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אוֹדֶה לָאֵל | Odeh la’El, a morning piyyut by Rabbi Shamayah Ḳosson (ca. 16th c.)

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

אוֹדֶה לָאֵל
לֵבָב חוֹקֵר
בְּרָן־יַֽחַד כּוֹכְבֵי בֹֽקֶר
I thank El
who probes the heart –
As stars, in unison,
sing praise the morning.[1]cf. Iyyoṿ 38:7.

שִֽׂימוּ לֵב עַל־הַנְּשָׁמָה
לֶֽשֶׁם שְׁבוֹ וְאַֽחְלָמָה
וְאוֹרָהּ כְּאוֹר הַחַמָּה
שִׁבְעָתַֽיִם כְּאוֹר־בֹּֽקֶר
Pay heed to the soul;
As precious as jacinth, agate and amethyst.
As bright as is the sun’s glow,
seven-fold brighter[2]cf. Shəmoṭ 28:19. than the morning!

מִכִּסֵּא כָבוֹד חֻצָּבָה
לָגוּר בְּאֶֽרֶץ עֲרָבָה
לְהַצִילָהּ מִלֶּהָבָה
וּלְהָאִירָהּ לִפְנוֹת־בֹּֽקֶר
It is hewn from Their throne,
In the wilderness it dwells.
Seeking deliverance from burning flames–
Illuminating the way toward morning.

עוּרוּ נָא־כִּי בְכָל לַֽיְלָה
נִשְׁמַתְכֶם עוֹלָה לְמַעְלָה
לָתֵת דִּין חֶשְׁבּוֹן מִפְעָלָהּ
לְיוֹצֵר עֶֽרֶב וָבֹֽקֶר
Arise each night;
As your soul ascends on high,
accounting for its deeds,
before the Maker of night and morning.

יִמְצָאֽוּהָ מְטֻנֶֽפֶת
בַּֽעֲוֹנוֹת וּבְתוֹסֶֽפֶת
כְּמוֹ שִׁפְחָה נֶֽחֱרֶֽפֶת
תָּמִיד בַּבֹּֽקֶר בַּבֹּֽקֶר
If it is found tainted,
with sins and wrongs;
It is like a maiden disgraced.
Each day, morning after morning.

יִמְצָאֽוּהָ מְקֻדֶֽשֶׁת
בְּזָכִיוֹת בְּמִצְוֹת
כְּמוֹ כַּלָּה מְקֻשֶֽׁטֶת
תָּמִיד בַּבֹּֽקֶר בַּבֹּֽקֶר
If it is found sanctified,
with mitsvoṭ and merits;
It is like a bride adorned.
Each day, morning after morning.

הַנֶּֽאֱמָן בְּפִקְדוֹנוֹ
יַֽחֲזִירֶֽנָּה לוֹ כִּרְצוֹנוֹ
אִישׁ לֹא גָוַע בַּֽעֲוֹנוֹ
וַֽיְהִי־עֶֽרֶב וַֽיְהִי־בֹֽקֶר
They is a faithful guardian,
who willingly returns the deposit.
No one need die for one’s sin,
in the night before the morning.

קֽוּמוּ כִּי־לֹא־זֹאת הַמְּנוּחָה
מִדַּת רַֽחֲמִים מְתוּחָה
שֽׁוּבוּ כִּי יָדוֹ פְתוּחָה
לְכָל־מַשְׁכִּימֵי בַבֹּֽקֶר
Rise up! This is not the final rest–
for divine mercy has been extended.
Return, for Their hand is open,
to all who rise in the morning.

וְשֵׁנָה אַל תֶּֽאֱהָבוּ
לְהַקְדִישׁ לָאֵל אֱהָבוּ
הָבוּ לַיְיָ הָבוּ
כָּבוֹד וְהָיָה הַבֹּֽקֶר
Adore not sleep,
instead sanctify Them.
Ascribe unto Them, ascribe
kavod, and let there be morning!

סָלּוּהָ כְּמוֹ עֲרוּמִים
נֶֽפֶשׁ בְּהֵמוֹת נִרְדָּמִים
יַֽעַן לְמִשְׁטַח חֲרָמִים
לְסֵֽדֶר עוֹלַת הַבֹּֽקֶר
Sing of the soul, once bare,
While the animal spirit sleeps.
As a fisherman lays out the net,
prepare the prayerful offering of morning.

וְהַֽחֲיוּ הָֽעֲנִיָּה
יְחִידָה תַמָּה וּנְקִיָּה
וַֽאֲשֶר נַפְשׁוֹ לֹא חִיָּה
אֵיךְ יִזְכֶּה לְאוֹר הַבֹּֽקֶר
Let us revive the poor one;
An innocent and pure soul.
If the soul has not yet renewed,
How can it attain the light of the morning?

נֹֽעַם יְיָ לַֽחֲזוֹת
נִזְכֶּה וּבַשָּׁנָה הַזֹּאת
בִּשְׂמָחוֹת תַּֽחַת רְגָזוֹת
בֹּֽקֶר תִּשְׁמַע קוֹלִי־בֹּֽקֶר
May we merit,
This year to behold Their beauty!
In joy and not anger
Hear my voice in the morning.

“Odeh La-Él” sings to the waking soul, calling on it to return to the service of the Divine. Not much is known about the author, שמעיה קוסון (R’ Shamayah Ḳosson). He lived in the 16th century in Morocco. The poem gained widespread acceptance and has been popular among Israeli singers. It is unique since it is addressed to the soul rather than to the Divine.

Source(s)

 


 

Notes[ + ]

1.  cf. Iyyoṿ 38:7.
2.  cf. Shəmoṭ 28:19.

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