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יִגְדַּל (אשכנז)‏ | Yigdal, by Daniel ben Yehudah (rhyming translation by Alice Lucas, 1898)


Source (Hebrew)Translation (English)
יִגְדַּל אֱלֹהִים חַי וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח.
נִמְצָא וְאֵין עֵת אֶל מְצִיאוּתוֹ׃
The living God we praise, exalt, adore!
He was, He is, He will be evermore.
אֶחָד וְאֵין יָחִיד כְּיִחוּדוֹ.
נֶעְלָם וְגַם אֵין סוֹף לְאַחְדּוּתוֹ׃
No unity like unto His can be,
Eternal, inconceivable is He.
אֵין לוֹ דְמוּת הַגּוּף וְאֵינוֹ גּוּף.
לֹא נַעֲרֹךְ אֵלָיו קְדֻשָּׁתוֹ׃
No form or shape has th’ incorporeal One,
Most holy beyond all comparison.
קַדְמוֹן לְכָל־דָּבָר אֲשֶׁר נִבְרָא.
רִאשׁוֹן וְאֵין רֵאשִׁית לְרֵאשִׁיתוֹ׃
He was, ere aught was made in heaven or earth,
But His existence has no date or birth.
הִנּוֹ אֲדוֹן עוֹלָם לְכָל־נוֹצָר
יוֹרֶה גְּדֻלָּתוֹ וּמַלְכוּתוֹ׃
Lord of the Universe is He proclaimed,
Teaching His power to all His hand has framed.
שֶֽׁפַע נְבוּאָתוֹ נְתָנוֹ.
אֶל אַנְשֵׁי סְגֻלָּתוֹ וְתִפְאַרְתּוֹ׃
He gave His gift of prophecy to those
In whom He gloried, whom He loved and chose.
לֹא קָם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל כְּמֹשֶׁה עוֹד.
נָבִיא. וּמַבִּיט אֶת־תְּמוּנָתוֹ׃‏
No prophet ever yet has filled the place
Of Moses, who beheld God face to face.
תּוֹרַת אֱמֶת נָתַן לְעַמּוֹ אֵל
עַל־יַד נְבִיאוֹ נֶאֱמַן בֵּיתוֹ׃
Through Him (the faithful in His house) the Lord
The law of truth to Israel did accord.
לֹא יַחֲלִיף הָאֵל וְלֹא יָמִיר דָּתוֹ.
לְעוֹלָמִים לְזוּלָתוֹ׃
This law God will not alter, will not change
For any other through time’s utmost range.
צוֹפֶה וְיוֹדֵעַ סְתָרֵֽינוּ.
מַבִּיט לְסוֹף דָּבָר בְּקַדְמָתוֹ׃
He knows and heeds the secret thoughts of man:
He saw the end of all ere aught began.
גּוֹמֵל לְאִישׁ חֶֽסֶד כְּמִפְעָלוֹ.
נוֹתֵן לְרָשָׁע רָע כְּרִשְׁעָתוֹ׃
With love and grace doth He the righteous bless,
He metes out evil unto wickedness.
יִשְׁלַח לְקֵץ יָמִים מְשִׁיחֵֽנוּ.
לִפְדּוֹת מְחַכֵּי קֵץ יְשׁוּעָתוֹ׃
He at the last will His anointed send,
Those to redeem, who hope, and wait the end.
מֵתִים יְחַיֶּה אֵל בְּרֹב חַסְדּוֹ.
בָּרוּךְ עֲדֵי־עַד שֵׁם תְּהִלָּתוֹ׃
God will the dead to life again restore,
Praised be His glorious name for evermore.

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 English translation appearing here is as found on pp. 186-187 of The Jewish Year (1898), by Alice Lucas.






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