Echad Mi Yodea

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Echad Mi Yodea, recorded in Tel Aviv in 1966

Echad Mi Yodea (Yiddish: ווער קענ זאָגן ווער קענ רעדן ver ken zogn ver ken redn) (Ladino: "ken supyese i entendyese") (Hebrew: אחד מי יודע ekhád mi yodeá) (Bukhori: Yakumin ki medonad?) (Who Knows One?) is a traditional cumulative song sung on Passover and found in the haggadah. It enumerates common Jewish motifs and teachings. It is meant to be fun and humorous, while still imparting important lessons to the children present.

Recitation varies from family to family. The song, first has versions in Yiddish and Hebrew, and many other vernacular languages. Sometimes it is played as a memory game, recited without looking. Sometimes the goal is to recite the entire verse in one breath.[1]

Meaning[edit]

Although it can appear to be simply a juvenile children's song, an important message is being imparted to those present at the Passover table. The main theme of Passover, and particularly of the Seder, is not only the physical freedom of a nation of slaves. More importantly, it is the spiritual and mental freeing of this people, to become a nation unto God, His Chosen People. As His people, the Jewish Nation is expected to be wholly at one with God, and to relate everything in their lives to Him. It is sometimes thought that word association reveals the unconscious mind. Thus, it is at this point in the Seder that the Jews sing this cumulative song. After relating God's wonders and kindness, and the events of the Exodus, the song demonstrates how everything can and should relate to God: "If I say 'One', you think 'God!', if I say 'Five', you think 'Books of Moses!'"

History[edit]

According to the Encyclopaedia Judaica, this song is first found in Ashkenazi Haggadot of the 16th century. It is believed to have originated in Germany in the 15th century, possibly based on a German folk song "Guter freund ich frage dich", which means "Good friend, I ask you".

Structure and text[edit]

"Echad Mi Yodea" is a cumulative song, meaning that each verse is built on top of the previous verses. There are thirteen verses.

The first verse runs:

Who knows one?
I know one.
One is our God, in heaven and on earth.


The second verse:

Who knows two?
I know two.
Two are the tablets of the covenant;
One is our God, in heaven and on earth.


...and so forth. The last verse is:

Who knows thirteen?
I know thirteen.
Thirteen are God's principles;
Twelve are the tribes of Israel;
Eleven are the stars of Joseph's dream;
Ten are the Commandments;
Nine are the months of childbirth;
Eight are the days before circumcision;
Seven are the days of the week;
Six are the sections of the Mishnah;
Five are the books of the Torah;
Four are the Matriarchs;
Three are the Patriarchs;
Two are the tablets of the covenant;
One is our God, in heaven and on earth.



Popular version
English Hebrew Yiddish
1. One is our God, in heaven and on earth אחד אלוהינו שבשמיים ובארץ איינער איז הקדוש ברוך הוא אויף דער ערד און הימעל איינער ביסטו
2. Two are the tablets of the covenant; שני לוחות הברית צוויי לוחות פון ספיר שטיין געשריבען האָט זיי דער אייבערשטער אליין
3. Three are the Fathers שלושה אבות דריי אבות זענען ביי אונז דאָ אברהם, יצחק, יעקב, זכרונם לברכה
4. Four are the Mothers ארבע אימהות פיר אימהות זענען ביי אונז דאָ שרה, רבקה, רחל אוּן לאה!
5. Five are the books of the Torah חמישה חומשי תורה די תורה איז צוטיילט אויף פינף ספרים בראשית, שמות, ויקרא, במדבר, דברים
6. Six are the books of the Mishnah שישה סידרי משנה זעקס חלקים, עפען אויף און זע ווערט צוטיילט די תורה שבעל פה
7. Seven are the days of the week שיבעה ימי שבתא א גאנצע וואָך גרייט מען זיך צו דער זיבעטער טאָג שבת, שטעלט זיך אָפ אין רוּ
8. Eight are the days of the circumcision שמונה ימי מילה אכט טעג ווען א קיד איז אלט מאכט מען איהם א ברית, און ער ווערט געמַל'ט
9. Nine are the months of the pregnant תישעה ירחי לידה ניין מאנאטען ווערט איינגעשטעלט אייעדער א קינד קומט אויף דער וועלט
10. Ten are the Commandments עשרה דיבריא אויף באַרג סיני האָט אונזער גאָט אונז געגעבען די צען געבאָט!
11. Eleven are the stars of the Joseph's dream אחד עשר כוכביא .יא אחד עשר לאָזט אונז הערען יוסף'ס חלום און די עלף שטערען .יא
12. Twelve are the tribes of Israel שנים עשר שיבטיא .יב יעקב'ס קינדער פון דור צו דור די צוועלף שבטים, און ראובן איז דער בכור .יב
13. Thirteen are the attributes of God שלושה עשר מידיא .יג א גאָט פון רחמנות איז אונזער בורא דרייצען מידות לערנט אונז די תורה .יג


Rhyming version
English Hebrew
1. One is Hashem, one is Hashem, one is Hashem! In the Heaven and the Earth אחד אלוהינו שבשמיים ובארץ
2. Two are the tablets that Moshe brought; שני לוחות הברית
3. Three are the Fathers שלושה אבות
4. Four are the Mothers ארבע אימהות
5. Five are the books of the Torah חמישה חומשי תורה
6. Six are the books of the Mishnah שישה סידרי משנה
7. Seven are the days of the week ooh-ah שיבעה ימי שבתא
8. Eight are the days til the Brit Milah שמונה ימי מילה
9. Nine are the months til the baby's born תישעה ירחי לידה
10. Ten are the ten Commandments עשרה דיבריא
11. Eleven are the stars in Joseph's dream אחד עשר כוכביא .יא
12. Twelve are the tribes of Israel שנים עשר שיבטיא .יב
13. Thirteen are the attributes of Hashem שלושה עשר מידיא .יג
Yiddish singing version (sometimes known as Mu Asapru)
English Yiddish transliteration Yiddish
Chorus: Hebrew What can I say? What can I tell? back to Yiddish Hey! Hey! Ya da da da da! Who can say, who can tell, what is the meaning of ___? Mu asapru, mu adabru, oyscha! oyscha! Ya da da da da, ver ken zogn, ver ken redn, vos di ___ batayt? מה אספרה, מה אדברה, אױסכאַ! אױסכאַ! יאַ דאַ דאַ... װער קען זאָגן, װער קען רעדן, װאָס די ____ באַטײַט?
1. One is God, and God is one, and there is no other. Eyner is Got, und Got is eyner, un vayte keyner. אײנער איז גאָט, און גאָט איז אײנער, און װײַטע קײַנער
2. Two are the tablets Tzvey zenen di lukhes צװײ זענען די לוחות
3. Three are the Fathers Dray zenen di Oves דרײַ זענען די אבֿות
4. Four are the Mothers Fir zenen di Imes פיר זענען די אימהות
5. Five are the fifths of the Torah Finf zenen di Khamushim פינף זענען די חמושים
6. Six are the books of the Mishnah Zekst zenen di Mishnayes זעקסט זענען די משניות
7. Seven are the weekdays Zibn zenen di Vokhnteg זיבן זענען די װאָכנטעג
8. Eight days till the bris Akht teg iz der bris אַכט טעג איז דער ברית
9. Nine months you're carried (in the womb) Nayn khedoshim trogt men נײַן חודשים טראָגט מען
10. Ten are the Commandments Tzen zenen di gebot צען זענען די געבאָט
11. Eleven are the stars (in Joseph's dream) Elf zenen di shterm עלף זענען די שטערן
12. Twelve are the tribes (of Israel) Tzvelf zenen di shvotim צװעלף זענען די שבֿוטים
13. Thirteen is a bar mitzvah Draytzn iz men bar mitzvah דרײַצן איז מען בר מצווה
Complete verse. Thirteen is a bar mitzvah, twelve are the tribes, eleven are the stars, ten are the Commandments, nine months you're carried, eight days till the bris, seven are the weekdays, six are the books of the Mishnah, five are the fifths of the Torah, four are the Mothers, three are the Fathers, two are the tablets, and one is God, and God is one, and there is no other. Hey! Draytzn iz men bar mitzvah, tzvelf zenen di shvotim, elf zenen di shterm, tzen zenen di gebot, nayn khedoshim trogt men, akht teg iz der bris, zibn zenen di vokhnteg, zekst zenen di Mishnayes, finf zenen di Khamushim, fir zenen di Imes, dray zenen di Oves, tzvey zenen di lukhes, un einer is Got, un Got is einer, un vayte keyner. Oy! דרײַצן איז מען בר מצווה, צװעלף זענען די שבֿוטים, עלף זענען די שטערן, צען זענען די געבאָט, נײַן חודשים טראָגט מען, אַכט טעג איז דער ברית, זיבן זענען די װאָכנטעג, זעקסט זענען די משניות, פינף זענען די חמושים, פיר זענען די אימהות, דרײַ זענען די אבֿות, צװײ זענען די לוחות, און אײנער איז גאָט, און גאָט איז אײנער, און װײַטע קײַנער. אוי!

Spanish version[edit]

Showing the last complete paragraph, as an example. First and Last verses would be sung in Hebrew.

 Shloshá Asar, Mi Yodea?
 Shloshá Asar, Ani Yodea!
 Trece años del Bar Mitzvá
 Doce Tribus de Israel
 Once Estrellas de Iaakov
 Diez Mandamientos Son
 Nueve Meses de la preñada
 Ocho Días del Milá
 Siete Días de la Semana
 Seis Libros de la Mishná
 Cinco Libros de la Torá
 Cuatro Madres de Israel
 Tres Nuestros Padres Son
 Dos Tablas de La Ley
 Uno es el Creador
 Eloheinu, Eloheinu, 
 Eloheinu, Eloheinu,
 She-bashamaim uva'aretz

Judaeo-Ladino version[edit]

Ken supyese y entendyese alavar al Dio kreyense?

Kuale es el uno?
Uno es el Kriador, Baruch Hu Baruch shemo

Kuales son loz dos?
Dos Moshe y Aron

Kuales son los tres?
Trez padrez muestros son, [Avram, Itzhak y Yaakov]

Kuales son los kuatro?
Kuatro madrez muestras son, [Sara, Rivka, Leah, Rahel]

Kuales son los sinko?
Sinko livroz de la Ley

Kuales son los seish?
Seish diaz de la semana

Kuales son los syete?
Syete dias con Shabbat

Kuales son loz ocho?
Ocho diaz de la mila

Kuales son loz nueve?
Nueve mezes de la prenyada

Kuales son los diesh?
Diez mandamientoz de la Ley

Kuales son loz onze?
Onze trivoz in Yisrael

Kuales son loz doze?
Dosay trivos kon Yosef

Judaeo-Tajik or Bokharian version[edit]

Yakumin kie medonad? Yakumin man’ medonam! Yakumin: Khudoyi pabun olamin.

Duyumin kie medonad? Duyumin man’ medonam! Duyumin: du’u lavchie gavkhar. Yakumin: Khudoyi pabun olamin.

Seyumin kie medonad? Seyumin man’ medonam! Seyumin: se’e padaron. Duyumin: du’u lavchie gavkhar. Yakumin: Khudoyi pabun olamin.

Chorumin kie medonad? Chorumin man’ medonam! Chorumin: chor’ modaron. Seyumin: se’e padaron. Duyumin: du’u lavchie gavkhar. Yakumin: Khudoyi pabun olamin.

Panjumin kie medonad? Panjumin man’ medonam! Panjumin: panj sifrey Toro. Chorumin: chor’ modaron. Seyumin: se’e padaron. Duyumin: du’u lavchie gavkhar. Yakumin: Khudoyi pabun olamin.

Shashtumin kie medonad? Shashtumin man’ medonam! Shishtumin: shash sidrey mishno. Panjumin: panj sifrey Toro. Chorumin: chor’ modaron. Seyumin: se’e padaron. Duyumin: du’u lavchie gavkhar. Yakumin: Khudoyi pabun olamin.

Khaftumin kie medonad? Khaftumin man’ medonam! Khaftumin: khaft rouzi khafta. Shishtumin: shash sidrey mishno. Panjumin: panj sifrey Toro. Chorumin: chor’ modaron. Seyumin: se’e padaron. Duyumin: du’u lavchie gavkhar. Yakumin: Khudoyi pabun olamin.

Khashtumin kie medonad? Khashtumin man’ medonam! Khashtumin: khasht rouzi millo. Khaftumin: khaft rouzi khafta. Shishtumin: shash sidrey mishno. Panjumin: panj sifrey Toro. Chorumin: chor’ modaron. Seyumin: se’e padaron. Duyumin: du’u lavchie gavkhar. Yakumin: Khudoyi pabun olamin.

Nokhumin kie medonad? Nokhumin man’ medonam! Nokhumin: noch mochie zanon. Khashtumin: khasht rouzi millo. Khaftumin: khaft rouzi khafta. Shishtumin: shash sidrey mishno. Panjumin: panj sifrey Toro. Chorumin: chor’ modaron. Seyumin: se’e padaron. Duyumin: du’u lavchie gavkhar. Yakumin: Khudoyi pabun olamin.

Dakhumin kie medonad? Dakhumin man’ medonam! Dakhumin: dakh sukhanon. Nokhumin: noch mochie zanon. Khashtumin: khasht rouzi millo. Khaftumin: khaft rouzi khafta. Shishtumin: shash sidrey mishno. Panjumin: panj sifrey Toro. Chorumin: chor’ modaron. Seyumin: se’e padaron. Duyumin: du’u lavchie gavkhar. Yakumin: Khudoyi pabun olamin.

Yozdakhum kie medonad? Yozdakhum man’ medonam! Yozdakhum: yozdah sitoracho. Dakhumin: dakh sukhanon. Nokhumin: noch mochie zanon. Khashtumin: khasht rouzi millo. Khaftumin: khaft rouzi khafta. Shishtumin: shash sidrey mishno. Panjumin: panj sifrey Toro. Chorumin: chor’ modaron. Seyumin: se’e padaron. Duyumin: du’u lavchie gavkhar. Yakumin: Khudoyi pabun olamin.

Duvozdakhum kie medonad? Duvozdakhum man medonam! Duvozdakhum: duvozdah shivtocho. Yozdakhum: yozdah sitoracho. Dakhumin: dakh sukhanon. Nokhumin: noch mochie zanon. Khashtumin: khasht rouzi millo. Khaftumin: khaft rouzi khafta. Shishtumin: shash sidrey mishno. Panjumin: panj sifrey Toro. Chorumin: chor’ modaron. Seyumin: se’e padaron. Duyumin: du’u lavchie gavkhar. Yakumin: Khudoyi pabun olamin.

Sezdakhum kie medonad? Sezdakhum man’ medonam! Sezdakhum: sezdah khislatcho. Duvozdakhum: duvozdah shivtocho. Yozdakhum: yozdah sitoracho. Dakhumin: dakh sukhanon. Nokhumin: noch mochie zanon. Khashtumin: khasht rouzi millo. Khaftumin: khaft rouzi khafta. Shishtumin: shash sidrey mishno. Panjumin: panj sifrey Toro. Chorumin: chor’ modaron. Seyumin: se’e padaron. Duyumin: du’u lavchie gavkhar. Yakumin: Khudoyi pabun olamin.

Popular culture[edit]

The Judaism section of the Stack Exchange Network of question-and-answer websites is named Mi Yodeya after this song.[2]

Entebbe (titled 7 Days in Entebbe in the U.S.), a 2018 crime thriller film directed by José Padilha and written by Gregory Burke, features a dance on the tunes of the Echad Mi Yodea song.

References[edit]

External links[edit]