The Hymn of Glory is written in lines each of which is divided into two parts, with eight syllables in each part. It well deserves its title, for it is a noble eulogy of the glory of God. Its images are possibly too direct for modern taste, as they sometimes reach the verge of anthropomorphic licence. But the mystics—to whom the author, whoever he be, belonged—were always bold similists, and the hymn must be read in something of this mystic spirit. As to its poetical beauty and emotional power there can be no doubt. –Israel Wolf Slotki
|Source (Hebrew)||Translation (English)|
The Ark is opened.
אַנְעִים זְמִירוֹת וְשִׁירִים אֶאֱרוֹג,
כִּי אֵלֶֽיךָ נַפְשִׁי תַעֲרוֹג.
I will chant hymns and weave songs,
for my soul pants after thee.
נַפְשִׁי חָמְדָה בְּצֵל יָדֶֽךָ,
לָדַֽעַת כָּל רָז סוֹדֶֽךָ.
My soul longs to be in the shadow of thy hand,
to gain the knowledge of every secret of thy mysteries.
מִדֵּי דַבְּרִי בִּכְבוֹדֶֽךָ,
הוֹמֶה לִבִּי אֶל דּוֹדֶֽיךָ.
As often as I speak of thy glory,
my heart yearns for thy affections.
עַל כֵּן אֲדַבֵּר בְּךָ נִכְבָּדוֹת,
וְשִׁמְךָ אֲכַבֵּד בְּשִׁירֵי יְדִידוֹת.
I, therefore, speak glorious things of thee,
and honour thy name with the loveliest songs.
Of thy glory I tell,
though I have not seen thee;
I image forth and describe thee,
though I have not known thee.
By the hand of thy prophets,
in the council of thy servants,
thou hast imaged forth the splendour
of thy glorious majesty.
כִּנּוּ לְתֹֽקֶף פְּעֻלָּתֶֽךָ.
Thy greatness and thy might they described,
in accordance with the power of thy work.
וְלֹא כְפִי יֶשְׁךָ,
In images they spoke of thee,
but not in accordance with thy essence;
they likened thee only
in accordance with thy acts.
הִנְּךָ אֶחָד בְּכָל דִּמְיוֹנוֹת.
They figured thee in metaphors,
in a multitude of visions;
but under all images thou art one.
וַיֶּחֱזוּ בְךָ זִקְנָה וּבַחֲרוּת,
In thee they saw old age and youth;
and in the hair of thy head
the greyness of age and the dawn of youth.
זִקְנָה בְּיוֹם דִּין
וּבַחֲרוּת בְּיוֹם קְרָב,
כְּאִישׁ מִלְחָמוֹת יָדָיו לוֹ רָב.
Ripe age in the day of judgement,
and youth in the day of battle;
as a man of wars his hands contend for him.
חָבַשׁ כּֽוֹבַע יְשׁוּעָה בְּרֹאשוֹ,
הוֹשִֽׁיעָה לּוֹ יְמִינוֹ
He has bound a helmet of salvation upon his head;
his right hand and holy arm
have brought him triumph.
טַלְלֵי אוֹרוֹת רֹאשוֹ נִמְלָא,
His head is filled with dew of light;
his locks are decked
with drops of the night.
כִּי חָפֵץ בִּי,
וְהוּא יִהְיֶה לִי לַעֲטֶֽרֶת צְבִי.
He will be glorified by me,
for he takes delight in me;
my crown of beauty he will ever be.
כֶּֽתֶם טָהוֹר פָּז דְּמוּת רֹאשוֹ,
וְחַק עַל מֵֽצַח כְּבוֹד שֵׁם קָדְשׁוֹ.
His head is like pure, fine gold;
the glory of his holy name is upon his forehead impressed.
אֻמָּתוֹ לוֹ עִטְּרָה עֲטָרָה.
For grace and honour,
splendour and beauty,
his people has adorned him with a crown.
קְוֻצּוֹתָיו תַּלְתַּלִּים שְׁחוֹרוֹת.
The plaits of his head
as in the days of youth;
his locks as curls black.
יַעֲלֶה נָּא עַל רֹאש שִׂמְחָתוֹ.
The abode of righteousness,
his glorious beauty,
may he raise it above his chiefest joy.
סְגֻלָּתוֹ תְּהִי נָא
וּצְנִיף מְלוּכָה צְבִי תִפְאֶֽרֶת.
Let his treasured people
be a diadem in his hand,
and a royal turban of matchless beauty.
Carried by him,
he raised them and crowned them;
he honoured them
because they were precious in his sight.
וְקָרוֹב אֵלַי בְּקָרְאִי אֵלָיו.
His glory rests on me,
and my adoration is for him;
he is near unto me when I call upon him.
פּוּרָה בְּדָרְכוֹ בְּבוֹאוֹ מֵאֱדוֹם.
Bright and ruddy
in red apparel,
when he came from Edom where he trod the winepress.
The knot of the tefillin
he showed to the meek (Moses),
while the similitude of the Lord
was before his eyes.
He delights in his people,
he glorifies the meek;
he that dwells amid praises
is glorified by them.
רֹאשׁ דְּבָרְךָ אֱמֶת
קוֹרֵא מֵרֹאשׁ, דּוֹר וָדוֹר
עַם דּוֹרֶשְׁךָ דְּרוֹשׁ.
Thy choicest word is truth;
O, thou who hast called generation after generation from the beginning,
seek the people that seek thee.
שִׁירַי נָא עָלֶֽיךָ,
Set down the abundance
of my songs with thee,
and let my exultation
come near unto thee.
Let my praise
be as a crown unto thy head,
and my prayer
be set forth as fragrant incense.
תִּיקַר שִׁירַת רָשׁ בְּעֵינֶֽיךָ,
כַּשִּׁיר יוּשַׁר עַל קָרְבָּנֶֽיךָ.
May the poor man’s song be precious in thy sight,
as the song that was sung at thy altar sacrifices.
בִּרְכָתִי תַעֲלֶה לְרֹאשׁ מַשְבִּיר,
May my blessing ascend to the giver of life,
who decrees travail and birth,
who is mighty in justice.
וּבְבִרְכָתִי תְנַעֲנַע לִי רֹאשׁ,
וְאוֹתָהּ קַח לְךָ כִּבְשָׂמִים רֹאשׁ.
And do thou incline thy head to me when I offer my blessing,
and accept it as the choicest of spices.
יֶעֱרַב נָא שִׂיחִי עָלֶֽיךָ.
כִּי נַפְשִׁי תַעֲרוֹג אֵלֶֽיךָ.
May the meditation be pleasant unto thee,
for my soul panteth after thee.
לְךָ יְהוָה הַגְּדֻלָּה וְהַגְּבוּרָה
וְהַתִּפְאֶרֶת וְהַנֵּצַח וְהַהוֹד
כִּי־כֹל בַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ
לְךָ יְהוָה הַמַּמְלָכָה
וְהַמִּתְנַשֵּׂא לְכֹל לְרֹאשׁ׃ (דברי הימים א׳ כט:יא)
Thine, YHVH, is the greatness, and the power,
מִי יְמַלֵּל גְּבוּרוֹת יְהוָה
יַשְׁמִיעַ כָּל־תְּהִלָּתוֹ׃ (תהלים קו:ב)
Who can tell the mighty acts of YHVH,
proclaim all their praises? Psalms 106:2.
The Ark is closed.
The Mourner’s Ḳaddish is here recited.
Known popularly by its incipit, Anim Zemirot, the Shir haKavod is often attributed to Yehudah heḤasid of Regensbeurg (1150–1217), but he may have only written a commentary on it. The piyyut itself is the last of eight piyyutim, the rest known as the Shir haYiḥud, first printed in Tiengen, 1560.
This translation of the Shir haKavod (Hymn of Glory) by Rabbi Dr. Israel Wolf Slotki (1884–1973) can be found in the combined edition of Prayers of Israel of Rabbi Jacob Bosniak (1887-1963) published by Pardes Publishing House, N.Y.C. in 1964. I have added the concluding verses from Psalms 106:2 and replaced “O Lord” with ‘YHVH’ in 1 Chronicles 29:11. –Aharon N. Varady
In the United States, the copyright on this translation should expire in 2043, seventy years after I.W. Slotki’s death. Reproduction rights for libraries and archives go into effect in 2023.
“שיר הכבוד (אַנְעִים זְמִירוֹת) | Shir haKavod (An’im Zemirot), part eight of the Shir haYiḥud (translation by Israel Wolf Slotki)” is shared by the living contributor(s) under their Fair Use Right (17 U.S. Code §107 - Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use), in respect to the copyrighted material included. Any additional work that is not already in the Public Domain is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
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