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In Maariv prayer we say "אל חי וקים תמיד ימלוך עלינו לעולם ועד" in the first long Brachah.

I'm aware of the concept of the double לשון of לעולם ועד (i.e. forever and ever), but how does that read after we say תמיד?

I realize that תמיד translates to "constant", but it still seems redundant to say "constantly ... forever", am I just plain wrong or is there something more here?

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  • Constantly means every second without stopping (which the point is that every second he's ruling (ימלוך) which it may not include forever)
    – user27154
    Sep 1 at 4:29
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    Perhaps you're parsing it wrong. אל חי וקים תמיד, ימלוך עלינו לעולם ועד The God who is alive and constantly established should rule over us forever and ever. (approx translation)
    – Double AA
    Sep 1 at 12:07
  • Perhaps, it means consistently rule on us, and forever on future generations
    – Chatzkel
    Sep 1 at 14:28
  • @DoubleAA I actually thought of that, but none of the siddurim (that I checked at least) parse it like that, not that that's a ראיה....
    – yih613
    Sep 2 at 14:34
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As was mentioned in the comments, there seems to be 2 different ways of reading this line and is a subject of a machlokes achronim.

The פרישה in 236:3 says that the word תמיד is meant to go together with the words before it (like Double AA mentioned in the comments):

ונוסח אשכנז ומבדיל וכו' תמיד ימלוך עלינו וכו' מלת תמיד נמשך לדלעיל אל חי וקים תמיד. ימלוך עלינו. וכן בברכת יראו עינינו בא"י המלך בכבודו תמיד. וימלוך עלינו בזה ובזה התחלות ענין אחר:

He seems to be saying this as an answer to this very question.

The Magen Avraham in 236:4 seems to disagree:

וכ' בע"ה שיקרו מלת תמיד למטה תמיד ימלוך וכו'

The Machtzis Hashekel 236:4 is bothered by the this Magen Avraham and agrees with the Prisha:

מלת תמיד למטה לא ידעתי טעמו. ובפרישה הובא בס' אליהו רבה כ' להיפוך שיקראנו למעלה

Although many Siddurim do indeed put it down like the M"A, the Siddur Vilna has it like the Prisha.

See Siddur Avodas Yisroel for a possible explanation for the M"A double לשון

As an aside, the Magen Avraham does stress that since it is right before the end of the bracha it is not proper to to put in a request at that point, and that these words are meant to be strictly a שבח. I am not sure how, or even if, this connects to his way of saying it or not, but it is a nice thing to know anyway.

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