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רַחֲמָנָא | Raḥamana di N’shaya — Aramaic Seliḥoth Piyyut for Biblical Women, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

The Raḥamana piyyut is a litany beloved in Sephardic and Mizraḥi communities, a standard part of their Seliḥoth services throughout the month of Elul and the days of repentance. Traditionally it cites a list of Biblical men (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Pinhas, David, and Solomon) and asks to be remembered for their merit and their covenants, for the sake of “Va-yaŋaḇor” — the first word of Exodus 34:6, the introduction to the verses of the Thirteen Attributes recited in Seliḥoth services. This text instead uses Biblical women (Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel, Seraḥ, Miriam, Deḇorah, Ruth, Hannah, and Esther). The term for God, Raḥamana, is translated here as “Motherly One” to emphasize the linguistic root r-ḥ-m, often used to mean “mercy” but also used to refer to the womb, or the maternal instinct in general. The concluding verses are based on the abbreviated Raḥamana used by the Western Sephardic Spanish & Portuguese community for evening Seliḥoth, so a transliteration is included that loosely follows S&P pronunciation practices.

Source (Hebrew) Transliteration (Romanization) Translation (English)

רַֽחֲמָנָא
אִדְכַּר לָן קְיָמַהּ דְּשָׂרָה דְּכִירָא.
בְּדִיל וַיַּעֲבֹר׃
Raḥamana,
idkar lan qeyamah d-Sara dekhira.
bedil va-yaŋaḇor.
Motherly One‪,‬
remember for us Your covenant with Sarah the remembered,
for the sake of the Verses of the Thirteen Attributes.

רַֽחֲמָנָא
אִדְכַּר לָן קְיָמַהּ דְּרִבְקָה מְהַגְּנָא.
בְּדִיל וַיַּעֲבֹר׃
Raḥamana,
idkar lan qeyamah d-Riḇqa mehagna.
bedil va-yaŋaḇor.
Motherly One,
remember for us the covenant with Rebecca the worthy,
for the sake of the Verses of the Thirteen Attributes.

רַֽחֲמָנָא
אִדְכַּר לָן קְיָמוֹהוּן דְּלֵאָה רַבְּתָא וּדְרָחֵל זְעֶרְתָּא.
בְּדִיל וַיַּעֲבֹר׃
Raḥamana,
idkar lan qeyamohun d-Leä rabta ud-Raḥēl zeŋérta,
bedil va-yaŋaḇor.
Motherly One,
remember for us the covenant with Leah the elder and Rachel the younger,
for the sake of the Verses of the Thirteen Attributes.

רַֽחֲמָנָא
אִדְכַּר לָן זְכוּתַהּ דְּסֶרַח חַכִּימָתָא.
בְּדִיל וַיַּעֲבֹר׃
Raḥamana,
idkar lan zekhutah d-Séraḥ ḥakimata,
bedil va-yaŋaḇor.
Motherly One,
remember for us the merit of Serach the wise woman,
for the sake of the Verses of the Thirteen Attributes.

רַֽחֲמָנָא
אִדְכַּר לָן זְכוּתַהּ דְּמִרְיָם נְבִיאֲתָא.
בְּדִיל וַיַּעֲבֹר׃
Raḥamana,
idkar lan zekhutah d-Miryam nebiata,
bedil va-yaŋaḇor.
Motherly One,
remember for us the merit of Miriam the prophetess,
for the sake of the Verses of the Thirteen Attributes.

רַֽחֲמָנָא
אִדְכַּר לָן זְכוּתַהּ דִּדְבוֹרָה דַיְנָא.
בְּדִיל וַיַּעֲבֹר׃
Raḥamana,
idkar lan zekhutah di-Debora dayna,
bedil va-yaŋaḇor.
Motherly One,
remember for us the merit of Deborah the judge,
for the sake of the Verses of the Thirteen Attributes.

רַֽחֲמָנָא
אִדְכַּר לָן זְכוּתַהּ דְּרוּת מְהֵימַנְתָּא.
בְּדִיל וַיַּעֲבֹר׃
Raḥamana,
idkar lan zekhutah d-Rut mehēmanta,
bedil va-yaŋaḇor.
Motherly One,
remember for us the merit of Ruth the faithful,
for the sake of the Verses of the Thirteen Attributes.

רַֽחֲמָנָא
אִדְכַּר לָן זְכוּתַהּ דְּחַנָּה מְצַלְיָא.
בְּדִיל וַיַּעֲבֹר׃
Raḥamana,
idkar lan zekhutah d-Ḥanna meṣalya,
bedil va-yaŋaḇor.
Motherly One,
remember for us the merit of Hannah the praying one,
for the sake of the Verses of the Thirteen Attributes.

רַֽחֲמָנָא
אִדְכַּר לָן זְכוּתַהּ דְאֶסְתֵּר מַלְכְּתָא.
בְּדִיל וַיַּעֲבֹר׃
Raḥamana,
idkar lan zekhutah d-Éstēr malketa,
bedil va-yaŋaḇor.
Motherly One,
remember for us the merit of Esther the queen,
for the sake of the Verses of the Thirteen Attributes.

רַֽחֲמָנָא
פְּתַח שְׁמַיָּא לִצְלוֹתִין,
בְּדִיל וַיַּעֲבֹר
Raḥamana,
petaḥ shemayya liṣlotin,
bedil va-yaŋaḇor.
Motherly One,
open heaven to our prayers,
for the sake of the Verses of the Thirteen Attributes.

רַֽחֲמָנָא
צְלוֹתַנָֽא קַבֵּל בְּרַֽעֲוָא,
בְּדִיל וַיַּעֲבֹר
Raḥamana,
ṣelotana qabēl be-raŋava,
bedil va-yaŋaḇor.
Motherly One,
may our prayers be received willingly,
for the sake of the Verses of the Thirteen Attributes.

רַֽחֲמָנָא
שַׁתָּא טַֽבְתָּא אַיְתִי עֲלַן,
בְּדִיל וַיַּעֲבֹר
Raḥamana,
shatta ṭaḇta ayti ŋalan,
bedil va-yaŋaḇor.
Motherly One,
let us have a good year,
for the sake of the Verses of the Thirteen Attributes.

רַֽחֲמָנָא
תּוּב מֵרֻגְזָךְ,
בְּדִיל וַיַּעֲבֹר
Raḥamana,
tub mē-rugzakh,
bedil va-yaŋaḇor.
Motherly One,
turn back from your anger,
for the sake of the Verses of the Thirteen Attributes.

רַֽחֲמָנָא
וְלָא נֶהְדָּר רֵיקָם מִן־קַמָּךְ,
בְּדִיל וַיַּעֲבֹר
Raḥamana,
v-la néhdar rēqam min qamakh,
bedil va-yaŋaḇor.
Motherly One,
that we may not return empty-handed from Your presence,
for the sake of the Verses of the Thirteen Attributes.

This is a modern piyyut inspired by a traditional piyyut by an unknown author.

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