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יְדִיד נֶפֶשׁ | Yedid Nefesh, translation by Rabbi Sam Seicol


יְדִיד נֶֽפֶשׁ אָב הָרַחֲמָן,
מְשׁוֹךְ עַבְדְּךְ אֶל־רְצוֹנֶֽךָ,
יָרוּץ עַבְדְּךָ כְּמוֹ אַיָּל,
יִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה אֶל מוּל הֲדָרֶֽךָ,
יֶעֱרַב לוֹ יְדִידוּתֶֽיךָ,
מִנֹּֽפֶת צוּף וְכׇל־טָֽעַם׃
י Beloved of the soul, Source of Compassion,
draw your servant to your Will;
then your servant will hurry like a deer
to bow before your majesty;
Your friendship will be sweeter
than the dripping of the honeycomb and any taste.

הָדוּר נָאֶה זִיו הָעוֹלָם,
נַפְשִׁי חוֹלַת אַהֲבָתֶֽךָ,
אָנָּא אֵל־נָא רְפָא נָא לָהּ,
בְּהַרְאוֹת לָהּ נֹֽעַם זִיוֶֽךָ,
אָז תִּתְחַזֵּק וְתִתְרַפֵּא,
וְהָֽיְתָה לָּהּ שִׂמְחַת עוֹלָם׃
ה Majestic, Beautiful, Radiance of the Universe,
my soul pines for your love.
Please, O God, please heal her now[1] cf. Numbers 12:13. 
by showing her the pleasantness of your radiance;
then she will be strengthened and healed,
and eternal gladness will be hers.

וָתִיק יֶהֱמוּ נָא רַחֲמֶֽיךָ,
וְחוּסָה נָּא עַל בֵּן אֲהוּבֶֽךָ,
כִּי־זֶה כַּמָּה נִכְסוֹף נִכְסַֽף,
לִרְאוֹת בְּתִפְאֶֽרֶת עֻזֶּֽךָ,
אָנָּא אֵלִי חֶמְדַּת לִבִּי,
חֽוּסָה נָּא וְאַל תִּתְעַלָּם׃
ו Enduring One, may your mercy be aroused
and please take pity on the son of your beloved,
because it is so very long that I have yearned intensely
to speedily perceive the splendor of your strength;
only these my heart desired,
so please take pity and do not conceal yourself.

הִגָּלֶה נָא וּפְרוֹשׂ חָבִיב עָלַי
אֶת־סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמֶֽךָ,
תָּאִיר אֶֽרֶץ מִכְּבוֹדֶֽךָ,
נָגִֽילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה בָּךְ,
מַהֵר אָהוּב כִּי בָא מוֹעֵד,
וְחָנֵּֽנוּ כִּימֵי עוֹלָם׃
ה Please, my Beloved, reveal yourself
and spread upon me the shelter of your peace;
illuminate the earth with your glory,
that we may rejoice and be glad with you;
hasten, show love, for the time has come.
Let your gentle favor grace us as in olden days.

Yedid Nefesh is a piyyut of uncertain authorship. Rabbi Elazar Moshe Azikri (1533-1600) included the piyyut in his Sefer Haḥaredim (1588). (The images below are of pages with Yedid Nefesh handwritten by Azikri.) A version of the piyyut “with noteworthy text, spelling and pointing”[2] Stefan C. Reif, The Hebrew Manuscripts at Cambridge University Libraries: A Description and Introduction Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997, page 93.  may be found on folio 146 (verso) of Samuel b. David b. Solomon’s Commentary On the Book of Numbers (ca. 1437 CE). Presumably, this text was added to the 15th century manuscript sometime in the 17th century after the popularization of Yedid Nefesh. The piyyut has since appeared with a number of variations in various siddurim.

The variation and translation of Yedid Nefesh here can be found in Siddur on the Hill for Friday Night (Ḥavurah on the Hill/Vilna Shul, Boston, 2010).

Source(s)

Notes

1 cf. Numbers 12:13.
2 Stefan C. Reif, The Hebrew Manuscripts at Cambridge University Libraries: A Description and Introduction Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997, page 93.

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