Prayers for the Protection and Opening of the Heart

By Ya'akov Hakohen Ya'akov Hakohen

Translated By Peter Cole Read the translator's notes

I

May the Name send its hidden radiance
       to open the gates of deliverance
to His servants—and shine in their hearts,
which now are shut in silent darkness.

May the great King be moved
       to act in perfection and righteousness—
to open the gates of wisdom for us
and waken the love of old, the love of ancient days.

                                                    ii
By the power of the hidden Name I-am-that-I-am,
and by the dew of Desire and Blessing, the dead will live again...

                                                   iii
I-am is the power of your Name in concealment,
and one who knows its mystery dwells in eternity’s instant.

Over the world, it pours forth abundance and favor,
and on it all worlds hang, like grapes in a cluster.

Send the dew of blessing, the dew of grace;
renew my dispensation, and grant me length of days.

Bring light to my eyes with your teaching, and let not the husks
       that surround your hosts obstruct me.
May Heaven and Adam’s children judge me with mercy.

Sustain me with their strength and fortune—
but do not leave me in need of the gifts of men.

Source: Poetry (March 2012).

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE

This poem originally appeared in the March 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

March 2012

Biography

Ya’akov Hakohen belonged to a circle of Jewish mystics that was active in mid-thirteenth-century Castile and Provence.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, God & the Divine, Judaism, The Spiritual

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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