It’s Me – Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh


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Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh

My humble version of an ancient Yemenite Jewish prayer from the Diwan, written in the 17th Century by the poet Shalom Shabbazi. I’m not sure who wrote the melody, but I learned it from the famous song by Ofra Haza. My favorite part of this recording is that when I draw certain notes out, you can very clearly hear the natural overtones in my voice. I wasn’t even trying to do that!

From Wikipedia:
I Am that I Am (Hebrew: אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה‎, pronounced Ehyeh asher ehyeh [ʔehˈje ʔaˈʃer ʔehˈje]) is a common English translation (JPS among others) of the response God used in the Hebrew Bible when Moses asked for His name (Exodus 3:14). It is one of the most famous verses in the Torah. Hayah means “existed” or “was” in Hebrew; “ehyeh” is the first person singular imperfect form. Ehyeh asher ehyeh is generally interpreted to mean I am that I am, though it more literally translates as “I-shall-be that I-shall-be.”

“The One who spoke, and the world IS… The One who spoke, and everything IS” – Jerusalem Targum

“When God appeared to our Teacher Moses, and commanded him to address the people and to bring them the message, Moses replied that he might first be asked to prove the existence of God in the Universe, and that only after doing so he would be able to announce to them that God had sent him. For all men, with few exceptions, were ignorant of the existence of God; their highest thoughts did not extend beyond the heavenly sphere, its forms or its influences. They could not yet emancipate themselves from sensation, and had not yet attained to any intellectual perfection. Then God taught Moses how to teach them, and how to establish amongst them the belief in the existence of Himself, namely, by saying Ehyeh asher Ehyeh, a name derived from the verb hayah in the sense of “existing,” for the verb hayah denotes “to be,” and in Hebrew no difference is made between the verbs “to be” and “to exist.” The principal point in this phrase is that the same word which denotes “existence,” is repeated as an attribute. The word asher, “that,” corresponds to the Arabic illadi and illati, and is an incomplete noun that must be completed by another noun; it may be considered as the subject of the predicate which follows. The first noun which is to be described is ehyeh; the second, by which the first is described, is likewise ehyeh, the identical word, as if to show that the object which is to be described and the attribute by which it is described are in this case necessarily identical. This is, therefore, the expression of the idea that God exists, but not in the ordinary sense of the term; or, in other words, He is “the existing Being which is the existing Being,” that is to say, the Being whose existence is absolute. The proof which he was to give consisted in demonstrating that there is a Being of absolute existence, that has never been and never will be without existence.” – Maimonides (Guide For The Perplexed)

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