Ein Keloheinu

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Ein Keloheinu (in Hebrew: אֱין כֱּאלֹהֱינוּ, "there is none like our God") is a well known Jewish hymn. Orthodox Jews pronounce it as Ein Kelokeinu [1] when referring to it outside of prayer, in order to avoid taking the name of God in vain or otherwise violating the sanctity of reverence to the Almighty.

Ein Keloheinu is sometimes chanted at the end of the morning service (shacharit). In the Ashkenazi tradition outside of Israel, it is only said at the end of Shabbat and festival services, towards the end of the Mussaf service, immediately before a Talmudic lesson on the making of the Temple incense. However, in the Land of Israel, as well as in all Sephardi weekday morning prayer services it is said daily.[2] In some other regional traditions it is used elsewhere in the liturgy, but it seems to be known worldwide.[3] In many synagogues it is sung; in some Orthodox synagogues it is only said quietly by every person for themselves and is not regarded as a critical part of the prayer service.

The background for the prayer is that its 20 sentences each count as a blessing. Jews are exhorted to make at least 100 blessings daily [Talmud, Menachot 43b]. On weekdays, the Shemoneh Esrei (or "Amidah") prayer contains 19 blessings and is said three times, totaling 57 blessings, and the remaining 43 are said during other parts of daily services as well as during other events throughout the day. On Shabbat and festivals, however, the Amidah consists of only seven blessings. Ein Keloheinu was designed to ensure that everybody would say at least 100 blessings a day, even on those days when the Amidah is shorter.[4]

Four different names are used to refer to God in this prayer:

  1. Elohim (אלהים) - God
  2. Adon (אדון) - Lord or Master
  3. Melekh (מלך) - King
  4. Moshia` (מושיע) - Savior.

These names of God are in the same sequence in which they appear in the Torah.[5] The kabbalists saw, in the use of four names for God, references to four different Divine qualities.[6]

Text[edit]

The original version[edit]

Hebrew original Transliteration English translation
אין כאלהינו אין כאדונינו אין כמלכנו אין כמושיענו


מי כאלהינו מי כאדונינו מי כמלכנו מי כמושיענו
נודה לאלהינו נודה לאדונינו נודה למלכנו נודה למושיענו
ברוך אלהינו ברוך אדונינו ברוך מלכנו ברוך מושיענו
אתה הוא אלהינו אתה הוא אדונינו אתה הוא מלכנו אתה הוא מושיענו
  °
אתה הוא שהקטירו אבותינו לפניך את קטרת הסמים
  °°
אתה תושיענו.
אתה תקום תרחם ציון,
כי עת לחננה כי בא מועד.

En kelohenu, en kadonenu, en kemalkenu, en kemoshi`enu,

mi chelohenu, mi chadonenu, mi chemalkenu, mi chemoshi`enu,
node lelohenu, node ladonenu, node lemalkenu, node lemoshi`enu,
baruch Elohenu, baruch Adonenu, baruch Malkenu, baruch Moshi`enu.
Atah hu Elohenu, atah hu Adonenu, atah hu Malkenu, atah hu Moshi`enu.

Atah hu shehiqtiru abotenu, lefanekha eth qetoreth hasamim.

Ata tooshiaynu.
Ata tokoom t'rakhaym tziyon, ki ayt l'khennawh, ki vaw mo'ayd.

There is none like our God, There is none like our Lord, There is none like our King, There is none like our Savior.

Who is like our God?, Who is like our Lord?, Who is like our King?, Who is like our Savior?
Let us thank our God, Let us thank our Lord, Let us thank our King, Let us thank our Savior.
Blessed be our God, Blessed be our Lord, Blessed be our King, Blessed be our Savior.
You are our God, You are our Lord, You are our King, You are our Savior.

You are the one before whom our fathers burned the incense of spice.

You will save us.
You will arise and show mercy to Zion, for it will be the time to favor her, for the proper time will have arrived.

The Hebrew text is as it appears in all siddurim, both Askenazic and Sephardic.
° The last line of the piyut itself is "You are our Savior."[7]
The Ashkenazic liturgy follows this immediately (as part of the chanting) with "You are the one before whom ...." followed by a Talmudic description of the mixing of the incense spices for the Temple.[8]
°° The Sephard, and the Sephardic/Mizrahi liturgies follow the last line of the piyut with the words, "You will save us," followed by the quotation of Psalm 102:14, "You will arise ...."[9]

Among Ashenazim, the additional line and the Talmudic lesson on the making of incense which follows it is considered optional and so that line and lesson might be omitted.[10]

This prayer appears in the liturgy as early as the Siddur Rav Amram (ca 875) - where the first verse is "Who is like ..." and the second verse is "There is none like ...", but the present sequence appears in the Mahzor Vitry and in Rashi (both late 11th century) and a century later in Maimonides.[11] The present sequence is viewed as, first, a declaration against all other religions, then a challenge to all other religions, and thereafter as worship.[12] Additionally, Abudraham (ca. 1340) pointed that that the initial "א" from the first verse, the "מ" from the second, and the "נ" from the third formed Amen, and taking the Barukh from the fourth verse and the Atah from the final verse, together produce "Amen. Blessed are Thou" - as if the end of one prayer and the beginning of another, and this serves as a suitable mnemonic to keep the verses in proper sequence.[13]

Ladino version[edit]

In many Sephardic congregations, Ein Keiloheinu is often sung in Ladino, or alternating Hebrew and Ladino, although it retains its Hebrew name.

Ladino lyrics[edit]

Ladino lyrics Transliteration

נון כומו מואישטרו דיו, נון כומו מואישטרו שינייור, נון כומו מואישטרו ריאי, נון כומו מואישטרו שלבדור.

קיין כומו מואישטרו דיו, קיין כומו מואישטרו שינייור, קיין כומו מואישטרו ריאי, קיין כומו מואישטרו שלבדור.

לוארימוס אה מואישטרו דיו, לוארימוס אה מואישטרו שינייור, לוארימוס אה מואישטרו ריאי, לוארימוס אה מואישטרו שלבדור.

בנדיגֿו מואישטרו דיו, בנדיגֿו מואישטרו שינייור, בנדיגֿו מואישטרו ריאי, בנדיגֿו מואישטרו שלבדור.

טו סוס מואישטרו דיו, טו סוס מואישטרו שינייור, טו סוס מואישטרו ריאי, טו סוס מואישטרו שלבדור.

Non komo muestro Dyo, non komo muestro Senyor,

Non komo muestro Rey, non komo muestro Salvador.

Ken komo muestro Dyo, ken komo muestro Senyor, Ken komo muestro Rey, ken komo muestro Salvador.

Loaremos a muestro Dyo, Loaremos a muestro Senyor, Loaremos a muestro Rey, Loaremos a muestro Salvador.

Bendicho muestro Dyo, Bendicho muestro Senyor, Bendicho muestro Rey, Bendicho muestro Salvador.

Tu sos muestro Dyo, Tu sos muestro Senyor. Tu sos muestro Rey, Tu sos muestro Salvador.

In popular culture[edit]

Philadelphia based post-hardcore band mewithoutYou, incorporated words from the Ein Keloheinu hymn into the song "Four Fires," a B-side track from their fifth full-length studio album, Ten Stories.

References[edit]

  1. ^ E.g., Jacobson, B.S., The Sabbath Service (orig. 1968, Engl. transl. 1981, Tel-Aviv, Sinai Publ'g) page 317.
  2. ^ Jacobson, B.S., The Sabbath Service (orig. 1968, Engl. transl. 1981, Tel-Aviv, Sinai Publ'g) page 317; Nulman, Macy, Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer (1993, NJ, Jason Aronson) s.v. Ayn Kaylohaynu, page 71.
  3. ^ Nulman, Macy, Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer (1993, NJ, Jason Aronson) s.v. Ayn Kaylohaynu, page 72; Elbogen, Ismar, Jewish Liturgy: A comprehensive history (orig. 1913, Engl. transl. 1993, Philadelphia, Jewish Publ'n Society) page 95 (in Persia, it concludes the Friday night service).
  4. ^ Jacobson, B.S., The Sabbath Service (orig. 1968, Engl. transl. 1981, Tel-Aviv, Sinai Publ'g) page 319; Nulman, Macy, Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer (1993, NJ, Jason Aronson) s.v. Ayn Kaylohaynu, pages 71-72.
  5. ^ Jacobson, B.S., The Sabbath Service (orig. 1968, Engl. transl. 1981, Tel-Aviv, Sinai Publ'g) page 320, citing the appearances in Gen. 1:1, Gen. 15:2, Ex 15:18, and Dt. 33:29.
  6. ^ Millgram, Abraham, Jewish Worship (1971, Philadelphia, Jewish Publ'n Society) page 494.
  7. ^ Nulman, Macy, Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer (1993, NJ, Jason Aronson) s.v. Ayn Kaylohaynu, page 72; Abrahams, Israel, Companion to the Authorised Daily Prayer Book (2nd ed. 1922, London, Eyre & Spottiswoode) page clxvii.
  8. ^ Nulman, Macy, Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer (1993, NJ, Jason Aronson) s.v. Ayn Kaylohaynu, page 72; Abrahams, Israel, Companion to the Authorised Daily Prayer Book (2nd ed. 1922, London, Eyre & Spottiswoode) page clxvii; Hertz. Joseph H., Authorized Daily Prayer Book with commentary, introductions and notes (American ed. 1948, NY, Bloch Publ'g) page 545; Scherman, Nosson, The Complete ArtScroll Siddur (Ashkenaz)(2nd ed, 1987, NY, Mesorah Publ'ns) pages 476-477.
  9. ^ Nulman, Macy, Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer (1993, NJ, Jason Aronson) s.v. Ayn Kaylohaynu, page 72; Abrahams, Israel, Companion to the Authorised Daily Prayer Book (2nd ed. 1922, London, Eyre & Spottiswoode) page clxvii; Koren Sefard Siddur (2008, Jerusalem, Koren Publ'g) page 67 (weekday morning) and page 206 (Sabbath mussaf); Koren Mizrahi Siddur (1988, Jerusalem, Koren Publ'g) page 78 (weekday morning) and page 223 (Sabbath mussaf); Scherman, Nosson, The Complete ArtScroll Siddur (Sefard)(1985, NY, Mesorah Publ'ns) pages 180-181 (weekday morning) and pages 516-517 (Sabbath mussaf); Orot Sephardic Weekday Siddur (1994, NJ, Orot) page 276; Orot Sephardic Shabbat Siddur (1995, NJ, Orot) pages 472-473.
  10. ^ Hertz. Joseph H., Authorized Daily Prayer Book with commentary, introductions and notes (American ed. 1948, NY, Bloch Publ'g) page 545. For example, the Conservative Sabbath and Festival Prayer Book (1948, NY, The Rabbinical Assembly of America) page 157 has the additional Ashkenaz line but omits the lesson on incense. The 1903 prayerbook of the Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues, in England, used the version with the Sephardic additional lines (but without the lesson on incense), Petuchowski, Jakob J., Prayerbook Reform in Europe (1968, NY, World Union for Progressive Judaism) page 72.
  11. ^ Nulman, Macy, Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer (1993, NJ, Jason Aronson) s.v. Ayn Kaylohaynu, page 71; Jacobson, B.S., The Sabbath Service (orig. 1968, Engl. transl. 1981, Tel-Aviv, Sinai Publ'g) page 318-319; Idelsohn, A.Z., Jewish Liturgy and its Development (1932, NY, Henry Holt) page 117.
  12. ^ Hirsch, Samson Raphael, The Hirsch Siddur (orig. 1868, Engl.transl. 1978, NY, Feldheim Publ'rs) page 379.
  13. ^ Jacobson, B.S., The Sabbath Service (orig. 1968, Engl. transl. 1981, Tel-Aviv, Sinai Publ'g) page 318-319; Nulman, Macy, Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer (1993, NJ, Jason Aronson) s.v. Ayn Kaylohaynu, pages 71-72.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Audio file "Ein Keloheinu" (regular); MP3
  • Audio file "Ein Keloheinu" (slow); MP3
  • "Ein Keloheinu""Ein Keloheinu" text;
  • [1] links to multiple audio files of different melodies for "Ein Keloheinu";