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קִילוּס לְפּוּרִים לִלְמְגִלָּה | Qillus l’Purim lil’Megillah — an enconium for Purim, for Megillat Esther

https://opensiddur.org/?p=54649 קִילוּס לְפּוּרִים לִלְמְגִלָּה | Qillus l'Purim lil'Megillah — an enconium for Purim, for Megillat Esther 2024-03-07 13:20:32 A Byzantine-era Aramaic piyyut for Purim, perhaps written as an introduction to the Megillah reading. It tells the narrative of the Jewish people from Abraham to the final redemption, focusing on the foes who sought to destroy us and their inevitable failure to do so. Uniquely among early-medieval poems, this one actively mentions the Romans (read: Christians) and Saracens (read: Muslims) and prays for their downfall in non-coded language. This translation loosely preserves the couplet rhyme scheme, as well as the alphabetical acrostic — perhaps with a phonetic punning reference to the name "Shlomo" at the end. Text the Open Siddur Project Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) Unknown Author(s) https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (transcription & naqdanut) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Purim Aramaic פיוטים piyyutim Alphabetic Acrostic Byzantine Empire Acrostic translation acrostic
A Byzantine-era Aramaic piyyut for Purim, perhaps written as an introduction to the Megillah reading. It tells the narrative of the Jewish people from Abraham to the final redemption, focusing on the foes who sought to destroy us and their inevitable failure to do so. Uniquely among early-medieval poems, this one actively mentions the Romans (read: Christians) and Saracens (read: Muslims) and prays for their downfall in non-coded language. This translation loosely preserves the couplet rhyme scheme, as well as the alphabetical acrostic — perhaps with a phonetic punning reference to the name “Shlomo” at the end.

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Source (Aramaic)Translation (English)
אֶתְנֵה בִּכְנִישְׁתִּי שֶֽׁבַח לֶאֱלָהּ אֲבָהָתִי
אֲהוֹדַע לְאוּמָּתִי מָא דְּמָטָא יָתִי׃
As I repeat in my community praise of my ancestors’ deity,
Let me make known to my nation what fell upon me.
בְּיוֹמֽוֹהִי דְּסַֽבָא בְּחִֽירָא אִתְגְרִי לֵיהּ נִמְרֹד גּֽוּבְרָא
וְטַלְקֵיהּ לְנֽוּרָא וְשֵׁיזַב יָתֵיהּ נוֹרָא׃
By the days of the chosen elder,[1] Abraham  fearsome Nimrod attacked him,
And cast him into the fire, but the Awesome One saved him.
גַּדְיָין כַּד אַיתִי יַעֲקֹב לְאִמֵּיהּ וְאוֹכִיל לַאֲבֽוּהִי רַחֲמֵיהּ
אֲתָא עֱשָׂו מִן־יוֹמֵיהּ וְנַטְרֵיהּ וְסַטְמֵיהּ׃
Goats Ya’aqov brought to his mother to get his loving father food.
Esav came from that day and watched him in a feud.
דְּבָבוּתֵיהּ כַּד חֲמַת אִמֵּיהּ שְׁלָחַת יָתֵיהּ לְגַב לָבָן לְגַרְמֵיהּ
וְאִתְגְלִי עֲלֽוֹהִי רְחִימֵיהּ וּמַלֵּיל עִמֵּיהּ׃
Discerning his enmity, his mother sent him to Lavan alone,
and his Beloved spoke with him, Their presence shown.
הָא עֶסְרִין שְׁנִין הֲוָה רְעֵי עִם לָבָן עָנִין
וּקְנָה בְּנָן וּבְנִין וְעִיזִּין וְאִמְּרִין׃
Ere twenty years he would shepherded Lavan’s sheep,
and gained sons and daughters, goats and sheep.
וְכַד אֲתָא לְמַחֲזוֹר לְאַתְרֵיהּ רְדַף לָבָן בַּתְרֵיהּ
וּבְעָא לְמֽוֹבְדָא עִיקָּרֵיהּ וּנְטֽוּרָא נַטְרֵיהּ׃
When he came back to his place, Lavan pursued him,
and sought to destroy his root, but his Protector protected him.
זְרָז עֱשָׂו מִן־שִׁנְתֵיהּ וּנְפַק לִקְדָמוּתֵיהּ
וּבְעָא לְמֽוֹבְדָא יָתֵיהּ לוּלֵי אֱלָהּ אֲבָהָתֵיהּ׃
Zealotically Esav rose from his sleep to meet him,
and sought to destroy him, if not for his ancestors’ God’s whim.
חֵילְוָן דְּמַלְאָכִין שְׁלַח לֵיהּ מֶֽלֶךְ מַלְכִין
דִּיהֲווּן עִמֵּיהּ דַּרְכִין וּקְדָמֽוֹהִי מְהַלְכִין׃
Hosts of angels the Sovereign of Sovereigns sent him,
to be with him on the path and walk before him.
טַעֲנוּ יַתֵיהּ בָּנוֹי כֵּיוָן וּנְחָתוּ לְמִצְרַֽיִם בְּשִׁבְעִין חֵילְוָן
וְאִיתּוֹתִֽיבוּ תַּמָּן שְׁנִין עֶֽסֶר וְתַרְתֵּין מַאֲוָן
Thus his sons brought him down to Egypt, seventy strong,
and were settled there two hundred and ten years long.
יַלְדֵיהוֹן לְנַֽהֲרָא זְרַק פַּרְעֹה מַמְזֵֽירָא
וּטְבַע יָתֵיהּ אֱלָֽהָא גִּיבָּֽרָא בְּיַֽמָּא כְּאֲבָֽרָא
Young children of theirs ill-begotten Pharaoh threw to the riverbed,
so God the Warrior drowned him in the sea like lead.
כַּד נְפָֽקוּ מִן יַֽמָּא בְּמֵימְרֵיהּ דְּרָֽמָא
אֲתַא עֲמָלֵק מְחַֽרְמָא מִנְּהוֹן לְמִתְגַֽרְמָא
Crossing through the sea by the word of the Highest
when damned Amalek came to make its strength manifest.
לֶאֱלָהּ עִילַֽיָא תְּלָא יְדֽוֹהִי מֹשֶׁה מַעְלְיָא
וְאִתְיְהֵב עֲמָלֵק לִכְלָֽיָא בְּיַד יְהוֹשֻֽׁעַ טַֽלְיָא
Lifting his hands, Moshe called the exalted God hands up,
and Amalek was given to destruction by Yehoshua the young pup.
מִנְּהוֹן סְכֵי לְמִתְפַּֽרְעָא סִיסְרָא רְשִֽׁיעָא
וּלְשֵׁיצֵיא יַתְהוֹן בְּעַא מִן־גוֹ אַֽרְעָא
Making vengeance plans, Sisera the evil
sought to drive them from the land in upheaval.
נׄוּרָא מִן־שְׁמַֽיָּא זְרַק עֲלֽוֹהִי מִכּוֹכְבַֽיָּא
וּסְדָֽרוּ עִמֵּיהּ קְרָבַֽיָּא בְּגִין עַֽמָּא רְחִימַֽיָּא
Not so, for heavenly fire fell on him from the stars,
and orderd war with him for this beloved people of ours.
סַנְחֵרִיב גְּרַשׁ חֵילוֹתֵיהּ וְאִתְגְאֵי בְּמַלְכוּתֵיהּ
וַחֲרַף בְּנַבְלוּתֵיהּ לְמַן דִּי־בְרָא נִשְׁמַתֵיהּ
Sanḥeriv sent forth his forces, of his kingdom proud,
and foolishly blasphemed the One from whom his soul was endowed.
עַבֵיד קְרָבִין שְׁלַח מַלְאָכֵיהּ בְּגִין חֲבִיבִין
וּקְטַל מִן־אוּכְלְסֽוֹי טַלְיָין וְסַבִין מֵאָה וּתְּמָנָן וַחֲמִשָׁה אַלְפֵי כְּתִיבִין
On this the War-Doer sent Their angel for the cherished ones,
and — as recorded — killed from their populace hundred and eighty-five thousand, fathers and sons.
פְּרַא מַלְכְּהוֹן דְּבַבְלָאֵי וְאַיתִי עִמְּהוֹן כַּסְדַּאֵי
חֲרָב בֵּיתְהוֹן דְּעִבְרָאֵי וְאַגְלֵי עַמָּא יְהוּדָאֵי
Pressing on, the king of the Babylonians brought with him the Chaldeans,
destroyed the Hebrews’ house, and exiled the people of the Judeans.
צַדִּיקִּין אַרְבְּעָה כַּד קָמוּן וּצְלוּן וְצָמוּן
מַלְכֽוּתָא מִנֵּיהּ אַשְׁלִמוּן וּבְמַפַּלְתֵּיהּ חָמוּן
Charged up, the four righteous ones[2] Daniel, along with Ḥananiah, Mishael, and ‘Azariah (Daniel 3)  rose and prayed and fasted.
The kingdom of his finished, and they saw that his fall lasted.
קָם שִׁמְשַׁי סָפְרָא וְאַסְגֵּי בְּעוּתְרָא
וּתְקַל אַֽלְפִין עַֽסְרָה לְאוֹבָֽדָא אֽוּמָּא מַֽעְסְרָא
Quite wealthy was Shimshai[3] Mentioned in Ezra 4. Rashi suggests Shimshai was a son of Haman, and in many piyyutim the two are equated.  the scribe, who arose
and weighed ten thousand silver to destroy the nation that tithes doughs.
רָֽמָא פְּסַל כַּסְפֵּיהּ וּטְמַע אַלְפֵיהּ
וּבַלְבֵּל סוֹפֵיהּ וְעַל־שָׁרִיתֵיהּ אִצְטְלַב גּוּפֵיהּ
Rendering his money void, the Highest sank his ship,
confounded his end, and crucified his body on his own wood strip.
שָׁדַּי מָרֵי שְׁמַֽיָּה יְעוֹרֵר נִסַּֽיָּא
וְיַצְמַח בְּאִלֵּין יוֹמַֽיָּא יְשׁוּעָה לִבְנַֽיָּא רְחִימַֽיָּא
Surely the Delineator, Master of heaven, will make miracles rouse,
And, for the beloved children, sprout in these days salvation’s boughs.
תִּקְרַב שַֽׁעֲתָא וְתִתְפְּרֵק אֽוּמְּתָא
וְתִסְגֵּי לָן וּלְכוֹן חֶדְוָֽתָא הֵיךְ דַּהֲוָה בְּשׁוּשָׁן בִּֽירְתָא
Time, draw near! Let the people be freed,
and increase for us and them joy like the capital Shushan decreed.
שַׁלִּֽיטָא יַדֵיק בְּרַחֲמִין מִשְּׁמֵי מְרוֹמִין
לְמִפְרוֹק עַם רְחִימִין מִשִּׁבְעִין אוּמִּין
So the Ruler should gaze lovingly from the the heavens above,
Looking to free the people over seventy nations in love.
מַן דְּאִתְפְּרַע מִן־קַדְמַֽיָא הוּא יְשֵׁיצֵי אׇחֲרַֽיָא
וְיִתְנְקֵם מִן־רוֹמַיָּא וְסַרְקַיָּא בְּיַד עַמָּא יְהוּדַיָּא
May the One who avenged foes of old destroy the latter evil,
On the Romans and Saracens, avenge by the hand of the Jewish people!
כָּכַּתוּב — וְנָתַתִּ֨י אֶת־נִקְמָתִ֜י בֶּאֱד֗וֹם
בְּיַד֙ עַמִּ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל
וְעָשׂ֣וּ בֶאֱד֔וֹם כְּאַפִּ֖י
וְכַחֲמָתִ֑י וְיָֽדְעוּ֙ אֶת־נִקְמָתִ֔י
נְאֻ֖ם אֲדֹנָ֥י יֱהֹוִֽה׃ (יחזקאל כה:יד)
As is written: “And I will give my vengeance against Edom
by the hand of my people Israel,
and they will do against Edom per my rage and my wrath,
and they will know my vengeance —
declares the Master God.” (Ezekiel 25:14)
וְנֶאֱמַר — לַיְּהוּדִ֕ים הָֽיְתָ֥ה אוֹרָ֖ה וְשִׂמְחָ֑ה וְשָׂשֹׂ֖ן וִיקָֽר׃ (אסתר ח:טז)
And it is said: “And the Jews had light, gladness, joy,and honor.” (Esther 8:16)

 

Notes

Notes
1Abraham
2Daniel, along with Ḥananiah, Mishael, and ‘Azariah (Daniel 3)
3Mentioned in Ezra 4. Rashi suggests Shimshai was a son of Haman, and in many piyyutim the two are equated.

 

 

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