The Seventh Day

Lord, lead me into the Sabbath
with a glad heart and songs of praise
like those of ancient times.
Let me not phrase for an assembly
but for You alone.
Show me Your intention, my Maker:
am I to laud You in verse
on this the seventh day?
For to pen is my pleasure
but also my trade.

On this blessed dawn,
I leave my bed at first bird’s chirp
and, as the seventh day
lightens the celestial canopy,
I take up my pen in praise.
The gifts You provide for my leisure –
Beethoven and coffee
at the touch of a switch –
delight me as I glorify Your Name.

                 II

On the day of rest,
devout people stay home
in contemplation and prayer,
observing age-old rituals,
adhering strictly to tradition.

Others travel the land
to wonder at Your Bounty
in mountains and forests
and by the sea-shore,
partaking of  feasts You prepare
in charming cafes everywhere.

Please, Lord, in this new era,
accept the diverse ways
we express our thankfulness
on the seventh day.


בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי

אֱלֹהַי, הוֹבִילַנִי לִקְרַאת שַּׁבָּת

בְּלֵב שָׂמֵחַ וּבְשִׁירֵי הַלֵּל

שֶׁל יָמִים עָבָרוּ.

שֶׁלֹּא אַבִּיעַ לְמַעַן הַנֶּאֱסָפִים

אֶלָּא בַּעֲבוּרְךָ בִּלְבַד.

הוֹרֵנִי, בּוֹרֵא עוֹלָם, אֶת הַדֶּרֶךְ

לְהַלֶּלְךָ בְּשִׁירָה

בַּזֶּה הַיּוֹם  הַשְּׁבִיעִי.

כִּי כְּתִיבָתִי אֵינָהּ רַק רֹאשׁ שָׂמַחְתִּי,

אֶלָּא גַּם עֲמָלִי.

 

בַּזֶּה הַשַּׁחַר הַמְּבֹרָךְ

נוֹטֶשֶׁת אֲנִי אֶת מִטָּתִי

עִם צִיּוּצוֹ הָרִאשׁוֹן שֶׁל הַצִּפּוֹר,

וּכְשֶׁהַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מֵאִיר

אוֹחֶזֶת בְּעֵטִי וּמוֹדָה.

הַמַּתת שֶׁהעֲנֲַקת לִשְׁעוֹת הַפְּנַאי

בֶּטְהוֹבֶן וְקָפֶהבִּלְחִיצַת ַמֶּתֶג  –

מַרְנִינוֹת אֶת לִבִּי

כְּשֶׁאֲנִי מְהַלֶּלֶת אֶת שִׁמְךָ.

     II

בְּיוֹם הַמְּנוּחָה

אֲנָשִׁים אֲדוּקִים

מִתְכַּנְּסִים פְּנִימָה,

מִתְעַמְּקִים בִּתְפִלָּה,

מַקְפִּידִים עַל טְקָסִים נוֹשָׁנִים

וּדְבֵקִים בְּמָסֹרֶת.

 

אֲחֵרִים מְטַיְּלִים בָּאָרֶץ

לְהִתְפַּעֵל מִיֹּפִי הַבְּרִיאָה

בֶּהָרִים, בַּיְּעָרוֹת

וְעַל שְׂפַת הַיָּם,

סוֹעֲדִים בְּבָתֵּי קָפֶה

ונהנים מִטּוּב פֵּרוֹתֶיךָ.

 

אָנָּא אֱלֹהַי, בָּעִדָּן החָדָשׁ

קִבֵּל נָא אֶת גישותינו הַשּׁוֹנוֹת

שֶׁדַּרְכָּן אָנוּ מוֹדִים לְךָ

בְּיוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי.

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