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Kedhushat HaShem

We sanctify Your Name on earth, as the hosts of Heaven sanctify You on high, and in the words of Your prophet we say:

Holy, holy, holy is Adonai Tzevaot! {The original meaning of tzevaot may be found in First Samuel 17:45, where it is interpreted as denoting "the God of the armies of Israel". The word in this special use is used to designate the heavenly host, i.e, God’s angels. (Wikipedia)} The whole earth is filled with Your glory! (Isaiah 6:3)

Then the Seraphim {A seraph (pl. seraphim) is a type of celestial being. The word is normally a synonym for serpents when used in the Hebrew Bible, but they are mentioned in the Book of Isaiah as fiery six-winged beings which praise God while encircling His throne. (Wikipedia)} take up the cry with a loud, strong, piercing voice, as they proclaim to one another that You are blessed:

Blessed is Your Glory, Adonai, from Your holy place. (Ezekiel 3:12)

May You appear from Your holy place, O King, and rule over us. We have been patiently awaiting You. When will You rule over Zion? May it be speedily, in our time… and may it be forever.

May You be exalted and sanctified in Jerusalem Your city, forever and for eternity. May our eyes witness Your dominion, as has been foretold in the songs that celebrate Your might, in the words of David Your righteous anointed one:

Adonai will reign forever, Your G-d, O Zion, unto all generations. Hallelujah. (Psalm 146:10)

Unto all generations shall we declare Your greatness, and to all eternity shall we sanctify Your holiness, and Your praise, our God, will never depart from our lips—for You, O God, are a great and holy King. Blessed are You, Adonai, the holy God.

During the morning (shacharit) and afternoon (mincha) services, as well as in the additional (musaf) service on Shabbat and festivals, the tefila is recited twice—first silently by each worshiper, and then publicly by the cantor and congregation together.

The kedusha is a simple two-line prayer when it is first recited by the worshiper:

אתה קדוש ושמך קדוש וקדושים בכל יום יהללוך סלה

ברוך אתה ה' האל הקדוש


You are holy, Your Name is holy, and Your worshipers proclaim Your holiness every day

Blessed are You, Adonai, the holy God

In the cantor’s repetition, however, the kedusha becomes a much more elaborate expression of reverence for God’s ineffable holiness. Each of the left-margin sections of this public kedusha is murmured in an undertone by the congregation, after which it is chanted loudly and joyously by the cantor. Each indented section is a Biblical citation, and is chanted by the congregation and cantor in unison.

When we recite the phrase kadosh, kadosh, kadosh (“Holy, holy, holy…”), it is customary to rise on our toes, symbolizing our desire to follow the command of Leviticus 19:2, “You shall be holy for I, Adonai your God, am holy.”

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