נב. עקדה. חיבר ר' אפרים ב"ר יצחק מרגנשבורג
This prayer was composed by Rav Ephraim ben Isaac of Regensburg. It is entitled the Akeidah, the Binding and retells the episode of the binding of Isaac.
אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ
Our God and God of our fathers!
אִם אָפֵס רֹבַע הַקֵּן. Though the pigeon offerings have ceased,1The literal translation of the word רֶבַע is a quarter. In the time of the Temple a poor man was permitted to bring doves or young pigeons which were worth a quarter of a dinar for his offerings.
אֹהֶל שִׁכֵּן אִם־רִקֵּן. though the tent of His dwelling is now empty,
אַל־נֹאבְדָה עַל־כֵּן. we need not lose hope
יֶשׁ לָנוּ אָב זָקֵן:
for we have the merit of our old father.2Abraham.
פָּנִים לוֹ תַכִּיר. Recognize his presence
וְצִדְקוֹ לְפָנֶיךָ נַזְכִּיר. when we mention his righteousness before You;
צִוִּיתוֹ, You commanded him,
קַח־נָא אֶת־בִּנְךָ יַקִּיר. “Take your beloved son,
וְנִמְצָה דָמוֹ and let his blood be wrung out
at the side [of the Altar].”
רָץ אֶל הַנַּעַר וְהִקְדִּישׁוֹ. He ran to the lad and consecrated him,
וְנַפְשׁוֹ קְשׁוּרָה בְנַפְשׁוֹ. though his soul was bound up in his soul;
עִטְּרוֹ בָּעֵצִים וְאִשּׁוֹ. he put the wood and fire around him,
and the crown of his God was on his head.3Abraham was compared to the Kohain Gadol who wore the Crown of God upon his forehead.
יָחִיד רַךְ הוּקַל כַּצְּבִי. The only son, tender and light as a deer,
עָנָה וְאָמַר אָבִי. answered and said to his father,
הִנֵּה הָאֵשׁ וְהָעֵצִים נָבִיא. “Behold we are bringing the fire and wood,
וּתְשׁוּרָה אֵין לְהָבִיא:
but there is no offering to bring.”
מִלִּין הֱשִׁיבוֹ He answered him with words
מִלְּהַבְהִילוֹ. that would not terrify him;
עָנָה אָבִיו וְאָמַר־לוֹ. his father said to him,
אֱלֹהִים יִרְאֶה־לּוֹ. “God Himself will show [the lamb],
וְיוֹדַע יְהֹוָה and Adonoy will let us know
that which is His [sacrifice].”
בְּמִצְוֹתֶיךָ שְׁנֵיהֶם נִזְהָרִים. Both heeded Your commandment
וְאַחֲרֶיךָ לֹא מְהַרְהֲרִים. and did not question You[r word];
חָשׁוּ מְאֹד נִמְהָרִים. without hesitation, they hurried quickly
עַל אַחַד הֶהָרִים:
to one of the mountains.
רָאוּ אֵשׁ תְּלוּלָה. When they saw a blazing pillar of fire,
מִהֲרוּ עֲצֵי they quickly brought the wood for
עוֹלָה. the burnt-offering;
יַחַד בְּאַהֲבָה כְלוּלָה. together, linked closely in love,
יִשְּׁרוּ בָּעֲרָבָה they walked straight through the wilderness
as though it was a plain.
רָאָה יָחִיד When the only son perceived
כִּי הוּא הַשֶּׂה. that he was to be the lamb,
נָאַם לְהוֹרוֹ הַמְּנֻסֶּה. he said to his father, the tested one4God had tested Abraham with nine tests and this was the tenth.
אֹתִי כְּכֶבֶשֹ תַּעֲשֶֹה. “Do with me as you would a lamb,
have no pity and do not spare me.
בִּי חָפֵץ וְנִכְסֹף. He [God] has delight in me and desires me,
לְבָבִי־לוֹ אֶחְשֹף. to Him I will bare my heart;
הַאִם תִּמְנָעֵנִי even should you refuse to sacrifice me,
סוֹף. רוּחִי וְנִשְׁמָתִי in the end my spirit and my soul
will be gathered unto Him.
יָדָיו וְרַגְלָיו עָקַד. He [Abraham] bowed his hands and feet,
וְחַרְבּוֹ עָלָיו פָּקַד. and held his sword over him;
לְשֹוּמוֹ עַל־עֵצִים שָׁקַד. he laid him carefully on the wood
וְהָאֵשׁ עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ תּוּקַד:
as the fire blazed on the altar.
צַוָּאר פָּשַׁט מֵאֵלָיו. He stretched forth his neck willingly,
וְאָבִיו נִגַּשׁ אֵלָיו. and his father came close
לְשָׁחֲטוֹ לְשֵׁם בְּעָלָיו. to slaughter him in the Name of his Master
וְהִנֵּה יְהֹוָה נִצָּב עָלָיו:
and behold, Adonoy stood over him.
חָקַר אֶת־אֲשֶׁר נַעֲשָֹה. God observed what was being done,
הָאָב עַל־בְּנוֹ לֹא חָסָה. how the father had not spared his son,
לִבּוֹ אֶל־כַּפָּיו נָשָֹא. his heart and his hands were lifted [as one],5To do God’s will.
וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים and God saw
all that was done.
קָרָא God called to Abraham
לְמֵרֶחֶם מִשְׁחָר. who was sanctified from the womb,6See Rashi, Psalms 110:3.
תְּמוּר בִּנְךָ תִּבְחָר. choose an exchange for your son,
הִנֵּה אַיִל אַחַר. behold there is another ram,
offer it without delay.
חֲלִיפֵי אַזְכָּרָתוֹ. The exchanged [ram] will be his offering,
תִּכֹּן הַקְטָרָתוֹ. its burning will be proper
וְתַעֲלֶה תְּמוּרָתוֹ. and its smoke will ascend;
וְהָיָה הוּא and it will be [as if] he
and his exchange [are offered before Me].
זִכָּרוֹן לְפָנֶיךָ בַּשַּׁחַק. May the memory be before You in heaven,
לָעַד בְּסֵפֶר יוּחַק. engraved forever in [Your] book,
בְּרִית־עוֹלָם an everlasting covenant,
לֹא־נִמְחַק. never to be erased,
אֶת־אַבְרָהָם וְאֶת יִצְחָק:
with Abraham and Isaac.
קוֹרְאֶיךָ בָּאִים לִקּוֹד. Your worshippers have come to bow to You;
בְּצֶדֶק עֲקֵדָה תִשְׁקֹד. regard the righteousness of that binding
צֹאנְךָ בְּרַחֲמִים תִּפְקֹד. and remember Your flock with compassion,
פְּנֵי הַצֹּאן [for] the faces of Your flock
look to the merit of the binding.7Israel hopes that it will be redeemed in the merit of the Akeidah [binding].
אֵל מֶֽלֶךְ. Almighty! King!
יוֹשֵׁב עַל כִּסֵּא רַחֲמִים. Who sits on the throne of mercy,
מִתְנַהֵג בַּחֲסִידוּת. governs with kindness
מוֹחֵל עֲוֹנוֹת עַמּוֹ. forgives the iniquities of His people.
מַעֲבִיר רִאשׁוֹן רִאשׁוֹן. He removes their sins one by one,
מַרְבֶּה מְחִילָה לְחַטָּאִים increasing forgiveness to sinners,
וּסְלִיחָה לְפוֹשְׁעִים. and pardon to transgressors.
עוֹשֶׂה צְדָקוֹת Acting righteously
עִם כָּל בָּשָׂר וָרֽוּחַ. with all who are of flesh and spirit;
לֹא כְרָעָתָם not according to their wickedness
תִּגְמוֹל: does He repay them.
הוֹרֵיתָ לָנוּ לוֹמַר You instructed us to recite
שְׁלשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה. the thirteen Divine attributes;
וּזְכָר לָֽנוּ הַיּוֹם remember unto us this day
בְּרִית שְׁלשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה. the covenant of thirteen Divine attributes,
כְּמוֹ שֶׁהוֹדַֽעְתָּ as You made them known
לֶעָנָו מִקֶּֽדֶם. to the humble Moses of old,
כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב as it is written,
וַיֵּרֶד יְהֹוָה בֶּֽעָנָן “And Adonoy descended in the cloud,
וַיִּתְיַצֵּב עִמּוֹ שָׁם and stood with him there,
וַיִּקְרָא בְשֵׁם יְהֹוָה:
and proclaimed the Name, Adonoy.
Congregation and Chazzan:
וַיַּֽעֲבֹר יְהֹוָה עַל פָּנָיו And Adonoy passed before him [Moses];
יְהֹוָה יְהֹוָה Adonoy, Adonoy,
אֵל רַחוּם וְחַנּוּן Almighty, Merciful, Gracious,
אֶֽרֶךְ אַפַּֽיִם Slow to Anger,
וְרַב חֶֽסֶד וֶֽאֱמֶת: and Abundant in Kindness, and Truth.
נֹצֵר חֶֽסֶד Keeper of kindness
לָאֲלָפִים for thousands of generations,
נֹשֵׂא עָוֹן וָפֶֽשַׁע Endurer of iniquity, and transgression,
וְחַטָּאָה and sin;
וְנַקֵּה: and Acquitter of those who repent.”
וְסָלַחְתָּ לַעֲוֹנֵֽנוּ וּלְחַטָּאתֵֽנוּ “And pardon our iniquity and our sin,
and take us for Your inheritance.”
סְלַח לָֽנוּ אָבִֽינוּ כִּי חָטָֽאנוּ. Pardon us our Father, for we have sinned,
מְחַל לָֽנוּ מַלְכֵּֽנוּ כִּי פָשָֽׁעְנוּ: forgive us our King, for we have transgressed.
כִּי אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי “For You, my Master,
טוֹב וְסַלָּח are good and forgiving,
וְרַב חֶֽסֶד and abounding in kindness
to all who call upon You.”