Festivals, a Mesorah Publication for the OU
Centennial, with Introductory Essays and Comments by Rabbi Benjamin Yudin.
The following verses are not really part of the Yizkor Service, but they are used as an
appropriate introduction in many congregations, because their theme is the triumph of Man,
through faith in Hashem, over his own mortality and the inevitability of death.
Hashem, mah Adam
Hashem, what is Man
"Hashem, mah Adam vatayda-ayhu,
ben enosh vat'chash'vayhu?
Adam la-hevel damah,
yamav k'tzayl ovayr.
Baboker yatzitz v'chalaf,
la-erev y'molayl v'yavaysh.
Limnot yamaynu kayn hoda,
v'novi l'vav choch-mah.
Sh'mor tam ur'ay yashar,
ki acharit l'ish shalom.
Ach E-lohim yif-de nafshi mi-yad sh'ol,
ki yikachayni, selah!
Kalah sh'ayri ulvavi,
tzur l'vavi v'chelki E-lohim l'olam.
al ha-aretz k'she-ha-yah,
el Ha-E-lohim asher n'tanah."
Hashem, Mah Adam
Hashem, What is Man
"Hashem, what is Man that You recognize him?
The son of a frail human, that you reckon with him?
Man is like a breath, his days are like a fleeting shadow.
In the morning it blossoms and is rejuvenated,
by evening it is cut down and brittle.
According to the count of our days, so may You teach us;
then we shall acquire a heart of wisdom.
Safeguard the perfect and watch the upright,
for the destiny of that man is peace.
But G-d will redeem my soul from the grip of the lower world,
for He will take me, Selah!
My flesh and my heart yearn -
Rock of my heart, and my portion is G-d, forever.
Then the dust returns to the ground, as it was,
and the spirit returns to G-d Who gave it."
Yoshayv B'Sayter Elyon
Who sits in the refuge of the Most High
Yoshayv b'sayter elyon,
b'tzayl Sha-dai yitlonan.
Omar Lado-nay machsi umtzudati,
E-lohai evtach bo.
Ki hu yatzil'cha mipach yakush,
B'evrato yasech lach,
V'tachat k'nafav techse,
tzinah v'sochayrah amito.
Lo tira mipachad laylah,
maychaytz ya-uf yomam.
Mi-dever ba-ofel yahaloch,
miketev yashud tzohora-yim.
Yipol mitzid'cha elef,
aylecha lo yigash.
Rak b'aynecha tabit,
v'shilumat r'sha-im tir-eh.
Ki atah Ado-nay machsi,
elyon samta m'onecha.
Lo t'une aylecha ra-ah,
v'nega lo yikrav b'oholecha.
Ki mal-achav y'tza-ve lach,
lishmorcha b'chol d'rachecha.
Al kapa-yim yiso-uncha,
pen tigof ba-even raglecha.
Al shachal vofeten tidroch,
tirmos k'fir v'tanin.
Ki vi chashak va-afal'tayhu,
asag'vayhu ki yada sh'mi.
imo anochi v'tzarah,
Orech yamim asbi-ayhu,
Orech yomim asbi-ayhu,
Yoshayv B'Sayter Elyon
Who Sits in the Refuge of the Most High
"Who sits in the refuge of the Most High,
he shall dwell in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of Hashem, 'He is my refuge and my fortress,
my G-d, I will trust in Him.'
For He will deliver you from the ensnaring trap, from devastating pestilence.
With His pinion He will cover you, and beneath His wings you will be protected;
shield and armor is His truth.
You shall not fear the terror of night: nor the arrow that flies by day;
nor the pestilence that walks in gloom;
nor the destroyer who lays waste at noon.
Let a thousand encamp at your side and a myriad at your right hand,
but to you they shall not approach.
You will merely peer with your eyes,
and you will see the retribution of the wicked.
Because [you said,] 'You, Hashem, are my refuge,'
you have made the Most High your dwelling place.
No evil shall befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent.
He will charge His angels for you, to protect you in all your ways.
On their palms they will carry you, lest you strike a foot against a stone.
Upon the lion and the viper you will tread;
you will trample the young lion and the serpent.
For he has yearned for Me and I will deliver him;
I will elevate him because he knows My Name.
He will call upon Me and I will answer him,
I am with him in distress, I will release him and I will honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him, and I will show him My salvation.
With long life will I satisfy him, and I will show him My salvation."