Tefillah Art Project

Ma Tovu

Ma Tovu in English

“How goodly are your tents, O Yaakov, your dwelling places, O Yisrael. As for me, through Your abundant kindness I will enter Your House; I will prostrate myself toward Your Holy Sanctuary in awe of You. O Hashem, I love the House where You dwell, and the place where Your glory resides. I shall prostrate myself and bow, I shall kneel before Hashem my Maker. As for me, may my prayer to You, Hashem, be at an opportune time; O G-d, in Your abundant kindness, answer me with the truth of Your salvation”.

Ma Tovu Meaning

Ma Tovu is a prayer sang when entering the synagogue. The Sages interpret this praise of Israel as a reference to its 'tents of learning and prayer.' Also, the Jewish home achieves its highest level when it incorporates the values of the synagogue and study hall. This collection of verses expresses love and reverence for the synagogue that, in the absence of the Holy Temple, is the place where G-d's glory stays in Israel.“Vaani" As for me, through Your abundant kindness I will enter Your House." The next verse has exactly ten Hebrew words and was used to find out if there were ten people present for the minyan. Jewish tradition does not count people by numbers; using the words of verse instead of number is what happens instead.

According to Talmudic interpretation, the phrase "your tents" refers to the synagogues, and has become a custom to recite these words when entering the house of G-d (the synagogue). The entire passage conveys the feelings of reverence and joy experienced within the synagogue.