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אוֹרָה הִיא | Orah Hee (She is light), a piyyut by Rabbi Jill Hammer (2008)

https://opensiddur.org/?p=43857 אוֹרָה הִיא | Orah Hee (She is light), a piyyut by Rabbi Jill Hammer (2008) 2022-04-12 01:18:56 "Orah hee" was composed by Rabbi Jill Hammer in 2008 and first published at <a href="http://telshemesh.org/nisan/orah_hi_a_new_passover_hymn.html">Tel Shemesh</a> in romanized Hebrew and English translation. Text the Open Siddur Project Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Rabbi Jill Hammer, Ph.D. https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Aharon N. Varady (transcription) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Nirtsah 21st century C.E. 58th century A.M. Alphabetic Acrostic Divine Feminine אדיר הוא Adir Hu acrostic פיוטים piyyutim
Source (Hebrew) Translation (English) Transliteration (Romanized Hebrew)
אוֹרָה הִיא, אוֹרָה הִיא
תִּבְנֶה בֵיתָה בְּקָרוֹב
בִּמְהֵרָה בִּמְהֵרָה
בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב
אֵלָה בְּנִי, אֵלָה בְּנִי
בְּנִי בֵיתֵךְ בְּקָרוֹב
She is light, She is light.  
may She build her house
soon, soon,
speedily and in our days.
Elah, build your house soon —
close to us in time and space.
orah hee, orah hee,  
tivneh veitah beqarov,
bimheira, bimheira,
beyameinu beqarov,
Elah b’ni, Elah b’ni,
b’ni veiteikh beqarov.
בִּינָה הִיא,
גִּילָה הִיא,
דִּמְעָה הִיא
תִּבְנֵי בֵיתָה בְּקָרוֹב
בִּמְהֵרָה בִּמְהֵרָה
בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב
אֵלָה בְּנִי, אֵלָה בְּנִי
בְּנִי בֵיתֵךְ בְּקָרוֹב
She is wisdom,  
She is joy,  
She is tears.  
may She build her house
soon, soon,
speedily and in our days.
Elah, build your house soon —
close to us in time and space.
binah hee,  
gilah hee,  
dimah hee,  
tivnei veitah beqarov,
bimheira, bimheira,
beyameinu beqarov,
Elah b’ni, Elah b’ni,
b’ni veiteikh beqarov.
הָדָר הִיא,
וֶרֶד הִיא,
זֶרֶם הִיא
תִּבְנֵי בֵיתָה בְּקָרוֹב
בִּמְהֵרָה בִּמְהֵרָה
בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב
אֵלָה בְּנִי, אֵלָה בְּנִי
בְּנִי בֵיתֵךְ בְּקָרוֹב
She is splendor,
She is a rose,
She is a flowing stream.  
may She build her house
soon, soon,
speedily and in our days.
Elah, build your house soon —
close to us in time and space.
hadar hee,  
vered hee,  
zerem hee,  
tivnei veitah beqarov,
bimheira, bimheira,
beyameinu beqarov,
Elah b’ni, Elah b’ni,
b’ni veiteikh beqarov.
חִדּוּשׁ הִיא,
טַבּוּר הִיא,
יִחוּד הִיא
תִּבְנֵי בֵיתָה בְּקָרוֹב
בִּמְהֵרָה בִּמְהֵרָה
בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב
אֵלָה בְּנִי, אֵלָה בְּנִי
בְּנִי בֵיתֵךְ בְּקָרוֹב
She is renewal,  
She is the center,  
She is oneness.  
may She build her house
soon, soon,
speedily and in our days.
Elah, build your house soon —
close to us in time and space.
ḥiddush hee,  
tibur hee,  
yiḥud hee,  
tivnei veitah beqarov,
bimheira, bimheira,
beyameinu beqarov,
Elah b’ni, Elah b’ni,
b’ni veiteikh beqarov.
כֵּסֶה הִיא,
לֵדָה הִיא,
מַעְיָן הִיא
תִּבְנֵי בֵיתָה בְּקָרוֹב
בִּמְהֵרָה בִּמְהֵרָה
בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב
אֵלָה בְּנִי, אֵלָה בְּנִי
בְּנִי בֵיתֵךְ בְּקָרוֹב
She is the full moon,[1] Cf. Psalms 81:4.   
She is birth,  
She is the fountain-source.  
may She build her house
soon, soon,
speedily and in our days.
Elah, build your house soon —
close to us in time and space.
keseh hee,  
leidah hee,  
ma’yan hee,  
tivnei veitah beqarov,
bimheira, bimheira,
beyameinu beqarov,
Elah b’ni, Elah b’ni,
b’ni veiteikh beqarov.
נֶחָמָה הִיא,
סְלִיחָה הִיא,
עָצְמָה הִיא
תִּבְנֵי בֵיתָה בְּקָרוֹב
בִּמְהֵרָה בִּמְהֵרָה
בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב
אֵלָה בְּנִי, אֵלָה בְּנִי
בְּנִי בֵיתֵךְ בְּקָרוֹב
She is comfort,  
She is forgiveness,  
She is strength.  
may She build her house
soon, soon,
speedily and in our days.
Elah, build your house soon —
close to us in time and space.
neḥamah hee,  
seliḥah hee,  
otsmah hee,  
tivnei veitah beqarov,
bimheira, bimheira,
beyameinu beqarov,
Elah b’ni, Elah b’ni,
b’ni veiteikh beqarov.
פִּדְיוֹן הִיא,
צֶדֶק הִיא,
קֹדֶשׁ הִיא
תִּבְנֵי בֵיתָה בְּקָרוֹב
בִּמְהֵרָה בִּמְהֵרָה
בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב
אֵלָה בְּנִי, אֵלָה בְּנִי
בְּנִי בֵיתֵךְ בְּקָרוֹב
She is redemption,  
She is righteousness,  
She is holiness.  
may She build her house
soon, soon,
speedily and in our days.
Elah, build your house soon —
close to us in time and space.
pidyon hee,  
tsedeq hee,  
ḳodesh hee,  
tivnei veitah beqarov,
bimheira, bimheira,
beyameinu beqarov,
Elah b’ni, Elah b’ni,
b’ni veiteikh beqarov.
רַעְיָה הִיא,
שׁוֹנָה הִיא,
תַּמָּה הִיא
תִּבְנֵי בֵיתָה בְּקָרוֹב
בִּמְהֵרָה בִּמְהֵרָה
בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב
אֵלָה בְּנִי, אֵלָה בְּנִי
בְּנִי בֵיתֵךְ בְּקָרוֹב
She is a beloved companion,  
She is always changing,  
She is complete and perfect.  
may She build her house
soon, soon,
speedily and in our days.
Elah, build your house soon —
close to us in time and space.
ra’yah hee,  
shonah hee,  
tamah hee,  
tivnei veitah beqarov,
bimheira, bimheira,
beyameinu beqarov,
Elah b’ni, Elah b’ni,
b’ni veiteikh beqarov.

“Orah hee” was composed by Rabbi Jill Hammer in 2008 and first published at Tel Shemesh in romanized Hebrew and English translation. The piyyut celebrates the Divine Feminine and is patterned after the popular piyyut “Adir Hu.” Rabbi Hammer writes,

This song, “Orah Hi,” patterns itself after the traditional Passover closing song “Adir Hu,” which is an acrostic poem listing God’s many qualities of power, righteousness, oneness, sovereignty, and kindness. “Adir Hu” means “He is mighty.” The traditional song speaks of God in majestic terms, celebrating God’s power as part of the telling of the story of Passover, and praying for the rebuilding of the Temple.

This alternative version is written in the feminine. Like “Adir Hu,” it is a Hebrew acrostic, and it can be sung to the traditional melody. Almost all of its images come from the Bible, from rabbinic literature, and from Jewish mysticism. Yet this song does not dwell on God’s power and distance. Rather, it emphasizes God’s sharing in human joys and griefs, and God’s ability to renew life through the strength of the earth. These are traits that many modern Jews have chosen to ascribe to the Divine as they seek their own ways of understanding God as immanent, earthy and embodied. In this version, we can imagine God’s house as our entire world infused with the Shekhinah, the indwelling Presence. Singing Adir Hu and Orah Hi together creates a fuller picture of the Divine and the human.

We have added the full text in pointed Hebrew. –Aharon Varady

Recordings

 

Notes

Notes
1 Cf. Psalms 81:4.

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