הברכה אהבת עולם | Ahavat Olam, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

אַהֲבַת עוֹלָם
אֲהַבְתָּֽנוּ
יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ
חֶמְלָה גְדוֹלָה וִיתֵרָה
חָמַֽלְתָּ עָלֵֽינוּ:
From ever
You have loved us into life.
Yah — our God,
You nourished us with kindness
And abundance.

אָבִֽינוּ מַלְכֵּֽנוּ
בַּעֲבוּר שִׁמְךָ הַגָּדוֹל
 
 
וּבַעֲבוּר אֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ שֶׁבָּטְחוּ בְךָ
וַתְּלַמְּדֵם
חֻקֵּי חַיִּים
לַעֲשׂוֹת רְצוֹנְךָ בְּלֵבָב שָׁלֵם
 
כֵּן תְּחָנֵּֽנוּ וּתְלַמְּדֵֽנוּ:
Holy One!
For the sake of Your plan,
For Your honor,
And because we know
That our parents trusted You,
And You, in turn, taught them
How to live life,
So as to be serving Your purpose,
We ask You to share with us
In the same way.

אָבִֽינוּ אָב הָרַחֲמָן
הַמְרַחֵם
רַחֵם עָלֵֽינוּ
וְתֵן בְּלִבֵּֽנוּ בִּינָה
לְהָבִין
וּלְהַשְׂכִּיל לִשְׁמֹֽעַ לִלְמוֹד וּלְלַמֵּד
לִשְׁמֹר וְלַעֲשׂוֹת וּלְקַיֵּם
אֶת כָּל דִּבְרֵי תַּלְמוּד תּוֹרָתֶֽךָ
בְּאַהֲבָה:
Our God, kind Parent,
We live in the embrace
Of Your caring.
Make ours an understanding heart,
To become aware
And be careful and effective
In this way, to make real
What You speak to us in Torah,
And with so much love.

וְהָאֵר עֵינֵֽינוּ
בְּתוֹרָתֶֽךָ
וְדַבֵּק לִבֵּֽנוּ
בְּמִצְוֺתֶֽיךָ
וְיַחֵד
לְבָבֵֽנוּ
When we study Torah,
May we see clearly
What is meant for us to know.
When we do Mitzvot,
May all our feelings
Sit harmonious in our heart.

לְאַהֲבָה וּלְיִרְאָה
אֶת שְׁמֶֽךָ,
Focus all our hearts’ longing
To that moment,
When we stand in Your Presence,
In both awe and adoration.

לְמַֽעַן לֹא נֵבוֹשׁ וְלֹא נִכָּלֵם וְלֹא נִכָּשֵׁל לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד,
May we never have to be Apologetic for our love for You.

כִּי בְשֵׁם קָדְשְׁךָ הַגָּדוֹל הַגִּבּוֹר וְהַנּוֹרָא בָּטָֽחְנוּ
נָגִֽילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה
בִּישׁוּעָתֶֽךָ:
Trusting You,
We are happy to see
Your beneficent plan unfolding.

וְרַחֲמֶֽיךָ יְהֹוָה אֶלֹהֵֽינוּ
וַחֲסָדֶֽיךָ הָרַבִּים
אַל יַעַזְבֽוּנוּ נֶֽצַח סֶֽלָה וָעֶד:
May Your
Kindness and compassion,
Be available to us.

מַהֵר וְהָבֵא עָלֵֽינוּ
בְּרָכָה וְשָׁלוֹם מְהֵרָה
מֵאַרְבַּע כַּנְפוֹת
כָּל הָאָֽרֶץ
וּשְׁבוֹר עוֹל הַגּוֹיִם
מֵעַל צַוָּארֵֽנוּ
וְתוֹלִיכֵֽנוּ מְהֵרָה
קוֹמְמִיּוּת לְאַרְצֵֽנוּ:
Please hurry.
Bring blessing and peace to us.
Gather us, so we not be scattered
All over the world.
Lift the hold of estrangement
From us.
Lead us to live in this world,
So that we feel at home in it.

כִּי אֵל פּוֹעֵל יְשׁוּעוֹת אָֽתָּה
וּבָֽנוּ בָחַֽרְתָּ
מִכָּל עַם וְלָשׁוֹן
You can do this for us.
You have assigned us
To do our special work in life

וְקֵרַבְתָּֽנוּ מַלְכֵּֽנוּ
לְשִׁמְךָ הַגָּדוֹל סֶֽלָה בֶּאֱמֶת בְּאַהֲבָה
לְהוֹדוֹת לְךָ
וּלְיַחֶדְךָ בְּאַהֲבָה וּלְאַהֲבָה אֶת שְׁמֶֽךָ:
You brought us close to You.
We are grateful.
We hold You special.
And are filled with love for You

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה
הַבּוֹחֵר בְּעַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּאַהֲבָה:
Barukh attah Yah
Who relates to us in Love.

אָמֵן
Amen

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of “Ahavat Olam” in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). I have done my best to set Reb Zalman’s interpretive translation and devotional interpretation side-by-side with the Hebrew liturgy it was derived from. –Aharon N. Varady

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