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צָמְאָה נַפְשִׁי | Tsam’ah Nafshi, a piyyut by Avraham ibn Ezra (trans. Avi Shmidman & Tzvi Novick)

https://opensiddur.org/?p=41557 צָמְאָה נַפְשִׁי | Tsam’ah Nafshi, a piyyut by Avraham ibn Ezra (trans. Avi Shmidman & Tzvi Novick) 2021-12-18 22:16:14 This translation of Tsam'ah Nafshi was made by Avi Shmidman and Tzvi Novick, and first published by the Az Yashir Moshe Project birkon (2009), p. 56-57. Text the Open Siddur Project Tzvi Novick (translation) Tzvi Novick (translation) Avi Shmidman Avraham ibn Ezra https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Tzvi Novick (translation) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Se'udat Yom Shabbat 12th century C.E. 49th century A.M. Acrostic signature נשמת כל חי Nishmat kol ḥai libi uv'sari צמאה נפשי Tsamah Nafshi זמירות zemirot acrostic פיוטים piyyutim
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Source (Hebrew)Translation (English)
צָמְאָה נַפְשִׁי לֵאלֹהִים לְאֵל חָי
לִבִּי וּבְשָׂרִי יְרַנְּנוּ לְאֵל חָי
My soul hungers for God, for the God who lives!
My heart and my flesh, they sing for the God who lives!
אֵל אֶחָד בְּרָאָנִי וְאָמַר חַי אָנִי
כִּי לֹא יִרְאַנִי הָאָדָם וָחָי
A living God created me, and said: As I live!
For none can see me, merely man, and live.
בָּרָא כֹּל בְּחָכְמָה בְּעֵצָה וּבִמְזִמָּה
מְאֹד נֶעֱלָמָה מְעֵינֵי כׇּל חָי
He created all with wisdom, with planning and design
Most hidden from the eyes of all who live.
רָם עַל כֹּל כְּבוֹדוֹ כׇּל פֶּה יְחַוֶה הוֹדוֹ
בָּרוּךְ אֲשֶׁר בְּיָדוֹ נֶפֶש כׇּל חָי
Raised over all is His glory. All mouths express His majesty.
Blessed is He who holds all souls that live.
הִבְדִּיל נִינֵי תָם חֻקִּים לְהוֹרוֹתָם
אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה אוֹתָם הָאָדָם וָחָי
He placed apart the whole man’s sons, principles to teach them,
Which he should do, the man who would live.
מִי זֶה יִצְטַדָּק נִמְשַׁל לְאָבָק דָּק
אֶמֶת כִּי לֹא יִצְדַּק לְפָנֵיךָ כׇּל חָי
Who should be deemed righteous, of those compared to fine dust?
In truth, before You, none of all who live.
בְּלֵב יֵצֶר חָשׁוּב כִּדְמוּת חֲמַת עַכְשׁוּב
וְאֵיכָכָה יָשׁוּב הַבָּשָׂר הֶחָי
Within the will there lurks a like to poison of the viper;
So how will it return, the flesh that lives?
נְסוֹגִים אִם אָבוּ מִדַּרְכָּם שָׁבוּ
טֶרֶם יִשְׁכָּבוּ בֵּית מוֹעֵד לְכָל חָי
If the backsliders would only want to turn back from their ways
Before they rest where all must rest, who live.
עַל כֹּל אֲהוֹדֶךָ כׇּל פֶּה תְּיַחֲדֶךָ
פּוֹתֵחַ אֶת יָדֶךָ וּמַשְׂבִּיעַ לְכָּל חָי
For all things I praise You, all mouths unify You;
You open Your hand and sate all who live.
זְכוֹר אַהֲבַת קְדוּמִים וְהַחֲיֶה נִרְדָמִים
וְקָרֵב הַיָמִים אֲשֶׁר בֵּן יִשַׁי חָי
Mind the love of the ancient ones. Enliven the sleeping ones.
Bring near the day when Jesse’s son will live.
רְאֵה לִגְבֶרֶת אֱמֶת שִׁפְחָה נוֹאֶמֶת
לֹא כִּי בְנַךְ הַמֵת וּבְנִי הֶחָי
Look to the mistress, who is true. The maidservant says:
No yours is dead; my son, the one who lives.
אֶקּוֹד עַל אַפִּי וְאֶפְרוֹשׁ לְךָ כַפִּי עֵת
כִּי אֶפְתַּח פִּי בְּנִשְׁמַת כׇּל חָי
I bow upon my face, I spread my palms out to You
As I open my mouth with “the soul of all that live”.

Tsam’ah Nafshi is a piyyut by Avraham ibn Ezra (1089/1092-1167), recognized via an acrostic signature. This translation of Tsam’ah Nafshi was made by Avi Shmidman and Tzvi Novick, and first published by the Az Yashir Moshe Project birkon (2009), p. 56-57. The second line of each couplet is written in iambic pentameter.

 


 

 

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