אשׂא למרחוק | Essa Lameraḥoq by Aharon ben Yosef of Constantinople (13th c.), translated by Gabriel Wasserman

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

אֶשָּׂא לְמֵרָחוֹק דֵּעִי
אֲתַנֶּה | צִדְקוֹת אֵלִי וּמוֹשִׁיעִי
בְּשֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים כִּלָּה כֹּל | מַלְכִּי וְרֹעִי
 
קהל: וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱלֹהִים | אֶת יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי. (בראשית ב:ג)
I will speak my mind regarding [matters] long ago,
I will declare the righteous deeds of my God and my rescuer:
In six days He finished everything – my King and my shepherd,

Cong. And God blessed the seventh day. (Genesis 2:3)

הִפְלִיא כָּל פֹּעַל | וְהוֹדוֹ שָׁמַיִם כִּסָּה
יִתְעַלֶּה וְיִתְנַשֵּׂא הָרָם וְהַנִּשָּׂא
הַמְקַדֵּשׁ זֶה הַיּוֹם | מִכֹּל אֲשֶׁר נַעֲשָׂה
 
קהל: מִכָּל מְלַאכְתּוֹ | אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה. (בראשית ב:ב)
He wondrously wrought everything, and His splendor covered heaven.
May the high and lofty One be elevated and uplifted,
He who sanctified this day from everything that had been made,

Cong. From all His labor that He had done. (Genesis 2:2)

רֹאש דְּבָרוֹ אֱמֶת | בְּסוֹד נֶעְלָם
הָעָם בָּחַר לְנַחֲלָה לוֹ מֵעוֹלָם
צִוָּה לֶחֶם מִשְׁנֶה לְהָכִין בִּשְׁבִילָם
 
קהל: לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת | לְדֹרֹתָם בְּרִית עוֹלָם. (שמות לא:טז)
The beginning of His worth is truth, in a concealed secret.
[To] the nation He chose as an estate, from long ago,
He commanded to prepare themselves a double portion of bread –

Cong. To do the Sabbath, for [all] their generations, an eternal covenant. (Exodus 31:16)

נִחַל עֵדוּת | לִבְנֵי יַעֲקֹב לְהוֹדָם
יוֹם עֹנֶג יוֹם קֹדֶשׁ | יוֹם מְכֻבָּד לִכְבוֹדָם
אָכֵן יַגִּידוּ צִדְקָתוֹ | בְּהִוָּעֲדָם
 
קהל: יוֹדוּ לַיהֹוָה חַסְדּוֹ | וְנִפְלְאוֹתָיו לִבְנֵי אָדָם. (תהלים קז:ח)
He bequeathed an inheritance to the children of Jacob, as a testimony, for their glory:
The day of enjoyment, the day of holiness, the honored day, for their honor.
Indeed, they tell of His righteous deeds when they assemble together,

Cong. They thank Adonai for His kindness, and for His wondrous deeds for people. (Psalms 107:8)

Gabriel Wasserman’s translation of “Essa Lameraḥoq” by Aaron ben Joseph of Constantinople was first published in Royal Attire: On Karaite and Rabbanite Beliefs by Hakham Mordecai ben Nisan (Karaite Press 2016). We are grateful to Karaite Jews of America for sharing this translation through the Open Siddur Project.

The following is a rendition of “Essa Lameraḥoq,” performed by Hazzan Rotem Cohen:

Comments, Corrections, and Queries


בסיעתא דארעא