Why do customs differ as to whether מהרה (meherah) is part of Yedid Nefesh? For example, Chabad siddurim and the NCSY bentcher omit מהרה, but the Artscroll siddur (Nusach Ashkenaz) includes it. Below is the relevant paragraph:

ותיק יהמו רחמיך וחוסה נא אל בן אהובך כי זה כמה נכסף נכספתי לראות (מהרה) בתפארת עזך אלה חמדה לבי וחוסה נה ואל תתעלם

I find this especially strange given that there is an undisputed precedent for including מהרה in the very same phrase:

...על כן נקוה לך ה׳ אלקינו לראות מהרה בתפארת עזך

----Second paragraph of Aleinu

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    In all likelihood one is just a typo. This is not an old poem and it is by one specific known author.
    – Double AA
    Feb 19, 2017 at 15:05
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    My ArtScroll siddur in Nusach Sefard also omits מהרה and also adds נא after ותיק יהמו. Maybe it's a Chassidish thing?
    – ezra
    Feb 19, 2017 at 19:59
  • @Double AA I suspect it is intentional and depends on the nusach. The only evidence I have though, is that Sefard and Chabad (which is closer to Sefard than Askenaz) omit it while Askenaz includes it.
    – user13937
    Feb 27, 2017 at 3:35
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    How many Siddurim did you check? Probably just a certain publisher is more into checking original manuscripts than the other
    – Double AA
    Feb 27, 2017 at 4:06

1 Answer 1

  1. Anything will have some variants, including, for example, Aleinu itself. See for example this Machzor from 1782, which has no "Meheira" in Aleinu.

  2. Why should customs differing be influenced by other texts that have similar words? If the text itself has multiple customs, as Yedid Nefesh does, then it will have multiple customs in recent printings as well. Quick Google searches of the text will show multiple versions, see here (without) and here (with).

  3. However, after searching (see above links), it seems that all of the older versions omit the word Meheira, which would seem to indicate and that it was only inserted recently, perhaps because of Aleinu. (Note as well that there are various other changes that reflect older versions of Yedid Nefesh, such as the word "Nichsaf" instead of "Nichsafti", see here for example. Many of these have been fixed in recent Siddurim, the Koren Siddur comes to mind.)

  4. However, I would argue that based on context, adding the word "Meheira" does not fit in as well in this context relative to the context in Aleinu. In Aleinu, we are talking about how "we place our hope in Hashem that we should soon see the glory of his power". Soon makes sense, as we are talking about how we are hoping for it soon. But in Yedid Nefesh, we are talking about how long we have been yearning for this, not that we hope to see it soon. The word "quickly" would not fit in as well here, as we have already been yearning for so long.

What do MY users think? I welcome feedback!

  • I think your assessment is good, especially the first and fourth point. +1
    – ezra
    Jan 16, 2018 at 15:40

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