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Yoducha Rayonai


:About the Song
lyrics:

 

יוֹדוּךָ רַעְיוֹנַי ה' רוֹעִי. בְּיוֹם שַׁבָּת קֹדֶשׁ יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי: יוֹם אֲשֶׁר כִּלִּיתָ בּוֹ כָּל מְלַאכְתֶּךָ. אוֹמַר כִּי שָׂרִית עַל כָּל זוּלָתֶךָ. וּמַעֲשִׂים עָשִׂיתָ. אֵין לְבַלוֹתֶךָ. לִי בֶן אֲמָתֶךָ חִישׁ לְהַרְגִיעִי:
שְׁבִיעִי בָּחַרְתָּ מִכָּל הַמִּנְיָנִים. וְאוֹתוֹ קִדַּשְׁתָּ בְּשָּׁבוּעוֹת וְשָׁנִים. חִישׁ אֲשֶׁר נָשָׂאתָ לְגֶזַע אֱמוּנִים. וּפְדֵם מֵאֲסוֹנִים אָרְחִי וְרִבְעִי:
רְצֵה בִּמְנוּחָתִי יוֹם זֶה יוֹם מְנוּחָה. וּבְיוֹם עֲבוֹדָתִי. הַמְצֵא לִי הָרְוָחָה. וְהָכֵן לִשְׁבִיתָתִי. מַשְׂאֵת וַאֲרוּחָה. וְשָׂשׂוֹן וְשִׂמְחָה יִהְיֶה שַׁעֲשׁוּעִי:
אֶ-ל-עוֹלָם שֶׁכֻּלּוֹ. שַׁבָּת תְּזַכֵּנִי. וְנֵרְךָ בְּהִלּוֹ. שִׂים אוֹר בַּעֲדֵנִי. וְאֶל מִשְׁכָּן שִׁילֹה. תָשׁוּב תַּעֲלֵנִי. מְהֵרָה עֲנֵנִי. אוֹרִי וְיִשְׁעִי
 

 

 

Synopsis:
This piuyut composed by Rabbi Israel ben Moses Najara is a song of praise to G-d for the Sabbath day. The piuyut examines the creation of the universe and unique role of Shabbat.  Rabbi Najara also discusses the theme of the redemption, and its connection between the holiness of Sabbath and the holiness of the land of Israel. 

 

Explanation of The Piyut:


The composer turns to G-d with a personal plea calling G-d "My shepherd". G-d is thus compared to a shepherd who watches over his flock, Israel. 
The composer examines the creation of the universe whole completion is the creation of Shabbat.

"The seventh day You chose of all." The composer praises the Sabbath day, where the holiness of Shabbat is integrated with the holiness of Israel. The composer then calls for redemption asking G-d to redeem Israel from exile and danger.

Najara describes the Shabbat preparations as well as the spiritual expectation G-d expects upon us. He asks G-d for appeasement on the day of rest, while he request of G-d to be easy upon him during the rest of the week. The Sabbath is a special gift where we feast, and are joyful. Najara then asks G-d Who is "his light and salvation" to redeem Israel from the horrible exile and to answer our prayers.

Lyricist
 Rabbi Israel ben Moses Najara, one of the greatest poets in Jewish history was born in Damascus in the 5400’s. He studied Torah with his father and was influenced by spirituality of music and poetry. While still young he composed many religious Piyuitim, to Arabic and Turkish tunes, with the intention, as he says in the preface to his Zemirot Yisrael, of sanctifying the music for the Jewish youth or his day.

 He wrote piyytium, pizminim, selichot, and dirges for all the week-days and for Sabbaths, Chagim, and occasional ceremonies, in both Aramaic and Hebrew. These piyytium were collected in his masterpiece Zemirot Yisrael. Rabbi Najara immigrated to Israel and settled in the city of Safad where he continued to compose songs in Eretz Yisarel. Unfortunately due to a deadly plague in the Safad, Najara was forced to leave Safad where he settled in Gaza and became where he became the Chief Rabbi of Gaza. Najara passed away in 1625 is buried in the ancient Jewish cemetery in Gaza.