This pasuk (לִישׁוּעָֽתְךָ֖ קִוִּ֥יתִי יְהֹוָֽה) appears in many siddurim, including most Artscroll siddurim, after the Ani Maamins. However, the pasuk doesn’t just appear by itself. It appears three times, the latter two with the words switched order. It also includes the Onkelos translation switched around.

Why are we saying a pasuk totally out of order? Why is that even allowed?

1 Answer 1


In answer to your direct question, Rabbeinu Bachya in Parshas Vayechi on that Passuk says as follows:

ודע כי בעלי השמות מוציאים מן הכתוב הזה השם שמועיל בדרך כנגד השונאים, וכן שמשון ההורג בשונאיו ואשר הרבה את חלליהם מצינו שכתוב בו (שם) ויט בכח ויפל הבית על הסרנים ועל כל העם אשר בו, לא אמר הכתוב ויט בכחו אלא ויט בכח כלומר בכח השם עם כחו, כי שתף כח השם עם כחו וחלה בהם נקמה, והשם היוצא מן הכתוב הזה הוא בסדר אותיות הכתוב והתיבות משולשות, וידוע ומפורסם הוא בנקודו, וצריך אדם להזכירו כסדרן למפרע ג"כ כדי שילך בדרך סלולה וישיב אויביו אחור ומזה סמך לו אחור.

Know that experts in names and their meanings derive from this verse a name which by itself is designed to be a defense against one’s enemies. We find that it is written (Judges 16,30) concerning Samson who was able to kill so many of his adversaries: ויט בכח, “he pulled with (his) might,” though we would have expected the prophet Samuel to write: ויט בכחו, “he pulled with his might.” The implication is that the word בכח refers to G’d’s strength. Samson “co-opted” G’d’s strength to that of his own in order to bring about this impressive result, i.e. that 3,000 Philistines died as a result of his uprooting two pillars of the temple. The name of G’d which emerges from this verse is to be read in an unusual order. [The author refers to the custom of reading the words 'לישועתך קיויתי ה in three different sequences. He bases this on the fact that the mystique of the כח which assisted Samson lay in the re-arrangement of these three words in different permutations, קיויתי ה' לישועתך, לישועתך ה' קיויתי as well as ה' לישועתך קיויתי. When a prayer containing these words is offered in that manner it is liable to be effective. Ed.] By reversing the words, the enemy “falls ”backwards,” so to speak.

This specifically answers why we say it out of order and that it's allowed. It does not explain why we say the Onkelus version, nor does it explain why we say it after Ani Maamin. (unless it's connected to leaving shul and starting the day, and we say it as a protection from our enemies).

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