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יְדִיד נֶפֶשׁ | Yedid Nefesh, a piyyut transmitted by Elazar ben Moshe Azikri (ca. 16th c.) translated by Sara Lapidot

https://opensiddur.org/?p=37679 יְדִיד נֶפֶשׁ | Yedid Nefesh, a piyyut transmitted by Elazar ben Moshe Azikri (ca. 16th c.) translated by Sara Lapidot 2021-06-18 04:54:44 The popular piyyut, Yedid Nefesh, in Hebrew with English translation. Text the Open Siddur Project Sara Lapidot (translation) Sara Lapidot (translation) Elazar ben Moshe Azikri https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Sara Lapidot (translation) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Kabbalat Shabbat Baqashot Se'udah Shlishit פיוטים piyyutim ידיד נפש Yedid Nefesh 16th century C.E. 54th century A.M. Divine name acrostic
Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)
יְדִיד נֶפֶשׁ אָב הָרַחֲמָן
מְשֺׁךְ עַבְדָּךְ אֶל רְצוֹנָךְ
יָרוּץ עַבְדָּךְ כְּמוֹ אַיָּל
יִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה מוּל הֲדָרָךְ
כִּי יֶעֱרַב לוֹ יְדִידוּתָךְ
מִנּפֶֺת צוּף וְכָל טַעַם
Beloved of my soul, Merciful Father
draw your servant after your will
Your servant would run swift as a deer
to kneel before Your splendor
For Your love is sweeter to him
than honey nectar and all pleasing savor
הָדוּר נָאֶה זִיו הָעוֹלָם
נַפְשִׁי חוֹלַת אַהֲבָתָךְ
אָנָּא אֵל נָא רְפָא נָא לָהּ
בְּהַרְאוֹת לָהּ נעַֺם זִיוָךְ
אָז תִּתְחַזֵּק וְתִתְרַפֵּא
וְהָיְתָה לָךְ שִׁפְחַת עוֹלָם
Exalted Glorious Beautiful Light of the World
my soul is love-sick for You
Please, My God, please heal her
by showing her the beauty of Your radiance
Then she will be strengthened and healed
and be Your maidservant forever
וָתִיק יֶהֱמוּ רַחֲמֶיךָ
וְחוּסָה נָא עַל בֶּן אוֹהֲבָךְ
כִּי זֶה כַמֶּה נִכְסֺף נִכְסַף
לִרְאוֹת בְּתִפְאֶרֶת עֻזָּךְ
אָנָּא אֵלִי מַחְמַד לִבִּי
חוּשָׁה נָּא וְאַל תִּתְעַלָּם
Ancient One arouse Your mercy
spare the son of Your beloved friend
For he has a long time longed
to behold the magnificence Your might
Please, My God, My Heart’s Delight,
oh come quickly do not forsake me
הִגָּלֶה נָא וּפְרֺשׂ חָבִיב
עָלַי אֶת סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמָךְ
תָּאִיר אֶרֶץ מִכְּבוֹדָךְ
נָגִילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה בָךְ
מַהֵר אָהוּב כִּי בָא מוֹעֵד
וְחָנֵּנִי כִּימֵי עוֹלָם
Reveal Yourself my dearest
and spread over me Your canopy of peace
Let the earth be illuminated with Your glory
let us be delighted and rejoice in You
Make haste my beloved for the time has come
show me Your favor as in the days of old

Yedid Nefesh” is a piyyut first published in the Sefer Haḥaredim (1588) of Rabbi Elazar Moshe Azikri (1533-1600). The authorship of the piyyut is not completely certain. A version of the piyyut “with noteworthy text, spelling and pointing” may be found on folio 146 (verso) of Samuel b. David b. Solomon’s Commentary On the Book of Numbers (ca. 1437 CE).[1] Find Stefan C. Reif’s The Hebrew Manuscripts at Cambridge University Libraries: A Description and Introduction Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997, page 93. Reif attributes Yedid Nefesh to Azkiri. Presumably, the text must have been added to the 15th century manuscript sometime after the publication of Sefer Haḥaredim. It would be very nice to see a digitized image of this manuscript page from the CUL collection!  Yedid Nefesh also appears in Moscow – Russian State Library, Ms. Guenzburg 320 as the last of “a polyglot of at least 24 different items written in different stages” (find Dr. Ezra Chwat, גילוי מילתא בעלמא Giluy Milta B’alma). Yedid Nefesh appears there under the following headline: ד’ בתים של שם בן ד’ ב”ה ששמענו מפי קדוש מכבוד החכם השלם מהר”ר גדליה בן לגאון המושלם המקובל [הא]לקי כמהר”ר משה קורדוברו זצק”ל”. Ezra Chwat: “This doesn’t necessarily qualify that Gedalia Cordovero (1562–1625, son of Moshe Cordovero, ReMaK), is the author. To be precise, it attributes to him the oral transmission.” Meir Benayahu in Yosef Behiri, 1991, p.544, “asserts that this witness must have heard the poem from Gedalia Cordevero after his descent [from Safed] to Italy in 1583. This would be a full five years before Ḥaredim was written (and 17 years before [it was] published). Having been transmitted orally for some time might explain some of the variants. In any case Gedalia Cordevero and Elazar Azkari are likely to have been well acquainted.” The piyyut has appeared with a number of variations in various siddurim.

The English translation was made by Sara-Kinneret Lapidot as published in the Invitation to Piyut North America: 18 Piyutim & Mizmorim (2010), p.7. –Aharon Varady

Source(s)

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Yedid Nefesh (JTSA MS3541, fol.5v)


 

Notes

Notes
1 Find Stefan C. Reif’s The Hebrew Manuscripts at Cambridge University Libraries: A Description and Introduction Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997, page 93. Reif attributes Yedid Nefesh to Azkiri. Presumably, the text must have been added to the 15th century manuscript sometime after the publication of Sefer Haḥaredim. It would be very nice to see a digitized image of this manuscript page from the CUL collection!

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