Watch Yochanan Ezra ben Avraham recite
Yigdal – Based on Maimonides Thirteen Essentials of Faith:
Yigdal (Hebrew: יִגְדָּל; yighdāl, or יִגְדַּל;yighdal; means “Magnify [O Living God]”) is a Jewish hymn which in various rituals shares with Adon ‘Olam the place of honor at the opening of the morning and the close of the evening service. It is based on the 13 Articles of Faith (sometimes referred to as “the 13 Creeds”) formulated by Moses ben Maimon. This was not the only metrical presentment of the Creeds, but it has outlived all others, whether in Hebrew or in the vernacular. A translation can be found in any bilingual siddur.
With the Ashkenazim only thirteen lines are sung, one for each creed; the last, dealing with the resurrection of the dead, is repeated to complete the antiphony when the hymn is responsorially sung by the Chazzan and congregation. The Sephardim, who sing the hymn in congregational unison throughout, use the following line as the 14th: “These are the 13 bases of the Rule of Moses and the tenets of his Law”.
- Exalted be the Living God and praised, He exists – unbounded by time is His existence;
- He is One – and there is no unity like His Oneness – Inscrutable and infinite is His Oneness;
- He has no semblance of a body nor is He corporeal – nor has His holiness any comparison;
- He preceded every being that was created – the First, and nothing precedes His precedence;
- Behold! He is Master of the universe – Every creature demonstrates His greatness and His sovereignty;
- He granted His flow of prophecy – to His treasured, splendid people;
- In Israel, none like Moses arose again – a prophet who perceived His vision clearly;
- God gave His people a Torah of truth – by means of His prophet, the most trusted of His household;
- God will never amend nor exchange His law – for any other one, for all eternity;
- He scrutinizes and knows our hiddenmost secrets – He perceives a matter’s outcome at its inception;
- He recompenses man with kindness according to his deed – He places evil on the wicked according to his wickedness;
- By the End of Days He will send our Messiah – to redeem those longing for His final salvation;
- God will revive the dead in His abundant kindness – Blessed forever is His praised Name.
- These are the thirteen fundamentals, they are the foundation of the religion of God and His faithful. The Torah of Moses and his prophecy is true, blessed for eternity be His Name. [used in Sephardi tradition]