Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Only in Israel, Prayer Praising G-d as Hit Song

Quite a number of years ago the late and beloved Israeli composer and singer Uzi Hitman composed a new tune for the prayer Adon Olam אדון עולם Master of the  Universe which turned it into a big hit.

Here are the words from the Siddur, Jewish Prayer book:

אֲדון עולָם אֲשֶׁר מָלַךְ. בְּטֶרֶם כָּל יְצִיר נִבְרָא:

לְעֵת נַעֲשָׂה בְחֶפְצו כּל. אֲזַי מֶלֶךְ שְׁמו נִקְרָא:

וְאַחֲרֵי כִּכְלות הַכּל. לְבַדּו יִמְלךְ נורָא:
וְהוּא הָיָה. וְהוּא הוֶוה. וְהוּא יִהְיֶה בְּתִפְאָרָה:
וְהוּא אֶחָד וְאֵין שֵׁנִי. לְהַמְשִׁיל לו לְהַחְבִּירָה:
בְּלִי רֵאשִׁית בְּלִי תַכְלִית. וְלו הָעז וְהַמִּשְׂרָה:
וְהוּא אֵלִי וְחַי גואֲלִי. וְצוּר חֶבְלִי בְּעֵת צָרָה:
וְהוּא נִסִּי וּמָנוס לִי. מְנָת כּוסִי בְּיום אֶקְרָא:
בְּיָדו אַפְקִיד רוּחִי. בְּעֵת אִישָׁן וְאָעִירָה:
וְעִם רוּחִי גְּווִייָּתִי. ה' לִי וְלא אִירָא

Adon olam, asher malach,
b'terem kol y'tzir nivra.
L'et na'asah v'cheftzo kol,
azai melech sh'mo nikra.
V'acharey kichlot hakol,
l'vado yimloch nora.
V'hu haya, v'hu hoveh,
v'hu yih'yeh b'tifara.
V'hu echad, v'eyn sheni
l'hamshil lo, l'hachbira.
B'li reishit, b'li tachlit,
v'lo ha'oz v'hamisrah.
V'hu Eli, v'chai go'ali,
v'tzur chevli b'et tzarah.
V'hu nisi umanos li,
m'nat kosi b'yom ekra.
B'yado afkid ruchi
b'et ishan v'a'irah.
V'im ruchi g'viyati,
Adonai li v'lo ira.
The Lord of the Universe who reigned
before anything was created.
When all was made by his will
He was acknowledged as King.
And when all shall end
He still all alone shall reign.
He was, He is,
and He shall be in glory.
And He is one, and there's no other,
to compare or join Him.
Without beginning, without end
and to Him belongs diminion and power.
And He is my G-d, my living G-d.
to Him I flee in time of grief,
and He is my miracle and my refuge,
who answers the day I shall call.
To Him I commin my spirit,
in the time of sleep and awakening,
even if my spirit leaves,
G-d is with me, I shall not fear.

When I hear it sung as a beloved folk song, or by opera singers, tears always come to my eyes, because the words have so much power.

In Israel the words are understood and sung with such enthusiasm, even by those who aren't considered conventionally religious.  Just think of the words.
The Lord of the Universe who reignedbefore anything was created.When all was made by his willHe was acknowledged as King.And when all shall endHe still all alone shall reign.He was, He is,and He shall be in glory.And He is one, and there's no other,to compare or join Him.
When you say them or sing them they must do something to a person's soul.  This public recognition of G-d's omnipotence is one of the cornerstones of Judaism, and it has been one of Israel's pop songs for decades already.  Even Israelis who don't frequent synagogues sing it as a favorite folk song.  The words of the Adom Olam prayer can be considered commentary on the first of the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20:2:
ב  אָנֹכִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים:  לֹא-יִהְיֶה לְךָ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים, עַל-פָּנָי.
2 I am the LORD thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.


Anonymous said...

hopefully many will awaken to see the lies and speak the truth about the J's.

Batya said...

G-d willing