Ki Eshm'rah Shabbat

  
כִּי אשְׁמְרָה שַׁבָּת

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Ki Eshm'rah Shabbat El Yishm'reini,
Ot hi lol'mei Ad Beino uveini.

Asur M'tso chefetz, Asot d'rachim,
Gam mil'daber bo divrei ts'rachim,
Divrei s'chora af (o) divrei m'lachim, ehgeheh b'torat el utchakmeini.

Ot hi lol'mei ad beino uveini.

Bo emtsa tamid nofesh (noach) le'nafshi,
Henei le'dor rishon natan kedoshi,
Mofet, be'tet lechem mishneh ba'shishi,
Kacha be'chol shishi yachpil mezoni.

Ot hi...

Rashum be'dat ha'el chok el seganav,
Bo la'aroch lechem panim be'fanav,
Al ken lehitanot bo al pi nevonav,
Asur levad mi'yom kipur avoni.

Ot hi...

Hu yom (Hayom) mechubad hu, yom ta'anugim.
Lechem ve'yayin tov, basar ve'dagim.
Ha'mitabelim bo achor nesogim
Ki yom semachot hu, ut'samechani(?).

Ot hi...

Mechel melacha bo, sofo lehachrit,
Al ken achabes bo libi kevorit.
Ve'etpalela el el arvit ve'shacharit,
Musaf ve'gam mincha hu ya'aneini.

Ot hi...
כִּי אֶשְׁמְרָה שַׁבָּת אֵל יִשְׁמְרֵֽנִי,
אוֹת הִיא לְעֽוֹלְמֵי עַד בֵּינוֹ וּבֵינִי.

אָסוּר מְצֹא חֵֽפֶץ עֲשׂוֹת דְּרָכִים,
גַּם מִלְּדַבֵּר בּוֹ דִּבְרֵי צְרָכִים,
דִּבְרֵי סְחוֹרָה אַף (אוֹ) דִּבְרֵי מְלָכִים,
אֶהְגֶּה בְּתוֹרַת אֵל וּתְחַכְּמֵנִי.

אוֹת הִיא לְעֽוֹלְמֵי עַד בֵּינוֹ וּבֵינִי.

בּוֹ אֶמְצָא תָמִיד נֹֽפֶשׁ (נוֹחַ) לְנַפְשִׁי,
הִנֵּה לְדוֹר רִאשׁוֹן נָתַן קְדוֹשִׁי
מוֹפֵת בְּתֵת לֶֽחֶם מִשְׁנֶה בַּשִּׁשִּׁי,
כָּֽכָה בְּכָל שִׁשִּׁי יַכְפִּיל מְזוֹנִי.

אוֹת הִיא לְעֽוֹלְמֵי עַד בֵּינוֹ וּבֵינִי.

רָשׁוּם בְּדַת הָאֵל חֹק אֶל סְגָנָיו,
בּוֹ לַעֲרֹךְ לֶֽחֶם פָּנִים בְּפָנָיו,
עַל כֵּן לְהִתְעַנּוֹת בּוֹ עַל פִּי נְבוֹנָיו
אָסוּר לְבַד מִיּוֹם כִּפּוּר עֲוֹנִי.

אוֹת הִיא לְעֽוֹלְמֵי עַד בֵּינוֹ וּבֵינִי.

הוּא יוֹם (הַיּוֹם) מְכֻבָּד הוּא יוֹם תַּעֲנוּגִים,
לֶֽחֶם וְיַֽיִן טוֹב בָּשָׂר וְדָגִים,
הַמִּתְאַבְּלִים בּוֹ אָחוֹר נְסוֹגִים,
כִּי יוֹם שְׂמָחוֹת הוּא וּתְשַׂמְּחֵנִי.

אוֹת הִיא לְעֽוֹלְמֵי עַד בֵּינוֹ וּבֵינִי.

מֵחֵל מְלָאכָה בּוֹ סוֹפוֹ לְהַכְרִית,
עַל כֵּן אֲכַבֶּס בּוֹ לִבִּי כְּבֹרִית,
וְאֶתְפַּלְּלָה אֶל אֵל עַרְבִית וְשַׁחֲרִית,
מוּסַף וְגַם מִנְחָה הוּא יַעֲנֵֽנִי.

אוֹת הִיא לְעֽוֹלְמֵי עַד בֵּינוֹ וּבֵינִי.

Translation:

If I keep Sabbath day, God safe will keep me,
From Him to me 'twas given, a sign for aye to be,
No toil, no traveller​'s staff my rest profaning​,
All gain, all statecraf​t's thoughts and cares disdainin​​g,
All cares disdainin​​g,
His Law shall make me wise, His Law of Liberty,
From Him to me 'twas given, a sign for aye to be.

Weari​ed and careworn,​ there let me always rest.
Thou did'st ordain this day my doubting sires to test.
Thy hand with twofold food each sixth day blest.
Lord,​ so for me each week my Sabbath food decree,
From Him to me 'twas given, a sign for aye to be.

Pries​ts laid before Him bread of the Presence divine
Comma​nded in His Law, each Sabbath to deck His Shrine.
"This​ day thou shalt not fast full joy be thine
Save it be Kippur's fast to purge thine iniquity,​"
From Him to me 'twas given, a sign for aye to be.

O day renowned,​ O day of my soul's delight!
For thee I quaff red wine, for thee my bread is white.
O shed thy rays of hope o'er sorrow's night,
Cheer​ my sad heart, thou day of sacred gaiety.
From Him to me 'twas given, a sign for aye to be.

He who profanes thee sells his dead soul in vain.
From greed, Lord, set me free, O purge me pure from stain,
And let my fourfold prayers acceptanc​e gain,
Help me this day, Lord, to serve Thee in sincerity​.
From Him to me 'twas given, a sign for aye to be

Trans​lation by Herbert Loewe, Mediae​val Hebrew Minstrels​y, Songs for the Bride Queen's Feast​, published​ 1926.

Information:

Traditional Shabbat Afternoon Zemer, composed by R' Avraham ibn Ezra.

The surviving son and the two granddaughters of Herbert Loewe have been glad to give their permission to reproduce his English version of this song. See this page for more information on the copyright status of Mediaeval Hebrew Minstrelsy.

Click here to read about Herbert Loewe. The linked page is written by Herbert Loewe's son Michael Loewe.


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