סִימָן לְבָנִים | Siman L’vanim: a birkon celebrating the wedding of Honi Sanders and Simona Dalin

The birkon/bentsher (blessing-book) prepared for the wedding of Honi Sanders and Simona Dalin on July 7th, 2019. . . .

ואחד ג’די | أغنية لعيد الفصح اليهودي | Waaḥid Jady :: Ḥad Gadya in Arabic translation (Syrian Damascus variation)

An Arabic translation of Ḥad Gadya in its Syrian Jewish Damascus variation. . . .

אֵל מִסְתַּתֵּר | El Mistater :: The God who is hidden, by Avraham Maimin (circa 1550)

The mystical piyyut of Avraham Maimin, a student of Moshe Cordovero, translated by Len Fellman. . . .

חַד מָה יוּדָא | Ḥad Mah Yuda :: Who Knows One?, a counting-song in Aramaic translation

The text of the popular Passover song “Who Knows One?” in Hebrew set side-by-side with an Aramaic translation. . . .

אֶחָד מִי יוֹדֵעַ | Eḥad Mi Yode’a :: Who Knows One?, a counting song in Hebrew and Yiddish (Prague Haggadah, 1526)

The text of the popular Passover song “Who Knows One?” in its original Hebrew and Yiddish, with a translation in English. . . .

יַכֵּי בּוּזְגָאלַה | Yake Buzghola :: a Judeo-Tajik Translation of Ḥad Gadya, by Rabbi Shimon ben Eliyahu Hakham (1904)

A Judeo-Tajik translation of the popular Passover song, Ḥad Gadya. . . .

בִּסְעוּדָה הַזּוֹ | At this meal!, a piyyut for the Passover seder translated by Rabbi Jonah Rank

A litany of mythical guests and creatures presenting at the Passover seder. . . .

יַאן יִכְּרוּ | Yan ikru :: a Judeo-Berber Translation of Ḥad Gadya, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A Judeo-Berber translation of the popular Passover song, Ḥad Gadya. . . .

און קאבﬞריטיקו | Un Kavritiko :: a Judezmo (Ladino) Translation of Ḥad Gadya, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A Judezmo/Ladino translation of the popular Passover song, Ḥad Gadya. . . .

ואחד גׄדי | Waaḥid Jady :: a Judeo-Arabic Translation of Ḥad Gadya, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A Judeo-Arabic translation of the popular Passover song, Ḥad Gadya. . . .

יָצַר הָאֵל | Yatsar ha’El, a Shabbat song by Ya’aqov ha-Qara’i

A song for celebrating the Shabbat. . . .

בָּאנוּ חׇשֵׁךְ לְקַדֵּשׁ | Banu Ḥoshekh l’Qadesh (We come to sanctify the dark), by rabbis David Seidenberg and Jill Hammer

Alternative lyrics to the popular Ḥanukkah song, Banu Ḥoshekh L’Garesh by Sara Levi-Tanai (1960). . . .

גאָט בענטש אַמעריקע | God Bless America, for Armistice/Veterans Day by Irving Berlin (1918/1938)

The words of the prayer for Armistice Day 1938, “God Bless America” by Irving Berlin, in English and Yiddish. . . .

ברוך שאמר | Barukh She’amar, interpretive translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l

This English translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z”l of “Barukh Sh’amar,” 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. . . .

שבת המלכה | The Shabbat Queen, by Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik (1903)

This translation of Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik’s Shabbat Ha-Malkah by Israel Meir Lask can be found on pages 280-281 in the Sabbath Prayer Book (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation, 1945) where it appears as “Greeting to Queen Sabbath.” The poem is based on the shabbat song, Shalom Aleikhem and first published in the poetry collection, Hazamir, in 1903. [I have made a faithful transcription of the Hebrew and its English translation as it appears in this siddur. –Aharon N. Varady] . . .

חַד גַּדְיָא | Ḥad Gadya in Aramaic and Yiddish (Prague Haggadah, ca. 1526)

Making sense of Ḥad Gadya beyond its explicit meaning has long inspired commentary. For me, Ḥad Gadya expresses in its own beautiful and macabre way a particularly important idea in Judaism that has become obscure if not esoteric. While an animal’s life may today be purchased, ultimately, the forces of exploitation, predation, and destruction that dominate our world will be overturned. Singing Ḥad Gadya is thus particularly apropos for the night of Passover since, in the Jewish calendar, this one night, different from all other nights, is considered the most dangerous night of the year — it is the time in which the forces of darkness in the world are strongest. Why? It is on this night that the divine aspect of Mashḥit, the executioner, is explicitly invoked (albeit, only in the context of the divine acting as midwife and guardian/protector of her people), as explained in the midrash for Exodus 12:12 . . .

Bendigamos al Altísimo, a Sefaradi hymn for the Birkat ha-Mazon

Bendigamos is a hymn sung after meals according to the custom of Spanish and Portuguese Jews. It has also been traditionally sung by the Jews of Turkish descent. It is similar in meaning to the Birkat Hamazon that is said by all Jews. Bendigamos is said in addition to Birkat Hamazon, either immediately before or immediately after it. The text is in modern Spanish, not Ladino. The prayer was translated by David de Sola Pool. Below is the actual text as well as the translation by de Sola Pool. The melody is one of the best known and loved Spanish and Portuguese melodies, used also for the Song of the Sea (in the Shabbat morning service) and sometimes in “Hallel” (on the first day of the Hebrew month and on festivals). . . .

אשת חיל | Eyshet Ḥayil (Proverbs 31:10-31) For an Accomplished Woman, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi’s interpretive translation of Proverbs 31:10-31, popularly read before the first festive meal for shabbat on Friday night. . . .

באנו חשך לגרש | Banu Ḥoshekh l’Garesh (We come to chase the dark away), by Sara Levi-Tanai (1960)

Some might seem surprised that this work isn’t in the Public Domain simply by virtue of the song’s popularity. Translations of Banu Ḥoshekh L’garesh are not uncommon despite the apparent lack of translation rights provided to translators. This all underlines how copyright is regularly ignored in the living practice of creative cultures. And yet, copyright law and the protections it affords are ignored at the peril of a copyrighted work’s remixers, publishers, translators, and other creatives. Both the song and an anonymous English translation are here being provided as an example for this article on copyright under Fair Use. Each individual contribution to our collective intellectual commons may be small, but together, our contributions will make a tremendous resource for a renewed vibrant living and creative culture. . . .

יִגְדַּל אֱלֹהִים חַי | Yigdal by Daniel ben Judah (German translation by Chajm Guski)

Gelobt sei der lebendige Gott! Ihn grenzt nicht Raum, ihn grenzt nicht Zeit. Er ist der Einzige, dem nichts gleicht in seiner hehren Einzigkeit. Er ist nicht Form, ist nicht Gestalt, „der Heilige“, sich gleichend bloß. Der Urbeginn, vor allem Sein: Anfang, der selber anfangslos. So waltet er als Herr der Welt, von dessen Macht das All erzählt. Mit dessen Geist erfüllte er G-ttkünder, die er auserwählt. Nie stand, wie Mosche, einer auf, der je so klar sein Bild erschaut. Die wahre Torah gab uns Gott durch ihn, der seinem Haus vertraut. Und nie verwirft Gott sein Gesetz, nie gibt er es für ein anderes hin. Er schaut in unser Herz und weiß das Ende schon beim Anbeginn. Von ihm wird nach Verdienst und Schuld uns Lohn und Strafe einst zuteil. Die Zeit des G-ttesreiches kommt und bringt den Harrenden das Heil. Die Toten weckt er auf zur Zeit. Gelobt sei Gott in Ewigkeit. . . .


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