Adir Hu in a Dutch Jewish advertisement

Dutch people appear to have a fondness with regards to poems. I remember since I was a kid until today that at festivities such as Bar Mitzvah’s, birthday parties, weddings, et cetera, children and adults alike enjoy to recite poems (it probably is not only the Dutch people who share that fondness, but anyhow).

A Dutch company which was trying to promote its wines did exactly that: they created a lovely poem based on the tune of the Adir Hu song which is traditionally sung at the Seder of Pesach.

What is Pesach?
Pesach (Passover) is the yearly festival which starts on 15 Nissan for 7 days (in the diaspora 8 days). Pesach commemorates the freedom of the Jews after they had to endure torture and slavery under the Ancient Egyptians.

In Israel the first night is traditionally celebrated with the Seder (outside Israel it is celebrated the first two nights). The Seder is the festive meal during which the whole family and their guests sit and eat around the table and read and sing from the Hagaddah. The Hagaddah is an ancient book in which the story of the exile out of Egypt is being told. The Hagaddah was created around Talmudic times with some pieces added in later times.

Adir hu
One of the songs in the end of Hagaddah is called Adir Hu which really has nothing to do with Pesach per se. It was also sung in other times of joy. It started to appear in German Haggadoth of the fourteenth

century as a continuation of the song “Ki Lo Na’eh”. Both songs are indeed similar in content and structure.

The original Adir Hu the way it appears in the Hagaddah:

אַדִּיר הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב.
בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב.
אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.
בָּחוּר הוּא, גָּדוֹל הוּא, דָּגוּל הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב.
בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב.
אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.
הָדוּר הוּא, וָתִיק הוּא, זַכַּאי הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב.
בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב.
אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.
חָסִיד הוּא, טָהוֹר הוּא, יָחִיד הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב.
בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב.
אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.
כַּבִּיר הוּא, לָמוּד הוּא, מֶלֶךְ הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב.
בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב.
אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.
נוֹרָא הוּא, סַגִּיב הוּא, עִזּוּז הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב.
בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב.
אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.
פּוֹדֶה הוּא, צַדִיק הוּא, קָּדוֹשׁ הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב.
בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב.
אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.
רַחוּם הוּא, שַׁדַּי הוּא, תַּקִּיף הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב.
בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב.
אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.

The song originated possibly in Germany. It looks as if it was added in later years to the songs at the end of the Hagaddah since the end of the night is marked by the hopes for a speedy redemption.

Here are the lyrics of the song the way it apparently was sung in the German language before it was translated into Hebrew:

Allmächtiger G-tt, nun bau dein Tempel schiere,
Also schier und also bald,
In unseren Tagen schiere, ja schiere ;
Nun bau, nun bau, nun bau dein Tempel schiere.

Barmherziger G-tt, Grosser G+tt, Demutvoller G-tt,
Nun bau dein Tempel schiere,
Also schier und also bald,
In unseren Tagen schiere, ja schiere ;
Nun bau, nun bau, nun bau dein Tempel schiere.

Hoher G-tt, würdiger G-tt, siesser G-tt,
Chenvoller G-tt, nun bau…

Tugendvoller G-tt, jiddischer G-tt, nun bau…

Kraftvoller G-tt, lebendiger G-tt, mächtiger G-tt,
Namhaftiger G-tt, sanftiger G-tt, ewiger G-tt, nun bau…

Furchtbarer G-tt, lieblicher G-tt, königlicher G-tt,
Reicher G-tt, nun bau…

Schöner G-tt, trauter G-tt, nun bau…

Du bist G-tt, und keiner mehr,
Nun bau dein Tempel schiere,
Also schier und also bald,
In unseren Tagen schiere, ja schiere,
Nun bau, nun bau, nun bau dein Tempel schiere.

(Source: http://judaisme.sdv.fr/traditio/pessah/3chants/3chants.htm, Trois chants du Séder des Juifs d’Alsace by Freddy Raphael and Robert Weyl (Retrieved 2 april 2012)

The Advertisement by Wed. J. Stein:
To focus back on the advertisement, many years ago a Dutch winery created a lovely rhyme based on the tune of Adir Hu. The name of the company was “Wed. J. Stein” which produced and sold wines (by the way, they also distributed around Pesach Haggadoth as promotional material to its customers, there is one copy at the Rubenstein Library of the Duke University).

That advertisement featured at least from 1921 to 1923 in the Dutch weekly NIW (Nieuw Israëlietisch Weekblad), which was established in August 1865 and still does exist (see www.niw.nl). You can find 6202 old NIW editions from 04 August 1865 to 30 December 1994 on the website of the National Library of the Netherlands.

The poem:

Als Niesan aangekondigd wordt,
Zegt moeder steeds tot vader:
“Vergeet den WIJN van STEIN toch niet,
Want Pesach komt al nader!”
WIJN van STEIN moet er dus zijn
Anders seidert men niet zo fijn!

En wordt de Wijn ons thuis gebracht,
dan glund’ren aller oogen.
Wijl dan de kind’ren met elkaar,
De mand uitpakken mogen:
“O wat fijn, WIJN van STEIN
Brengt reeds Lentes zonneschijn.

En breekt de Seideravond aan,
Moet iedre Jood opletten,
Slechts flesschen van de firma STEIN
Op tafel dan te zetten:
Groot en klein moet zeker zijn,
Dat men drinkt den WIJN  van STEIN!

“Vader,” vraagt de kleine Jaap
Erg leep en bij de pinken,
Mag men van diens WIJN van STEIN
Ook slechts VIER glazen drinken?
WIJN van STEIN smaakt zoo fijn,
Bij garouses en bij krein!

Ja, Pesach is een heerlijk feest,
Gelijk wij allen weten,
Vooral indien men WIJN van STEIN,
Drinkt bij het Jomtouf-eten,
Alleen Uw wijn, “O firma  STEIN“,
Moet voortaan het wachtwoord zijn!

WIJN VAN STEIN

Dit gedicht
Tot u allen gericht,
Hebt ge eenige weken
Met genoegen bekeken.
Wat ge in dezen doet,
Onthoudt ons adres goed,
Gut Jomtof  Venoumar Omein
Wenscht U de Fa. Wed. J. STEIN.

Translation:
I will not attempt to translate this. This is a poem and thus hard to translate, sorry :).

The song as sung by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach
Here is a clip in which you hear Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach singing the (Hebrew) Adir Hu song:

More advertisements from the Wed. J. Stein company
Here are some other advertisements or notices from the Wed. J. Stein company:

A notice about them selling wine from then Palestine under the supervision of the Amsterdam rabbinate (Nieuw Israelietisch Weekblad on 09 July 1920)

The Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam holds a few items with photos etc. of the Wed. J. Stein company, see http://www.jhm.nl/zoeken?subject=Stein%2c+J.+(firma)

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