Hameichin Mitzadei Gaver (‘… who makes our steps firm’)

Music and recording © Alexander Massey 18 July 2020 – All Rights Reserved

A musical meditation on the morning blessing for moving mindfully through the world.

“In blessing, I kneel to you,
coming to the threshold of is-ness/presence,
our source of all powers,
that rules all that is and eternity;
you firm up my steps,
giving me your strength and boundaries, and making me disciplined.”

A familiar translation is: “Blessed are you, O Lord, our God, king of the universe, who makes firm the steps of man.” My new translation is based on exploring the etymology of the words.

  • Baruch – bless. Has the same shoresh (root word) as barak, ‘to kneel’.
  • Adonai – Substitute word for tre unpronounceable yud-heh-vav-heh (YHVH) name of God; often translated with the masculine word ‘Lord’, it is shares letters with aleph-dalet-nuneh-den, meaning ‘threshold’.
  • YHVH – unpronounceable name of God, based on the verb ‘to be’. Becoming present – or coming into the Presence – brings us into our true ‘power-from-within’.
  • Elohim – a name of God, literally means ‘powers’.
  • Melech – king. This new translation removes the gender.
  • Olam – meaning both the world or universe, and eternity.
  • Mitzadei – lit, ‘steps’. We can ‘walk’ in God’s ways – the idea of halachah. 
  • Gaver – lit. strong, disciplined, boundaried. We can walk in God’s ways only only if we kneel/surrender to God, and step into God’s is-ness, which is the source of our wisdom and power.