Monday, January 3, 2011

Ein Yeiush Ba'olam Klal

I have a new favorite song.

For those of you who haven’t purchased Omek Hadavar’s new album called Mekor Chaim, do it! Their first album, The Depth of the Matter was fantastic. It’s one of the few CDs where I actually felt that the entire album was composed of worthwhile songs without any filler, and thus every song was uniquely enjoyable . Thankfully, Mekor Chaim is no different.

Anyway, my new favorite song is the 4th track on the album, titled “Ein Yeiush.” Not only is it fast, upbeat, and a pleasure to listen to from a musical standpoint, the choice of lyrics is fantastic as well – and actually fit the song. For those who haven’t heard it yet, you can check out a snippet here (along with the rest of the album).

In the meantime, here are the lyrics themselves, which are drawn from numerous sources, including Breslov literature (they don’t cite which sefarim in the jacket art) and Tehillim:

Below are the lyrics, transliteration and translation (don’t jump on me about exactness of my choice in words, this is more of a free-hand rather than academic translation):

Adam yisodo me’afar – aval ein yeiush ba’olam klal

A man’s origin is from dust – but, there is no despair in the world

V’sofo l’afar – aval ein yeiush ba’olam klal

And his end is to go to dust – but, there is no despair up in the world

Im atah ma’amin sheyicholim lekalkel - ta’amin sheyicholim letaken

If you believe that you can mess things up – you must believe that you are able to fix them

Adam margish shehu nafal – aval ein yeiush ba’olam klal

Man may feel that he's fallen – but, there is no despair up in the world

Adam margish shehu livad – aval ein yeish ba’olam klal

Man may feel that he’s alone – but there is no despair up in the world

Im atah ma’amin sheyicholim lekalkel - ta’amin sheyicholim letaken

If you believe that you can mess things up – you must believe that you are able to fix them

Lo ira ra ki atah imadi, shiftecha umishantecha, hayma yenachamuni (Tehillim 23:4)

I will fear no evil, for You are with me. Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

The song conveys such an intensely powerful lesson. Often, “yeiush” is translated as “giving up,” but a more accurate translation would be “despair.” Yeiush is a halachic term, used to express an owner’s total disavowal of hope that he could ever reclaim a lost object whereby another person could acquire it, since the original owner has basically relinquished his claim of ownership.

For example, if someone loses his sefer that has his name and phone number in it, he will maintain hope that another person will find it and call him to return it. That owner of the sefer will not have yeiush anytime soon, unless something incredibly difficult happened, like the sefer fell off the side of a boat into an ocean or many years went by. However, someone who loses a dollar bill, which has no identifying markings on it, which means he has next to zero chance of ever recovering it, totally gives up almost immediately.

Yeiush is the ultimate expression of giving up – letting yourself give in to despair.

The lyrics taken from Breslov literature tells us (via the song) that there should never be yeiush in this world we live in. True, man was created from the dust of the Earth, and our end point is that we will be returned to the dust and physically become one with the dust – even so, in life, there is no reason to ever totally give up hope.

A person may feel that they are falling, have fallen, or are all alone – and still, no matter what bad things happen to you, there is no reason to ever totally give up hope that things can change for the better.

Then there is that fantastic chorus – if you believe in the possibility that you can make a mistake, that you can mess things up in life, then you MUST believe that it’s possible to fix things, to make things better. The mere possibility that things could go wrong HAS to mean, perforce, that the possibility exists that things could go right.

And it is for that reason that we must never give up hope, not utterly. We can get beaten down, rejected, refuted, broken up with, have our feelings hurt, feel like we’ve lost our way spiritually, believe that we’ve dropped a level from where we legitimately should be, or even feel as though all is lost – and yet, we should never give up.

That is what G-d does for us. When we are with Him, the possibility of fear cannot exist in our lives, in our minds. He will support us, no matter where our lives take us, because He knows and He cares. Every downward spiral has an upward curve. That is what this song teaches us.

This message has universal meaning, no matter where you are in life. If you are dating and still single, this means that no matter how many “no’s” you get, you will get that “yes” one day. You must believe that. It’s so easy to believe that our dating lives can be a big mess and go wrong at every turn, but we need to also believe that things can, and more importantly, will go right.

Marriage isn’t easy either; it’s certainly no walk in the park. Nome of the single readers out there should think that once you’ve reached the chuppah everything is peachy-keen and life is happily ever after. That isn’t to say that being married isn’t wonderful – it absolutely is – but it requires constant attention and work, an ever-increasing input of energy to make sure that the relationship is healthy, that love and caring are the primary emotional expressions, and no one gives into the darker, negative emotions like anger.

Of course, humans, being the imperfect creations that we are, slip every now and then. We do mess up. I’m not the most perfect husband ever, and I misstep on occasion (yes, even this early on in marriage). Nevertheless, I am an absolute believer that for every time I blunder, I am able to exert all my energy, renew my devotion, and steer myself in the proper direction to make up for and surpass my errors. Without that, all the bad things we unintentionally, (and sometimes, chas v’shalom intentionally) do to our spouses will simply accumulate and destroy everything.

The key is never to give up totally, to never express that despair. It isn’t right, and it never helps. If you do give up every last shred of hope, that’s it, endgame.

So everyone out there – single, engaged, newly married, long married – it’s always possible, it will happen. Don’t ever, ever lose all hope.

Im atah ma’amin sheyicholim lekalkel - ta’amin sheyicholim letaken


  1. any ideas on why they are listed under "christian and gospel" on i guess that category is just religious music, generally, in which case should reevaluate their sorting system...

  2. That's always been iTunes thing with Jewish music. Whether you but your own CD abd just use their database to get track names, our buy directly from them, "religious" music is always gospel and world or I guess potentially christian. I always relable my music as Jewish - just go to properties and you can fix it.

  3. Wow. Good to know that I'm not the only one obsessed with this song! I was actually in the middle of of writing a post as a review of the entire CD, which I bought a little while ago and can't stop listening to, but couldn't think of enough to say for each song- the songs explain themselves. Ein Yeiush is by far my favorite song, and I love how they have two different versions of the song on the CD. It is definitely one of the best songs I've heard recently, both in terms of lyrics and melody. Like you said, Mekor Chaim is just as amazing as Omek HaDavar's first album.

    One note: you wrote that the lyrics go, "Adam margish shehu nivad – Man may feel that he’s lost." I thought they were saying "Adam Margish Shehu Livad"- Man may feel that he is alone.

  4. Go ahead and write your post, I'm sure you will say many more things than I write here. Also, you are correct, that's what I get for not double checking the album jacket. Thanks for the correction.

  5. For the record - the word "up" should be deleted from my translation in the table. I had originally written "give up" but "despair" is a better translation. I have tried editing the text, but the formatting of the table makes the rest of the post go crazy when I attempt to save the fixed version.


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