Friday, October 2, 2009

Shabbat Prayers: Lecha Dodi

Written by the 16th century kabbalist Rabbi Shlomo HaLevi Alkabetz, Lecha Dodi is one of the best known songs of the Friday night service. There are nine full stanzas that create an image of the sages greeting the Sabbath, as described in the Talmud (Shabbat 119a). At the same time, Lecha Dodi also anticipates the coming of the Messiah and the glory that it will bring to the holy city of Jerusalem.

Between each stanza, the line of Lecha Dodi is repeated:
Lecha dodi, likrat kallah; p’nai Shabbat n’kah’b’lah
Come, my Beloved, to greet the bride; let us welcome the Sabbath.

“Observe” and “Remember” in one act of speech,
The One and Only God made us hear.
The Lord is One and His name is One,
For renown, for splendor, and for praise.

Come, my Beloved, to greet the bride; let us welcome the Sabbath.

To greet the Sabbath, come let us go,
For of blessing, she is the source.
From the outset, as of old, ordained:
Last in deed, first in thought.

For the rest of the verses, please visit http://www.njop.org/html/Lecha_Dodi.html.

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