By Ariel Scheib
Adon Olam (“Lord of the World”) is alleged to be composed in the 11th century by Solomon ibn Gabirol. The word “Adon,” meaning master, was first spoken by Abraham in the Bible, referring to God. The lyrics speak about God’s greatness and all-empowering existence. There have been countless melodies adjoined to this hymn.
Adon Olam is the final prayer of the Musaf service on Shabbat morning and festivals. It can also be found in the composition of bedtime prayers and is recited on one’s deathbed. In the next to last line of the Adon Olam is a request that God watch over one’s soul as they sleep. The conclusion of Adon Olam mentions God’s presence and ability to bring reassurance to the people.
ADON OLAM MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE
B'yado afkid ruchi
And when all shall end
And He is one, and there's no other,
And He is my G-d, my living G-d.
To Him I commin my spirit,
Source: Eisenberg, Ronald L. The JPS Guide to Jewish Traditions. PA: Jewish Publication Society, 2004; “What is in the Siddur? Shabbat and Holiday Liturgy”; “Adon Olam”; Wigoder, Geoffrey , Ed. The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia. NY: Facts on File, 1992; "Song: Adon Olam".