The following beautiful song is sung by traditional Yemenite Jews as part of the Havdalah ceremony which, ritualized by candles, spices and wine, bids goodbye to the Sabbath. Renewed in recent years with popular Israeli melody, the poem was written by Sa’adiah, the sixteenth-century Yemenite poet.

Click on the speaker to hear: The Candle and the Spices,
"Songs of the Jewish-Yemenite Diwan."
Courtesy of Beit Hatefutsoth, Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, Jewish Music Dept.



My soul longs for the candle and the spices.
If only you would pour me a cup of wine for Havdalah.

O angels on high, pave a way for me,
clear the path for the bewildered [daughter of Zion]
and open the gates that I may enter.

My heart yearning,
I shall lift up my eyes to the Lord,
who provides for my needs day and night.

From the treasures of your goodness,
give me the minimum I need,
for your goodness has no end nor limit.
Rejuvenate my joy, my bread and my blessing,
Remove all sorrow, pain and darkness.

Now the days of activity begin once again
May they be renewed in peace and in goodness.



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