In pesukei d'zimra, my siddur splits up the pasuk from Nechemia 9:8

וּמָצָאתָ אֶת לְבָבוֹ נֶאֱמָן לְפָנֶיךָ וְכָרוֹת עִמּוֹ הַבְּרִית לָתֵת אֶת אֶרֶץ הַכְּנַעֲנִי הַחִתִּי הָאֱמֹרִי וְהַפְּרִזִּי וְהַיְבוּסִי וְהַגִּרְגָּשִׁי לָתֵת לְזַרְעוֹ וַתָּקֶם אֶת דְּבָרֶיךָ כִּי צַדִּיק אָתָּה:

In this siddur it is split.

The Artscroll siddur's notes say that there is a "near universal practice" to divide the pasuk up in davening. Apparently the GRA disagrees (h/t @theriver).

This siddur has only the pasuk before hand and this one only has 9:6.

What is the origin of and reason for splitting that pasuk when davening?

  • 3
    I'm guessing this has to do with the fact that וכרות עמו etc. is said out loud on the day of a circumcision from the middle of the verse
    – b a
    Feb 5, 2019 at 12:09
  • It's not split in davening. It's split in printing. Paragraph breaks in the siddur do not indicate pauses but rather insertion spots (eg. there is no pause before מלך עוזר ומושיע ומגן, and scores more)
    – Double AA
    Feb 5, 2019 at 12:43
  • @DoubleAA I find that the person davening for the amud ends one section with the first part of the pasuk and then begins a new section with the second half. The kahal stops and waits between the 2 sections. Very few read straight through.
    – rosends
    Feb 5, 2019 at 13:47
  • @rosends People can pause for no reason where ever they want. I also find that it's unfortunate that so many people know so little about the prayers they say that random printing quirks are able to inspire new nonsensical pseudo-customs. It's supposed to be "prayer" not "prayer-book reading".
    – Double AA
    Feb 5, 2019 at 13:55

1 Answer 1


Vikiyeshiva quotes the article from Micropedia Talmudis about ברית מילה in which the following appears:

"צורת אמירת "וכרות עמו

יש הנוהגים לשנות בצורת אמירת הפסוקים בסוף פסוקי דזמרא, מ"וכרות עמו הברית" ועד לסוף שירת הים, שהמוהל אומר בקול רם פסוק אחד, והסנדק פסוק אחר (מנהגות וורמייזא, בירת מילה), או שהמוהל אומר בקול רם חצי פסוק, והקהל בקול רם חציו השני (אוצר התפילות א קכ ע"א), ויש להקפיד שכל הקהל יאמרו בלחש כל הפסוקים (אוצר התפילות שם). טעם המנהג שבזכות המילה גזר הקדוש ברוך הוא את הים, שנאמר: לְגֹזֵר יַם סוּף לִגְזָרִים (תהלים קלו יג) - אל תקרא "לגזרים" אלא לגוזרים, בשביל המילה (עוללות אפרים ג עמ' יג, על פי כלבו קכא), ומתחילים מ"וכרות עמו הברית", מפני שהקב"ה סייע לאברהם אבינו למול (לקוטי מהרי"ח ח"ג קכד ע"א).

Way of saying the pasuk from Nechemia 9:8

Some have the custom to change the way of saying the possukim at the end of the pesukei dezimro from "וכרות עמו הברית" until the end of the Song of the Sea.

(1) The Mohel says one possuk and the Sandek the next (and they alternate) (Customs of the town of Worms)

(2) The Mohel says half a possuk aloud and the community say the other half of the possuk (Otzar HaTefillos 120a) and it is right to be careful that the community say all the possukim quietly (Otzar HaTefillos ibid).

The reason for the custom is that in the merit of the circumcision, the Holy One Blessed Be He split the sea ….... and the process begins from "וכרות עמו הברית" (literally “and he cut with him the covenant”) [because the Holy One Blessed Be He helped Avrohom to perform the circumcision.]

In order to follow this custom, it is useful that the printer shows in the siddur where "וכרות עמו הברית" is located.

(It is still more useful when the printer shows who says what – see example from the Siddur Avodas Yisroel, Baer.)

From the siddur Avodas Yisroel, Baer.


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