Refa Tziri

Sfarad-Yerushalaim

About the Piyut

In this piyut we feel the pain of the poet and the people of Israel. He speaks of pain, suffering and affliction and pleads for mercy, healing and consolation. The request is not in the physical sense only but in the spiritual as well, give strength to my soul.

The poet addresses god in a rather uncommon term, expert healer, and thus emphasizes the dependence of the individual and the nation God to heal the wounds of the exile and of the personal suffering. God is described as faithful, following the verse in Deuteronomy (7:9): “Know, therefore, that only the Lord your God is God, the steadfast God who keeps His covenant faithfully”.

The Aram Tzuba tradition attributes this piyut to R. Refael Antebi, the greatest poet among the Jews of Aram Tzuba, whereas the Moroccan tradition claims it was written by the poet R. Refael Edrei, who lived in Morocco in the 20th Century.

Refa Tziri can be found on the recordings of Piyutim North America. Attributed authors are Rabbi Refael Antebi, Aram Tzuba, 19th Century and Rabbi Refael Edrei, Morocco, 20th Century.

Lyrics

Transliteration:

Refa Tziri El ne’eman / ki ata rofeh uman
At roshi shur chalshi / veten koach lenafshi
Petach sha’ar harachamim / ram shochen bameromim
Al avdach sim chassdach / en merachem biladach
El chai retzeh tefilati / vechusha le’ezrati
Bimhera deror kera / le’am ben hagevira

Translation:

Heal my pain Oh Loyal God / for you are a skilled healer
You lead me, You see my weakness / and grant strength to my soul
Open the gate of mercy / High dweller of the heavens
Upon your servant bestow your grace / there would be no mercy if not for You
Oh Living God desire my prayer / and hasten to my aid
And speedily call for the redemption / of the nation born to the Lady [Sara]

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