Yehuda Halevi meets Kobi Oz

The popular Israeli singer Kobi Oz has set Yehuda Halevi’s linguistically clever eleventh-century poem to jaunty music. See below for the original poem, my translation, and then a video incorporating the translation, with typographical surprises towards the end!

ידידי די / ר’ יהודה הלוי

יְדִידַי-דַּי בְּאַהְבַת-בַּת כְּרָמִים
וְנָשִיר-שיר לְנֶאְדָּר-דָּר מְרוֹמִים.
אֲהוּבָך-בָּך וְעוּזָּך-זַך עֲצוּמִים
רְחוּמָך-מָך וחוֹמֶר-מַר רְחוּמִים
פְּלָאוֹת-אוֹת ונִיסִּים-שִֹים לְחוֹסִים
עֲשׁוּקִים-קִים והָאֵר-אוֹר תְּמִימִים
כְּאֶתמוֹל-מוֹל לְבָבִי-בִּי עֲדֵי כִּי
בְּפִשְׁרוֹן-רוֹן אֲהַלֵּל-לֵיל וְיָמִים.

O My Friend / R. Yehuda HaLevi

O my friend end now your love of drunken wine
And with song sung we will tell, Dweller on high
Love above, power of our hour of strength
Of compassion and of passion from within
Miracle full of the wonder underway
From oppressed pressed turned to light bright of the pure
Yesterday’s daze in my heart starts newly born
With a song sung I will raise praise all my days.

2 thoughts on “Yehuda Halevi meets Kobi Oz

  1. Sadie Salome says:

    The poem is a wonder, but your translation — WOWOWOW — I doubt there is anyone else in the world who could have pulled it off so perfectly!!!!! Brilliant!!!!!


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