Music and audio © Alexander Massey 10 June 2019
This was composed for a concert based on Book 4 of the psalms, for the Society for Old Testament Study Conference, Oxford University July 2019. These verses are an important part of Yom Kippur liturgy, with the themes of sin and mercy, compassion and forgiveness. This project is a lovely example of how Biblical scholarship, music, Christianity and Judaism can evolve in harmony.
Barchi nafshi et Adonai; v’chol k’ravai et sheim kod’sho. Barchi nafshi et Adonai v’al tishk’chi kol g’mulav. Hasoleiach l’chol avoneichi; harofei l’chol tachaluaichi; Hagoeil mishachat chayaichi hamatreichi chesed v’rachamim;
Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; Who forgives all your iniquity; who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit; who encompasses you with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Hamasbia batov edyeich titchadeish kanesher n’uraichi. Oseh tz’dakot Adonai, umishpatim l’chol ashukim. Yodia d’rachav l’mosheh livnei yisraeil alilotav. Rachum v’chanun Adonai erech apayim v’rav chased.
Who satisfies your old age with good things; so that your youth is renewed like the eagle. The Lord executes righteousness, and acts of justice for all that are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His doings to the children of Israel. The Lord is full of compassion and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
Lo lanetzach yariv v’lo l’olam yitor. Lo chachataeinu asah lanu, v’lo cha’avonoteinu gamal aleinu. Ki chigvoah shamayim al ha’aretz, gavar chasdo al y’reiav. Kirchok mizrach mima’arav hirchik mimenu et p’shaeinu.
He will not always contend; neither will He keep His anger for ever. He has not dealt with us after our sins, nor requited us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.