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יִגְדַּל (אשכנז)‏ | Yigdal, by Daniel ben Yehudah (rhyming translation by Jacob Waley, before 1873)


Source (Hebrew)Translation (English)
יִגְדַּל אֱלֹהִים חַי וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח
נִמְצָא וְאֵין עֵת אֶל מְצִיאוּתוֹ.
אֶחָד וְאֵין יָחִיד כְּיִחוּדוֹ
נֶעְלָם וְגַם אֵין סוֹף לְאַחְדּוּתוֹ.
Praised be the living God and glorified,
Whose being hath no origin or date.
One and alone in Unity is He;
in Majesty unseen, eternal state.
אֵין לוֹ דְמוּת הַגּוּף וְאֵינוֹ גּוּף
לֹא נַעֲרֹךְ אֵלָיו קְדֻשָּׁתוֹ.
קַדְמוֹן לְכָל־דָּבָר אֲשֶׁר נִבְרָא
רִאשׁוֹן וְאֵין רֵאשִׁית לְרֵאשִׁיתוֹ.
He hath no corp’real frame,
no outward form, a Spirit, in His holiness sublime.
Prior was He to all created things,
the First without beginning and beyond all time.
הִנּוֹ אֲדוֹן עוֹלָם לְכָל נוֹצָר
יוֹרֶה גְּדֻלָּתוֹ וּמַלְכוּתוֹ.
שֶׁפַע נְבוּאָתוֹ נְתָנוֹ
אֶל־אַנְשֵׁי סְגֻלָּתוֹ וְתִפְאַרְתּוֹ.
Behold He is the Lord of all the world;
His greatness and His sway all things proclaim.
The spirit of his prophesy He gave
unto His servants chos’n to exalt His name.
לֹא קָם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל כְּמֹשֶׁה עוֹד
נָבִיא וּמַבִּיט אֶת־תְּמוּנָתוֹ.
תּוֹרַת אֱמֶת נָתַן לְעַמּוֹ אֵל
עַל יַד נְבִיאוֹ נֶאֱמַן בֵּיתוֹ.
In Israel ne’er hath ris’n like Moses yet,
a Prophet who beheld Him face to face.
God to His people gave the law of truth,
through the great Prophet, faithful of his race.
לֹא יַחֲלִיף הָאֵל וְלֹא יָמִיר
דָּתוֹ לְעוֹלָמִים לְזוּלָתוֹ.
צוֹפֶה וְיוֹדֵעַ סְתָרֵינוּ
מַבִּיט לְסוֹף דָּבָר בְּקַדְמָתוֹ.
His Law God ne’er will change, nor substitute
another in its place while Time shall last.
He seeth and knoweth all our secret thoughts.
To Him is clear the future as the past.
גּוֹמֵל לְאִישׁ חָסִיד כְּמִפְעָלוֹ
נוֹתֵן לְרָשָׁע רָע כְּרִשְׁעָתוֹ.
יִשְׁלַח לְקֵץ יָמִים מְשִׁיחֵנוּ
לִפְדּוֹת מְחַכֵּי קֵץ יְשׁוּעָתוֹ.
The good for his good works will He requite,
the wicked punish for his evil ways —
And unto those who His salvation seek,
will send Messiah at the end of days.
מֵתִים יְחַיֶּה אֵל בְּרֹב חַסְדּוֹ
בָּרוּךְ עֲדֵי עַד שֵׁם תְּהִלָּתוֹ׃
Yea, in His mercy, He the dead will raise;
blest be His Name with everlasting praise!

This is the philosophical-creed-as-piyyut, Yigdal, by Daniel ben Judah Dayyan. Yigdal means “Magnify [O Living God]” and is based on the 13 Articles of Faith formulated by Maimonides (1135-1204). Daniel ben Judah spent eight years improving his piyyut, completing Yigdal in 1404. This was not the only metrical presentment of the 13 Articles of Faith; but it has outlived all others, whether in Hebrew or in the vernacular. The rhymed English translation by Jacob Waley (1818-1873) was published posthumously by his daughter, Julia Matilda Cohen, in The children’s Psalm-book, a selection of Psalms with explanatory comments, together with a prayer-book for home use in Jewish families (1907), pp. 300-303.






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