Aesthetic Realism Online Library Poetry by Eli Siegel

(Words Having Holiness)

Translated from the Hebrew by Eli Siegel


May His great name

Be mighty and holy

In the world

His will has made.

May this be with speed,

And in a near time.

Amen. May His kingdom

Come to be

In your life, your days,

And in the life

Of the House of Israel:

May this be with speed,

And in a near time.



May His great name be blessed

For ever, for ever.


Blessed, praised, made glorious;

Extolled, heightened, and honored,

Made mighty and lifted up—

Be the name of the Holy and One,

Whom we bless;

Even though He is high

Above all blessings and hymns,

Extollings and comfortings:

All that are uttered

In the world.

And, say ye, 



May peace come from on high,


And life for us,

And for all Israel.

And say ye,



May He who makes peace

In His high places,

Make peace for us,

And for all Israel. 

And say ye, 




Note:  Eli Siegel's Translation of the Kaddish together with his essay The Meaning of the Hebrew Kaddish was published in Commentary, 1953.


Kaddish (Words Having Holiness). 1952. The Hebrew Mourning Prayer. It is remarkable how the praise of God and the world he is shown by, is the chief substance of something to be said when a particular person is felt as lost by the mourner. I have written of this elsewhere — in The Meaning of the Hebrew Kaddish. Definition Press, 1954. The language of the Hebrew (or Aramaic) in the Kaddish — Yisgadal vay-yiskadash shmay rabaw, and so on — pounds on, and soothes. Appeared in Commentary, 1953.