Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Anim Zemirot

Think about it:

Sweet hymns shall be my chant and woven songs,
For Thou art all for which my spirit longs--
To be within the shadow of Thy hand
And all Thy mystery to understand.
The while Thy glory is upon my tongue,
My inmost heart with love of thee is wrung,
So though Thy mighty marvels I proclaim,
'Tis songs of love wherewith I greet Thy name.

I have not seen Thee, yet I tell Thy praise,
Nor known Thee, yet I image forth Thy ways.
For by Thy seers' and servants' mystic speech
Thou didst Thy sov'ran splendour darkly teach,
And from the grandeur of Thy work they drew
The measure of Thy inner greatness, too.
They told of Thee, but not as Thou must be,
Since from Thy work they tried to body Thee.
To countless visions did their pictures run,
Behold through all the visions Thou art one.

Better than Artscroll.


Rabbi Joshua Maroof said...

Poetic, but it isn't terribly accurate, as one can easily see from the very first line. "Anim" means I shall make sweet or pleasant, it is a verb, not an adjective as the translation here would have it. The same goes with "eerog", it is a first person future verb, not an adjective as "woven".

Orthoprax said...


Yeah, I agree. I noticed it earlier but I actually couldn't find a typical translation online and this one was very nice.

The point of the post though was about the content of the tefila which suggests that knowledge of God is inaccessible and that all descriptions of God - even from the prophets - are only limited metaphors. I'm particularly fond of it.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

I still think it works better in Hebrew ; ) ....

Miri said...

It does work better in hebrwe; but it is extremely rare to find an english translation of something that is not only nice, but actually works well as poetry....grammatical discrepancies notwithstanding.

Moshe said...

this is very nice, i've looked everywhere for a a nice pirush on anim zemirot/ shir hakavod and haven't turned up anything (even on wikipedia!)

any thoughts?

cialis online said...

Excellent I agree with this because this man had a good feeling, I'd like to join all those feelings and create a poem because that's my specialty, I'll share it with you this when I finish it.