האדרת והאמונה לחי עולמים

 

 

האדרת והאמונה

Wondrous power and faithfulness belong to the One Who lives forever.

 

הבינה והברכה

Deep understanding and blessing belong to the One Who lives forever.

 

הגאוה והגדולה

Mystical power and grandeur belong to the One Who lives forever.

 

הדעה והדבור

Knowledge and speech belong to the One Who lives forever.

 

ההוד וההדר

Awesome beauty and majesty belong to the One Who lives forever.

 

הועד והותיקות

Time and reliability belong to the One Who lives forever.

 

הזוך והזוהר

Clarity and radiance belong to the One Who lives forever.

 

החיל והחוסן

Strength and abundance belong to the One Who lives forever.

 

הטכס והטוהר

Order and purity belong to the One Who lives forever.

 

הייחוד והיראה

Oneness and awe belong to the One Who lives forever.

 

הכתר והכבוד

Crown and glory belong to the One Who lives forever.

 

הלקח והלבוב

Teaching and rapture belong to the One Who lives forever.

 

המלוכה והממשלה

Kingship and dominion belong to the One Who lives forever.

 

הנוי והנצח

Pure beauty and timelessness belong to the One Who lives forever.

 

 

השגוי והשגב

Sublimity and transcendence belong to the One Who lives forever.

 

העוז והענווה

Might and humility belong to the One Who lives forever.

 

הפאר והפלא

Splendor and miracle belong to the One Who lives forever.

 

הצבי והצדק

Desire and just measure belong to the One Who lives forever.

 

הקריאה והקדושה

Calling “Sacred” belongs to the One Who lives forever.

 

הרון והרוממות

Melody and exaltedness belong to the One Who lives forever.

 

השיר והשבח

Song and praise belong to the One Who lives forever.

 

התהלה והתפארת

Psalm and magnificence belong to the One Who lives forever.


Notes

 

This hymn, found in the Pirkei Heikhalot, is one of the oldest mystical poems in Jewish liturgy, perhaps as early as the 2nd century C. E. It is one of the songs of celestial praise that the angels sing to God in God’s Throne room. It has the form of a double alphabetic acrostic and a regular refrain.

 

Each term describes an aspect of God’s power and majesty. Indeed, each of these words is from the realm of the numinous; each is a synonym for holiness. Note the multiple terms for power (“wondrous power,” “mystical power,” “strength,” “might”), for beauty (“awesome beauty,” “pure beauty”), for majesty (“grandeur,” “majesty,” “kingship,” “dominion,” “splendor,” “magnificence”), and for purity (“clarity,” “radiance,” “purity). Note, too, that there are very few moral terms (“faithfulness,” “reliability,” “humility,” “just measure”). Each, in its turn, is ‘awesome,’ a synonym for holiness.

 

Aderet – is “the cloak of power” like the cloak Elijah uses to split the river

 

Emuna – is “faith-ful-ness,” not “belief”

 

Ga’ava – is the spiritual power of the mystics in this literature, rooted in Ps. 93, ge’ut

 

Va`ad – is God’s power over time

 

Vatikut – a rabbinic term denoting God’s reliability (see Talmud, Shabbat 105a)

 

Hosen – “The faithfulness of your times will be the abundance of redemptions, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of God will be its treasure” (Is. 33:6).

 

Tekes – is a ceremony, an ordering of things

 

Libuv – “Make me at one with your heart, my sister, my bride” (Song of Songs 4:9).

 

Sigui – “How sublime is God; we cannot comprehend it” (Job 36:26).

 

Segev – with the Hebrew, nisgav

 

Pe’erTefillin are humankind’s crown; hence, “splendor”

 

Pele’ -- I follow alternate versions here with “miracle” being more numinous language than “redemption” and, hence, closer to the overall tone of the hymn.

 

Tsvi – “From the ends of the earth we have heard melodies, a desire of the Righteous One” (Is. 24:16).

 

Keri’a - Kedusha – referring to the angels calling Kadosh… to one another

 

Tehilla – is a psalm                         

 

 

To hear the music, click here.                                        

 

 

Sally Chambers Pias and David R. Blumenthal