Prayers for the Morning of Sigd: Yitbärēk Egzi’äbḥer (Blessed be YHVH), in Ge’ez with vocalized Hebrew and English translation

Sigd is an Amharic word meaning “prostration” or “worship” and is the commonly used name for a holiday celebrated by the Ethiopian Jewish Beta Israel community on the 29th of the Hebrew month of Marḥheshvan. This date is exactly 50 days after Yom Kippur, usually falling out in late October or November, and according to Ethiopian Jewish tradition is also the date that God first revealed himself to Moses.[1]Jewish Virtual Library, “Ethiopian Jewry: Sigd Holiday

Sigd is a unique holiday. Originally only celebrated by the Ethiopian Jewish Beta Esrael community, it has gotten more traction recently. One could describe the key concept of Sigd as being the acceptance of the Torah — not the giving, but the receiving of it. Sigd is a holiday of the continuation of the covenant. No matter the persecution that the Beta Esrael suffered (and hoo boy, did they suffer), Sigd announced that they would preserve their Judaism through it all.

In the morning of Sigd, the community goes out to a mountain with the sacred Orit (the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, and Ruth) and recites prayers and readings. The six prayers included here, largely compiled by Shoshana ben-Dor (former director of the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry) and translated into English by Isaac Mayer, are the key pieces of morning liturgy for the holiday of Sigd. These are followed by readings from the Torah and the writings.

Yitbärēk Egzi’äbḥer (Blessed be YHVH) is the third prayer in this order of prayers for the morning of Sigd. It is a morning blessing.

  1. Wäṣoru Tabotomu (They Carried Out Their Ark)
  2. Wäy’ärgu Debre (And They Climbed the Mount)
  3. Yitbärēk Egzi’äbḥer (Blessed be YHVH)
  4. Hälē Hälē yebärkewo (Praise, Praise, Bless the One)
  5. Ne’u Nesēgēdē (Come, Let Us Bow)
  6. Menabērtē Bēytē Dawid (Thrones of David’s House)

This is part one of a series of Sigd readings in English, Hebrew, and Ge’ez transliteration that the editor will be posting here.

Translation (Hebrew) Translation (English) Source (Ge’ez)

יִתְבָּרַךְ יהוה
אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל
אֱלֹהִי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ אָתָּה
(הַלֵּל)
שַׁבְּחוּהוּ
וְרוֹמְמוּהוּ לְעוֹלָם
Blessed be YHVH
God of Israel.
Our ancestors’ God are You.
(Praise!)
Glorify the One
and exult the One forever!
Yitbärēk Egzi’äbḥer
ämläk Esräēl.
Ämläke äbäwinē äntē.
(Hälē)
Sebḥuni we’etu
weleʿulēni we’etu leʿälēm.

וְיִתְבָּרַךְ יהוה
וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ וְיִתְרוֹמַם
וְיִתְאַמֵּן וְיִתְהַלָּל
וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח אֲדֹנָי
כִּי גָּדוֹל שִׁבְחוֹתָיו
קָדוֹשׁ וְחָזָק וּבָרוּךְ
(הַלֵּל)
שַׁבְּחוּהוּ
וְרוֹמְמוּהוּ לְעוֹלָם
And blessed be YHVH
and sanctified and exulted
and trusted and praised
and glorified is Adonai
for great are God’s glories,
holy and mighty and blessed.
(Praise!)
Glorify the One
and exult the One forever!
Yitbärēk Egzi’äbḥer
wäyitqedäs wäyitleʿäl
wäyit’ämen wäyit’äkot
wäysebäḥ Ädonäi
esmē ʿäbi sebḥätiḥu
qedus ḥäyäl weburuk.
(Hälē)
Sebḥuni we’etu
weleʿulēni we’etu leʿälēm.

בְּרוֹךְ אַתָּה יהוה
מֵעַל הֵיכָל
קְדוֹשׁ שְׁבָחֶיךָ
שְׁבָחִים לֶאֱלֹהֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם
אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי לִשְׁמוֹ
הַלֵּל אֶלֶף בָּרוּךְ
שַׁבְּחוּהוּ וְיָשָׁר
לְעוֹלָם כִּסְאֶיךָ
(נ׳׳א) שַׁבְחוּהוּ
וּגְדָלוּהוּ לְעוֹלָם
Blessed are you, YHVH
Over the palace
of Your glories’ praises.
Praises to the God of Heaven.
You are Adonai, to your name,
praise a thousand blessings!
Glorify God and Your throne
upright forever!
(or) Glorify the One
and magnify the One forever!
Beruk äntē Egzi’o
bedibē ṣeraḥ
qedusät sbeḥatike.
Sebḥätihu le’ämläk sämäy.
änt Ädonäi, lesemu
hälē älef bruk.
Sebḥuni äntē werutēni
leʿalēm mēnbērk.
(or) Sebḥuni äntē
we’ekutēni änt leʿälēm.

בְּרוֹךְ אַתָּה יהוה
שֶׁתִּרְאֶה מַעֲמַקִּים מוֹשָׁבֶיךָ
מֵעַל הַכְּרוּבִים
הֵיכַל רָקִיעַ
כִּסְאֶיךָ הָרָם
(הַלֵּל)
שַׁבְּחוּהוּ
וְשַׁבְּחוּהוּ בְּכָל־הָעוֹלָם
Blessed are you, YHVH
Seeing the depths of Your seat
Over the cherubim,
Palace of the firmament
Your throne on high!
(Praise!)
Glorify the the One
Throughout all the earth!
Beruk äntē Egzi’o
zētere’i qäläyät nebirēkē
leʿul krubēl
ṣerḥa äryäym
mēnbēreke leʿul!
(Hälē)
Sebḥuni we’etu
wesbuḥuni änt bekulu ʿälem

בְּרוֹךְ אַתָּה יהוה
מֵעַל כִּסְאֶיךָ
שְׁבָחֶיךָ שִׁבְחַת מַלְכוּתְךָ
מַלְכוּתוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יֶחְסַר בּוֹ
כּוֹחוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יִפֹּל
פָּנָיו שֶׁלֹּא יִכָּשֵׁל
מַרְאֶה פָּנָיו
שֶׁלֹּא יִשְׁתַּנֶּה
וּמִשְׁפָּטוֹ
שֶׁלֹּא יְאַלֵּם
וְכִסְּאוֹ
שֶׁלֹּא יִשָּׂרֵף
וּשְׁנוֹתֶיךָ
שֶׁלֹּא יִתַּמּוּ
בְּכׇל־זְמַן תָּמִיד
צַדִּיק יהוה
לְעוֹלָם עוֹלָם
(הַלֵּל)
שַׁבְּחוּהוּ
וְרוֹמְמוּהוּ לְעוֹלָם
Blessed are you, YHVH
Over Your throne
Your glories are royal glories
Whose reign is flawless
Whose power is faultless
Whose Face will not stumble
Whose appearance
will not be changed
and Whose judgement
will not be blinded
and Whose seat
will not be burnt
And Your years
are endless.
At all times, always,
Righteous is YHVH
Forever, ever.
(Praise!)
Glorify the One
and exult the One forever!
Beruk äntē Egzi’o
bedibē mēnbērē
Sebḥätik sebḥat mēngesteke
mēngesitu zē’iyēsēʿär
ḥäyylu ze’iyedēkem
gēṣu ze’iyeymäsēn
re’it gēṣu
zä’iyetelwēṣ
wemekonänu
zeyiälēm
wemēnberu
zē’iyenqelqel
weʿämetätkeni
zē’iyehäleyke.
Wētrē wärēzē,
ṣädq äntē Ädonäi
leʿälēm ʿälēm.
(Hälē)
Sebḥuni äntē
weleʿulēni äntē leʿälēm.

בְּרוֹךְ אַתָּה יהוה
כׇּל־הַמַּיִם מֵעַל הַשָּׁמָיִם
בְּמַרְאֵהוּ בִּרְקִיעַ
יהוה שֶׁהָיָה וְיִהְיֶה
אֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ
יהוה אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם
יהוה אֱלֹהֵי יִצְחָק
יהוה אֱלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב יִשְׂרָאֵל
אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל
וּקְדוֹשִׁים וּמְכֻבָּדִים
כֻּלּוֹ מֻשְׁלָם
מֶלֶךְ הַשָּׁמַיִם
וְקוֹלוֹ טָהוֹר
(הַלֵּל)
שַׁבְּחוּהוּ
וְכַבְּדוּהוּ לְעֹלָם
אַתָּה רָחוּם
וּמַרְבֶּה לִסְלֹחַ
Blessed are you, YHVH
all the waters over the heavens
appearing in the firmament
YHVH was and will be
our ancestors’ God,
YHVH God of Abraham,
YHVH God of Isaac,
YHVH God of Jacob Israel,
God of Israel,
And the holy and the noble
All is complete
Heavenly Sovereign
and pure voice.
(Praise!)
Glorify the One
and honor the One forever
You are merciful
and increase forgiveness.
Beruk äntē Egzi’o
kulu mäy zēlmeʿlte semäytä
Beḥabē te’eyentē le’äryäm
Egzi’o zehälo weyēyhēlo
ämläk äbäwinē
Egzi’o ämläk Äbrehäm
Egzi’o ämläk Yeṣḥäq
Egzi’o ämläk Yäʿqob Esräēl
Ämläk Esräel
qedusän kebru
Kehäli feṣum
Smäwi negus
weqälu neṣuḥ.
(Hälē)
Sebḥuni äntē
wekeburēni äntē leʿälēm.
Äntēs mehäri
wemestē sähil.

Notes   [ + ]

  1. Jewish Virtual Library, “Ethiopian Jewry: Sigd Holiday

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