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יִגְדַּל (ספרד)‏ | Yigdal, by Daniel ben Yehudah (rhyming translation by Rabbi David de Sola Pool, 1937)

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

יִגְדַּל אֱלֹהִים חַי וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח
נִמְצָא וְאֵין עֵת אֶל־מְצִֽיאוּתוֹ׃‏
Praise God existent through eternity!
No time can limit Him to whom we pray.

אֶחָד וְאֵין יָחִיד כְּיִֽחוּדוֹ
נֶעְלָם וְגַם אֵין סוֹף לְאַחְדּוּתוֹ׃‏
An all-embracing unity is He,
Unique in oneness words cannot convey.

אֵין לוֹ דְמוּת הַגּוּף וְאֵינוֹ גּוּף
לֹא נַֽעֲרֹךְ אֵלָיו קְדֻשָּׁתוֹ׃
A spirit, holy, bodiless, is He,
No semblance or no image can portray.

קַדְמוֹן לְכָל־דָּבָר אֲשֶׁר נִבְרָא
רִאשׁוֹן וְאֵין רֵאשִׁית לְרֵֽאשִׁיתוֹ׃‏
Himself, First Cause, without beginning lived
Eternal ere creations’s vast array.

הִנּוֹ אֲדוֹן עוֹלָם לְכָל־נוֹצָר
יוֹרֶה גְּדֻלָּתוֹ וּמַלְכוּתוֹ׃‏
The Lord of all is He. To all that is
The universe reveals His might and sway.

שֶֽׁפַע נְבוּאָתוֹ נְתָנוֹ אֶל־
אַנְשֵׁי סְגֻלָּתוֹ וְתִפְאַרְתּוֹ׃‏
The prophet’s mystic gift He would inspire
In Israel’s great seers His truth to say.

לֹא קָם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל כְּמֹשֶׁה עוֹד
נָבִיא וּמַבִּיט אֶל־תְּמֽוּנָתוֹ׃‏
Like Moses ne’er was seer in Israel
To whom His glory God could clear display.

תּוֹרַת אֱמֶת נָתַן לְעַמּוֹ אֵל
עַל־יַד נְבִיאוֹ נֶֽאֱמַן בֵּיתוֹ׃
By means of Moses “faithful in His house”
He gave us the Torah which we obey.

לֹא יַֽחֲלִיף הָאֵל וְלֹא יָמִיר
דָּתוֹ לְעוֹלָמִים לְזֽוּלָתוֹ׃
The Law shall ne’er be changed, nor testament
Shall substitute for it for e’er and aye.

צוֹפֶה וְיוֹדֵֽעַ סְתָרֵֽינוּ
מַבִּיט לְסוֹף דָּבָר בְּקַדְמוּתוֹ׃
He understands and knows our secret thoughts,
Ere aught be formed, its end He can foresay.

גּוֹמֵל לְאִישׁ חָסִיד כְּמִפְעָלוֹ
נוֹתֵן לְרָשָׁע רָע כְּרִשְׁעָתוֹ׃
A fit reward on virtue He bestows;
Unscathed may none His teaching disobey.

יִשְׁלַח לְקֵץ יָמִים מְשִׁיחֵֽנוּ
לִפְדּוֹת מְחַכֵּי קֵץ יְשׁוּעָתוֹ׃
Messiah He will send – O be it soon! –
To bring redemption on the judgement day.

מֵתִים יְחַיֶּה אֵל בְּרֹב חַסְדּוֹ
בָּרוּךְ עֲדֵי עַד שֵׁם תְּהִלָּתוֹ׃
The dead will He revive in healing love.
For ever blessed be He, our strength and stay.

אֵֽלֶּה שְׁלֹשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה לְעִקָּרִים
הִנָּם יְסוֹד דַּת אֵל וְתֽוֹרָתוֹ׃
The thirteen roots of Jewish faith are these.
God’s holy name be blessed and praised for aye.

מֵתִים יְחַיֶּה אֵל בְּרֹב חַסְדּוֹ
בָּרוּךְ עֲדֵי עַד שֵׁם תְּהִלָּתוֹ׃
The dead will He revive in healing love.
For ever blessed be He, our strength and stay.

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 rhyming English translation appearing here is as found on page 87 of the Tefilot l’Rosh haShanah (1937), compiled and translated by Rabbi David de Sola Pool.

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