YAH RIBBON OLAM (Aram. יָהּ רִבּוֹן עָלַם; "God, master of the universe"), one of the most popular Sabbath table hymns (*zemirot). The hymn, written in Aramaic, was composed by the 16th-century kabbalist poet, Israel b. Moses *Najara ("Israel" is the acrostic of the five verses), and is based on Daniel 3:32–33. It was first published in a second and enlarged edition of his Zemirot Yisrael (Venice, 1600). The hymn, which has been set to innumerable tunes, contains no allusion to the Sabbath. It is a song of praise to the "King of Kings," who rules the world in His endless power and glory. After describing the wonders of God's creation, the poem concludes with a prayer that God may redeem Israel and restore Jerusalem, "the city of beauty."
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.