Monday, May 12, 2008

Ana Hashem

אָנָּה ה' כִּי אֲנִי עַבְדֶּךָ; אֲנִי עַבְדְּךָ בֶּן אֲמָתֶךָ, פִּתַּחְתָּ לְמוֹסֵרָי

Ana Hashem ki ani avdecha; Ani avdicha ben amasecha, pi'tachta le'mosei'roy.

"Please, Hashem, for I am Your servant; I am Your servant, son of Your handmaid; You have released my bonds." (Tehillim 116:16)

Rashi here comments that we compare ourselves to slaves who are sons of maidservants because a slave who is born to a handmaid is far more submissive than a slave who was born free.
Another explanation that I heard from my friend Moshe K. during my first year in Israel goes as follows: Many of us were born into frum homes. We were brought up with all the values a Jew should have, all the practices, all the obligations etc. But when we stop and think about it, its a scary realization that many of the things we do, we do ONLY because of the fact we were brought up that way. We never actually gave it any real thought! But this shouldn't be the case. Each person should come to their own realization that Yiddishkeit is pure emes. And that it is the best most wonderful way of life, because that's what living emes is.
So when we sing this song we are thanking Hashem for releasing us from our bonds. By being brought up frum we are "servants born into slavery," with the bonds of our routine way of life(solely as a result of our upbringing) tight around our wrists. We are thanking Hashem for giving us the ability and opportunity to break free of these shackles; to find Him and His Torah and way of life on our own, through our own introspection and investigation. And once we accomplish that, or rather- once we begin on the path of accomplishing that, then we can consider ourselves true Ovdei Hashem.
(Top picture courtesy of
(Bottom picture courtesy of
Aish Denver


AR said...

Do you post clips of the songs you write about? I seem to recall at a recent Yom tov meal having a discussion with a certain blogger that there might be a possibility of getting the songs hooked up to the site. I think that's a great idea. Understanding the words that we sing is key to finding and internalizing the lessons that are waiting to be learned, but if we could listen to the music at the same time, oh baby - that would be all the more amazing.

Ibn Mordechai said...


Before sefira the songs had been put on the sidebar for readers/listeners to listen to. It seems that the moderator of this blog took the song player off his sidebar because of sefiras haomer.

Anonymous said...

this is a great blog!!

CR said...

Thanx! Glad you like it.

Daniel Q Blog said...

The following is a beautiful rendition of this song by I believe Benny Friedman, as well as other yidden.