Adonai, Adonai, El Raḥum Ve-ḥannun

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ADONAI, ADONAI, EL RAḤUM VE-ḤANNUN (Heb. יְהוָה, יְהוָה, אֵל רַחוּם וְחַנּוּן; "The Lord, The Lord, God, merciful and gracious"; Ex. 34:6–7), initial words of the Thirteen Attributes of God. Based upon a talmudic saying that God Himself revealed this formula to Moses as being effective for obtaining Divine Pardon (rh 17b), it is recited on the following occasions:

(1) in the *Seliḥot of the month of Elul, during the *Ten Days of Penitence, and on fast days including the Day of Atonement when it is preceded by the piyyutim "El Melekh Yoshev" or "El Erekh Appayim";

(2) before removing the Torah scrolls from the Ark on Rosh Ha-Shanah, the Day of Atonement, and the three Pilgrim festivals (Ashkenazi rite);

(3) at the opening of the piyyut attributed to *Amittai (ii) which is recited on the fifth day of Seliḥot, on the Day of Atonement, and on Mondays and Thursdays (Ashkenazi rite);

(4) at the morning and afternoon prayers before Taḥanun (mostly Sephardi rite);

(5) during prayers in an emergency situation, e.g., for a critically ill person. In the liturgical recital of the Thirteen Attributes the final words lo yenakkeh ("He does not remit all punishment"; Ex. 34:7) are omitted.


Zunz, Ritus, 408; Elbogen, Gottesdienst, 222; Davidson, Oẓar, 1 (1929), 31, no. 629.