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By Menachem Mendelsohn
One of the most beautiful and moving poems that is included in our liturgy is the Adon Olam. This poem turned prayer is normally said in the morning prior to the required prayers. Its author remains a mystery; some ascribe it to Rav Sheirirah Goan or Rav Hai Goan, (10th century Babylon) and others ascribe it to Solomon ibn Gairol, (11th century Spain). None the less, it became a part of the daily prayers in about the 15th century.
The Adon Olam contains many basic fundamental Jewish beliefs in a very brief form. In it, we proclaim the unity of G-d as the creator of the universe and all that is in it. He is the active manipulator of our world and destiny and it is to Him we give our trust.
Adon Olam (Master of the World)
The Master of the World reigned before anything was created,
From the moment that all was created according to His desire, it was then that He was called the King,
And after all everything ceases to exist He will still reign alone,
He was, He is and He will be in all glory, 1
He is one and there is no other, none compare to him.
He has no beginnings and no end, all power and dominion is His,
He is my G-d, my life and redeemer, my fortress in times of distress,
He is my aid and in Him is my refuge and my portion on the day that I call,
Into His hand I entrust my soul when I lie down to sleep and when I awake,
And with my spirit in my body, G-d is with me, I shall not fear.
1 This ascribes the unity of G-d in the universe, He existed, He exists, and He will exist all at the same time. Time has no meaning to him since it is a creation by Him and exists only for us.
from the July 2009 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
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