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Yishtabach

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Yishtabach

Yishtabach (Hebrew: ישתבח‎) (Hebrew: "[ God ] be praised") is a prayer in the final portion of the Pesukei Dezimra morning prayers of Judaism known as shacharit, recited before the second kaddish leading to the Shema prayers.

The theme of the number "fifteen" plays a pivotal role in the blessing; there are fifteen expressions conveying praise in the beginning half of the paragraph and fifteen words in the concluding blessing (after "Blessed are You, God..."). The number fifteen is an allusion both to the Divine Name יה (whose gematria is fifteen) and to the fifteen Songs of Ascents composed by King David (Psalms 120–34).

There are two themes of Yishtabach: God's power and might are deserving of our praise and adoration, and that one must continually praise God.[1]

Since Baruch Sheamar and Yishtabach are both blessings, this gives the sense that Pesukei Dezimra is one single prayer.[2] Yishtabach is not recited unless Baruch Sheamar is recited, because Baruch Sheamar is the opening blessing, and Yishtabach is the closing blessing.[3]

Yishtabach is normally recited while standing. This is because Baruch Sheamar is recited while standing, and since Baruch Sheamar is the opening of Pesukei Dezimra and Yishtabach is the conclusion, they are both recited in the same manner.[4] However, on Shabbat, some congregations have a custom to sit.[5]

The author of Yishtabach is not known to this day. But with words 2-5 in the prayer spelling שׁלמה (Shlomo), this alludes to a reference to King Solomon.[6]


Text of Yishtabach

English translation Transliteration Aramaic / Hebrew
May your Name be praised forever our King, Yishtabach shimcha la'ad malkeinu יִשְׁתַּבַּח שִׁמְךָ לָעַד מַלְכֵּנוּ
the God, the great and holy King in heaven and on earth. ha'eil hamelech hagadol vehakadosh bashamayim uva'aretz. הָאֵל הַמֶּלֶךְ הַגָּדוֹל וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ, בַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ
Because for You is fitting O LORD, our God, and the God of our forefathers Ki lecha na'eh adonai eloheinu v'eilohei avoteinu כִּי לְךָ נָאֶה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ
song and praise, lauding and hymns, power and dominion, triumph, greatness and strength, praise and splendor, holiness and sovereignty, blessings and thanksgivings from this time and forever. shir ushvacha halleil vezimra oz umemshalla netzach gedula ugvura tehila vetif'eret kedusha umalchut berachot vehoda'ot mei'atta ve'ad olam. שִׁיר וּשְׁבָחָה, הַלֵּל וְזִמְרָה, עֹז וּמֶמְשָׁלָה נֶצַח, גְּדֻלָּה וּגְבוּרָה, תְּהִלָּה, וְתִפְאֶרֶת, קְדֻשָּׁה, וּמַלְכוּת בְּרָכוֹת וְהוֹדָאוֹת מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם.
Blessed are You, O LORD, God, King exalted through praises, God of thanksgivings, Master of wonders, Baruch atta adonai eil melech gadol batishbachot eil hahoda'ot adon hanifla'ot בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָאֵל מֶלֶךְ גָּדוֹל בַּתִּשְׁבָּחוֹת, אֵל הַהוֹדָאוֹת, אֲדוֹן הַנִּפְלָאוֹת,
Who chooses musical songs of praise King, God, Life-giver of the world. habocheir beshirei zimra melech eil, chei ha'olamim. הַבּוֹחֵר בְּשִׁירֵי זִמְרָה, מֶלֶךְ אֵל חֵי הָעוֹלָמִים.

References

  1. ^ Every person's guide to Jewish prayer By Ronald H. Isaacs, page 117
  2. ^ Talelei oros By Yiśakhar Dov ben Shaʼul Rubin, Gershon Robinson, page 458
  3. ^ To pray as a Jew: a guide to the prayer book and the synagogue service By Hayim Halevy Donin, page 171
  4. ^ How does Jewish law work?: a rabbi analyzes 95 contemporary halachic questions By J. Simcha Cohen, page 161
  5. ^ How does Jewish law work?: a rabbi analyzes 95 contemporary halachic questions By J. Simcha Cohen, page 162
  6. ^ The JPS guide to Jewish traditions By Ronald L. Eisenberg, Jewish Publication Society, page 411
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