יוֹם זֶה לְכׇל דוֹרוֹת | Yom Zeh l’Khol Dorot, a piyyut for Pesaḥ Sheni by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

יוֹם זֶה לְכׇל דוֹרוֹת בְּחֹדֶשׁ ‎‎זִיו וְאוֹר;
יֻחַד כְּחָג שֶׁנִי בִּשְׁבִיל אֶפְשָׁר לִזְכּוֹר!
This day for all generations, in the month of shining light[1]Ziv – Biblical name for the month of Iyyar. See I Kings 6:1 
Designated for a second festival so it can be remembered.

צַדִּיקֵי הָאֲנַשִׁים טֻמְּאוּ בִּשְׁבִיל נָבוֹן.
(צָפוּ כׇּל עַצְמוֹתָיו כִּי אִתָּם פָּקַד לִטְמוֹן.)
צָרְפוּ אַחַר חֲצוֹת, אַךְ יֵשׁ לָהֶם רָצוֹן –
צֶדֶק בְּעֵינֵיהֶם אֶת חָג לָאֵל לִשְׁמוֹר!

יוֹם זֶה…

The righteous of the people were impure for the sake of the intelligent one[2]Namely, Joseph. Sukkah 25b records a tradition that the men in the Numbers 9 passage were carrying his coffin. 
(As all his bones floated up,[3]A tradition in the Mekhilta d’Rabbi Yishmael 13:19 and Sotah 13a records that Joseph’s coffin was made of metal, and sunk in the Nile, but when Moses reminded him that the time to fulfill the oath of Genesis 50:25 had arrived, the coffin floated up to the top of the river. since with them he swore to be buried)
They were purified after midnight,[4]By which point one is no longer allowed to consume the Pesaḥ sacrifice but they still have a desire –
Righteous in their eyes to observe the festival of God!

This day…


חָנוּן בְּרֹב חַסְדּוֹ יָעַד לָהֶם מֹעֵד;
חָגִיגָה לְכׇל הָיָה טָמֵא לְהִוָּעֵד,
חוֹזֵר אִם בָּרָחוֹק כׇּל אִישׁ יָעִיד בָּעֵד,
חוֹק לְעֹלָם וָעֶד, מִכָּרֵת אֵל יִפְטֹר!

יוֹם זֶה…

The Merciful, in great lovingkindness, set for them a time
A small festival, for all who were impure, to be designated
Returning, if far away, every man will testify as a witness
A law forever and ever, from being cut off God will exempt![5]See the Mishnah, Pesaḥim 9:1

This day…


קָרֵב הַיּוֹם הָהוּא, בְּאֶרֶץ קׇדְשְׁךָ,
קׇרְבָּנְךָ יֻקְרַב, בְּמַעֲמָדְךָ!
קָרָא לְאִישׁ אָמַר, ”עִמְדוּ וְאֶשְׁמְעָה“–
”דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר׃“

יוֹם זֶה…

It draws near – that day, in the land of Your holiness,
Your offering we will offer, in Your presence!
Who called to the man[6]Moses, in the original source for Pesaḥ Sheni – Numbers 9:8 that said, “Stand, and let me listen” –
“Speak to the children of Israel and say…”[7]Numbers 9:10 – the introduction to the laws of Pesaḥ Sheni

This day…


A piyyut for an under-recognized holiday, Pesaḥ Sheni, the festival of second chances (as described in Numbers 9:6-13 and Mishnah Pesaḥim 9:1-3. I attempted to write this in the manner of a traditional piyyut. The meter is equivalent to the Shabbat zamir “Ot Hi l’Olmei Ad.” The Hebrew spells out Yod – Tzadi – Ḥet – Kuf, because that’s my name. The translation is original, along with the notes.

Notes   [ + ]

  1. Ziv – Biblical name for the month of Iyyar. See I Kings 6:1
  2. Namely, Joseph. Sukkah 25b records a tradition that the men in the Numbers 9 passage were carrying his coffin.
  3. A tradition in the Mekhilta d’Rabbi Yishmael 13:19 and Sotah 13a records that Joseph’s coffin was made of metal, and sunk in the Nile, but when Moses reminded him that the time to fulfill the oath of Genesis 50:25 had arrived, the coffin floated up to the top of the river.
  4. By which point one is no longer allowed to consume the Pesaḥ sacrifice
  5. See the Mishnah, Pesaḥim 9:1
  6. Moses, in the original source for Pesaḥ Sheni – Numbers 9:8
  7. Numbers 9:10 – the introduction to the laws of Pesaḥ Sheni

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