Recording Detail
Zahava Seewald: vocals
Michael Grebil: oud, medieval fiddle, ceterina d’amore
Tuur Florizoone: accordion

Recorded January - May 2003
Mastered by Scott Hull at Hit Factory Mastering, New York NY

The Unknown Masada

Text: Before My Being by Solomon ibn Gabirol (from Poems of Devotion)
Translated by Peter Cole

טֶרֶם הֱיוֹתִי

טֶרֶם הֱיוֹתִי חַסְדְּךָ בָאִָני,
הַשָּׂם לְיֵשׁ איִן וְהִמְצִיאָנִי,

מִי הוּא אֲשֶׁר רִקֵּם תְּמוּנָתִי? וּמִי
עָצְמִי בְּכוּר יָצַק וְהִקְפִּיאָנִי?

מִי הוּא אֲשֶׁר נָפַח נְשָׁמָה בִי? וּמִי
בֶטֶן שְאוֹל פָּתַח וְהוֹצִיאָנִי?

מִי נִהֲגַנִי מִנְּעורַי עַד הֲלֹם?
מִי לִמְּדַנִי בִין וְהִפְלִיאָנִי?

אָמְנָם אֲנִי חֹמֶר בְּקֶרֶב יָדְךָ
אַתָּה עֲשִׂיתַנִי, אֱמֶת, לֹא אָנִי.

אוֹדֶה עֲלֵי פִשְׁעִי וְלֹא אֹמַר לְךָ,
כִּי הֶעֱרִים נָחָשׁ וְהִשִּׂיאָנִי.

אֵיכָה אֲכַחֵד מִמְּךָ חֶטְאִי? הֲלֹא
טֶרֶם הֱיוֹתִי חַסְדְּךָ בָאָנִי!


Before my being your mercy came through me,
 bringing existence to nothing to shape me.
Who is it conceived of my form—and who
 cast it then in a kiln to create me?
Who breathed soul inside me—and who
 opened the belly of hell and withdrew me?
Who through youth brought me this far?
 Who with wisdom and wonder endowed me?
I’m clay cupped in your hands, it’s true;
 it’s you, I know, not I who made me.
I’ll confess my sin and will not say
 the serpent’s ways, or evil seduced me.
How could I hide my error from you when
 before my being your mercy came through me?

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