As we celebrate Thanksgiving, the lovely holiday when families are gathered along with close friends and guests, when the spirit of this special holiday is filling us with relaxation and with sentiments of joy and love, we’ll introduce in this coming month words and phrases that concur with these fine sentiments of kindness, joy and love as we received requests to present such words for some time.
In the next few days we’ll present expressions of love and endearment that we use today alongside biblical expressions. Most of these words have not changed in thousands of years and are are used today just as they were during the biblical era.
Today’s expression is ‘ye•did ne•fesh, beloved of the soul. Although it is known as a very popular ‘piyyut’ which is a song of praise to God, it is also a human expression by which one would call his/her soulmate. ‘Ya•did’ is a ‘friend’ although here it is ‘ye•did’ because the word ‘ne•fesh,‘ ‘soul’, that follows it makes it a construct state).
The biblical source is:
‘I have forsaken my house, I have left my heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies’
His famous song of praise, piyyut, which is believed to being written in 1601, is sung on the Sabbath day or evening, depending on the tradition of various Jewish streams. This is truly a beautiful song and you may here it in youtube under yedid nefesh. The forth entry named: ‘SHABBAT SHALOM (some hebrew text) Yedid Nefesh’ is particularly beautiful.
The English lyrics are also very uplifting: Verse 1:
Beloved of the soul, Compassionate Father, draw Your servant to Your Will; then Your servant will hurry like a hart to bow before Your majesty; to him Your friendship will be sweeter than the dripping of the honeycomb and any taste. Verse 2: Majestic, Beautiful, Radiance of the universe, my soul pines [lit: is sick for] for your love. Please, O God, heal her now by showing her the pleasantness of Your radiance; then she will be strengthened and healed, and eternal gladness will be hers. Verse 3: Enduring One, may Your mercy be aroused and please take pity on the son of Your beloved, because it is so very long that I have yearned intensely to see speedily the splendour of Your strength; only these my heart desired, so please take pity and do not conceal Yourself. Verse 4: Please, my Beloved, reveal Yourself and spread upon me the shelter of Your peace; illuminate the Earth with Your glory, that we may rejoice and be glad with You; hasten, show love, for the time has come, and show us grace as in days of old.
The first letters of each of the four verses make up the four letter name of God: Yood, Hey, Vav, Hey, known in English as the tetragrammaton.