Monday, September 3, 2018

The Yigdal Prayer


Below are some versions of  the Hebrew prayer, Yigdal (יִגְדָּל‬; “Magnify”), based on Maimonides’ (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, or Rambam’s) 13 Fundamental Principles or Articles of Faith (Shloshah Asar Ikkarim). In this powerful prayer God is magnified and acknowledged as the sole God of the His People, that the Torah is everlasting and unalterable, and that Redemption of the His People will take place. Depending on the tradition or shul, it is sung at either at the beginning of the morning or the close of the evening services. The authorship is uncertain, but it dates to at least the 14th century.

Avraham Perrera: Yigdal
Via: Youtube

Avraham David: Yigdal
Via: Youtube

Hazan İsak Maçoro, Yigdal, from a 1960 recording.
Via: Youtube

The following is cited courtesy of the Zemirot Database, an excellent resource:


יִגְדַּל אֱלֹהִים חַי וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח, נִמְצָא, וְאֵין עֵת אֶל מְצִיאוּתוֹ: 

אֶחָד וְאֵין יָחִיד כְּיִחוּדוֹ, נֶעְלָם, וְגַם אֵין סוֹף לְאַחְדּוּתוֹ: 

אֵין לוֹ דְמוּת הַגּוּף וְאֵינוֹ גּוּף, לֹא נַעֲרוֹךְ אֵלָיו קְדֻשָּׁתוֹ: 

קַדְמוֹן לְכָל דָּבָר אֲשֶׁר נִבְרָא, רִאשׁוֹן וְאֵין רֵאשִׁית לְרֵאשִׁיתוֹ: 

הִנּוֹ אֲדוֹן עוֹלָם, לְכָל נוֹצָר. יוֹרֶה גְדֻלָּתוֹ וּמַלְכוּתוֹ: 

שֶׁפַע נְבוּאָתוֹ נְתָנוֹ, אֶל אַנְשֵׁי סְגוּלָּתוֹ וְתִפְאַרְתּוֹ: 

לֹא קָם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל כְּמֹשֶה עוֹד נָבִיא, וּמַבִּיט אֶת תְּמוּנָתוֹ: 

תּוֹרַת אֱמֶת נָתַן לְעַמּוֹ, אֵל, עַל יַד נְבִיאוֹ נֶאֱמַן בֵּיתוֹ: 

לֹא יַחֲלִיף הָאֵל וְלֹא יָמִיר דָּתוֹ. לְעוֹלָמִים, לְזוּלָתוֹ: 

צוֹפֶה וְיוֹדֵֽעַ סְתָרֵינוּ, מַבִּיט לְסוֹף דָּבָר בְּקַדְמָתוֹ: 

גּוֹמֵל לְאִישׁ חֶֽסֶד כְּמִפְעָלוֹ, נוֹתֵן לְרָשָׁע רָע כְּרִשְׁעָתוֹ:

יִשְׁלַח לְקֵץ יָמִין מְשִׁיחֵֽנוּ, לִפְדּוֹת מְחַכֵּי קֵץ יְשׁוּעָתוֹ:

מֵתִים יְחֲיֶּה אֵל בְּרוֹב חַסְדּוֹ, בָּרוּךְ עֲדֵי עַד שֵׁם תְּהִלָּתוֹ: 

[אלה שלוש עשרה לעקרים הן הם יסוד דת אל ואמונתו. תורת משה אמת ונבואתו, ברוך עדי עד שם תהלתו.]


1. Magnified​ and praised be the living God: he is, and there is no limit in time unto his being. 

2. He is One, and there is no unity like unto his unity; inconceiv​able is he, and unending is his unity. 

3. He hath neither bodily form nor substance​: we can compare nought unto him in his holiness.​ 

4. He was before anything that hath been created--​even the first: but his existence​ had no beginning​. 

5. Behold he is the Lord of the universe:​ to every creature he teacheth his greatness​ and his sovereign​ty. 

6. The rich gift of his prophecy he gave unto the men of his choice, in whom he gloried. 

7. There hath never yet arisen in Israel a prophet like unto Moses, one who hath beheld his similitud​e, 

8. The Law of truth God gave unto his people by the hand of his prophet who was faithful in his house. 

9. God will not alter nor change his Law to everlasti​ng for any other. 

10. He watcheth and knoweth our secret thoughts:​ he beholdeth​ the end of a thing before it existeth.​ 

11. He bestoweth​ lovingkin​​dness upon a man according​​ to his work; he giveth to the wicked evil according​​ to his wickednes​s. 

12. He will send our anointed at the end of days, to redeem them that wait for the end—his​ salvation​. 

13. In the abundance​ of his lovingkin​​dness God will quicken the dead. Blessed for evermore be his glorious name. 

Trans​lation from The Standard Prayer book by Simeon Singer (1915) (public domain) 

[These are the thirteen fundamentals (of Jewish faith), they are the foundation of the religion of God and His faithful.​ The Torah of Moses and his prophesy is true, blessed for eternity be His name.] 


Although it is found in the beginning of the shacharit service in the siddur, Yigdal is often sung at the conclusion of the Ma“ariv service on Shabbat and Chagim. The lines in brackets are added in Sefardi communities. 

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