Fortuna Performs “Bendigamos” Sephardic Grace After Meals Hymn

This video clip presents Brazilian singer, songwriter and actress, Fortuna, performing “Bendigamos Al Altísimo,” a Spanish hymn traditionally sung after meals by Jews of Spanish, Portuguese and Turkish descent. Fortuna, a Sephardic Jew who sings mainly in Hebrew and Ladino, researches Sephardic history and customs, with the main goal of recovering forgotten musical traditions. Sung either immediately before or after the traditional Grace After Meals, this hymn, which literally translates as “Let Us Bless the Most High,” is a song of praise for God as a merciful provider. Despite low video quality, this is a lovely rendition of a popular and beloved melody performed with a full band. Find the lyrics below in Spanish and English. 

Spanish Lyrics

Bendigamos al Altísimo,
Al Señor que nos crió,
Démosle agradecimiento
Por los bienes que nos dió.

Alabado sea su Santo Nombre,
Porque siempre nos apiadó.
Load al Señor que es bueno,
Que para siempre su merced.

Bendigamos al Altísimo,
Por su Ley primeramente,
Que liga a nuestra raza
Con el cielo continuamente,

Alabado sea su Santo Nombre,
Porque siempre nos apiadó.
Load al Senor que es bueno,
Que para siempre su merced.

Bendigamos al Altísimo,
Por el pan segundamente,
Y también por los manjares
Que comimos juntamente.

Pues comimos y bebimos alegremente
Su merced nunca nos faltó.
Load al Señor que es bueno,
Que para siempre su merced.

Bendita sea la casa esta,
El hogar de su presencia,
Donde guardamos su fiesta,
Con alegría y permanencia.

Alabado sea su Santo Nombre,
Porque siempre nos apiadó.
Load al Señor que es bueno,
Que para siempre su merced.

English Lyrics

Let us bless the Most High
The Lord who raised us,
Let us give him thanks
For the good things which he gave us.

Praised be his Holy Name,
Because he always took pity on us.
Praise the Lord, for he is good,
For his mercy is everlasting.

Let us bless the Most High
First for his Law,
Which binds our prayer
With heaven continually,

Praised be his Holy Name,
Because he always took pity on us.
Praise the Lord, for he is good,
For his mercy is everlasting.

Let us bless the Most High,
Secondly for the bread
And also for the food
Which we eat together.

For we have eaten and drunk happily
His mercy has never failed us.
Praise the Lord, for he is good,
For his mercy is everlasting.

Blessed be this house,
The home of his presence,
Where we keep his feast,
With happiness and permanence.

Praised be his Holy Name,
Because he always took pity on us.
Praise the Lord, for he is good,
For his mercy is everlasting.

A final phrase is inserted at the end in Hebrew which is repeated twice:

.הוֹדוּ לַיָי כִּי־טוֹב. כּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His mercy endures forever.

 

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