Melodies

There will be a number of occasions during the weekend to serenade us with song and dance, but there are two melodies in particular we encourage you to familiarize yourself with ahead of time if you do not know them.

Im Eshkachech Yerushalaim

At the end of our wedding ceremony, our officiant will invite everyone in attendance to sing along to the concluding song of the ceremony, Im eshkachech yerushalaim, If I forget you, Jerusalem. We hope that you will sing along, even if you don’t know the words. You can familiarize yourself with the melody here:

 

Im eshkachech yerushalaim

tishkach yemini

tidbak leshoni lechiki

Im lo ezkerechi

Im eshkachech yerushalaim

tishkach yemini

tidbak leshoni lechiki

Im lo ezkerechi

Im lo ahale’

ve’im lo ahale’

et yerushalaim

al rosh simchati

al rosh, al rosh simchati

אם אשכחך ירושלים

תשכח ימיני

תדבק לשוני לחיכי

אם לא אזכרכי

אם אשכח ירושלים

תשכח ימיני

תדבק לשוני לחיכי

אם לא אזכרכי

אם לא אעלה

ואם לא אעלה

את ירושלים

על ראש שמחתי

על ראש על ראש שמחתי

If I forget you, O Jerusalem​​, let my right hand forget her cunning. 
Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not elevate Jerusalem​​ above my chiefest joy. 

Shir HaMa’alot

On Shabbat, festivals, and other joyous occasions (including weddings), Birkat Hamazon (Grace After Meals) is preceded by Psalm 126, which expresses the Jewish hope of return to Zion following their final redemption.  In Oren’s family, the psalm is almost always sung to a German melody that his grandfather, Hans, learned no later than his bar mitzvah in 1929, and sang with gusto every Friday night for the rest of his life, including the Shabbat before he passed away in December 2015.  We will use this melody on Friday night, at lunch on Saturday, and at the conclusion of the wedding reception on Sunday.

Listen here (with thanks to Oren’s aunt, Marga, for making the recording): 

Shir Hama’alot, 
B’shuv Adonai et shivat tziyon 
hayinu k’chol’mim. 
Az Y’male s’chok peenu ulshoneinu rina. 
Az yom’ru vagoyim 
higdil Adonai la’asot im eleh; higdil Adonai la’asot imanu hayinu s’meicheim. 
Shuva Adonai et shiviteinu ka’afikim banegev. 
Hazor’im b’dimah b’rinah yiktzoru. 
Haloch Yelech uvacho, 
noseh meshech hazarah, 
bo yavo v’rinah noseh alumotav.
שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלות 
בְּשׁוּב ה’ אֶת שִׁיבַת צִיּון 
הָיִינוּ כְּחלְמִים: 
אָז יִמָלֵא שחוק פִּינוּ 
וּלְשׁונֵנוּ רִנָּה 
אָז יאמְרוּ בַגּויִם 
הִגְדִּיל ה’ לַעֲשות עִם אֵלֶּה: 
הִגְדִּיל ה’ לַעֲשות עִמָּנוּ 
הָיִינוּ שמֵחִים: 
שׁוּבָה ה’ אֶת שְׁבִיתֵנוּ 
כַּאֲפִיקִים בַּנֶּגֶב: 
הַזּרְעִים בְּדִמְעָה בְּרִנָּה יִקְצרוּ: 
הָלוךְ יֵלֵךְ וּבָכה נשא מֶשֶׁךְ 
הַזָּרַע בּא יָבא בְרִנָּה נשא אֲלֻמּתָיו:

When the Lord returned the captives of Zion, we were like people in a dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter,​ and our tongue with exultatio​n: then said they among the nations, The Lord has done great things for them. The Lord has done great things for us; so we rejoiced!​ Bring back our captives,​ O Lord, as the streams in the south. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Though he goes on his way weeping, bearing the store of seed, he shall come back with joy, bearing his sheaves. 

Psalm 126 Hebrew text, transliteration, and translation from Zemirot Database.