By Ariel Scheib
Yigdal (“may he be magnified”) is often the concluding prayer of the Friday evening service in Sephardic congregations; the Ashkenazim recite it during weekday morning prayers. This prayer, believed to be composed by R Daniel bar Judah, is based on the “Thirteen Principles of Faith” described by Maimonides in his book, Commentary on the Mishnah. Yigdal restates the first two commandments of the Ten Commandments — “I am the Lord thy God” and “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” Yigdal is a powerful hymn reminding the Jewish people of the power of God.
Yigdal Elokim chai v'yishtabach nimtza v'ein et el m'tziuto. Echad v'ein yachid k'yichudo ne'lam v'gam ein sof l'achduto. Ein lo d'mut haguf v'eino guf lo na'aroch elav k'dushato. Kadmon l'chal davar asher nivra rishon v'ein reishit l'reishito. Hino adon olam l'chal notzar yoreh g'dulato umalchuto. Shefa n'vuato n'tano el anshei s'gulato v'tifarto. Lo kam b'Yisrael k'Moshe od navi umabit et t'munato. Torat emet natan l'amo el al yad n'vio ne'eman beito. Lo yachalif haEl v'lo yamir dato l'olamim l'zulato. Tzofeh v'yode'a s'tareinu mabit l'sof davar b'kadmato. Gomeil l'ish chesed k'mifalo noten l'rasha ra k'rishato. Yishlach l'ketz hayamim m'shichenu lifdot m'chakei ketz y'shuato. Meytim y'chaiyeh el b'rov chasdo Baruch adei ad shem t'hilato.
Exalted be the Living G-d and praised, He exists - unbounded by time in 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 preceded His precedence. Behold! He is Master of the universe to every creature, He demonstrates His greatness and His sovereignty. He granted His flow of prophecy to His treasured splendrous people. In Yisrael none like Moshe arose again - a prophet who perceived His vision clearly. G-d gave His people a Torah of truth, by means of His prophet, the most trusted of His household. G-d 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 Mashiach, to redeem those longing for His final salvation. G-d will revive the dead in His abundant kindness - Blessed forever is His praised Name.
Source: Eisenberg, Ronald L. The JPS Guide to Jewish Traditions. PA: Jewish Publication Society, 2004;Wigoder, Geoffrey , Ed. The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia. NY: Facts on File, 1992; “Yigdal”