Tishkowsky's setting of the hammavdil text, a hymn in the liturgy for the conclusion of the Sabbath, was arranged into the present expanded choral setting for concert use by Maurice Goldman, an important figure in the Jewish musical life of Los Angeles. This arrangement was found in the repertory archive of the Halevi Choral Society in Chicago, which sang a number of Tishkowsky's pieces. The text is attributed to Rabbi Isaac ibn Ghayyat, who lived in Spain during the 11th century and is remembered as the teacher of Rabbi Isaac Alfasi, author of a famous talmudic compendium. The poem, believed to have been written originally for the n'ila (concluding) service of Yom Kippur, contains biblical references at the end of each stanza.
Sung in Hebrew
May He who distinguishes between the holy and the ordinary forgive our sins. May He multiply our future generations as well as our fortunes as abundantly as the sand and the stars.
The day has passed like the shadow of the palm tree. I will call unto God, who takes care of me, as the watchman declares, “Morning comes and also night.”
Your righteousness is as lofty and great as Mount Tabor. May You forgive my transgressions; may they be as yesterday that is past, and as a watch in the night.
Arrangement: Maurice Goldman
Orchestrator and adaptation: Larry Spivack
Translation by Rabbi Morton M. Leifman