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אָמוֹן יוֹם זֶה | Amon Yom Zeh, an introduction to the Azharot of ibn Gabirol by David ben Elazar ibn Paquda (ca. 12th c.)

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

אָמוֹן יוֹם זֶה נָֽחֲלוּ עַם זֶה
עַל יַד חוֹזֶה אִישׁ הָֽאֱלֹהִים׃
Truly this day did this people inherit,
at the hand of the seer, the man of Elohim.[1]i.e. Mosheh, viz Deuteronomy 33:1.

נוֹטֶה עֲלִיָּה וְיוֹסֵד נְשִׁיָּה
לְךָ דֻֽמִיָּה תְּהִלָּה אֱלֹהִים׃
Unto you who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth;
unto you, Elohim! praise is due.

יוֹם נִגְלֵֽיתָה וְדָת הוֹרֵֽיתָ
מְאֹד נַעֲלֵֽיתָ עַל כׇּל־אֱלֹהִים׃
On the day that you revealed yourself, and taught us your Instruction,
you were greatly exalted above all deities!

דְּבַר אֵל שָֽׁמְעוּ עַם נוֹשָֽׁעוּ
וְחָלֽוּ וְזָֽעוּ מִפְּנֵי אֱלֹהִים׃
The decree of El they heard, the people were saved
and they trembled and shook before you, Elohim.

וְהִפְלִיא עֵצָה גְּדוֹל הָֽעֵצָה
לְעָם חֵן מָצָא בְּעֵינֵי אֱלֹהִים׃
The Master Planner[2]Jeremiah 32:19. alternately, “Great in Plans.” gave excellent council
to a people who found grace in your sight, Elohim!

יְקָרָה נְעִימָה תּוֹרָה תְּמִימָה
לְהַנְחִיל אֲיוּמָּה בָּא הָֽאֱלֹהִים׃
Precious and pleasant — the perfect Torah
you came to bestow upon your people, Elohim!

דָּת הֽוֹדִיעָם וְקוֹל הִשְׁמִיעָם
רְאוּ הֲשָֽׁמַע עָם קוֹל אֱלֹהִים׃
Your edict announced and your voice heard:
“Had ever a people heard the voice of Elohim?”

בְּאָזְנֵי הֲמוֹנַי דִּבֵּר בְּסִינַי
הֲלֹא אֲנִי יְיָ וְאֵין עוֹד אֱלֹהִים׃
In the ears of the multitude proclaimed on Sinai,
“Surely I am YHVH, and beside me there is no deity.”

נְטֹשׁ זָר וּפִסְלוֹ וְצֵא תֹּֽאמַר לוֹ
הֲיַֽעֲשֶׂה לּוֹ אָדָם אֱלֹהִים׃
Reject the strange [deity] and their image, and go forth and say:
“Can a person make for themselves a deity?”

אֶת שֵׁם הָאֵל לַשָּׁוְא אַל תּוֹאֵל
כִּי עַל כׇּל־אֵל גָּדוֹל אֱלֹהִים׃
Swear not by the name of El falsely:
for El is exalted above all deities.

לְכַבֵּד שַׁבָּת רוּץ נָא בְחִבַּת
כִּי בוֹ שָׁבַת וַיְכַל אֱלֹהִים׃
Hasten with delight to honour the Shabbat,
for thereon Elohim rested and ended the work of creation.

עַנֵּג אֽוֹמְנִים בְּטוּב מַֽעֲדַנִּים
וְתַֽאֲרִיךְ שָׁנִים לִפְנֵי אֱלֹהִים׃
Cherish your parents with choice tenderness,
that your years may be prolonged before Elohim.

זְרֵה שֽׁוֹפְכֵי דָם וְאַל תְּהִי בְסוֹדָם
כִּי הָֽאָדָם בְּצֶֽלֶם אֱלֹהִים׃
Cast out those who shed blood, and join not their counsel;
for the Earthling is formed b’tselem Elohim.

רַחֵק זִמָּה וּמֹֽאזְנֵי מִרְמָה
פֶּן בְּאַף וְחֵמָה יִפְקֹד אֱלֹהִים׃
Remove far from you lewdness and dishonest business,[3]Proverbs 20:23, alternately “false dealings.”
lest with wrath and indignation Elohim visit you.

בְּרֵֽעֲךָ לֹא תֵֽעֲנֶה שָׁוְא כְּמִתְאַנֶּה
כִּי שֵׁשׁ שָׂנֵא יְיָ אֱלֹהִים׃
Bear not false witness against your neighbour, nor seek strife with them;
for that is one of the six abominations according to YHVH Elohim.

קִנְיַן אָח לֹא תַחְמוֹד גַּם לֹא
תִּתְאָו אֲשֶׁר לוֹ נָתַן אֱלֹהִים׃
Covet not your neighbour’s possession, nor
desire that which he Elohim has given him.

וְהָעָם חָֽרְדוּ וְתָֽמְהוּ וּפָֽחֲדוּ
וַיַּגִּֽידוּ פּֽוֹעַל אֱלֹהִים׃
And the people shook and trembled and were afraid,
and they recounted the wondrous works of Elohim.

דִּבְּרוּ בְכֹֽשֶׁר נְדִֽיבֵי־יֽוֹשֶׁר
נַעֲשֶׂה כׇל־אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֱלֹהִים׃
Rightly proclaimed, then, those already upright:
“We will do all that Elohim has commanded.”

הֲמֽוֹנֵי עַם זוּ בְּדָת אֵל שִׂמְחוּ
עִלְזוּ לְכוּ חֲזוּ מִפְעֲלוֹת אֱלֹהִים׃
Exult ye multitude of this People;[4]A nickname specifically for Yisrael, from Exodus 19:13-16 and Isaiah 43:21. A people one can point out, as with a finger. –Jacob Chatinover in the edict of El, rejoice!
and go and behold the wonderful works of Elohim.

חַי גּֽוֹאֲלֵנוּ זְקֹף יָדֵֽינוּ
וְחִישׁ הַרְאֵֽנוּ בְּיֵֽשַׁע אֱלֹהִים׃
And you, our living Redeemer! exalt our power:
and quickly show us the salvation of the Elohim!

This translation of David ben Elazar ibn Paquda’s introduction to ibn Gabirol’s Azharot was adapted from that of Hakham Rabbi Moses Gaster’s translation appearing in his maḥzor for Pesaḥ and Shavuout, Seder haTefilot vol. 5 (1906). Mainly I wanted a simpler translation that hewed more closely to the text. Many thanks to Javob Chatinover for looking over my work and adding notes and citation references. –Aharon Varady

David ben Elazar ibn Paquda’s authorship can be found in his signature acrostic.

Source(s)

 


 

Notes   [ + ]

  1. i.e. Mosheh, viz Deuteronomy 33:1.
  2. Jeremiah 32:19. alternately, “Great in Plans.”
  3. Proverbs 20:23, alternately “false dealings.”
  4. A nickname specifically for Yisrael, from Exodus 19:13-16 and Isaiah 43:21. A people one can point out, as with a finger. –Jacob Chatinover

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