אל רם חסין יה | El Ram Ḥasin Yah, a piyyut for Sukkot by Shlomo haPaytan (egal adaptation by Noam Sienna, 2012)

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English) Amendation (Hebrew)

אֵל רָם חֲסִין יָהּ
שׁוֹכֵן עֲלִיָּה
מַהֵרָה גוֹאֵל
לְעַם שִׁבְטֵי יָהּ
G!d on high, mighty Yah,
Who dwells above[1]Cf. Psalms 89:9
Quickly redeem
Your people, the tribes of Yah[2]Cf. Psalms 122:4


אֵל נִשָּׂא וָרָם
גַּלֵּה קֵץ נֶעְלָם
לִבְנֵי אַבְרָהָם
עַם בָּחַר לוֹ יָהּ
Exalted G!d on high,[3]Cf. Isaiah 6:1
Reveal the hidden end
To the children of Avraham,
The people chosen by Yah[4]Cf. Psalms 135:4

To the seekers of unity,
Give loyalty
As there was for Ruth
The Moabite[5]Ruth 1:18, Ruth 2:2

לְדוֹרְשֵׁי אַחְדוּת
תֵּן נֶאֱמָנוּת
כְּהָיְתָה לְרוּת
הַמּוֹאֲבִיָּה

שׁוֹכֵן בַּשַּׁחַק
מֵהֶם אַל תִּרְחַק
לְזֶרַע יִצְחָק
הוֹצֵא לִרְוָיָה
The One who dwells in cloud,
Do not distance from them
The seed of Yitsḥak,[6]Cf. Mekhilta de Rebbe Shimon bar Yokhai, ch. 15: “אבל אנו עמך ונחלתך וצאן מרעיתך בני אברהם אוהבך זרע יצחק יחידך משפחת יעקב בכורך”
Brought out into abundance[7]Cf. Psalms 66:12

Listen to her voice,
The mother, the mistress[8]Genesis 16:9
And she laughed, Sarah[9]Genesis 18:12
Who was remembered by Yah[10]Genesis 21:1

שְׁמַע בְּקֹלָהּ
הָאֵם הַגְּבִירָה
וַתִּצְחַק שָׂרָה
אֵַשֶׁר פָּקָד יָהּ

לְעִיר תִּפְאַרְתָּךְ
קְַבֵּץ עֲדָתָךְ
לִבְנֵי יַעֲקֹב
שְׁלַח אֵלִיָּה
To the city of your glory
Gather your nation
To the children of Ya’akov
Send Eliyah[11]Cf. Malakhi 3:23

Answer your people
When we cry out to You
Rivka did so,
She went out to seek Yah[12]Genesis 25:22

תַּשִׁיב לְעַמָּךְ
בְּקָרְאֵנוּ לָךְ
כֵּן עָשְׂתָה רִבְקָה
הִיא דּוֹרֶשֶׁת יָהּ

מִקְדַּשׁ הֲדוֹמָךְ
יְָשִׁיר בּוֹ עַמָּךְ
בְּשִׁירַת מֹשֶׁה
נָבִיא בְּחִיר יָהּ
In your holy Resting-place
Your people will sing[13]Cf. Isaiah 66:1, 1 Chronicles 28:2
The song of Moshe
The prophet chosen by Yah[14]Cf. Shir HaShirim Rabba 1:11

She watched the river,[15]Exodus 2:4
She saw the sea split
We will sing with her
Miryam the prophet of Yah[16]Exodus 15:20

מֵי נָהָר שָׁמְרָה
קְרִיאָת סוּף רָאָתָה
עִמָּהּ נָשִׁירָה
מִרְיָם נְּבִיאָת יָהּ

הָרֵם עַם אֶבְיוֹן
וּבְנֵה אַפִּרְיוֹן
לְגֶזַע אַהֲרֹן
יַקְרִיבוּ לְיָהּ
Raise up an impoverished people,
And build a canopy[17]Cf. Song of Songs 3:9, Shir HaShirim Rabba 3:1
For the family of Aharon,
Who will sacrifice to Yah

For our enemies, remember
You will deliver them to a woman[18]Judges 4:9
Devorah, burning
Like a fiery torch of Yah[19]Judges 4:4

לְאוֹיבֵנוּ זְכֹר
בְּיַד אִשָּׁה תִּמְכֹּר
דְּבוֹרָה בּוֹעֶרֶת
כְּלַפִּידָת יָהּ

חַזֵּק וְאַסֵּף
לְבֵית יוֹסֵף
יִרְבּוּ וְיִפְרוּ
כְּגֶפֶן פּוֹרִיָה
Strengthen and increase
The house of Yosef[20]Cf. Zechariah 10:6
Let them multiply
Like a fruitful vine[21]Cf. Psalms 128:3

Give strength in Your glory
So that we can say in justice
That she was right, Tamar,[22]Genesis 38:26
The mother of the anointed of Yah [23]Genesis 38:29-30; Ruth 4:18-22

עֻזָּה בֶּהָדָר
בְּצֶדֶק נֹאמַר
כִּי צָדְקָה תָּמָר
אֵם מְשִׁיחַ יָהּ

אַמֵּץ בֶּן דָּוִד
וְיִשְׁפֹּט תָּמִיד
כָּל צַר תַּשְׁמִיד
גָּרֵשׁ מֵעִיר יָהּ
Give courage to the son of David
That he might eternally judge
Destroy all trouble
Banish it from the city of Yah

Grant peace to Your walls
Redeem Your city
According to the tears of Raḥel [24]Jeremiah 31:15
And the Shekhina of Yah

תֵּן שָׁלוֹם בְּחֵיל
לְעִירָךְ גּוֹאֵל
עַל דִּמְעָת רָחֵל
וּשְׁכִינַת יָהּ

This is one of my favourite Sukkot piyyutim, not least because of the wonderful and easily singable call-and-response melody! The seven verses each highlight one of the seven traditional ushpizin [mythic guests], and a few years ago [in 2012] I wrote an additional seven verses for the seven female ushpizata according to the order of Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org).

The original lyrics for El Ram Ḥasin Yah, and a recording of the traditional melody, can be found at the Piyut archive hosted by the National Library of Israel.

Notes   [ + ]

  1. Cf. Psalms 89:9
  2. Cf. Psalms 122:4
  3. Cf. Isaiah 6:1
  4. Cf. Psalms 135:4
  5. Ruth 1:18, Ruth 2:2
  6. Cf. Mekhilta de Rebbe Shimon bar Yokhai, ch. 15: “אבל אנו עמך ונחלתך וצאן מרעיתך בני אברהם אוהבך זרע יצחק יחידך משפחת יעקב בכורך”
  7. Cf. Psalms 66:12
  8. Genesis 16:9
  9. Genesis 18:12
  10. Genesis 21:1
  11. Cf. Malakhi 3:23
  12. Genesis 25:22
  13. Cf. Isaiah 66:1, 1 Chronicles 28:2
  14. Cf. Shir HaShirim Rabba 1:11
  15. Exodus 2:4
  16. Exodus 15:20
  17. Cf. Song of Songs 3:9, Shir HaShirim Rabba 3:1
  18. Judges 4:9
  19. Judges 4:4
  20. Cf. Zechariah 10:6
  21. Cf. Psalms 128:3
  22. Genesis 38:26
  23. Genesis 38:29-30; Ruth 4:18-22
  24. Jeremiah 31:15

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