I shall recount the love of God: For the Penitential Prayer Service



I shall recount the love of God,1 the faithful God,
I shall study his words, and prostrate myself to the formidable God, the Lord,
I shall walk in his paths, to the central land, my palace.2
Happy are they that are upright in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord (Psalms 119:1).
I have chosen understanding in my heart, clinging to your Torah.
Build your chosen Temple, speedily, in our days, with your might.
Your children are being disgraced at their hands of Basemath,3 due to your rage.
Wherewithal shall a young man keep his way pure? By taking heed thereto according to Thy word (Psalms 119:9).
Redeem our exiles, O mighty one; reveal your might,
Rebuke the nations, who steal and rob and hide away your greatness.
Protect and display kindness, reveal the might of your storehouses,4
Deal bountifully with Thy servant that I may live, and I will observe Thy word (Psalms 119:17).
I have spoken David’s words [i.e., Psalms], and trodden in the paths of your Law.
Speakers of guile have pushed me, O prominent one. Enough of your sanctum’s anguish!5
Pull me up, O judge of the oppressed; seek those that knock on your door.
My soul cleaveth unto the dust; quicken Thou me according to Thy word (Psalms 119:25).
Spare me, O God, you who increase and fill the produce and the winery,
Destroy the wanton enemies, with destruction and decay.
Lead me along the straight path, and remove calumny,6
Teach me, O Lord, the way of Thy statutes; and I will keep it at every step (Psalms 119:33).
Give me merit, and remember me, and show me your indulgence,
Show us kindness, and help us up, and rescue us, in accordance with your longstanding habit.
Watch over us, and take account of us in accordance with your ways and your pleasantness,
Let Thy mercies also come unto me, O Lord, even Thy salvation, according to Thy word (Psalms 119:41).
O pure one, I remember the glow of your songs! You have remembered me,
You have given me the merit to be among those who hasten,7 and you have given me a gift,
You have remembered my deeds,8 and sustained me in my old age.
Remember the word unto Thy servant, because Thou hast made me to hope (Psalms 119:49).
Cherish us with cords of life, have compassion with your mercy,
Dedicate me and rescue me with the kindness and good will of your pity.
Hasten your mercy, O living one, as you look at those that quake in your presence.
My portion is the Lord, I have said that I would observe Thy words (Psalms 119:57).
Purify me, before I befoul myself, with your subsidiary acts of kindness,9
Grind up the impure, who befoul your holy things.
Your concealed good things are set up in your words.
Thou hast dealt well with Thy servant, O Lord, according unto Thy word (Psalms 119:65). [ . . . ]
Lead me in your righteousness, O Lord, my king—in your sweet upright paths,
I put my hope in your commandments, with all my soul, O Shaddai; I love your Torah.
Hear me express my prayer, O God; give me your great acts of kindness.
Blessed art Thou, O Lord; teach me Thy statutes (Psalms 119:12).

Translated by


[This can refer either to God’s love for the poet, or the poet’s love for God.—Trans.]

[I.e., the land of Israel and the Temple.—Trans.]

[I.e., the Muslims, and possibly also the Christians. See Genesis 36:2–3.—Trans.]

[I.e., the power that you have stored up. The word genazekha, “your storehouses,” is from the same root as the verb gonzim, “hide away” in the previous line.—Trans.]

[I.e., the Temple has lain in ruins for too long; enough of this situation!—Trans.]

[I.e., stop the enemies from hurling curses at me.—Trans.]

[Torah-observant people are often described as “hastening” to perform its commandments.—Trans.]

[Hebrew zimmotay, perhaps “my devious deeds”; if the poet intends a negative meaning to this word, the remainder of the line would mean: “but nonetheless you have sustained me in my old age.”—Trans.]

[Perhaps the implication is that even God’s lesser acts of kindness have great effects on people, and all the more so God’s greater acts of kindness.—Trans.]


Amīnā, “I Shall Recount the Love of God (Prayer For the Penitential Prayer Service)" (prayer, Kashan, 1719/20). Published in: Amnon Netser, “Tahanunim le-rabi Benyamin ben mishal mi-kashan,” Pe’amim, no. 2 (1979): pp. 50–52, 54.

Published in: The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, vol. 5.

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