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Yedid Nefesh

Yedid Nefesh

Friday, 26 August, 2011 - 5:57 pm

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Last Friday, when Yoni messaged me on Facebook that he was in Victoria, it was pretty exciting. Yoni, a wonderful young man with great spirit, has been a good friend since our arrival in Victoria. He helped us build the first Sukkah mobile, he played in our first Chanukah event, and has been a close friend since. Now he is checking in again after over five years.  

We scheduled to meet Friday afternoon downtown and he joined me for the Friday afternoon rounds: getting food for the Kiddush, setting up the shul, preparing the chulent, and the rest. "This is a real, beautiful shul" he said when he walked in. Yoni was also happily surprised to hear that since the beginning of the year we had a minyan for every Shabbat and Yom Tov, and he was thrilled when I told him that the Shul is filled with life thanks to a great community that we are so greatful to be a part of.

"May I ask you for a favour?" Yoni asked while I was driving him back to his grandparents' home. "You know the soulful tune for ‘Yedid Nefesh’ you sang at home, years ago when I was with you for Shabbat? Since then I've been looking for the opportunity to hear it again and learn it. Can I record you now singing it?" he asked, holding his Iphone. I happily agreed.

"Yedid Nefesh" ("Beloved of the soul") is a beautiful poem that was written in the holy city of Tzfat in the 16th century by Rabbi Elazar Azkari. I learned this tune from my father, of Blessed Memory, in that same city; my father used to sing it every Friday evening at our Shabbat table. 

So while driving down Douglas St., through the busy Friday afternoon of downtown Victoria, we found ourselves singing with "Devekut," this song of yearning to the creator.

The satisfaction of Yoni when we finished was clear. I'm not sure if this was why Yoni came to Victoria for the weekend, but I'm certain that was the main reason he wanted to meet me last Friday afternoon...

 

Comments on: Yedid Nefesh
8/26/2011

lindy Shortt wrote...

The beautiful words and the various melodies have been a family favourite for many years.
May our yearning to be closer to Hashem never cease.

A gutte Shabbos,

Meshpachat Shortt
8/29/2011

Gerald B. Stanford wrote...

Dear Rabbi Meir,
What more can I say, other than what you have said or Lindy has commented'
Meabtime could you give us the words please and as you can the tune.
Ein gute Shabbat now, as past,
With Love from Noemi and myself, Gerry
8/29/2011

Gerald B. Stanford wrote...

Dear Rabbi Meir,
What more can I say, other than what you have said or Lindy has commented'
Meabtime could you give us the words please and as you can the tune.
Ein gute Shabbat now, as past,
With Love from Noemi and myself, Gerry
8/31/2011

Nomi Kaston wrote...

Blessings to all of our dear dear Victoria friends. My soul is singing, just picturing that dear moment, two beautiful souls singing Yedid Nefesh with devekut and longing and joy in the car: one of them my mentor and inspiration, the other my baby, my son, beloved of my soul. Thank you Rabbi Meir, for so beautifully sharing this moment with me!! Nomi Kaston, Netanya, Israel
12/20/2011

Dora wrote...

I'm impressed! You've managed the almost ipmossible.