Adon Olam

Algeria

Yemen – tune for Shabbat

Iraq (Maqam Higaz) – tune for dawn

About the Piyut

This is one of the more ancient piyutim amongst those widely known and sung throughout the communities of Israel. Some attribute this piyut to R. Shlomo Ibn Gabirol (The Rashbag), although there is no solid proof that he is the author. It is customary to sing this piyut before morning prayers.

Medieval rabbis regarded this poem with high esteem. Rabbi Yehudah the Pious of Germany wrote: “I guarantee that the prayers of one who says Adon Olam with attention are heard, and that Satan shall not act against his prayers… some say that even the evil inclination within him will reside and not entice him” (Sha’arei Tfilah 308:10b.).

The reason for this reverential approach can be attributed to the rare combination between some of the most important principles of faith and the sense of natural, emotional proclivity to the Divine.

Adon Olam can be found on the recordings of Piyutim North America, as well as in Siddur Sim Shalom on page 514. The author is unknown.

Lyrics

Transliteration:

Adon olam asher malach beterem kol yetzir nivra
Le’et na’asah beheftzo kol azai melech shemo nikra
Ve’aharei kichlot hakol levado yimloch nora
Vehu haya vehu hoveh vehu yih’yeh betifara
Vehu ehad ve’eyn sheni lehamshil lo lehahbira
Beli reshit beli tachlit velo ha’oz vehamisra
Beli erech beli dimyon beli shinuy u’tmura
Beli hibur beli perud gedol koah u’gevura
Vehu Eli vehai go’ali vetzur hevli be’et tzara
Vehu nisi umanos li menat kosi beyom ekra
Vehu rofeh vehu marpeh vehu tzofeh vehu ezra
Beyado afkid ruchi be’et ishan ve’a’ira
Ve’im ruhi geviyati Adonay li velo ira
Bemikdasho tagel nafshi meshihenu yishlah meherah
Ve’az nashir beveit kodshi amen amen shem hanora

Translation:

Translation by Annie Kantar

Lord of the world, who reigned    before any creature came to be
By His will all things were made,   and then He was called our King
And when all has ceased to exist,   He alone, revered, will reign
He has been, and still He is,  and in His majesty He will be
He is One-there is no other   who might ever approach His grandeur
Without beginning, and without end,  strength and dominion belong to Him
Beyond imagining, beyond measure,  unchanging and beyond compare
Set apart, yet utterly whole,  and wondrous in His might and power
He is my God, my Redeemer lives,   He is a Rock in my hour of despair
He is my banner, He is my refuge,  He is my sustenance when I call
He is the healer and He is the balm,  He keeps watch and comes to my aid
And in His hand I place my soul   when I sleep and when I wake
As my spirit dwells in my body,   God is with me-I will not fear
In His abode my soul will rejoice,   for our redeemer is on his way
And in the Temple on that day   we will sing the awesome Name.

Singers

Musicians

Production

  • Musical Direction and Arrangements: Yair Harel and Omer Avital
  • Production: Ari Priven, Yair Harel and Omer Avital
  • Mixing and editing: Daniel Freedman
  • Mastered by: Randy Merrill at Masterdisk
  • Recorded at B’nai Jeshurun, New York City, July 2010