Adonai, where shall I find you? (2023) | 5′


Adonai, where shall I find you? (Ya ana emtza’acha?) was commissioned for the Colorado Hebrew Chorale by Carol Kozak Ward, Founder and Artistic Director of the Chorale, in memory of her mother Joanne L. Kozak. The text, part of a larger poem by Yehuda Halevi (c. 1075-1141), one of the greatest Jewish poets and philosophers of Medieval Spain, speaks of the mystery of and our relation to the divine: that God is both unknowable, and in every atom of the universe; and that by being open to that mystery, we can encounter the wonder of the divine presence.

I originally wrote the basic setting (using the English translation here) as an a cappella melody to be sung as part of the Yom Kippur service, and was very pleased in this composition to expand the melody into a larger choral piece including both English and Hebrew. I was also delighted to write a new composition for Carol Kozak Ward and her chorus; I have known Carol since I was accompanist for her Connecticut Hebrew Chorale during my college years. My first commissioned piece, Libavtini Achoti Chala, was written for that chorus in 1983.

—Gerald Cohen


Text and Translation

Adonai, where shall I find You?
High and hidden is Your place.
And where shall I not find You?
The world is full of Your glory.

I sought Your closeness,
I called to You with all my heart,
And going out to meet You
I found you coming toward me.

—Yehuda Halevi (c.1075–1141)
Translation from Siddur Lev Shalem, published by the Rabbinical Assembly


Premiere on February 4, 2024 by the Colorado Hebrew Chorale conducted by Carol Kozak Ward.