3. NISHMAT KOL CHAI (Soul of the Living Being)
Nishmat Kol Chai is one of the most beautiful poetic adorations in all of liturgical
literature, recited as part of the Shacharit (morning) service on Shabbat and
festivals immediately following Shirat Ha-Yam ("Song at the Sea"). It is also said at
the Pesach Seder. The first paragraph was known in Mishnaic times, the second
was composed during the talmudic period and the concluding part was added
during the geonic period. Of unknown authorship (*traditionally it is believed that the
author was Shimon Kefa*), it is partially cited in the Talmud as a prayer of
thanksgiving for the rainfall that follows a drought:
Talmud - Berachot 59b
Talmud - Taanit 7a
Nishmat kol chai t'vareich et shimcha HASHEM (ADONAI) Eloheinu, v'ruach kol
basar t'faeir utromeim zichr'cha malkeinu tamid
Min ha-olam v'ad ha-olam atah Kel, umi-baladecha ein lanu melech goel u-moshia
Podeh u-matzil umfarneis umracheim b'chol et tzarah v'tzukah, ein lanu melech ela
Elohei harishonim v'ha-acharonim, Elohah kol b'riyot, adon kol toladot, ham'hulal
b'rov hatishbachot, ham'naheg olamo b'chesed uvri-yotav b'rachamim
Va HASHEM (ADONAI) lo yanum v'lo yishan
Ham'oreir y'sheinim, v'hameikitz nirdamim, v'hameisiach il'mim, v'hamatir asurim,
v'hasomeich nof'lim, v'hazokeif k'fufim, Lecha l'vad'cha anachnu modim
Ilu finu molei shirah ka-yom, ulshoneinu rinah kahamon galaiv, v'siftoteinu shevach
k'merchevei raki'a, v'eineinu m'irot ka-shemesh v'cha-yareyach, v'yadeinu f'rusot
k'nishrei shamayim, v'ragleinu kalot ka-ayalot, ein anachnu maspikim l'hodot lecha
HASHEM (ADONAI) Eloheinu Veilohei avoteinu, ulvareich et sh'mecha al achat
mei-olef elef alfei alafim v'ribei r'vavot p'amim hatovot she-asita im avoteinu v'imanu
Mimitzrayim g'altanu HASHEM (ADONAI) Eloheinu, u-mibeit avodim p'ditanu
B'ra-av zantanu, uvsava kilkaltanu, meicherev hitzaltanu, u-midever milat-tanu, umeichalayim
raim v'ne-emanim dilitanu
Ad heina azarunu rachamecha, v'lo azavunu chasadecha V'al tit'sheinu HASHEM
(ADONAI) Eloheinu lanetzach
Al kein eivarim shepilagta banu, v'ruach unshama shenafachta b'apeinu, v'lashon
asher samta b'finu, hein heim yodu vivar'chu vishab'chu vifa-aru virom'mu v'yaaritzu
v'yakdishu v'yamlichu et shimcha malkeinu
Ki chol peh lecha tishova, v'chol berech lecha tichra, v'chol komah l'fanecha
tishtachaveh, v'chol l'vavot yiraucha, v'chol kerev uchlayot y'zam'ru lishmecha,
kadavar shekatuv: Kol atzmotai tomarnah, HASHEM (ADONAI) mi chomocha,
matzil ani meichazak mimenu, v'ani v'evyon migoz'lo
Mi yidmeh lach, u-mi yishveh lach, u-mi ya-arach
Ha-Kel hagadol hagibor v'hanora, Kel Elyon, konei shamayim va-aretz
N'halelcha unshabeichacha unfa-ercha unvareich et sheim kadshecha, ka-amur:
L'David, bar-chi nafshi et HASHEM (ADONAI), v'chol k'ravai et sheim kadsho
The soul of every living being shall bless Your Name, HASHEM (ADONAI), our G-d;
the spirit of all flesh shall always glorify and exalt Your remembrance, our King.
From this world to the World to Come, You are G-d, and other than You we have no
king, redeemer or savior.
Liberator, Rescuer, Sustainer and Merciful One in ever time of distress and
anguish, we have no king but You!
G-d of the first and of the last, G-d of all creatures, Master of all generations, Who
is extolled through a multitude of praises, Who guides His world with kindness and
His creatures with mercy.
HASHEM (ADONAI) neither slumbers nor sleeps.
He Who rouses the sleepers, Who awakens the slumbers, Who makes the mute
speak, Who releases the bound, Who supports the fallen, and Who straightens the
bent - to You alone we give thanks.
Were our mouth as full of song as the sea, and our tongue as full of joyous song as
its multitude of waves, and our lips as full of praise as the breadth of the heavens,
and our eyes as brilliant as the sun and the moon, and our hands as outspread as
eagles of the sky and our feet as swift as hinds - we still could not thank You
sufficiently HASHEM (ADONAI), our G-d, and G-d of our forefathers, and to bless
Your Name for even one of the thousand thousand, thousands of thousands and
myriad myriads of favors that You performed for our ancestors and for us.
You redeemed us from Egypt, HASHEM (ADONAI), our G-d, and liberated us from
the house of bondage.
In famine You nourished us and in plenty You sustained us, from Sword You saved
us; from plague You let us escape; and from severe and enduring diseases You
Until now Your mercy has helped us, and Your kindness has not forsaken us. Do
not abandon us, HASHEM (ADONAI), our G-d, forever.
Therefore, the organs that You set within us, and the spirit and soul that You
breathed into our nostrils, and the tongue that You placed in our mouth - all of them
shall thank and bless and praise and glorify and exalt and revere and sanctify and
declare the sovereignty of your Name, our King.
For ever mouth shall offer thanks to You; every tongue shall vow allegiance to You;
every knee shall bend to You; every erect spine shall prostrate itself before You; all
hearts shall fear You, and all innermost feelings and thoughts shall sing praises to
Your name, as it is written: "All my bones shall say: ‘HASHEM (ADONAI), who is
like You?' You save the poor man from one stronger than he, the poor and destitute
from one who would rob him."
Who is like unto You? Who is equal to You? who can be compared to You?
O great, mighty, and awesome G-d, the supreme G-d, Creator of heaven and earth.
We shall laud, praise, and glorify You and bless Your holy Name, as it is said: "of
David: Bless HASHEM (ADONAI), O my soul, and let all my innermost being bless
His holy Name!"