The Song Challenge
The Leeds Kollel has challenged our students to learn the words, meanings and tunes to 8 songs before Simchat Torah 2018. Rabbi Kramer, Head of the Leeds Kollel, came into school to introduce the first song and set the challenge going. We will be using these songs as part of our Hakafot songs when leading the Sefer Torah around the hall.
Below of the songs, translations and tunes!
תורת השם תמימה משיבת נפש, עדות השם נאמנה מחכימת פתי 1
Torat Hashem Temeema mesheevat nafesh. Eidut Hashem ne-emana machkimat peti.
This song is from Psalms and was written by King David. We recite it every Shabbat morning in the prayers. It is an all time favourite for the first Hakafa on Simchat Torah. In these words, David expresses how the Torah is pure, calms a person’s being, is truthful, and through the study of it a person becomes wise.
אנא עבדא דקודשא בריך הוא 2
Ana avvda dekoodsha berich who.
These words are in Aramaic. They come from a Kabalistic source, and it is from a prayer we normally say when taking out the Sefer Torah, the Torah Scroll, from the Aron Kodesh, the Ark. The meaning of these words are “I am a servant of the Holy One Blessed He”. This too is a very popular song on Simchat Torah.
משה אמת ותורתו אמת 3 —
Moshe emet vetorato emet.
The Midrash relates that after the rebellion of Korach against Moshe the earth swallowed up the rebels. Their shouts from underground could be heard as they said “Moshe is true and his Torah is true. (In many communities there is an interesting custom at the interval between each, or some of the seven Hakafot on Simchat Torah. A unique tune is sung (different to the tune being sung here), followed by the chanting of these words, and people jump up and down as well as playingly throw young children up in the air. It is as if to demonstrate that that we recognise this truth unlike Korach and his followers who were swallowed up underground).
הנה מה טוב ומה נעים שבת אחים גם יחד 4
Hinei ma tov ooma na-im sheves achim gam yachad
This song is written by King David. It describes how great it will be when we all live together in peace.
וקרב פזורינו מבין הגויים ונפוצותנו כנס מירכסי הארץ 5
Vekareiv pezureinu (ay ay ay ay) meebein hagoyim, unefutzoseinu kanes (kanes) meeyarkisei ha-aretz.
The words here are taken from the Mussaf prayer of the Yomim Yovim and Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. It is a request from Hashem to gather us all together from our being scattered all over the earth, and bring us back to the land of Israel.
שמחם בבנין שלם 6
Samcheim bevinyan shaleim.
These words are taken from a Shabbat song. It is a request from Hashem to bring joy to the Jewish nation with the rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash, the Holy Temple.
להשם הארץ ומלואה תבל ויושבי בה, כי הוא על ימים יסדה ועל נהרות יכונניה. מי יעלה בהר השם 7 ומי יקום במקום קדשו 7
LaHashem ha-aretz oomlowa, teivel veyoshvei vah, ki hu al yamim yesada, ve-al neharot yechoneneha. Mi ya-aleh behar hashem, umee yakum bimkom kadsho.
The lyrics for this song were authored by King David. He describes how the entire world belongs to Hashem. He continues to say that Hashem founded the earth upon the seas, meaning that originally our entire planed was covered by water until He commanded the water to gather- in and expose the dry land. David then poses a question: Since Hashem is so great and powerful, who will be worthy to “climb his mountain and stand in his sanctuary”? (The song ends with this question. David goes on to answer that it can only be a fully honest man).
לשנה הבא בירושלים 8
Leshana haba beyerooshalayim
“Next year in Jerusalem” These words are sang traditionally at the end of many Jewish happy occasions. It is sang in many communities at the end of the Hakafot on Simchat Torah.