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Yedid Nefesh R. Elazar Azkari
Tzfat 16th Century
Yedid nefesh av harachaman
Meshoch avdach el retzonach
Yarutz avdach kemo ayal
Yishtachaveh el mul hadarach
Ki ye'erav lo yedidutach
Minofet tzuf vechol ta'am
Hadur na'eh ziv haolam
Nafshi cholat ahavatach
Ana el na refa na la
Behar'ot la noam zivach
Az titchazek vetitrapeh
Vehayta lach shifchat olam
Vatik yehemu rachamecha
Vechusa na al ben ahuvach
Ki zeh chameh nichsof nichsaf
Lirot betif'eret uzach
Ana eli machmad libi
Chussa na ve'al titalam
Higaleh na u'fros haviv
Alai et sukkat shelomach
Tair eretz mikevodach
Nagila venismecha vach
Maher ahuv ki va moed
Vechonenu kimei olam

The Piyut   
    This piyut, which holds a highly respected place among the traditions of Jewish liturgy, was written by R. Elazar Azkari, a philosopher and ethicist who was a major figure among the mystics 16th century Tzfat. The poet himself defined his piyut as a supplication for union and the desire of love and it is indeed sung by all communities at times of great emotional and spiritual awakenings, such as the dawn hour, the welcoming of the Shabbat or the third meal of Shabbat . The poem is imbued with love, longing and emotion and it reflects the sensitive and mystical tendencies of the author. Another noteworthy fact is that the acrostic is the tetragrammaton, God's ineffable name, and not, as is customary, the author's name. This again reflects the deep spiritual feelings of the author.    

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