שִׁירָה חֲדָשָׁה
מִֽי־כָמֹ֤כָה בָּֽאֵלִם֙ יְהֹוָ֔ה (שמות טו:יא)
Banners crossed over on dry land
And before them an awesome and holy God
So they sang a new song:
“Who is like you among the deities, CAUSE?” (Exodus 15:11)





1a pun on לוֹ to him vs לֹא no.
2punningly referring to Mordechai



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