נשמה שנתת בי | Neshamah Shenatata Bi (the breath you have given me), interpretive translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

אֱלֹהַי,
נְשָׁמָה שֶׁנָּתַתָּ בִּי
טְהוֹרָה הִיא,
אַתָּה בְרָאתָהּ,
אַתָּה יְצַרְתָּהּ,
אַתָּה נְפַחְתָּהּ בִּי,
My God,
The breath You have given me
Is fresh.
You create it.
You form it.
You breathe it into me.

וְאַתָּה מְשַׁמְּרָהּ בְּקִרְבִּי,
And you keep me breathing.

וְאַתָּה עָתִיד
לִטְּלָהּ מִמֶּנִּי,
At some time,
You will take it away from me,
And I will have breathed
my last breath in this body.

וּלְהַחֲזִירָהּ בִּי
לֶעָתִיד לָבֹא.
And You will resuscitate me,
To the life of the spirit.

כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהַנְּשָׁמָה בְּקִרְבִּי
מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ
יְיָ אֱלֹהַי
וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתַי,
רִבּוֹן כָּל הַמַּעֲשִׂים, אֲדוֹן כָּל הַנְּשָׁמוֹת:
For each breath still in me,
I thank You,
My own God,
Who is also my parents’ God,
Lord of all spirits, Master of all that happens.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ
 
 
הַמַּחֲזִיר נְשָׁמוֹת
I offer You thanks,
Cosmic Majesty,
And worship You,
For keeping me breathing.

 
 
לִפְגָרִים מֵתִים:
And in this way,
With each breath,
You give me Life anew.

This English translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l of “Neshama Shenatata Bi,” was first published in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). Linear associations of this translation according to the nusaḥ ha-ARI z”l by Aharon Varady.

Source

The earliest formula for “Neshama Shenatata Bi” can be found in the Talmud Bavli, Berakhot 60b:

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

כי מתער אומר
אלהי נשמה שנתת בי טהורה
אתה יצרתה בי
אתה נפחתה בי
ואתה משמרה בקרבי
ואתה עתיד ליטלה ממני
ולהחזירה בי לעתיד לבא
כל זמן שהנשמה בקרבי
מודה אני לפניך
ה׳ אלהי ואלהי אבותי
רבון כל העולמים
אדון כל הנשמות
ברוך אתה ה׳
המחזיר נשמות לפגרים מתים
When one awakens, they recite:
My elo’ah, the neshamah[1]neshamah ≈ breath, soul. neshamot ≈ Breath, souls you have placed within me is pure.
You formed her within me,
You breathed her into me,
and you guard her while she is within me.
One day you will take her from me
and restore her within me in the time to come.
As long as the neshamah is within me,
I thank you,
YHVH my elo’ah and elo’ah of my ancestors,
Master of all worlds,
Lord of all neshamot.
Blessed are you, YHVH,
who restores neshamot to lifeless bodies.

Notes   [ + ]

  1. neshamah ≈ breath, soul. neshamot ≈ Breath, souls

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