Ma Tovu (How Goodly), Song, Op. 218 (1948)

A recording from November 16, 1952:
David Halperin, Tenor
Marc Lavry, Conductor
Kol Zion Lagola Choir (The Broadcasting Service Choir)
Kol Israel Symphony Orchestra (The Broadcasting Service Orchestra)

Variations: Ma Tovu comes in two arrangements:

  • Tenor or baritone, choir with organ or piano
  • String orchestra

Lyrics: From the Jewish morning prayer (Shacharit)

Duration: 4:10 minutes

Additional details: email music@marclavry.org

Transliteration:
(Hebrew to English)

Ma tovu ohalecha Ya’akov, mishknotecha Yisrael.
Va’ani berov chasdcha, avo veytecha,
Eshtachaveh el heichal kodshecha beyiratecha.
Adonai ahavti meon beitecha, umekom mishkan kvodecha.
Va’ani eshtachave vechra’a.
Evrecha lifnei Adonai osi.
Va’ani tfilati lecha Adonai et ratzon.
Elohim berov chasdecha aneini be’emet yishecha.

Translation:
How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel!
As for me, O God abounding in grace,
I enter your house to worship with awe in Your sacred place.
I love your house, Eternal One, the dwelling-place of Your glory;
humbly I worship You, humbly I seek blessing from God my Maker.
To You, Eternal One, goes my prayer: may this be a time of your favor.
In Your great love, O God, answer me with Your saving truth.

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