YIGDAL (May He be Magnified)


.יִגְדַּל אֱלֹהִים חַי וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח
:נִמְצָא וְאֵין עֵת אֶל מְצִיאוּתוֹ

Yigdal Elohim chai ve’yishtabach, nimtza v’ein et el metsiuto.

.אֶחָד וְאֵין יָחִיד כְּיִחוּדוֹ
:נֶעְלָם וְגַם אֵין סוֹף לְאַחְדּוּתוֹ  

Echad V’ein yachid keyichudo, n’elam v’gam ein sof l’achduto.

.אֵין לוֹ דְּמוּת הַגּוּף וְאֵינוֹ גוּף
:לֹא נַעֲרוֹךְ אֵלָיו קְדֻשָּתוֹ

Ein lo d’mut haguf v’eino guf, lo na’aroch eilav kedushato.

.קַדְמוֹן לְכָל דָּבָר אֲשֶׁר נִבְרָא
רִאשׁוֹן :וְאֵין רֵאשִׁית לְרֵאשִׁיתוֹ

Kadmon l’chol davar asher nivra, rishon v’ein reishit l’reishito.

.הִנּוֹ אֲדוֹן עוֹלָם לְכָל(וְכָל) נוֹצָר
:יוֹרֶה גְּדֻלָּתוֹ וּמַלְכוּתוֹ

Hino adon olam l’chol notsar, yoreh g’dulato umalchuto.

.שֶׁפַע נְבוּאָתוֹ נְתָנוֹ
:אֶל אַנְשֵׁי סְגֻלָּתוֹ וְתִפְאַרְתּוֹ

Shefa n’vuato netano, el anshei s’gulato v’tif’arto.

.לֹא קָם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל כְּמשֶׁה עוֹד
:נָבִיא וּמַבִּיט אֶת תְּמוּנָתוֹ

Lo kam b’Yisrael k’Moshe od navi umabeet et temunato.

.תּוֹרַת אֱמֶת נָתַן לְעַמּוֹ אֵל
:עַל יַד נְבִיאוֹ נֶאֱמַן בֵּיתוֹ

Torat emet natan le'amo el, al yad neveeo ne'eman beito.

.לֹא יַחֲלִיף הָאֵל וְלֹא יָמִיר דָּתוֹ
:לְעוֹלָמִים לְזוּלָתוֹ

Lo yachalif ha'el ve'lo yamir dato, le'olamim, lezulato.

.צוֹפֶה וְיוֹדֵעַ סְתָרֵינוּ
:מַבִּיט לְסוֹף דָּבָר בְּקַדְמָתוֹ

Tsofeh v’yodea setareinu, mabeet l’sof davar B'kadmato.

.גּוֹמֵל לְאִישׁ חֶסֶד כְּמִפְעָלוֹ
:יִתֵּן לְרָשָׁע רָע כְּרִשְׁעָתוֹ

Gomel l’ish chesed k’mif’alo, notel l’rasha ra kerish’ato.

.יִשְׁלַח לְקֵץ יָמִין מְשִׁיחֵנוּ
:לִפְדּוֹת מְחַכֵּי קֵץ יְשׁוּעָתוֹ

Yishlach l’ketz yamin meshicheinu, lifdot m’chakei ketz yeshuato.

.מֵתִים יְחַיֶּה אֵל בְּרֹב חַסְדּוֹ
:בָּרוּךְ עֲדֵי עַד שֵׁם תְּהִלָּתוֹ

Metim y’chayeh El b’rov chasdo, baruch adei ad shem t’hilato.

.אלה שלוש עשרה לעקרים הן הם יסוד דת אל ואמונתו
:תורת משה אמת ונבואתו, ברוך עדי עד שם תהלתו

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]

Magnified and praised be the living G-d: He is, and there is no limit in time unto His

being. He is One, and there is no unity like unto His unity; inconceivable is He, and

unending is His unity. He has neither bodily form nor substance: we can compare

nought unto Him in His holiness. He was before anything that had been created--

even the first: but His existence had no beginning. Behold He is the Lord of the

universe: to every creature He teaches His greatness and His sovereignty. The rich

gift of His prophecy He gave unto the men of His choice, in whom He gloried. There

have never yet arisen in Israel a prophet like unto Moses, one who have beheld His

similitude, Torah of truth G-d gave unto His people by the hand of His prophet who

was faithful in His house. G-d will not alter nor change His Torah to everlasting for

any other. He watches and knows our secret thoughts: He beholds the end of a

thing before it exists. He bestows lovingkindness upon a man according to his work;

He gives to the wicked evil according to his wickedness. He will send our Messiah

at the end of days, to redeem them that wait for the end—His salvation. In the

abundance of His lovingkindness G-d will quicken the dead. Blessed for evermore

be His glorious Name.


Yigdal appears in translation in several Christian hymnals.In the 12th century, Jewish scholar Moses Maimonides codified the 13 articles of the Jewish Creed. These articles of the Jewish faith were later shaped into the Yigdal around 1400 by Daniel ben Judah, a judge in Rome.

Fast forward to 18th-century London. In about 1770, Thomas Olivers (1725-1799), an ardent follower of John Wesley, heard cantor Meyer Leoni sing the Doxology of the Yigdal at Duke's Place Synagogue. TheSabbath-Eve service and the music so impressed Olivers that he wrote a Christian hymn based on the Yigdal with the tune LEONI named after the cantor, Max Lyon -- Leoni being his professional name.
Some think that Leoni himself transcribed the tune for Olivers following the service. John Wesley included it in his Sacred Harmony (1780), and the tune has been paired with Olivers' paraphrase ever since.

Olivers was one of the many people from the middle and lower classes that were converted through the evangelical ministry of George Whitfield. He was orphaned at only 4 years of age and became an apprentice to a shoemaker. Young Olivers was known for his truly appalling behavior.

The opening stanza of "The God of Abraham Praise" is based on Exodus 3:6, "I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham," and Exodus 3:14, "I AM THAT I AM." Each of the original 12 stanzas is packed with scriptural allusions. UM Hymnal editor Carlton Young notes that "Olivers' stanzas 9, 11 and 12 are explicitly Christian, fulfilling the poet's purpose to give the paraphrase 'a Christian character.'" 

1. The God of Abraham praise,
who reigns enthroned above;
Ancient of Everlasting Days,
and God of Love;
Jehovah, great I AM!
by earth and heaven confessed;
I bow and bless the sacred name
forever blest.

2. The great I AM has sworn;
I on this oath depend.
I shall, on eagle wings upborne,
to heaven ascend.
I shall behold God's face;
I shall God's power adore,
and sing the wonders of God's grace

3. The heavenly land I see,
with peace and plenty blest;
a land of sacred liberty,
and endless rest.
There milk and honey flow,
and oil and wine abound,
and trees of life forever grow
with mercy crowned.

4. The God who reigns on high
the great archangels sing,
and "Holy, holy, holy!" cry
"Almighty King!
Who was, and is, the same,
and evermore shall be:
Jehovah, Lord, the great I AM,

The opening stanza of "The God of Abraham Praise" is based on Exodus 3:6, "I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham," and Exodus 3:14, "I AM THAT I AM." Each of the original 12 stanzas is packed with scriptural allusions.

we worship thee!"One day Olivers heard Whitfield preach on the text, "Is this not a brand plucked out of the fire?" from Zechariah 3:2. He was converted and his life changed dramatically. John Wesley recognized Olivers' talents and persuaded him to become one of his evangelists. Though he often experienced fierce hostility, Olivers traveled extensively throughout England and Ireland.