Rabbi Yehuda ben Samuel he-Hasid of Regensburg (died 1217) was a Jewish mystic and poet. His hymn Shir Hakovod (the Hymn of Glory, also called Anim Zemirot from its opening words) is recited daily in some Ashkenazi synagogues and on Sabbaths and festivals in most others.
Shir Hakovod, trans. from the Hebrew by Israel Zangwill
- Sweet hymns shall be my chant and woven songs,
For Thou art all for which my spirit longs--
To be within the shadow of Thy hand
And all Thy mystery to understand.
The while Thy glory is upon my tongue,
My inmost heart with love of thee is wrung,
So though Thy mighty marvels I proclaim,
'Tis songs of love wherewith I greet Thy name.
- I have not seen Thee, yet I tell Thy praise,
Nor known Thee, yet I image forth Thy ways.
For by Thy seers' and servants' mystic speech
Thou didst Thy sov'ran splendour darkly teach,
And from the grandeur of Thy work they drew
The measure of Thy inner greatness, too.
They told of Thee, but not as Thou must be,
Since from Thy work they tried to body Thee.
To countless visions did their pictures run,
Behold through all the visions Thou art one.
- Truth is Thy primal word; at thy behest
The generations pass - O aid our quest
For Thee, and set my host of songs on high,
And let my psalmody come very nigh.
My praises as a coronal account,
And let my prayers as Thine incense mount.
Deem precious unto Thee the poor man's song,
As those that to thine altar did belong.
Rise, O my blessing, to the lord of birth,
The breeding, quickening, righteous force of earth.
Do Thou receive it with acceptant nod,
My choicest incense offered to my God.
And let my meditation grateful be,
For all my being is athirst for Thee.
from Millgram, A. E., Anthology of Medieval Hebrew Literature, Abelard, 1961.
- jewish Encyclopedia, art. Judah ben Samuel he-Hasid of Regensburg, vol. VII pp356-8
- Macy Nulman, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer, article Anim Zemirot
- Service of the Synagogue: Day of Atonement, Part 1 Evening Service; pub. Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., pp.73-4