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A Kavanah for Erev Shabbat HaAviv by Rabbi Yaakov Reef

The seasons. Animation by Melinda Kádár

The seasons. Animation by Melinda Kádár

Gather around the Shabbat candles. Before lighting the candles, have each person share a favorite memory of this past winter.

Once everyone has had a chance to share, have someone read aloud Genesis 1:14:


וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֗ים יְהִ֤י מְאֹרֹת֙ בִּרְקִ֣יעַ הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם לְהַבְדִּ֕יל בֵּ֥ין הַיּ֖וֹם וּבֵ֣ין הַלָּ֑יְלָה וְהָי֤וּ לְאֹתֹת֙ וּלְמ֣וֹעֲדִ֔ים וּלְיָמִ֖ים וְשָׁנִֽים׃
And The Eternal One said: ‘Let there be lights in the expanses of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years.’

Have everyone go around again, this time sharing something they are looking forward to this spring. After, have someone read aloud Hosea 6:3:


וְנֵדְעָ֣ה נִרְדְּפָ֗ה לָדַ֙עַת֙ אֶת־יְהוָ֔ה כְּשַׁ֖חַר נָכ֣וֹן מֽוֹצָא֑וֹ וְיָב֤וֹא כַגֶּ֙שֶׁם֙ לָ֔נוּ כְּמַלְק֖וֹשׁ י֥וֹרֶה אָֽרֶץ׃
And let us know, eagerly strive to know The Eternal One, G-d will come to us sure as the morning comes; and G-d shall come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that waters the earth.

Now light the Shabbat candles.


בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּֽנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל שַׁבָּת:
Blessed are You, Eternal One our G-d, Sovereign of the Universe, Who has made us Holy with your mitzvot and have obligated us to light the Shabbat flame.

After wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom, conclude with reciting Song of Songs:


כִּֽי־הִנֵּ֥ה הסתו [הַסְּתָ֖יו] עָבָ֑ר הַגֶּ֕שֶׁם חָלַ֖ף הָלַ֥ךְ לֽוֹ׃ הַנִּצָּנִים֙ נִרְא֣וּ בָאָ֔רֶץ עֵ֥ת הַזָּמִ֖יר הִגִּ֑יעַ וְק֥וֹל הַתּ֖וֹר נִשְׁמַ֥ע בְּאַרְצֵֽנוּ׃
Behold, the winter has past; the rain is over and gone. Flowers appear across the fields, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

Happy Spring and Shabbat Shalom!
Reb Yaakov Reef, Shabbat HaAviv 5775


This kavvanah was posted first at Rabbi Yaakov Reef’s personal blog as a PDF, on March 20, 2015.

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