Al sh'loshah d'varim (x3)
Al hatorah, v'al ha'avodah, v'al g'milut chasadim (x2)
עַל שְׁלֹשָׁה דְּבָרִים(x3)
עַל הַתּוֹרָה, וְעַל הַעֲבוֹדָה וְעַל גְּמִילוּת
Upon three things the world stands:
On Torah, on service (prayer), and on loving kindness.
The words are taken from a short statement of Pirkei Avot 1:2 (lit. Chapters of the Fathers), a compilation of ethical teachings reaching back to Sinai.
The song, which emphasizes the importance of Torah, is most often heard today in Reform temples during the part of the service before the Torah is read. However, the songs fits just as well as a short zemer for a kumzitz or Seudah Shelishit.
The Words in Parentheses are not sung in the recording below, but are part of the original text