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In the beginning of the amida prayer, God is ascribed these three titles: HaGadol HaGibor veHaNora. (the source is from the torah)

What does each one mean and how are they different?

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doesnt the gamoro in barochoth talk bout this? – MoriDoweedhYaa3qob Sep 3 '13 at 20:44
I think Moshe said them before the Amida was written. – Double AA Sep 3 '13 at 21:22
@MoriDoweedhYa3gob where? – Shmuel Brin Sep 3 '13 at 21:58
@ShmuelBrin i forgot where but maybe in the 20s? it goes something like, why do we say hajodhol hajeebor wahanoro? and it says one novi said hajodhol in this situation in navee'eem, then anotehr novi said this and the other said that, and we have to stop a person from saying more than these 3 because there is no end to the praises for HaShem therefore if he keeps on going and stops at a certain places someone will say that he only praises this amount but not fully. something along those lines. maybe not in the 20s but early 30s where it talks about when to stop a shalia7 9ibbur in the 2nd rep – MoriDoweedhYaa3qob Sep 4 '13 at 0:01
Mountains are big, blue whales are both big and strong, hurricanes are big and strong and scary. They are listed in order of ascending awe and serve as a meditative build up to kel Elyon, which then is brought back down with the rest of the blessing, culminating in this awesome king being our shield, a most immediate presence and protection. Partially rabbi Aryeh Kaplan in Jewish meditation, partially me. – user3114 Sep 4 '13 at 2:13

Hagadol- great, created the universe and everything

Hagibor- powerful, runs the whole world and decides everything for the whole world

WeHanora- awesome, feared by the creatures of the world

Source: Siddur Ish Masliah and Kawanat Halev.

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thnx. great in deeds? gibor usually means might or strength. what's the connection to deciding everything. i once read that nora refers to His – ray Sep 4 '13 at 6:03

Gadol refers to Hashem's middas hatava, as chazal say in devarim 23:4 "es gadlecha - zu middas tuvcha." See the Maharsha on the gemara in Yuma 69b (which was referenced in comments above, it is the gemara about why the Anshei Knesses Hagedola got that name, who explains gadol along these lines in answering why they were called Hagedola if gadol was the one description that wasn't removed by the nevi'im).

Gibbor is that Hashem is kovesh es yitzro (overcomes His will, so to speak) and allows the resha'im to exist (gemara there)

Norah is that Hashem protects "one sheep among 70 wolves" and sustains our existence in Galus (gemara there)

The iyun tefillah says gadol refers to brias haolam, gibbor is yetzias Mitzrayim, and Norah is krias yam suf.

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