Wedding Song [Bound by Affection (Agoodeem Biseemcha)] (1983) was written to be sung by Block's mother at his brother's wedding and received its first performance on that occasion. It is part of a projected series of Spiritual Songs based on religious poetry in many different languages (Oh llama de amor viva/O Living Flame of Love is the other completed composition and is in Spanish. Wedding Song is based on a poem by Eleazar Ben Kallir (sixth century?), Agoodeem Biseemcha (Bound by Affection). This poem makes up part of the "Kedushta for a Bridegroom" which was sung in the synagogue on the Sabbath following the wedding. As in many of the esoteric and mystical Hebrew works, the bride and groom are also personifications of Israel and God. Steven Block set the Hebrew text in his own transliteration (and translation), understanding that few performers will actually comprehend the Hebrew verse or language, and the composer translated the poem in a way that approximates actual word order rather than poetical content.
The opening pages can be found below:
A second version of the Wedding Song for soprano and piano trio is in progress and the viewer can compare the opening pages of that version: