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The piyyut, “Yigdal”, seems to put the 13 principles of faith of the Rambam in poetic form.

With number 5, the author of Yigdal seems to have made a slightly different point to the Rambam by leaving out all reference to prayer.

Question 1: Why?

Rambam: אני מאמין באמונה שלימה שהבורא יתברך שמו לו לבדו ראוי להתפלל ואין ראוי להתפלל לזולתו

Yigdal: הינו אדון עולם לכל נוצר יורה גדלותו ומלכותו

There is a different version of the text in Yigdal, הִנּוֹ אֲדוֹן עוֹלָם וְכָל נוֹצָר יוֹרֶה גְּדֻלָּתוֹ וּמַלְכוּתוֹ where changing one letter transforms the sense of the verse.

Question 2: Is this related to the Rambam's article?

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Just note that the Rambam didn't actually write the "Ani maamin..." format either. –  jake Apr 10 '12 at 15:39

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Rabbi Dr. Marc Shapiro asked that question as well. He points out that several variants of the text would better bring out the "pray only to G-d" concept.

If I recall correctly, Lord Sacks just tweaks the punctuation, and also gets the point across:

הינו אדון עולם; לכל נוצר יורה גדלותו ומלכותו

G-d is Master of the World; He reveals His Greatness and Kingship [directly] to every creature.

Therefore, there is no need for an intermediary when praying.

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Thanks Shalom. I intend to check my Koren Sacks siddur in shul later. Meanwhile inspired by your answer, I found Rabbi Apple's article who says the text should be וְכָל נוֹצָר יודה "and every creature must acknowledge" resolving our difficulty. –  Avrohom Yitzchok Apr 10 '12 at 15:57
@AvrohomYitzchok: IIRC, Philip Birnbaum makes the same point in his siddur, and adds that יורה can mean "to pray" (as in Eruvin 65a, which uses a verse from Ben Sira, בצר אל יורה, to demonstrate that one should not pray when mentally agitated) - so that the only emendation needed is from לכל to וכל. –  Alex Apr 10 '12 at 21:07

R' Yaakov Weinberg preferred the variant Vilna version of the text with יודה in place of יורה for this reason.

In Even Sh'sia, R' Bechhofer suggests that this verse of Yigdal fits with the idea of the 5th principle quite nicely. The point of worshiping Hashem alone is not a rule in a vacuum. The reason to worship Hashem alone is, as the Rambam writes in the introduction to Chelek, לפי שכולם מוטבעים ועל פעולתם אין משפט ולא בחירה אלא לו לבדו הש"י - because all other beings are ingrained and Hashem is the only one with freedom of will. The reason that we worship Him alone is because of His absolute dominion. הינו אדון עולם, He is the Master of the world, is the underlying principle of our worshiping Him alone. We recognize that no other creation has any authority, and therefore worship Him alone.

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