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אל אחד

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by airelibre, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    I don't really know how to understand this phrase from the moshe peretz song אחרי ככלות הכול:
    אל אחד אתה נותן לי כוח
    וגם: אל אחד אתה יושב שמיים

    Does el echad mean one god, to one, or something else. None of these really make sense in English in the context of the sentences. Does it mean 'just to me you give koach'?

    Thanks for the help.
  2. origumi Senior Member

    THE one god. As in שמע ישראל.
  3. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    Ok, that still sounds a bit strange to me in English. Can you think of a good translation for the whole sentence?

    It's the אתה that's making it sound unnatural to me: why would you say to god that he is the one god - he knows that. If the sentence were אל אחד, הוא נותן לי כוח it would make sense to me. Do you understand what I mean?
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
  4. origumi Senior Member

    I have no info about the specifics of this song thus have to guess and say how it sounds to me as a native. Peretz takes "one God" as if it was God's name rather than a description. So this becomes:

    O God, you give me power
    O God, you're the creator of the sky

    See also the reference to אדון עולם in Peretz's song, which contains והוא אחד ואין שני.
  5. GeriReshef

    GeriReshef Senior Member

    The original meaning of "one god" from שמע ישראל was in contrary to the paganic religions of the ancient times who were polytheistic or suggested that every nation has its own god and thus can exist many gods.

    Maybe in the mediavel philosophy the word אחד was interpreted as perfect or undivided etc.

    The singer is naturally using the vocabulary from the prayers and the bible when he speaks or sings to god.
  6. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    Ok, thanks guys. I like the translation of 'O God' and I see what you mean by he is using el echad as a name.
  7. MuttQuad

    MuttQuad Senior Member

    New York, NY
    English - AmE
    As a native English speaker, I'd suggest staying a bit on the poetic side, as:

    Sole God, you give me strength;
    Sole God, in the Heavens you dwell.

    How does that strike you?
  8. origumi Senior Member

    The original (by Moshe Peretz) is אל אחד אתה יוצר שמיים if I'm not mistaken.
  9. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    Interesting you say that because its sung by yaniv ben-mashiach and sounds more like yotzer. This makes more sense as well, but still in the lyrics booklet that comes with the cd it gives yoshev as the word.
    Searching on the Internet both versions appear as the lyrics for the song.
  10. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    That's a good translation of you want to keep the poetic tone but I was more wanting to normalise it so I can understand it better. Also, I'm not looking to translate it, but the translation of O God for אל אחד helps me understand the Hebrew figuratively rather than by its literal meaning.
  11. origumi Senior Member

    יושב שמיים has deeper roots in the Sepharadi prayers. If you hold the CD then your version must be correct - I cited the song as appears in several internet sites.
  12. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    It's not unheard of for the lyrics to be different in the cd aswell, but I listened again and it's definitely יושב so it's right in this case.
  13. origumi Senior Member

    Agreed. I listened to several recordings and Peretz says יושב, not יוצר, in all of them.

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