קבלת שבת | Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv, trans. by R’ Sam Seicol for Havura on the Hill, adapted by Aharon Varady

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Kabbalat Shabbat & MaarivThe Shabbat Evening MealIntroduction to the original Siddur on the HillHistory of the Vilna ShulAcknowledgements
Hebrew (source) English (translation)

דַע לְךָ שֶׁכָּל רוֹעֶה וְרוֹעֶה יֵשׁ לוֹ נִגּוּן מְיוּחָד מִשֶׁלּוֹ
דַּע לְךָ שֶׁכָּל עֵשֶׂב וְעֵשֶׂב יֵשׁ לוֹ שִׁירָה מְיוּחֶדֶת מִשֶׁלּוֹ
וּמִשִׁירַת הָעֲשָׂבִים נַעֲשֶׂה נִגּוּן שֶׁל רוֹעֶה
כַּמָּה יָפֶה כַּמָּה יָפֶה וְנָאֶה כְּשֶׁשׁוֹמְעִים הַשִּׁירָה שֶׁלָּהֶם
Know that each and every shepherd has his own tune.
Know that each and every grass has its own song.
And from the song of the grasses, the tune of the shepherd is made.
How beautiful, how beautiful and pleasant to hear their song.

וּמִשִׁירַת הָעֲשָׂבִים מִתְמַלֵּא הַלֵּב וּמִשְׁתּוֹקֵק
אוֹר גָּדוֹל אֲזַי נִמְשָׁךְ וְהוֹלֵךְ מִקְּדוּשָׁתָהּ שֶׁל הָאָרֶץ עָלָיו
וּמִשִׁירַת הָעֲשָׂבִים נַעֲשֶׂה נִגּוּן שֶׁל הַלֵּב.[1]המקור הוא ר’ נחמן מברסלב
השיר מבוסס על מה שהוא אמר זה לא המילים המדוייקות שהוא אמר
(את המילים של השיר הזה אאל”ט כתבה נעמי שמר)

It is very good to pray among them and to serve Hashem in joy
And from the song of the grasses, the heart is filled and yearns.
And from the song of the grasses, the tune of the heart is made.
— Naomi Shemer after Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav[2]Cf. Likutei Moharan 2:11 and 2:63.
Likutei Moharan 2:11 — Know that when a person prays in the field, then all of the grasses/plants together come into the prayer, and they help him, and give him strength within his prayer.
Likutei Moharan 2:63 — Know that every shepherd has a unique melody (nigun) according to the grasses and the place where he herds, for every animal has a grass unique to her that she needs to eat. Also a shepherd isn’t always in one place, and according to the grasses and the place where he herds, so he has a nigun. For every grass there is a song (shirah) which it speaks, that this is the aspect of Perek Shirah, and from the song of the grasses is made the nigun of the shepherd. And this is the secret of what’s written, “And Adah bore Yaval, he was father of all who sit in tents and herd, and the name of his brother [was] Yovel, he was father of all who grab the lyre and the harp.” For just when there was in the world [for the first time] a shepherd of cattle, just then there were musical instruments. And so it is with David the king, who “knows music-playing” and therefore was a shepherd…And this is the aspect of “From the edge/wing/kanaf of the earth we heard songs (z’mirot)”–[it means] that songs and nigunim come out from the “wing of the earth”, for by means of the grasses growing in the earth/land a nigun is made. And since the shepherd knows the nigun, by means of this he gives strength to the grasses, and so there is something for the animals to eat…and there is pasture for the animals/…And also the nigun is good for the shepherd himself, since the shepherd is always with the animals, [because] it would be possible for them to draw [down] and lower the shepherd…to the aspect of the spirit of animals [if not for the nigun]….And know that the king has every nigun in completeness…for the nigun is made from the growth of the land.

Candle Lighting

In the Jewish weekly calendar, the most dangerous time of the week is Friday evening — perhaps due to the crepuscular genesis of the Sheidim (animistic spirits) at the twilight end of the sixth day of creation. With the ubiquity of artificial light in many parts of the world where Jews live, it can easily be forgotten just how welcoming a beacon of light is in the darkness. Lighting candles at the entrance of the Shabbat thus serves a dual purpose: 1) an apotropaic ward against the dangerous and malevolent classes of Sheidim, and 2) a focalizing praxis for receiving the Shabbat and entering into its headspace. –Aharon Varady

Hebrew (source) English (translation)

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה
יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ
מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו
וְצִוָּֽנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל שַׁבָּת:
 
בשלש רגלים וראש השנה: (שַׁבָּת וְשֶׁל) יוֹם טוֹב:
ביום הכיפורים: (שַׁבָּת וְשֶׁל) יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים:
Blessed are you,
YHVH Elohenu,
cosmic majesty
Who makes us holy through your commandments
and commanded us to kindle the flame of Shabbat.
 
on a holiday add: and of the Holiday.
on a Yom Kippur add: and of Yom Kippur.

בימים נוראים ובכל יום טוב (חוץ משביעי ואחרון של פסח):
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה
יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ
מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
שֶׁהֶחֱיָֽנוּ
וְקִיְּמָֽנוּ
וְהִגִּיעָֽנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה:

On the Days of Awe and Festival Days (excepting the last two days of Passover) add:
Blessed are you,
YHVH Eloheinu,
cosmic majesty,
who has kept us alive,
and has preserved us,
and enabled us to reach this season.

In Heikhalot writings, the cardinal direction associated with the Shekhina is the west. The reception of the Sabbath Queen — the underlying principle of the Kabbalat Shabbat service — was thus originally oriented entirely towards the west. As the world to come — Olam Haba — is also called the unending Shabbat, the arrival of the Shekhina from the direction of the setting sun portends the arrival of a radical New Age in which predation and death have ceased, and in which nature and society are organized under principles we can understand as peace and justice. Nowadays, this idea is obscurely hinted at when the community bows towards the west at the end of the final and climactic stanza of Lekha Dodi. However, I encourage participants to face towards the west for the entirety of the service with the intention of joining the Sabbath Queen in her travel eastward once the Maariv service begins with the recital of K’Gavneh and Barekhu.

The Kabbalat Shabbat service begins with Yedid Nefesh, a piyyut attributed to Rabbi Elazar Moshe Azikri (1533-1600) since it was included in his Sefer Haḥaredim (1588). A version of the piyyut “with noteworthy text, spelling and pointing” may be found on folio 146 (verso) of Samuel b. David b. Solomon’s Commentary On the Book of Numbers (ca. 1437 CE). Presumably, this text was added to the 15th century manuscript sometime in the 17th century after the popularization of Yedid Nefesh. The piyyut has since appeared with a number of variations in various siddurim. –Aharon Varady

Beloved of the Soul

Hebrew (source) English (translation)

יְדִיד נֶפֶשׁ אָב הָרַחֲמָן, מְשׁוֹךְ עַבְדְּךְ אֶל רְצוֹנָךְ,
יָרוּץ עַבְדְּךְ כְמוֹ אַיָּל, יִשְתַּחֲוֶה אֶל מוּל הֲדָרֶךְ,
יֶעֱרַב לוֹ יְדִידוֹתֶיךָ, מִנֹּפֶת צוּף וְכָל טָעַם:‏
Beloved of the soul, Source of Compassion, draw your servant to your Will;
then your servant will hurry like a deer to bow before your majesty;
Your friendship will be sweeter than the dripping of the honeycomb and any taste.

הָדוּר נָאֶה זִיו הָעוֹלָם, נַפְשִׁי חוֹלַת אַהֲבָתֶךָ,
אָנָא אֵל נָא רְפָא נָא לָהּ, בְּהַרְאוֹת לָהּ נֹעַם זִיוֶךָ,
אָז תִּתְחַזֵּק וְתִתְרַפֵּא, וְהָיְתָה לָּהּ שִֹמְחַת עוֹלָם:
Majestic, Beautiful, Radiance of the Universe, my soul pines for your love.
Please, O God, heal her now by showing her the pleasantness of your radiance;
then she will be strengthened and healed, and eternal gladness will be hers.

וָתִיק יֶהֱמוּ רַחֲמֶיךָ, וְחוּסָה נָא עַל בֵּן אֲהוּבֶךָ,
כִּי זֶה כַּמָּה נִכְסוֹף נִכְסַפְתִּי לִרְאוֹת מְהֵרָה בְּתִפְאֶרֶת עֻזֶּךָ,
אֵלֶּה, חָמְדָה לִבִּי, וְחוּסָה נָּא וְאַל תִּתְעַלָּם:‏
Enduring One, may your mercy be aroused and please take pity on the son of your beloved,
because it is so very long that I have yearned intensely to speedily perceive the splendor of your strength;
only these my heart desired, so please take pity and do not conceal yourself.

הִגָּלֶה נָא וּפְרוֹס חָבִיבִי עָלַי אֶת סֻכַת שְׁלוֹמֶךָ,
תָּאִיר אֶרֶץ מִכְּבוֹדֶךָ, נָגִילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה בָּךְ,
מַהֵר אָהוּב כִּי בָא מוֹעֵד, וְחָנֵּנוּ כִּימֵי עוֹלָם:‏
Please, my Beloved, reveal yourself and spread upon me the shelter of your peace;
illuminate the earth with your glory, that we may rejoice and be glad with you;
hasten, show love, for the time has come. Let your gentle favor grace us as in olden days.

Psalms (95-100) are traditionally attributed to Moshe Rabbeinu and are included here due to his intimate relationship with the Divine Presence, the shekhina, and are associated with the days of the week, Sunday through Friday. Psalms 100 (for Friday) is included in the eastern Sefardic tradition and is absent in the Ashkenazi nusaḥ. –Aharon Varady

Hebrew (source) English (translation)

Psalms 95


לְ֭כוּ נְרַֽנֲנָ֣ה לַֽיהֹוָ֑ה נָ֝רִ֗יעָה לְצ֣וּר יִשְׁעֵֽנוּ: נְקַדְּמָ֣ה פָנָ֣יו בְּתוֹדָ֑ה בִּ֝זְמִר֗וֹת נָרִ֥יעַ לֽוֹ: כִּ֤י אֵ֣ל גָּד֣וֹל יְהֹוָ֑ה וּמֶ֥לֶךְ גָּ֝ד֗וֹל עַל־כָּל־אֱלֹהִֽים: אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּ֭יָדוֹ מֶחְקְרֵי־אָ֑רֶץ וְתֽוֹעֲפ֖וֹת הָרִ֣ים לֽוֹ: אֲשֶׁר־ל֣וֹ הַ֭יָּם וְה֣וּא עָשָׂ֑הוּ וְ֝יַבֶּ֗שֶׁת יָדָ֥יו יָצָֽרוּ: בֹּ֭אוּ נִשְׁתַּֽחֲוֶ֣ה וְנִכְרָ֑עָה נִ֝בְרְכָ֗ה לִֽפְנֵי־יְהֹוָ֥ה עֹשֵֽׂנוּ: כִּ֘י ה֤וּא אֱלֹהֵ֗ינוּ וַֽאֲנַ֤חְנוּ עַ֣ם מַ֭רְעִיתוֹ וְצֹ֣אן יָד֑וֹ הַ֝יּ֗וֹם אִם־בְּקֹל֥וֹ תִשְׁמָֽעוּ: אַל־תַּקְשׁ֣וּ לְ֭בַבְכֶם כִּמְרִיבָ֑ה כְּי֥וֹם מַ֝סָּ֗ה בַּמִּדְבָּֽר: אֲשֶׁ֣ר נִ֭סּוּנִי אֲבֽוֹתֵיכֶ֑ם בְּ֝חָנ֗וּנִי גַּם־רָא֥וּ פָֽעֳלִֽי: אַ֘רְבָּעִ֤ים שָׁנָ֨ה ׀ אָ֘ק֤וּט בְּד֗וֹר וָֽאֹמַ֗ר עַ֤ם תֹּעֵ֣י לֵבָ֣ב הֵ֑ם וְ֝הֵ֗ם לֹא־יָֽדְע֥וּ דְרָכָֽי: אֲשֶֽׁר־נִשְׁבַּ֥עְתִּי בְאַפִּ֑י אִם־יְ֝בֹא֗וּן אֶל־מְנֽוּחָתִֽי:
Come, let us sing to YHVH, and shout for joy to the Rock of our deliverance. Let us come into YHVH’s presence with thanks; let us shout for joy to YHVH with song. For YHVH is a great god, and a great majesty above all gods. In God’s hands are the depths of the earth, and the peaks of the mountains are God’s. The sea is God’s, for God made it; and God’s hands shaped the dry land. Come, let us bow down and bend the knee; let us kneel before YHVH our maker, For YHVH is our god, and we are the people that God shepherds, the flock of God’s hand. Today, if you would but listen to God’s voice! Harden not your heart, as at Meribah, as on the day of Massah, in the wilderness; When your ancestors tested and tried Me, even though they saw My work. For forty years, I was weary with that generation and said: This is a people confused at heart, that do not know My ways. For that reason, I swore in My anger, that they would never enter My resting place.

Psalms 96


שִׁ֣ירוּ לַ֭יֽהֹוָה שִׁ֣יר חָדָ֑שׁ שִׁ֥ירוּ לַֽ֝יהֹוָ֗ה כָּל־הָאָֽרֶץ: שִׁ֣ירוּ לַ֭יֽהֹוָה בָּֽרֲכ֣וּ שְׁמ֑וֹ בַּשְּׂר֥וּ מִיּֽוֹם־לְ֝י֗וֹם יְשֽׁוּעָתֽוֹ: סַפְּר֣וּ בַגּוֹיִ֣ם כְּבוֹד֑וֹ בְּכָל־הָֽ֝עַמִּ֗ים נִפְלְאוֹתָֽיו: כִּ֥י גָ֘ד֤וֹל יְהֹוָ֣ה וּמְהֻלָּ֣ל מְאֹ֑ד נוֹרָ֥א ה֝֗וּא עַל־כָּל־אֱלֹהִֽים: כִּ֤י ׀ כָּל־אֱלֹהֵ֣י הָֽעַמִּ֣ים אֱלִילִ֑ים וַֽ֝יהֹוָ֗ה שָׁמַ֥יִם עָשָֽׂה: הוֹד־וְהָדָ֥ר לְפָנָ֑יו עֹ֥ז וְ֝תִפְאֶ֗רֶת בְּמִקְדָּשֽׁוֹ: הָב֣וּ לַ֭יֽהֹוָה מִשְׁפְּח֣וֹת עַמִּ֑ים הָב֥וּ לַֽ֝יהֹוָ֗ה כָּב֥וֹד וָעֹֽז: הָב֣וּ לַ֭יֽהֹוָה כְּב֣וֹד שְׁמ֑וֹ שְׂא֥וּ מִ֝נְחָ֗ה וּבֹ֥אוּ לְחַצְרוֹתָֽיו: הִשְׁתַּֽחֲו֣וּ לַ֭יֽהֹוָה בְּהַדְרַת־קֹ֑דֶשׁ חִ֥ילוּ מִ֝פָּנָ֗יו כָּל־הָאָֽרֶץ: אִמְר֤וּ בַגּוֹיִ֨ם ׀ יְהֹ֘וָ֤ה מָלָ֗ךְ אַף־תִּכּ֣וֹן תֵּבֵ֣ל בַּל־תִּמּ֑וֹט יָדִ֥ין עַ֝מִּ֗ים בְּמֵֽישָׁרִֽים: יִשְׂמְח֣וּ הַ֭שָּׁמַיִם וְתָגֵ֣ל הָאָ֑רֶץ יִרְעַ֥ם הַ֝יָּ֗ם וּמְלֹאֽוֹ: יַֽעֲלֹ֣ז שָׂ֭דַי וְכָל־אֲשֶׁר־בּ֑וֹ אָ֥ז יְ֝רַֽנֲנ֗וּ כָּל־עֲצֵי־יָֽעַר: לִפְנֵ֤י יְהֹוָ֙ה ׀ כִּ֬י בָ֗א כִּ֥י בָא֘ לִשְׁפֹּ֢ט הָ֫אָ֥רֶץ יִשְׁפֹּט־תֵּבֵ֥ל בְּצֶ֑דֶק וְ֝עַמִּ֗ים בֶּֽאֱמֽוּנָתֽוֹ:
Sing to YHVH a new song; sing to YHVH, all the earth. Sing to YHVH, bless God’s name; proclaim God’s deliverance day after day. Tell of God’s glory among the nations, God’s wonderful acts among all peoples. For YHVH is great and highly praised; awesome is God, above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are only idols, but YHVH made the heavens. Honor and majesty in God’s presence; strength and beauty in God’s sanctuary. Grant to YHVH, O families of peoples, grant to YHVH glory and strength. Grant to YHVH the glory due God’s name; bring an offering, and come into God’s courts. Bow down to YHVH in the beauty of holiness; tremble in God’s presence, all the earth. Say among the nations: “YHVH reigns.” The earth holds firm and cannot be shaken; God judges the peoples with fairness. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all within it and all within it. Let the field exult, and all inside it. Then all the trees of the wood will shout for joy before YHVH, who is coming. For God is coming to judge the earth; God will judge the earth with righteousness and the peoples with God’s faithfulness.

Psalms 97


יְהֹוָ֣ה מָלָךְ תָּגֵ֣ל הָאָ֑רֶץ יִ֝שְׂמְח֗וּ אִיִּ֥ים רַבִּֽים: עָנָ֣ן וַֽעֲרָפֶ֣ל סְבִיבָ֑יו צֶ֥דֶק וּ֝מִשְׁפָּ֗ט מְכ֣וֹן כִּסְאֽוֹ: אֵשׁ לְפָנָ֣יו תֵּלֵ֑ךְ וּתְלַהֵ֖ט סָבִ֣יב צָרָֽיו: הֵאִ֣ירוּ בְרָקָ֣יו תֵּבֵ֑ל רָֽאֲתָ֖ה וַתָּחֵ֣ל הָאָֽרֶץ: הָרִ֗ים כַּדּוֹנַ֗ג נָמַסּוּ מִלִּפְנֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֑ה מִ֝לִּפְנֵ֗י אֲד֣וֹן כָּל־הָאָֽרֶץ: הִגִּ֣ידוּ הַשָּׁמַ֣יִם צִדְק֑וֹ וְרָא֖וּ כָל־הָֽעַמִּ֣ים כְּבוֹדֽוֹ: יֵבֹ֤שׁוּ ׀ כָּל־עֹ֬בְֿדֵי פֶ֗סֶל הַמִּֽתְהַֽלֲלִ֥ים בָּֽאֱלִילִ֑ים הִשְׁתַּֽחֲווּ־ל֝וֹ כָּל־אֱלֹהִֽים: שָׁמְֿעָ֬ה וַתִּשְׂמַ֨ח ׀ צִיּ֗וֹן וַתָּגֵלְנָה בְּנ֣וֹת יְהוּדָ֑ה לְמַ֖עַן מִשְׁפָּטֶ֣יךָ יְהֹוָֽה: כִּֽי־אַתָּ֤ה יְהֹוָ֗ה עֶלְי֥וֹן עַל־כָּל־הָאָ֑רֶץ מְאֹ֥ד נַֽ֝עֲלֵ֗יתָ עַל־כָּל־אֱלֹהִֽים: אֹהֲבֵ֥י יְהֹוָ֗ה שִׂנְא֫וּ רָ֥ע שֹׁמֵר נַפְשׁ֣וֹת חֲסִידָ֑יו מִיַּ֥ד רְ֝שָׁעִ֗ים יַצִּילֵֽם: א֖וֹר־זָרֻ֣עַ לַצַּדִּ֑יק וּֽלְיִשְׁרֵי־לֵ֥ב שִׂמְחָֽה: שִׂמְח֣וּ צַדִּיקִים בַּֽיהֹוָ֑ה וְ֝הוֹד֗וּ לְזֵ֣כֶר קָדְשֽׁוֹ:
YHVH reigns: let the earth rejoice; let the many islands be glad. Clouds and darkness encircle God; righteousness and justice support God’s throne. A fire goes before God and burns up God’s circling enemies. God’s lightning illuminates the earth; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax at the presence of YHVH, in the presence of the Master of all the earth. The heavens declares God’s righteousness, and all the peoples see God’s glory. Ashamed are all those that serve carved images, that praise themselves for their false gods; bow down to God, all you gods. Tsiyon hears and is gladdened, and the towns of Yehudah rejoice, because of your judgments, YHVH. For you, YHVH, are high above all the earth; you are raised far above all gods. O you who love YHVH, hate evil — God preserves the souls of God’s pious ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in YHVH, O righteous ones, and give thanks to God’s holy name.

Psalms 98


מִזְמ֡וֹר שִׁ֤ירוּ לַֽיהֹוָ֙ה ׀ שִׁ֥יר חָדָ֗שׁ כִּֽי־נִפְלָא֥וֹת עָשָׂ֑ה הוֹשִֽׁיעָה לּ֥וֹ יְ֝מִינ֗וֹ וּזְר֥וֹעַ קָדְשֽׁוֹ: הוֹדִ֣יעַ יְ֖הֹוָה יְשֽׁוּעָת֑וֹ לְעֵינֵ֥י הַ֝גּוֹיִ֗ם גִּלָּ֥ה צִדְקָתֽוֹ: זָ֘כַ֤ר חַסְדּ֨וֹ ׀ וֶֽאֱמֽוּנָתוֹ֘ לְבֵ֢ית יִשְׂרָ֫אֵ֥ל רָא֥וּ כָל־אַפְסֵי־אָ֑רֶץ אֵ֝֗ת יְשׁוּעַ֥ת אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ: הָרִ֣יעוּ לַ֭יֽהֹוָה כָּל־הָאָ֑רֶץ פִּצְח֖וּ וְרַֽנֲנ֣וּ וְזַמֵּֽרוּ: זַמְּר֣וּ לַ֖יֽהֹוָה בְּכִנּ֑וֹר בְּ֝כִנּ֗וֹר וְק֣וֹל זִמְרָֽה: בַּֽ֖חֲצֹֽצְרוֹת וְק֣וֹל שׁוֹפָ֑ר הָ֝רִ֗יעוּ לִפְנֵ֤י ׀ הַמֶּ֬לֶךְ יְהֹוָֽה: יִרְעַ֣ם הַ֭יָּם וּמְלֹא֑וֹ תֵּ֝בֵ֗ל וְי֣שְׁבֵי בָֽהּ: נְהָר֥וֹת יִמְחֲאוּ־כָ֑ף יַ֝֗חַד הָרִ֥ים יְרַנֵּֽנוּ: לִֽפְנֵ֥י יְהֹוָ֗ה כִּ֥י בָא֘ לִשְׁפֹּ֢ט הָ֫אָ֥רֶץ יִשְׁפֹּט־תֵּבֵ֥ל בְּצֶ֑דֶק וְ֝עַמִּ֗ים בְּמֵֽישָׁרִֽים:
A Psalm. Sing to YHVH a new song, for God has done wonders. God’s right hand, God’s holy arm, has brought deliverance for God. YHVH has proclaimed God’s salvation; God’s righteousness is revealed in the eyes of the nations. God has remembered mercy and faithfulness toward the House of Yisrael; All the ends of the earth have seen the deliverance of Elohenu. Shout to YHVH, all the earth; break forth and sing for joy. Sing praises to YHVH with the harp, with the harp and the voice of melody. With trumpets and sound of the horn, shout before YHVH, the Sovereign. Let the sea roar, and all within it; the world, and all dwelling in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, and let the mountains sing together for joy; before YHVH, for God is coming to judge the earth. God will judge the world rightly, and the peoples fairly.

Psalms 99


יְהֹוָ֣ה מָ֭לָךְ יִרְגְּז֣וּ עַמִּ֑ים ישֵׁ֥ב כְּ֝רוּבִ֗ים תָּנ֥וּט הָאָֽרֶץ: יְ֖הֹוָה בְּצִיּוֹ֣ן גָּד֑וֹל וְרָ֥ם ה֝֗וּא עַל־כָּל־הָֽעַמִּֽים: יוֹד֣וּ שִׁ֭מְךָ גָּד֥וֹל וְנוֹרָ֗א קָד֥וֹשׁ הֽוּא: וְעֹ֥ז מֶלֶךְ֘ מִשְׁפָּ֢ט אָ֫הֵ֥ב אַ֭תָּה כּוֹנַ֣נְתָּ מֵּֽישָׁרִ֑ים מִשְׁפָּ֥ט וּ֝צְדָקָ֗ה בְּיַֽ עֲקֹ֤ב ׀ אַתָּ֬ה עָשִֽׂיתָ: רֽוֹמֲמ֡וּ יְהֹ֘וָ֤ה אֱלֹהֵ֗ינוּ וְ֖הִֽשְׁתַּֽחֲווּ לַֽהֲדֹ֥ם רַגְלָ֗יו קָד֥וֹשׁ הֽוּא: מ֘שֶׁ֤ה וְאַֽהֲרֹ֨ן ׀ בְּכֹֽהֲנָ֗יו וּ֭שְׁמוּאֵל בְּקֹֽרְאֵ֣י שְׁמ֑וֹ קֹרִ֥אים אֶל־יְ֝הֹוָ֗ה וְה֣וּא יַֽעֲנֵֽם: בְּעַמּ֣וּד עָ֭נָן יְדַבֵּ֣ר אֲלֵיהֶ֑ם שָֽׁמְר֥וּ עֵֽ֝דֹתָ֗יו וְחֹ֣ק נָֽתַן־לָֽמוֹ: יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵינוּ֘ אַתָּ֢ה עֲנִ֫יתָ֥ם אֵ֣ל נֹ֭שֵֽׂא הָיִ֣יתָ לָהֶ֑ם וְ֝נֹקֵ֗ם עַל־עֲלִֽילוֹתָֽם: רֽוֹמֲמ֡וּ יְהֹ֘וָ֤ה אֱלֹהֵ֗ינוּ וְ֭הִֽשְׁתַּֽחֲווּ לְהַ֣ר קָדְשׁ֑וֹ כִּֽי־קָ֝ד֗וֹשׁ יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ:
YHVH rules: let the peoples tremble. God is enthroned upon cherubim; let the earth shake. YHVH is great in Tsiyon, and high above all the peoples. Let them praise your name as great and awesome; holy is God. The mighty ruler who loves justice, you have established fairness; you have done justice and righteousness in Yaakov. Lift up YHVH Elohenu, and bow low at God’s footstool, for God is holy. Moshe and Aharon among God’s priests, and Shmuel among those who called upon God’s name. When they called on YHVH, God answered them. God spoke to them in a pillar of cloud; they kept God’s testimonies, and the decree that God gave them. YHVH Elohenu, you answered them; you were a forgiving God to them, though you took retribution for their misdeeds. Lift up YHVH Elohenu, and bow low at God’s holy mountain, for YHVH Elohenu is holy.

בּוֺאוּ וְנֵצֵא לִקְרַאת כַּלָה, לִקְרַאת שַׁבָּת מַלְכְּתָא, דַחֲקַל תַּפּוּחִין קַדִּישִׁין
Come let us go to greet the bride, to greet the Shabbat Queen in the Field of Sacred Etrogs.

Psalms 29


מִזְמ֗וֹר לְדָ֫וִ֥ד הָב֣וּ לַ֭יֽהֹוָה בְּנֵ֣י אֵלִ֑ים הָב֥וּ לַֽ֝יהֹוָ֗ה כָּב֥וֹד וָעֹֽז: הָב֣וּ לַ֭יֽהֹוָה כְּב֣וֹד שְׁמ֑וֹ הִשְׁתַּֽחֲו֥וּ לַֽ֝יהֹוָ֗ה בְּהַדְרַת־קֹֽדֶשׁ: ק֥וֹל יְהֹוָ֗ה עַל־הַ֫מָּ֥יִם אֵֽל־הַכָּב֥וֹד הִרְעִ֑ים יְ֝הֹוָ֗ה עַל־מַ֥יִם רַבִּֽים: קֽוֹל־יְהֹוָ֥ה בַּכֹּ֑חַ ק֥וֹל יְ֝הֹוָ֗ה בֶּֽהָדָֽר: ק֣וֹל יְ֖הֹוָה שֹׁבֵ֣ר אֲרָזִ֑ים וַיְשַׁבֵּ֥ר יְ֝הֹוָ֗ה אֶת־אַרְזֵ֥י הַלְּבָנֽוֹן: וַיַּרְקִידֵ֥ם כְּמוֹ־עֵ֑גֶל לְבָנ֥וֹן וְ֝שִׂרְי֗וֹן כְּמ֣וֹ בֶן־רְאֵמִֽים: קֽוֹל־יְהֹוָ֥ה חֹצֵ֗ב לַֽהֲב֥וֹת אֵֽשׁ: ק֣וֹל יְ֭הֹוָ֥ה יָחִ֣יל מִדְבָּ֑ר יָחִ֥יל יְ֝הֹוָ֗ה מִדְבַּ֥ר קָדֵֽשׁ: ק֣וֹל יְהֹוָ֙ה ׀ יְחוֹלֵ֣ל אַיָּלוֹת֘ וַיֶּֽחֱשׂ֢ף יְעָ֫ר֥וֹת וּבְהֵֽיכָל֑וֹ כֻּ֝לּ֗וֹ אֹמֵ֥ר כָּבֽוֹד: יְ֭הֹוָה לַמַּבּ֣וּל יָשָׁ֑ב וַיֵּ֥שֶׁב יְ֝הֹוָ֗ה מֶ֣לֶךְ לְעוֹלָֽם: ו יחדיו יְֽהֹוָ֗ה עֹ֖ז לְעַמּ֣וֹ יִתֵּ֑ן יְהֹוָ֓ה ׀ יְבָרֵ֖ךְ אֶת־עַמּ֣וֹ בַֿשָּׁלֽוֹם:
A Psalm of David. Grant to YHVH, O children of might, Grant to YHVH glory and strength. Grant to YHVH the glory of God’s name; Bow low to YHVH in the beauty of holiness. The voice of YHVH is over the waters, The glory of God thunders; YHVH is over many waters. The voice of YHVH in strength, the voice of YHVH in majesty, The voice of YHVH breaks the cedars, YHVH shatters the cedars of Lebanon. YHVH makes them skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a wild ox. The voice of YHVH sparks flames of fire. The voice of YHVH shakes the wilderness; YHVH shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of YHVH moves the deer to birth and strips bare the forests, While in God’s sanctuary, all say: “Glory!” YHVH reigned at the Flood; YHVH will reign as majesty forever. YHVH will give strength to God’s people; YHVH will bless God’s people with peace.

We Implore • Ana B’Koaḥ

Initials Hebrew (source) English (translation)

אב״ג ית״ץ

אָנָּא בְּכֹחַ גְּדֻלַּת יְמִינְךָ תַּתִּיר צְרוּרָה
We implore, with the power of your great right hand, untie the knots.

קר״ע שט״ן

קַבֵּל רִנַּת עַמְּךָ שַׂגְּבֵנוּ טַהֲרֵנוּ נוֹרָא
Receive the joy of your people; empower us, purify us, Awesome one.

נג״ד יכ״ש

נָא גִבּוֹר, דּוֹרְשֵׁי יִחוּדְךָ, כְּבָבַת שָׁמְרֵם
Please Mighty one, seekers of your unity, like the pupil of the eye guard them.

בט״ר צת״ג

בָּרְכֵם טַהֲרֵם, רַחֲמֵי צִדְקָתְךָ, תָּמִיד גָּמְלֵם
Bless, purify, and have compassion on them, deal justly with them, ever provide for them.

חק״ב טנ״ע

חָסִין קָדוֹשׁ, בְּרֹב טוּבְךָ, נַהֵל עֲדָתֶךָ
Holy one of power, in your manifold goodness, guide your congregation.

יג״ל פז״ק

יָחִיד גֵּאֶה, לְעַמְּךָ פְּנֵה, זוֹכְרֵי קְדֻשָּׁתֶךָ
Alone, exalted, turn to your people; who remember your holiness.

שק״ו צי״ת

שַׁוְעָתֵנוּ קַבֵּל, וּשְׁמַע צַעֲקָתֵנוּ, יוֹדֵעַ תַּעֲלוּמוֹת
Receive our plea, and listen to our cry, knowing all that has been and will be.


בלחש בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד:‏
Blessed is the name of God’s Glorious Majesty forever and ever.

Lekha Dodi

Lekha Dodi is the heart and soul of Kabbalat Shabbat. Composed around 1548 by Rabbi Shlomo Ha’Levi Alkabetz, Lekha Dodi likens the arrival of Shabbat to the arrival of a bride. Alkabetz composed the song as an acrostic, with the first letter of each stanza spelling out his own name, Shlomo Ha’Levi. Lekha Dodi reflects the practice of Safed kabbalists who used to go into the fields on Friday afternoons to meet the “Shabbat Queen” in meditation and song. This practice was based on the Talmudic account of how the Sages welcomed Shabbat.

Hebrew (source) English (translation)

לְכָה דוֹדִי לִקְרַאת כַּלָּה . פְּנֵי שַׁבָּת נְקַבְּלָה:
Come, my beloved, to meet the bride; let us receive the face of Shabbat.

שָׁמוֹר וְזָכוֹר בְּדִבּוּר אֶחָד.
הִשְׁמִיעָֽנוּ אֵל הַמְיֻחָד.
יְיָ אֶחָד וּשְׁמוֹ אֶחָד.
לְשֵׁם וּלְתִפְאֶֽרֶת וְלִתְהִלָּה:
 
לְכָה דוֹדִי לִקְרַאת כַּלָּה . פְּנֵי שַׁבָּת נְקַבְּלָה:
Keep and remember in a single word,
We were made to hear by the unifying God,
YHVH is one, whose Name is one,
In fame and splendor and song.
 
Come, my beloved, to meet the bride; let us receive the face of Shabbat.

לִקְרַאת שַׁבָּת לְכוּ וְנֵלְכָה.
כִּי הִיא מְקוֹר הַבְּרָכָה.
מֵרֹאשׁ מִקֶּֽדֶם נְסוּכָה.
סוֹף מַעֲשֶׂה בְּמַחֲשָׁבָה תְּחִלָּה:
 
לְכָה דוֹדִי לִקְרַאת כַּלָּה . פְּנֵי שַׁבָּת נְקַבְּלָה:
Towards Shabbat let’s go, let’s travel,
For she is the wellspring of blessing,
From the start, from long ago she was chosen,
Last made, but first planned.
 
Come, my beloved, to meet the bride; let us receive the face of Shabbat.

מִקְדַּשׁ מֶֽלֶךְ עִיר מְלוּכָה.
קֽוּמִי צְאִי מִתּוֹךְ הַהֲפֵכָה.
רַב לָךְ שֶֽׁבֶת בְּעֵֽמֶק הַבָּכָא.
וְהוּא יַחֲמוֹל עָלַֽיִךְ חֶמְלָה:
 
לְכָה דוֹדִי לִקְרַאת כַּלָּה . פְּנֵי שַׁבָּת נְקַבְּלָה:
Sanctuary of Majesty, royal city,
Arise! Leave from the midst of the turmoil;
Long enough have you sat in the valley of tears
God will be greatly compassionate upon you.
 
Come, my beloved, to meet the bride; let us receive the face of Shabbat.

הִתְנַעֲרִי־מֵעָפָר קֽוּמִי.
לִבְשִׁי בִּגְדֵי תִפְאַרְתֵּךְ עַמִּי.
עַל יַד בֶּן יִשַׁי בֵּית הַלַּחְמִי.
קָרְבָה אֶל נַפְשִׁי גְאָלָהּ:
 
לְכָה דוֹדִי לִקְרַאת כַּלָּה . פְּנֵי שַׁבָּת נְקַבְּֿלָה:
Shake yourself free, rise from the dust,
Dress in your garments of splendor, my people,
By the hand of Yishai’s son, of Bethlehem,
Redemption draws near to my soul.
 
Come, my beloved, to meet the bride; let us receive the face of Shabbat.

הִתְעוֹרֲרִי הִתְעוֹרֲרִי.
כִּי בָא אוֹרֵךְ קֽוּמִי אֽוֹרִי.
עֽוּרִי עֽוּרִי שִׁיר דַבֵּֽרִי.
כְּבוֹד יְיָ עָלַֽיִךְ נִגְלָה:
 
לְכָה דוֹדִי לִקְרַאת כַּלָּה . פְּנֵי שַׁבָּת נְקַבְּלָה:
Rouse yourselves! Rouse yourselves!
Your light is coming, rise up and shine.
Awaken! Awaken! utter a song,
The glory of God is revealed upon you.
 
Come, my beloved, to meet the bride; let us receive the face of Shabbat.

לֹא תֵבֽוֹשִׁי וְלֹא תִכָּלְמִי.
מַה תִּשְׁתּוֹחֲחִי וּמַה תֶּהֱמִי.
בָּךְ יֶחֱסוּ עֲנִיֵּי עַמִּי.
וְנִבְנְתָה עִיר עַל תִּלָּהּ:
 
לְכָה דוֹדִי לִקְרַאת כַּלָּה . פְּנֵי שַׁבָּת נְקַבְּלָה:
Do not be embarrassed! Do not be ashamed!
Why be downcast? Why moan?
All my afflicted people will find shelter within you
And the city shall be rebuilt on her hill.
 
Come, my beloved, to meet the bride; let us receive the face of Shabbat.

וְהָיוּ לִמְשִׁסָּה שֹׁאסָֽיִךְ.
וְרָחֲקוּ כָּל מְבַלְּעָֽיִךְ.
יָשִׂישׂ עָלַֽיִךְ אֱלֹהָֽיִךְ.
כִּמְשׂוֹשׂ חָתָן עַל כַּלָּה:
 
לְכָה דוֹדִי לִקְרַאת כַּלָּה . פְּנֵי שַׁבָּת נְקַבְּלָה:
Your despoilers will become spoil,
Far away shall be any who would devour you,
Your god will rejoice in you,
As a groom rejoices in a bride.
 
Come, my beloved, to meet the bride; let us receive the face of Shabbat.

יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאל תִּפְרֽוֹצִי.
וְאֶת יְיָ תַּעֲרִֽיצִי.
עַל יַד אִישׁ בֶּן פַּרְצִי.
וְנִשְׂמְחָה וְנָגִֽילָה:
 
לְכָה דוֹדִי לִקְרַאת כַּלָּה . פְּנֵי שַׁבָּת נְקַבְּלָה:
To your left and your right you will burst forth,
And God will you revere
By the hand of a child of Perets,
We will rejoice and sing happily.
 
Come, my beloved, to meet the bride; let us receive the face of Shabbat.
For some it is customary to rise and turn toward the entrance of the sanctuary when the community recites the next verse, as if to greet the Presence of Shabbat. It may be your custom to greet the Shabbat Bride by bowing and turning when saying the words בואי כלה / bo’i khalah / Come O Bride.

In Jewish tradition, mourners do not observe mourning customs publicly on Shabbat. If mourners attend Shabbat services during shiva, the seven days following the burial of a close loved one, they enter services after Lekha Dodi. The congregation receives them with this greeting:


הַמָּקוֹם יְנַחֵם אֶתְכֶם בְּתוֹךְ שְׁאָר אֲבֵלֵי צִיּוֹן וִירוּשָׁלָיִם
Hamakom yenakhem etkhem betokh sh’ar avelei tzion vi’yerushalayim
May the Makom comfort you among the other mourners of Tsiyon and Yerushalayim.

בּֽוֹאִי בְשָׁלוֹם עֲטֶרֶת בַּעְלָהּ.
גַּם בְּשִׂמְחָה וּבְצָהֳלָה.
תּוֹךְ אֱמוּנֵי עַם סְגֻּלָּה.
בּֽוֹאִי כַלָּה. בּֽוֹאִי כַלָּה:
 
לְכָה דוֹדִי לִקְרַאת כַּלָּה . פְּנֵי שַׁבָּת נְקַבְּלָה:
Come in peace, crown of her husband,
Both in happiness and in jubilation
Amidst the faithful of the treasured nation
Enter, O Bride! Enter, O Bride!
 
Come, my beloved, to meet the bride; let us receive the face of Shabbat.

The custom of reciting Psalms 92 is ancient — the Talmud notes that this Psalm was chanted by the Levites in the Temple service on Shabbat. On the surface, it is not clear why this Psalm is the one dedicated for Shabbat — it contains no explicit mention of Shabbat. The commentator Rashi tells us that the song refers to “the world to come, an unending Shabbat.”

Hebrew (source) English (translation)

Psalms 92


מִזְמ֥וֹר שִׁ֝֗יר לְי֥וֹם הַשַּׁבָּֽת: ט֗וֹב לְהֹד֥וֹת לַֽיהֹוָ֑ה וּלְזַמֵּ֖ר לְשִׁמְךָ֣ עֶלְיֽוֹן: לְהַגִּ֣יד בַּבֹּ֣קֶר חַסְדֶּ֑ךָ וֶֽ֝אֱמוּנָֽתְךָ֗ בַּלֵּילֽוֹת: עֲלֵֽי־עָ֭שׂוֹר וַֽעֲלֵי־נָ֑בֶל עֲלֵ֖י הִגָּי֣וֹן בְּכִנּֽוֹר: כִּ֤י שִׂמַּחְתַּ֣נִי יְהֹוָ֣ה בְּפָֽעֳלֶ֑ךָ בְּמַֽעֲשֵׂ֖י יָדֶ֣יךָ אֲרַנֵּֽן: מַה־גָּֽדְל֣וּ מַֽעֲשֶׂ֣יךָ יְהֹוָ֑ה מְ֝אֹ֗ד עָֽמְק֥וּ מַחְשְׁבֹתֶֽיךָ: אִ֣ישׁ בַּ֭עַר לֹ֣א יֵדָ֑ע וּ֝כְסִ֗יל לֹֽא־יָבִ֥ין אֶת־זֹֽאת: בִּפְרֹ֤חַ רְשָׁעִ֨ים ׀ כְּמ֥וֹ עֵ֗שֶׂב וַ֭יָּצִיצוּ כָּל־פֹּ֣עֲלֵי אָ֑וֶן לְהִשָּֽׁמְדָ֥ם עֲדֵי־עַֽד: וְאַתָּ֥ה מָ֜ר֗וֹם לְעֹלָ֥ם יְהֹוָֽה: כִּ֤י הִנֵּ֢ה אֹֽיְבֶֽ֡יךָ יְֽהֹוָ֗ה כִּֽי־הִנֵּ֣ה אֹֽיְבֶ֣יךָ יֹאבֵ֑דוּ יִ֝תְפָּֽרְד֗וּ כָּל־פֹּ֥עֲלֵי אָֽוֶן: וַתָּ֣רֶם כִּרְאֵ֣ים קַרְנִ֑י בַּ֝לֹּתִ֗י בְּשֶׁ֣מֶן רַֽעֲנָֽן: וַתַּבֵּ֥ט עֵינִ֗י בְּשׁ֫וּרָ֥י בַּקָּמִ֣ים עָלַ֣י מְרֵעִ֑ים תִּשְׁמַ֥עְנָה אָזְנָֽי: צַ֭דִּיק כַּתָּמָ֣ר יִפְרָ֑ח כְּאֶ֖רֶז בַּלְּבָנ֣וֹן יִשְׂגֶּֽה: שְׁ֭תוּלִים בְּבֵ֣ית יְהֹוָ֑ה בְּחַצְר֖וֹת אֱלֹהֵ֣ינוּ יַפְרִֽיחוּ: ע֖וֹד יְנוּב֣וּן בְּשֵׂיבָ֑ה דְּשֵׁנִ֖ים וְרַֽעֲנַנִּ֣ים יִֽהְיֽוּ: לְ֭הַגִּיד כִּי־יָשָׁ֣ר יְהֹוָ֑ה צ֝וּרִ֗י וְלֹֽא־עַוְלָ֥תָה בּֽוֹ:
A Psalm, a song, for the Shabbat day. It is good to thank YHVH, and to sing to your name, O Most High; To tell of your lovingkindness in the morning, and your faithfulness by night; With ten strings, with the lyre, with a solemn sound upon the harp. For you have made me glad through your works, YHVH; I exult in the works of your hands. How great are your works, YHVH! How very deep are your thoughts! The senseless do not know, nor does a fool understand this: When the wicked blossom like grass, and when all those who work ill flourish, it is that they may be destroyed forever. But you are placed on high for all time. Look, for your enemies, YHVH. See, for your enemies shall perish: All who work ill shall be scattered. And my horn you have raised like the wild-ox; I am anointed with rich oil. My eye shall gaze upon them that lie in wait for me; my ears shall hear the downfall of the wicked that rise against me. The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the House of YHVH, they shall flourish in the courts of Elohenu. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and richness, To declare that YHVH is upright, my rock, in whom there is no wrong.

Psalms 93


יְהֹוָ֣ה מָלָךְ֘ גֵּא֢וּת לָ֫בֵ֥שׁ לָבֵ֣שׁ יְ֭הֹוָה עֹ֣ז הִתְאַזָּר֑ אַף־תִּכּ֣וֹן תֵּ֝בֵ֗ל בַּל־תִּמּֽוֹט: נָכ֣וֹן כִּסְאֲךָ֣ מֵאָ֑ז מֵ֖עוֹלָ֣ם אַֽתָּה: נָֽשְׂא֤וּ נְהָר֨וֹת ׀ יְהֹוָ֗ה נָֽשְׂא֣וּ נְהָר֣וֹת קוֹלָ֑ם יִשְׂא֖וּ נְהָר֣וֹת דָּכְיָֽם: מִקֹּל֙וֹת ׀ מַ֤יִם רַבִּים אַדִּירִ֥ים מִשְׁבְּרֵי־יָ֑ם אַדִּ֖יר בַּמָּר֣וֹם יְהֹוָֽה: עֵֽדֹ֨תֶיךָ ׀ נֶאֶמְנ֬וּ מְאֹ֗ד לְבֵֽיתְךָ֥ נָֽאֲוָה־קֹּ֑דֶשׁ יְ֝הֹוָ֗ה לְאֹ֣רֶךְ יָמִֽים:
YHVH reigns, robed in majesty. YHVH is robed, girded with strength. The earth holds firm and cannot be shaken. Your throne holds firm from old; you are from everlasting. The rivers have lifted up, YHVH, the rivers have lifted up their voices; The rivers lift up their roaring. Above the roaring of the mighty waters, the mighty breakers of the sea, YHVH is exulted, on high. Your testimonies are surely faithful, and holiness becomes your House, YHVH, for all days to come.

While often associated with mourning, the Kaddish does not mention death, resurrection, or the afterlife at all. Instead, it proclaims the greatness, holiness, and eternity of God and expresses a wish that the harmony of the heavenly spheres guide us here below, as it does above. Mourners usually stand to recite the Mourners’ Kaddish. In Sephardi and Mizrachi communities, it is common for other worshippers to stand silently with the mourners as they say Kaddish. Some Ashkenazi communities also have adopted this custom.

If you are reciting Kaddish, you may choose to take three steps back as you start the final line, then bow once to the left, once to the right, and once to the center, finishing with ואמרו אמן / ve’imru amen / and let us say amen. If you are not reciting the Kaddish but responding to the prayer leader or mourners reciting it, you may respond to each amen with amen, as well as recite with the community the line, יהא שמה רבא מברך לעלם ולעלמי / yehe shmeh rabba mevarakh Le’alam ul’almeh almaya / May His great name be blessed for ever, and to all eternity. At עושה שלום, some find it customary to take three steps back, bow left and say עושה / oseh / who makes; bow right and say הוא / hu / grant, bow forward and say ועל כל / ve’al kol / for all. When finished, it is customary to take three steps forward. You may sit after completing the prayer.

Hebrew (source) English (translation)

Mourners Kaddish


יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵיהּ רַבָּא ( אָמֵן) .
בְּעָלְמָא דִּבְרָא כִרְעוּתֵהּ .
 
וְיַמְלִיךְ מַלְכוּתֵהּ .
בְּחַיֵּיכוֹן וּבְיוֹמֵיכוֹן .
וּבְחַיֵּי דְכָל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל .
בַּעֲגָלָא וּבִזְמַן קָרִיב: וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: ( אָמֵן)
 
יְהֵא שְׁמֵיהּ רַבָּא מְבָרַךְ לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּא
 
יִתְבָּרַךְ וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח וְיִתְפָּאַר וְיִתְרוֹמַם וְיִתְנַשֵּׂא .
וְיִתְהַדַּר וְיִתְעַלֶּה וְיִתְהַלַּל שְׁמֵיהּ דְּקֻדְשָׁא (בְּרִיךְ הוּא.)
לְעֵֽלָּא מִכָּל בִּרְכָתָא וְשִׁירָתָא תֻּשְׁבְּחָתָא וְנֶחָמָתָא
דַּאֲמִירָן בְּעָלְמָא: וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: ( אָמֵן)
 
יְהֵא שְׁלָמָא רַבָּא מִן שְׁמַיָּא .
וְחַיִּים עָלֵֽינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל: וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: ( אָמֵן)
 
עֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו .
הוּא יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם עָלֵֽינוּ .
וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל .
וְעַל כָּל יוֺשְׁבֵי תֵבֶל: וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: ( אָמֵן)
May the great name be exalted and sanctified is God’s great name (Amen)
— in the world which God created at will!
 
May God establish dominion during your lifetime
and during your days
and during the lifetimes of all the House of Yisrael
speedily and very soon! And say, (Amen)
 
May the great name be blessed forever, and for all eternity!
 
Blessed and praised, glorified, exalted, extolled,
honored, adored, and lauded be the name of the Holy One, (Blessed be God)
above and beyond all the blessings, hymns, praises and consolations
that are uttered in the world! And say, (Amen)
 
May there be abundant peace from heaven
and life for us and for all God’s people Yisrael and say, (Amen)
 
May the One who makes peace in high places
grant peace for us,
and for all Yisrael,
(and for all who dwell upon Earth).
And say, (Amen)

In the terminology of the Zohar, the sphere called Malkhut (Majesty/Kingship) refers to our world, indeed, our reality. In a midrash aggadah, the Primordial Adam was shown all the souls that would descend through them and after perceiving one particularly radiant soul that otherwise might not have lived, asked for seventy years of his life to be gifted to the soul so that it might be embodied in our world. As with King David, so to the nature of Malkhut whose existence is entirely dependant on a gift of lovingkindness from the Most High, the king of kings, the Blessed Holy One. The following passage from the Zohar Terumah explicates the relationship by which Malkhut, gendered here as female, is prepared as the immanent divine presence — the Shabbat Queen and Shekhina — for unification with the transcendent Blessed Holy One. In the realm of kabbalistic symbolic associations, the Shekhina here is synonymous in many ways with the Jewish people. United in the castle in time, as A.J. Heschel refers to it, the people prepare for and enact this wedding with Blessed Holy One in a choreography realized through prayer and joy. The yiḥud (unification) of Shekhina (immanent perception of the divinity suffusing all of reality) with the Blessed Holy One (the transcendent divine approached through imaginative and intellectual feats) is an everpresent goal in kabbalistic Judaism. — Aharon Varady

Hebrew (source) English (translation)

כשחל שבת ביום טוב או במוצאי יום טוב או בחוה”מ אין אומרים כגונא רק מיד “ברכו”:
On a shabbat that coincides with a festival or which begins just as a festival ends, skip this reading and go directly to Barekhu

כְּגַוְנָא דְאִנּוּן מִתְיַחֲדִין לְעֵלָּא בְּאֶחָד. אוֹף הָכִי אִיהִי אִתְיַחֲדַת לְתַתָּא בְּרָזָא דְאֶחָד לְמֶהֱוֵי עִמְּהוֹן לְעֵלָּא חָד לָקֳבֵל חָד. קוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא אֶחָד. לְעֵלָּא לֹא יָתִיב עַל כּוּרְסַיָּא דִּיקָרֵיהּ עַד דְאִתְעֲבִידַת אִיהִי בְּרָזָא דְאֶחָד. כְּגַוְנָא דִילֵיהּ לְמֶהֱוֵי אֶחָד בְּאֶחָד. וְהָא אוּקִימְנָא רָזָא דַיְהֹוָה אֶחָד וּשְׁמוֹ אֶחָד: רָזָא דְשַׁבָּת אִיהִי שַׁבָּת דְּאִתְאַחֲדַת בְּרָזָא דְאֶחָד. לְמִשְׁרֵי עֲלָהּ רָזָא דְאֶחָד. צְלוֹתָא דְמַעֲלֵי שַׁבְּתָא דְּהָא אִתְאַחֲדַת כּוּרְסַיָּא יַקִּירָא קַדִּישָׁא בְּרָזָא דְאֶחָד. וְאִתְתַּקָּנַת לְמִשְׁרֵי עֲלָהּ מַלְכָּא קַדִּישָׁא עִלָּאָה. כַּד עַיִּל שַׁבְּתָא אִיהִי אִתְיַחֲדַת וְאִתְפַּרְשַׁת מִסִּטְרָא אַחֲרָא. וְכָל דִּינִין מִתְעַבְּרִין מִנָּהּ וְאִיהִי אִשְׁתְּאָרַת בְּיִחוּדָא דִנְהִירוּ קַדִּישָׁא. וְאִתְעַטְרַת בְּכַמָה עִטְרִין לְגַבֵּי מַלְכָּא קַדִישָׁא. וְכָל שׁוּלְטָנֵי רוּגְזִין וּמָארֵי דְדִינָא כֻּלְּהוּ עַרְקִין וְאִתְעַבְּרוּ מִנָּהּ. וְלֵית שׁוּלְטָנָא אַחֲרָא בְּכֻלְּהוּ עָלְמִין (בַּר מִנָּהּ). וְאַנְפָּהָא נְהִירִין בִּנְהִירוּ עִלָּאָה וְאִתְעַטְּרַת לְתַתָּא בְּעַמָּא קַדִּישָׁא. וְכֻלְּהוֹן מִתְעַטְּרִין בְּנִשְׁמָתִין חַדְתִּין כְּדֵין שֵׁירוּתָא דִצְלוֹתָא. לְבָרְכָא לָהּ בְּחֶדְוָה בִּנְהִירוּ דְּאַנְפִּין. וְלוֹמַר:
When they are united above, so does She unite below in the “Mystery of One,” to be with them above, One corresponding to One. The blessed Holy One, one above, does not sit upon His Throne of Glory until She becomes, via “Mystery of One,” like Him, to be one with one. [This is] “Mystery of Shabbat”: She is Shabbat—united in the “Mystery of One,” so that “Mystery of One” may settle upon Her. [This is the significance of the] prayer for the entrance of Shabbat, [for] then the Holy Throne is united in “Mystery of One,” [and] arrayed for the supernal Holy King to rest upon Her. When Shabbat enters She unites, and separates [herself] from the Other Side, all judgments removed from Her. And She remains unified in holy radiance, adorned with many crowns for the Holy King. All powers of wrath and masters of judgment all flee (and pass away from her) and no alien power reigns in all the worlds. Her face shines with supernal radiance, and She is adorned below by the Holy People, all of whom are adorned with new [or: joyous] souls. Then, beginning of prayer, blessing Her with joy and beaming faces, saying: “Bless את (et) YHVH who is blessed!”[3]Zohar Terumah 163-166. Translation based upon that of Daniel C. Matt, The Essential Kabbalah, p.80.

ביחיד יאמר זה בסיום כגונא אחרי בנהירו דאנפין:
בָּרְכוּ אֶת יְהֹוָה הַמְּבוֹרָךְ. אֶת דַּיְקָא דָא שַׁבָּת דְּמַעֲלֵי שַׁבְּתָא: בָּרוּךְ יְהֹוָה הַמְּבוֹרָךְ. דָּא אַפִּיקוּ דְבִרְכָאָן מִמְּקוֹרָא דְחַיֵּי וַאֲתַר דְּנָפִיק מִנֵּיהּ כָּל שַׁקְיוּ לְּאַשְׁקָאָה לְכֹלָּא וּבְגִין דְּאִיהוּ מְקוֹרָא בְּרָזָא דְאָת קַיָמָא קְרִינָן לֵיהּ הַמְבוֹרָךְ אִיהוּ מַבּוּעָא דְבֵירָא וְכִיוָן דִּמְטָאָן הָתָם הָא כֻלְּהוּ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד. וְדָא אִיהוּ בָּרוּךְ יְהֹוָה הַמְּבוֹרָךְ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד:
(If one is praying alone, continue here:)
Barkhu et YHVH Hamevorakh: As we have established, את (et) is the Shabbat at the entrance of the Shabbat. “Barukh YHVH Hamevorakh” is the source of blessings from the source of life and the place from which all waterings go forth to water everything. It is the source in the secret of the sign of the covenant, which we call ‘Hamevorakh,’ for it is the fountain of the well. When [the blessings] reach there, the well certainly becomes filled, for the water never stops flowing. Therefore we say, ‘Barukh YHVH Hamevorakh L’Olam Va’ed‘ — it fills and waters ‘forever and ever’.[4]Zohar Terumah 169-170. Translation based upon that of Michael Berg, The Book of Zohar

What does it mean to be called to worship? All serious activity requires preparation. The prayers and blessings that precede Barekhu help the individual focus on prayer. With the Barekhu, communal prayer begins. The prayer is a call to worship, which can only be recited when a minyan (10 people) is present. In one rather reductive explanation, by leading the Barekhu, the leader is essentially asking if the community is ready for prayer and the community responds in the affirmative. However, the Barekhu is also a radical proposition — the object of the blessing is none other than YHVH itself. Who are we to bless the Divine? It is the act of reciprocity, to bless in return for being blessed with Being, which makes the Barekhu ritual an expression of lovingkindness. —Aharon Varady

The concept of the Barekhu can be traced to Neḥemia 9:5: “Then the Levites…said: ‘Stand up and bless [barekhu] YHVH Elohenu, from everlasting to everlasting, and let them say, ‘Blessed be Thy glorious Name, that is exalting above all blesssings and praise.’” Rabbi Akiba suggests that the formula be “Bless YHVH,” while Rabbi Ishmael, whose view was accepted, stated that it should be “Bless YHVH who is blessed.” The Talmud states that a person should never exclude himself from the community. Thus, it was felt that it would be preferable for the leader to say “Let us bless” rather than “Bless.” It was finally decided that it would be satisfactory for the leader to say “Barekhu” if then repeating the communal response so as to be included within the group’s declaration.

Here I am, waiting, Watching, Listening. Attending to what is within and without. The whispered breath of God fills me with wonder and wisdom, and I bend, embraced by the One who is all. For a moment, I no longer breathe. I am breathed. For an instant, I know truth of who I am—God’s breath, a fleeting exhalation of All into This. How wondrous this moment when breath breathes and knows itself Divine! —Rami Shapiro

Rise. The prayer leader at the words ברכו / barekhu / praise, may bend at the knees and bow from the waist, and at יהוה / YHVH / YHVH, stand straight. ברוך יהוה / Barukh Adonai / Blessed is YHVH, is the communal response, whereupon the community may choose to bow in the same style as the leader.

Hebrew (source) English (translation)

ברכו

Bless • Barekhu


בָּרֲכוּ אֶת יְיָ הַמְבֹרָךְ:

בָּרוּךְ יְיָ הַמְבֹרָךְ . לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד:

Leader: Bless YHVH who is blessed.

Leader, after community: Blessed is YHVH who is blessed forever and ever.

In the Ma’ariv service, the Shema has two blessings preceding it and two following it. The two preceding and the first after follow the same general theme as the morning recitation: Creation, God’s Love for Yisrael, and Redemption.

Each night, I marvel: The fading light! The deepening darkness! Each morning, I exclaim: The dawn gates open wisely, understanding marks the day’s divisions. Season follows season, and the sky is patterned with orbiting stars. Order amid the greater chaos, and the greater chaos amid an even Greater Order — this world rests on the shores of mystery. What mind orders the wildness, fashions the void? You, my Source and my Essence, You create day and night. You roll away light before dark and dark before light. In You is the shadow play of all being and becoming. In You, I rest and struggle, seeking to do as You do: order the chaos and set wisdom and understanding firm. Bless the One who makes for evening’s dusk. Barukh ata Adonai ha-ma’ariv aravim. —Rami Shapiro

Hebrew (source) English (translation)

Who Makes Evening Fall


בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם . אֲשֶׁר בִּדְבָרוֹ מַעֲרִיב עֲרָבִים . בְּחָכְמָה פּוֹתֵֽחַ שְׁעָרִים . וּבִתְבוּנָה מְשַׁנֶּה עִתִּים . וּמַחֲלִיף אֶת הַזְּמַנִּים . וּמְסַדֵּר אֶת הַכּוֹכָבִים בְּמִשְׁמְרוֹתֵֽיהֶם בָּרָקִֽיעַ כְּרְצוֹנוֹ: בּוֹרֵא יוֹם וָלָֽיְלָה . גּוֹלֵל אוֹר מִפְּנֵי חֹֽשֶׁךְ וְחֹֽשֶׁךְ מִפְּנֵי אוֹר: וּמַעֲבִיר יוֹם וּמֵֽבִיא לָֽיְלָה . וּמַבְדִּיל בֵּין יוֹם וּבֵין לָֽיְלָה . יְיָ צְבָאוֹת שְׁמוֹ: אֵל חַי וְקַיָּם . תָּמִיד . יִמְלוֹךְ עָלֵֽינוּ . לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד: בבית כנסת כשאומרים פיוטים בלילי שלש רגלים מוסיפים כאן מערבית בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ הַמַּעֲרִיב עֲרָבִים: אמן
Blessed are you, YHVH Elohenu, ruler of all, who by word causes the evening time. With wisdom you open the gates and with insight change the times and alternate the seasons. You order the stars in their pathways in the firmament according to the Divine will. Creator of day and night, You roll light from before darkness and darkness from before light. And you cause the day to pass and bring the night; differentiating between day and night. YHVH Tsevaot is the Divine name. God of life and sustenance, constantly will you rule over us forever and ever. Blessed are you, YHVH, who causes the evening time.

I am loved. Too easy to say, perhaps. Too fleeting a feeling upon which to anchor a life. And yet it is so. I am loved. Though not always by me. From my earliest days I was helped and guided to find the path of justice, mercy, and humility. Some guides were clear: parents, grandparents, teachers, friends. Some were subtle, unexpected, often painful. They are all and always with me. When I quiet my mind and still my heart, when I cease the nervous doing that so often passes for purposeful livingg, I sense their wisdom echoing in my heart. I call out and hear the Echo, my voice no longer mine, and richer. I listen and learn. Through tales and tradition, through law and acts of kindness, I find my way. I take mitzvot upon myself and seek to walk the path of righteousness. They, too, become my guides, and I think of them daily. May I never withdraw my love from this path. Blessed are they who love the way of Yisrael. —Rami Shapiro

Hebrew (source) English (translation)

With everlasting love


אַהֲבַת עוֹלָם בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל עַמְּךָ אָהַבְתָּ: תּוֹרָה וּמִצְוֹת . חֻקִּים וּמִשְׁפָּטִים . אוֹתָֽנוּ לִמַֽדְתָּ: עַל כֵּן יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ . בְּשָׁכְבֵּֽנוּ וּבְקוּמֵֽנוּ נָשִֽׂיחַ בְּחֻקֶּיךָ . וְנִשְׂמַח בְּדִבְרֵי תוֹרָתֶֽךָ . וּבְמִצְוֹתֶֽיךָ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד: כִּי הֵם חַיֵּֽינוּ . וְאֹֽרֶךְ יָמֵֽינוּ . וּבָהֶם נֶהְגֶּה יוֹמָם וָלָֽיְלָה: וְאַהֲבָתְךָ . אַל תָּסִיר מִמֶּֽנּוּ לְעוֹלָמִים: בבית כנסת כשאומרים פיוטים בלילי שלש רגלים מוסיפים כאן מערבית בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אוֹהֵב, עַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל: אמן
With everlasting love, you have loved the house of Yisrael. Torah and Mitzvot, laws and judgements, all this have you taught us. Therefore, YHVH Elohenu, when we lie down and when we rise up, we will consider deeply your laws. And we will rejoice in the words of your Torah and Mitzvot forever and ever. For they are our life and the length of our days; and in them our days and nights are guided. Never remove from us your love. Blessed are you, YHVH, who loves the people Yisrael.

The Shema is invoked when transitioning between separate ambient spaces and states of awareness (for example, between day and night, between inside and outside, public and private, sleep and wakefulness, life and death). The Shema thus serves a dual function as 1) an apotropaic ward against dangerous spirits born in the dusky period betwixt and Shabbat on the sixth day of creation, and 2) as an awareness prompt for grounding our insight into the interconnectedness of all things.

To begin, the Shema has us identify us with our eponymous ancestor Yaakov, angelified as Yisrael, to contemplate and image the mystery of our god, YHVH, as eḥad (either “one” or “unique”). We become Yisrael, calling upon ourselves to contemplate and approach some understanding of the transcendent Divine. In praxis, the Shema requires us to close our eyes and open other doors of perception in order to perceive the Divine through all the faculties of one’s mind, for example, by imagining the spirit of life woven through all the creatures dependent upon one another for their survival. This is essentially a mental feat of the imagination which may be complimented by a slow rotation of the head in the four cardinal directions. After one opens their eyes, the technique is to join this elevated mental awareness with one’s sensory awareness, and bless this perceived reality as the Shem Kavod Malkhuto — the Name of God inscribed in the radiant glory of perception’s majestic reality. On all days this blessing is made through a whisper, b’laḥash, but on Yom Kippur it is pronounced out loud, in parrhesia, the reason being that this level of awareness may be angelic in nature, as explained in a midrash aggadah on the provenance of this formula.[5]מדרש רבה דברים פרשת ואתחנן ל״ו
לו דָּבָר אַחֵר, שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל, רַבָּנָן אָמְרִין, בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁעָלָה משֶׁה לַמָּרוֹם שָׁמַע לְמַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת שֶׁהָיוּ אוֹמְרִים לְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד, וְהוֹרִיד אוֹתָהּ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, וְלָמָּה אֵין יִשְׂרָאֵל אוֹמְרִים אוֹתוֹ בְּפַרְהֶסְיָא, אָמַר רַבִּי אַסֵּי לְמָה הַדָּבָר דּוֹמֶה לְאֶחָד שֶׁגָּנַב קוֹזְמִין מִתּוֹךְ פָּלָטִין שֶׁל מֶלֶךְ, נְתָנָהּ לָהּ לְאִשְׁתּוֹ וְאָמַר לָהּ אַל תִּתְקַשְׁטִי בָּהּ בְּפַרְהֶסְיָא אֶלָּא בְּתוֹךְ בֵּיתֵךְ, אֲבָל בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים שֶׁהֵן נְקִיִּים כְּמַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת, הֵן אוֹמְרִים אוֹתוֹ בְּפַרְהֶסְיָא, בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד.
Another explanation [for] שמע ישראל (Shema Yisrael) — The Rabbis say: When Moshe ascended to heaven he heard the Malachei HaShareit saying to God, “Barukh shem kavod malkhuto l’olam va’ed.” This, Moshe brought down to Israel. And why does not Israel make this declaration with parrhesia (openly, boldly before everyone)? Rav Assi replied: This can be compared to someone who stole jewelry from the royal palace which he gave to his wife, telling her, ‘Do not wear these in public, but only in the house.’ But on Yom Kippurim when Israel is as pure as the ministering angels, they declare with parrhesia, “Barukh shem kavod malkhuto l’olam va’ed.
As Proverbs 25:2 teaches, כְּבֹד אֱלֹהִים הַסְתֵּר דָּבָר וּכְבֹד מְלָכִים חֲקֹר דָּבָר׃ “It is the glory of Elohim to conceal a thing; but it is the glory of kings to seek it out.” It is the nature of humankind to seek knowledge of hidden things. May we increase our awareness with kindness, compassion, and creativity.

The Shema is comprised of three sections: Ve’ahavta, Vehaya Im Shemo’ah, and Vayomer Adonai. Historically, all three paragraphs of the Shema were recited aloud by the kohanim, or priests, as part of the morning Temple service after reciting the Decalogue.

In the Ve’ahavta, we declare our objective: to love YHVH with all of our being. Maintaining this objective in the face of daily hardship and generational change requires a robust strategy to strengthen areas weakened in moments and places of transition. Visual prompts and ritual praxis are employed: mezuzot on all doorways and gates, focalizing amulets, educational imperatives both for our children and ourselves. Vehaya Im Shemo’ah frames our commitment to observing the commandments and thereby creating a just and peaceful society in terms of what environmental consequences will result when ignored. Lastly, Vayomer Adonai discusses the mitsvah of wearing tsitsit on the four corners of one’s garments. For those wearing them, the mitsvah is a constant reminder to be aware of those struggling to survice on the margins and fringes of our society. The praxis is to gather up the fringes and to kiss them in each pronunciation of the word tsitsit.–Aharon Varady

Hebrew (source) English (translation)

The Shema


שְׁמַ֖ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ יְהֹוָ֥ה ׀ אֶחָֽד:
Shema Yisra’el Adonai Eloheynu Adonai Eḥad
Hear Yisrael, YHVH Elohenu, YHVH is One![6]Alternately, YHVH is unique

בלחש בָּרוּךְ . שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ . לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד:
(whisper) Blessed is the name of God’s Glorious Majesty forever and ever.

And You Shall Love


וְאָ֣הַבְתָּ֔ אֵ֖ת יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ בְּכָל־לְבָֽבְךָ֥ וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁךָ֖ וּבְכָל־מְאֹדֶֽךָ: וְהָי֞וּ הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָֽנֹכִ֧י מְצַוְךָ֛ הַיּ֖וֹם עַל־לְבָבֶֽךָ: וְשִׁנַּנְּתָּ֣ם לְבָנֶ֔יךָ וְדִבַּרְתָּ֖ בָּ֑ם בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ֤ בְּבֵיתֶ֨ךָ֙ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ֣ בַדֶּ֔רֶךְ וּֽבְשָׁכְבְּךָ֖ וּבְקוּמֶֽךָ: וּקְשַׁרְתָּ֥ם לְא֖וֹת עַל־יָדֶ֑ךָ וְהָי֥וּ לְטֹֽטָפֹ֖ת בֵּ֥ין עֵינֶֽיךָ: וּכְתַבְתָּ֛ם עַל־מְזֻז֥וֹת בֵּיתֶ֖ךָ וּבִשְׁעָרֶֽיךָ:
And you shall love YHVH your god, with all your mind, with all your soul, and with all your being. These words, which I command you this day, shall be on your mind at all times. You shall teach them consistently to your children; speaking of them when you are at home and when you are traveling, when you lie down and when you rise up. Keep them bound as a sign upon your hands, and they shall be totafot between your eyes. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

And It Will Be That If You Listen


וְהָיָ֗ה אִם־שָׁמֹ֤עַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ֙ אֶל־מִצְוֹתַ֔י אֲשֶׁ֧ר אָֽנֹכִ֛י מְצַוֶּ֥ה אֶתְכֶ֖ם הַיּ֑וֹם לְאַֽהֲבָ֞ה אֶת־יְהֹוָ֤ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶם֙ וּלְעָבְד֔וֹ בְּכָל־לְבַבְכֶ֖ם וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁכֶֽם: וְנָֽתַתִּ֧י מְטַֽר־אַרְצְכֶ֛ם בְּעִתּ֖וֹ יוֹרֶ֣ה וּמַלְק֑וֹשׁ וְאָֽסַפְתָּ֣ דְגָנֶ֔ךָ וְתִירֽשְׁךָ֥ וְיִצְהָרֶֽךָ: וְנָֽתַתִּ֛י עֵ֥שֶׂב בְּשָֽׂדְךָ֖ לִבְהֶמְתֶּ֑ךָ וְאָֽכַלְתָּ֖ וְשָׂבָֽעְתָּ: הִשָֽׁמְר֣וּ לָכֶ֔ם פֶּן־יִפְתֶּ֖ה לְבַבְכֶ֑ם וְסַרְתֶּ֗ם וַֽעֲבַדְתֶּם֙ אֱלֹהִ֣ים אֲחֵרִ֔ים וְהִשְׁתַּֽחֲוִיתֶ֖ם לָהֶֽם: וְחָרָ֨ה אַף־יְהֹוָ֜ה בָּכֶ֗ם וְעָצַ֤ר אֶת־הַשָּׁמַ֨יִם֙ וְלֹא־יִֽהְיֶ֣ה מָטָ֔ר וְהָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה לֹ֥א תִתֵּ֖ן אֶת־יְבוּלָ֑הּ וַֽאֲבַדְתֶּ֣ם מְהֵרָ֗ה מֵעַל֙ הָאָ֣רֶץ הַטֹּבָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה נֹתֵ֥ן לָכֶֽם: וְשַׂמְתֶּם֙ אֶת־דְּבָרַ֣י אֵ֔לֶּה עַל לְבַבְכֶ֖ם וְעַל־נַפְשְׁכֶ֑ם וּקְשַׁרְתֶּ֨ם אֹתָ֤ם לְאוֹת֙ עַל־יֶדְכֶ֔ם וְהָי֥וּ לְטֽוֹטָפֹ֖ת בֵּ֥ין עֵֽינֵיכֶֽם: וְלִמַּדְתֶּ֥ם אֹתָ֛ם אֶת־בְּנֵיכֶ֖ם לְדַבֵּ֣ר בָּ֑ם בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ֤ בְּבֵיתֶ֨ךָ֙ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ֣ בַדֶּ֔רֶךְ וּֽבְשָׁכְבְּךָ֖ וּבְקוּמֶֽךָ: וּכְתַבְתָּ֛ם עַל־מְזוּז֥וֹת בֵּיתֶ֖ךָ וּבִשְׁעָרֶֽיךָ: לְמַ֨עַן יִרְבּ֤וּ יְמֵיכֶם֙ וִימֵ֣י בְנֵיכֶ֔ם עַ֚ל הָֽאֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר נִשְׁבַּ֧ע יְהֹוָ֛ה לַֽאֲבֹֽתֵיכֶ֖ם לָתֵ֣ת לָהֶ֑ם כִּימֵ֥י הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ:
And it will be that if you faithfully listen to my commandments, which I command you today— to love YHVH your god and to serve with all your thoughts and feelings— I will give your lands rain in its appointed time (both the early and the late rains). And I will make manifold your grain and all harvests. I will provide grass in your fields for your flocks, and you will eat and be satisfied. Protect yourselves lest your heart stray and you turn and serve other gods and bow down to them. The anger of YHVH will then flair up against you and close up the heavens; and there will not be rain and the ground will not produce its yield. And you will quickly be lost from the good land that YHVH gives you. Put these My words in your thoughts and feelings and bind them as a sign on your hand and they will be totafot between your eyes. You shall teach your children to speak of them when sitting in your house, when walking along the way, when lying down, and when rising up. And you shall write them on the doors of your house and on your gates. In order that your days will be long, and the days of your children, on the ground that YHVH swore to your ancestors to give to them; as are the days of the heavens over the earth.

And YHVH Spoke


וַיֹּ֥אמֶר יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר: דַּבֵּ֞ר אֶל־בְּנֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ וְאָֽמַרְתָּ֣ אֲלֵהֶ֔ם וְעָשׂ֨וּ לָהֶ֥ם צִיצִ֛ת עַל־כַּנְפֵ֥י בִגְדֵיהֶ֖ם לְדֹֽרֹתָ֑ם וְנָֽתְנ֛וּ עַל־צִיצִ֥ת הַכָּנָ֖ף פְּתִ֥יל תְּכֵֽלֶת: וְהָיָ֣ה לָכֶם֘ לְצִיצִת֒ וּרְאִיתֶ֣ם אֹת֗וֹ וּזְכַרְתֶּם֙ אֶת־כָּל־מִצְוֹ֣ת יְהֹוָ֔ה וַֽעֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם אֹתָ֑ם וְלֹֽ֨א־תָת֜וּרוּ אַֽחֲרֵ֤י לְבַבְכֶם֙ וְאַֽחֲרֵ֣י עֵֽינֵיכֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁר־אַתֶּ֥ם זֹנִ֖ים אַֽחֲרֵיהֶֽם: לְמַ֣עַן תִּזְכְּר֔וּ וַֽעֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם אֶת־כָּל־מִצְוֹתָ֑י וִֽהְיִיתֶ֥ם קְדֹשִׁ֖ים לֵאלֹֽהֵיכֶֽם: אֲנִ֞י יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֗ם אֲשֶׁ֨ר הוֹצֵ֤אתִי אֶתְכֶם֙ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם לִֽהְי֥וֹת לָכֶ֖ם לֵֽאֱלֹהִים אֲנִ֖י יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶֽם:
And YHVH spoke to Moshe, saying: speak to the children of Yisrael and say to them, “Make for themselves tsisit (a fringe) on the corners of their clothes for all their generations. And place on the tsisit of the corner a thread of blue.” And it will be for you tsisit, and you will see it, you will remember all the commandments of YHVH and you will do them. You will not follow after your own thoughts and visions, after which you are immorally tempted. In order that you will remember and do all My commandments, and you will be holy to your god. I am YHVH your god who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim to be your god. I am YHVH your god. Truth.

True and faithful


חזן: יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶֽם
אֱמֶת
וֶאֱמוּנָה כָּל זֹאת . וְקַיָּם עָלֵֽינוּ . כִּי הוּא יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ וְאֵין זוּלָתוֹ . וַאֲנַֽחְנוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל עַמּוֹ: הַפּוֹדֵֽנוּ מִיַּד מְלָכִים . מַלְכֵּֽנוּ הַגּוֹאֲלֵֽנוּ מִכַּף כָּל הֶעָרִיצִים: הָאֵל הַנִּפְרָע לָֽנוּ מִצָּרֵֽנוּ . וְהַמְשַׁלֵּם גְּמוּל לְכָל אוֹיְבֵי נַפְשֵֽׁנוּ: הָעֹשֶׂ֣ה גְ֭דֹלוֹת עַד־אֵ֣ין חֵ֑קֶר וְנִפְלָא֗וֹת עַד־אֵ֥ין מִסְפָּֽר:(איוב ט:י) הַשָּׂ֣ם נַ֭פְשֵֽׁנוּ בַּֽחַיִּ֑ים וְלֹֽא־נָתַ֖ן לַמּ֣וֹט רַגְלֵֽנוּ:(תהלים סו:ט) הַמַּדְרִיכֵֽנוּ עַל בָּמוֹת אוֹיְבֵֽינוּ . וַיָּֽרֶם קַרְנֵֽנוּ עַל כָּל שׂנְאֵֽינוּ: הָעֹֽשֶׂה לָּֽנוּ נִסִּים וּנְקָמָה בְּפַרְעֹה . אוֹתֹת וּמוֹפְתִים בְּאַדְמַת בְּנֵי חָם: הַמַּכֶּה בְעֶבְרָתוֹ כָּל בְּכוֹרֵי מִצְרָֽיִם . וַיּוֹצֵא אֶת עַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל מִתּוֹכָם לְחֵירוּת עוֹלָם: הַמַּעֲבִיר בָּנָיו בֵּין גִּזְרֵי יַם סוּף . אֶת רוֹדְפֵיהֶם וְאֶת שׂוֹנְאֵיהֶם בִּתְהוֹמוֹת טִבַּע: וְרָאוּ בָנָיו גְּבוּרָתוֹ . שִׁבְּחוּ וְהוֹדוּ לִשְׁמוֹ: וּמַלְכוּתוֹ בְּרָצוֹן קִבְּלוּ עַלֵיהֶם: מֹשֶׁה וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְךָ עָנוּ שִׁירָה . בְּשִׂמְחָה רַבָּה וְאָמְרוּ כֻלָּם – מִֽי־כָמֹ֤כָה בָּֽאֵלִם֙ יְיָ֔ מִ֥י כָּמֹ֖כָה נֶאְדָּ֣ר בַּקֹּ֑דֶשׁ נוֹרָ֥א תְהִלֹּ֖ת עֹ֥שֵׂה פֶֽלֶא: מַלְכוּתְךָ רָאוּ בָנֶֽיךָ בּוֹקֵֽעַ יָם לִפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה זֶ֤ה אֵלִי֙ עָנוּ וְאָמְרוּ – יְיָ֥ ׀ יִמְלֹ֖ךְ לְעֹלָ֥ם וָעֶֽד: וְנֶאֱמַר: כִּֽי־פָדָ֥ה יְיָ֖ אֶֽת־יַֽעֲקֹ֑ב וּגְאָל֕וֹ מִיַּ֖ד חָזָ֥ק מִמֶּֽנּוּ: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ גָּאַל יִשְׂרָאֵל:
The leader repeats aloud: YHVH your god —
True
and faithful is all this and uplifting for us; that you are YHVH our god, and there is no other and we are Yisrael your people. The redeemer from the hand of those who seek power over us is our ruler who saves us from the palm of all tyrants. The god who avenges us from oppressors and fulfills deliverance from all enemies of our spirit is the maker of great deeds without limit and wonders without number. Putting our spirit in life, you have not allowed our feet to stumble. Guiding us to overcome our foes, you have lifted up our ability to stand against all who hate us. Maker for us of miracles and retribution on Pharaoh, signs and wonders in the land of the children of Ham; you struck down in indignation all the first born of Egypt. And you brought out the people Yisrael from their midst into enduring freedom, passing your children through the split parts of the Red Sea. Their pursuers and enemies were drowned in the depths. And your children witnessing that might praised and thanked your name. Your majesty, willingly, they received on themselves, Moshe and the children of Yisrael, to you, they recited a poem in great joy; and all said: Who is like you among the gods, YHVH? Who is like you majestic in holiness? Awe inspiring in splendor, doing wonders! Your children saw your rulership; splitter of the sea before Moshe. “This is my god!” they responded and said. “YHVH will rule forever and ever!” And it is written: For YHVH saved Yaakov and redeemed him from the mighty hand. Blessed are you, YHVH, Redeemer of Yisrael.

Historically, and especially in places where war is widespread, nighttime is dangerous. The prayer Hashkivenu Leshalom asks for protection during the night to protect us while we are asleep.

Hebrew (source) English (translation)

Hashkivenu


הַשְׁכִּיבֵֽנוּ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ לְשָׁלוֹם וְהַעֲמִידֵֽנוּ מַלְכֵּֽנוּ לְחַיִּים וּפְרוֹס עָלֵֽינוּ סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמֶֽךָ וְתַקְּנֵֽנוּ בְּעֵצָה טוֹבָה מִלְּפָנֶֽיךָ וְהוֹשִׁיעֵֽנוּ לְמַֽעַן שְׁמֶֽךָ: וְהָגֵן בַּעֲדֵֽנוּ וְהָסֵר מֵעָלֵֽינוּ אוֹיֵב דֶּֽבֶר וְחֶֽרֶב וְרָעָב וְיָגוֹן וְהָסֵר שָׂטָן מִלְפָנֵֽינוּ וּמֵאַחֲרֵֽנוּ וּבְצֵל כְּנָפֶֽיךָ תַּסְתִּירֵֽנוּ כִּי אֵל שׁוֹמְרֵֽנוּ וּמַצִּילֵֽנוּ אַתָּה כִּי אֵל מֶֽלֶךְ חַנּוּן וְרַחוּם אַתָּה וּשְׁמוֹר צֵאתֵֽנוּ וּבוֹאֵֽנוּ לְחַיִּים וּלְשָׁלוֹם מֵעַתָּה וְעַד־עוֹלָם: וּפְרוֹס עָלֵֽינוּ סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמֶֽךָ: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ פּוֹרֵס סֻכַּת שָׁלוֹם עָלֵֽינוּ וְעַל כָּל־עַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַל־יְרֽוּשָׁלָֽםִ:
Cause us, YHVH Elohenu, to lie down for well-being; and help us arise, our Ruler to life. Spread over us the shelter of your well-being and fix in us good counsel in your presence. Save us for the sake of your name and shield us. Keep far from us enmity, illness, strife, hunger, and fear. Keep oppressors from confronting or pursuing us. Let us be covered by the shadow of your wings. For you are our Protector and Helper; mercy and compassion is your rule. Guard our going out and our coming in for life and for well-being from this time forth and forever. And spread over us the shelter of your well-being. Blessed are you YHVH, who spreads over us the shelter of your well-being And over the people Yisrael, and over Yerushalayim.

The prayer Veshamru commands the Jewish people to observe Shabbat and is quoted directly from Exodus 31:16-17. The text reminds us both that God created the universe in six days and rested on the seventh day and that God gave Yisrael the Shabbat as gift and sign of the covenant between God and the Jewish people.

Hebrew (source) English (translation)

Veshamru


וְשָֽׁמְר֥וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל אֶת־הַשַּׁבָּ֑ת לַֽעֲשׂ֧וֹת אֶת־הַשַּׁבָּ֛ת לְדֹֽרֹתָ֖ם בְּרִ֥ית עוֹלָֽם: בֵּינִ֗י וּבֵין֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל א֥וֹת הִ֖וא לְעֹלָ֑ם כִּי־שֵׁ֣שֶׁת יָמִ֗ים עָשָׂ֤ה יְיָ֙ אֶת־הַשָּׁמַ֣יִם וְאֶת־הָאָ֔רֶץ וּבַיּוֹם֙ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔י שָׁבַ֖ת וַיִּנָּפַֽשׁ:
The Children of Yisrael shall keep the Shabbat, observing the Shabbat throughout the generations as an eternal bond. It is a sign between the Children of Yisrael and me for all time, that in six days YHVH made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day, ceased from creating and was re-souled.
Hebrew (source) English (translation)

Half Kaddish


יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵיהּ רַבָּא ( אָמֵן) . בְּעָלְמָא דִּבְרָא כִרְעוּתֵהּ .
 
וְיַמְלִיךְ מַלְכוּתֵהּ . בְּחַיֵּיכוֹן וּבְיוֹמֵיכוֹן . וּבְחַיֵּי דְכָל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל . בַּעֲגָלָא וּבִזְמַן קָרִיב: וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: ( אָמֵן)
 
יְהֵא שְׁמֵיהּ רַבָּא מְבָרַךְ לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּא
 
יִתְבָּרַךְ וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח וְיִתְפָּאַר וְיִתְרוֹמַם וְיִתְנַשֵּׂא . וְיִתְהַדַּר וְיִתְעַלֶּה וְיִתְהַלַּל שְׁמֵיהּ דְּקֻדְשָׁא (בְּרִיךְ הוּא.)
לְעֵֽלָּא מִכָּל בִּרְכָתָא וְשִׁירָתָא תֻּשְׁבְּחָתָא וְנֶחָמָתָא דַּאֲמִירָן בְּעָלְמָא: וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: ( אָמֵן)
May the great name be exalted and sanctified is God’s great name (Amen) — in the world which God created at will!
 
May God establish dominion during your lifetime and during your days and during the lifetimes of all the House of Yisrael speedily and very soon! And say, (Amen)
 
May the great name be blessed forever, and for all eternity!
 
Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, (Blessed be God)
above and beyond all the blessings, hymns, praises and consolations that are uttered in the world! And say, (Amen)

The most common name for the Amidah is Shmona Esrei, literally “eighteen,” which refers to the number of prayers included when it was first composed. Today, the actual number of prayers within the Amidah varies from nineteen on weekdays to seven on Shabbat and festivals. These prayers date from different time periods and have different purposes. The oldest, Avodah, comes from the Temple Period. It is sandwiched between more modern prayers that make up the bulk of the Shabbat Amidah, which closes with a prayer for peace. This last prayer, the Birkat Ha’Shalom, is inspired by another prayer from the Temple Period. A special prayer, Kiddushat Ha’Yom, or “Sanctification of the Day,” is inserted in the middle of the Shabbat Amidah, replacing thirteen of the prayers normally found in the weekday Amidah.

Petition, not praise, is the ultimate purpose of the Amidah, and while the Amidah contains prayers of praise and thanksgiving, it always centers around a petition to God.

Originally, the Amidah was intended for public worship, and the Community simply recited “amen” after each benediction; however, Rabbi Gamliel II argued that every person must say it alone. Since the Amidah was characterized as a public prayer, the rabbis compromised by adding a repetition said aloud.

In many synagogues, the Tefilat Ha’amidah is recited silently. It is customary when beginning this prayer to first take three steps backward, then three steps forward.

Finally, stand with feet together, and bow while beginning. Upon completion of the final prayer in the Shabbat Amidah, take three steps backward and bow to the left, to the right, and finally straight ahead, before sitting. The silent Tefilat Ha’amidah ends after Yehi Ratzon. –Siddur on the Hill

In the opening blessing, try taking a full breath in between each phrase. I consider the first blessing to be a blessing for protection in the merit of the ancestors as I step slightly out of phase with this world into the divine presence seated on the Throne of Glory. The object of my intention is to progressively traverse the distance between us, the distance between El Elyon as Melekh (majesty) and the god that cares for their children, at the very least for their own namesake if our own merit is completely lacking. I try to conceive this progressive closeness as I recite the words melekh (majesty), ozer (helper), moshia (rescuer), magen (shield). The midrash aggadah informing this kavvanah is the story of Avraham being preserved from immolation in the furnace of Nimrod. In the Tanna debe Eliyahu, the furnace is repeatedly extinguished and Nimrod’s plan foiled by a torrent of rain each time it is lit. Thus the segue between the blessing magen avraham and the supplication for rain in the wet season and dew in the dry season. –Aharon Varady

Hebrew (source) English (translation)

Amidah


אֲדֹנָי, שְֹפָתַי תִּפְתָּח וּפִי יַגִּיד תְּהִלָּתֶךָ:
My master, open my lips that my mouth may declare your splendor.[7]Psalms 51:17. Cf. Isaiah 6:5-7.

1. Ancestors


בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה
יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ,
אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם וְשָׂרָה,
אֱלֹהֵי יִצְחָק וְרִבְקָה,
וֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב וְלֵאָה וְזִלְפָּה רָחֵל וּבִּלְהָה,
הָאֵל הַגָּדוֹל הַגִּבּוֹר וְהַנּוֹרָא
אֵל עֶלְיוֹן,
גּוֹמֵל חֲסָדִים טוֹבִים,
קוֹנֵה הַכֹּל,
וְזוֹכֵר חַסְדֵּי אָבוֹת,
וּמֵבִיא גוֹאֵל לִבְנֵי בְנֵיהֶם
לְמַעַן שְׁמוֹ בְּאַהֲבָה:
 
(בעשרת ימי תשובה:
זָכְרֵֽנוּ לְחַיִּים מֶֽלֶךְ חָפֵץ בַּחַיִּים וְכָתְבֵֽנוּ בְּסֵפֶר הַחַיִּים לְמַעַנְךָ אֱלֹהִים חַיִּים:)
 
מֶלֶךְ
עוֹזֵר
וּמוֹשִׁיעַ
וּמָגֵן׃
 
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ מָגֵן אַבְרָהָם׃
Blessed are you,
YHVH Elohenu and God of our ancestors,
Elohei Avraham and Sarah,
Elohei Yitsḥak and Rivkah,
and Elohei Yaakov and Leah and Zilpah, Raḥel and Bilhah
the great, mighty, and terrifying El,
El Elyon
who bestows lovingkindnesses,
the creator of all things,
who remembers the good deeds of the ancestors
and in love will bring a redeemer to their children’s children
for the sake of God’s name.
 
(Between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur add:
Remember us for life, Majesty who delights in life, and inscribe us in the book of life, for your sake, living Elohim.)
 
Majesty,
Helper,
Savior,
and Shield.
 
Blessed are you, YHVH, Avraham’s shield.

2. The God of Nature


אַתָּה גִּבּוֹר לְעוֹלָם אֲדֹנָי,
מְחַיֵּה מֵתִים אַתָּה רַב לְהוֹשִׁיעַ:
 
בין פסח עד סוכות: מוֹרִיד הַטָּל:
בין שמיני אצרת עד פסח: מַשִּׁיב הָרוּחַ וּמוֹרִיד הַגֶּשֶּׁם:
 
מְכַלְכֵּל חַיִּים בְּחֶסֶד,
מְחַיֵּה מֵתִים בְּרַחֲמִים רַבִּים,
סוֹמֵךְ נוֹפְלִים,
וְרוֹפֵא חוֹלִים,
וּמַתִּיר אֲסוּרִים,
וּמְקַיֵּם אֱמוּנָתוֹ לִישֵׁנֵי עָפָר.
 
מִי כָמוֹךָ
בַּעַל גְּבוּרוֹת
וּמִי דוֹמֶה לָּךְ,
מֶלֶךְ מֵמִית
וּמְחַיֶּה
וּמַצְמִיחַ יְשׁוּעָה:
 
(בימים נוראים:
מִי כָמוֹךָ אָב הָרַחֲמָן זוֹכֵר יְצוּרָיו לְחַיִּים בְּרַחֲמִים:)
 
וְנֶאֱמָן אַתָּה לְהַחֲיוֹת מֵתִים.
 
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, מְחַיֵּה הַמֵּתִים:
You, Master, are mighty forever,
you revive the dead, you have the power to save.
 
From the end of Sukkot until the eve of Passover, say: You cause the wind to blow and the rain to fall.
From Passover until the end of Sukkot, say: You cause the dew to drop
 
You sustain the living with loving-kindness.
You revive the dead with great mercy,
you support the falling,
heal the sick,
set free the bound,
and keep faith with those who sleep in the dust.
 
Who is like you,
O doer of mighty acts?
Who resembles you?
A Ruler who puts to death
and restores to life,
and causes salvation to flourish?
 
(Between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur add:
Who is like you, merciful God, remember your creation for life in mercy.)
 
And you are certain to revive the dead.
 
Blessed are you, YHVH, who revives the dead.

3. Sanctification of God


אַתָּה קָדוֹשׁ
וְשִׁמְךָ קָדוֹשׁ,
וּקְדוֹשִׁים בְּכָל יוֹם יְהַלְּלוּךָ סֶּלָה.
 
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, הָאֵל הַקָּדוֹשׁ
(בימים נוראים : – הַמֶּלֶךְ הַקָּדוֹשׁ:):
You are holy,
and your name is holy,
and holy beings praise you daily. Selah.
 
Blessed are you, the holy god.
(On the Shabbat before Yom Kippur: The holy Ruler.)

4. Holiness of the Day


אַתָּה קִדַּשְׁתָּ אֶת יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי לִשְׁמֶךָ, תַּכְלִית מַעֲשֵֹה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ, בֵרַכְתּוֹ מִכָּל הַיָּמִים, וְקִדַּשְׁתּוֹ מִכָּל הַזְּמַנִּים, וְכֵן כָּתוּב בְּתוֹרָתֶךָ: וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ וְכָל צְבָאָם: וַיְכַל אֱלֹהִים בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָֹה וַיִּשְׁבֹּת בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מִכָּל מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָֹה: וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱלֹהִים אֶת יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי וַיְקַדֵּשׁ אֹתוֹ, כִּי בוֹ שָׁבַת מִכָּל מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים לַעֲשֹוֹת: יִשְֹמְחוּ בְמַלְכוּתְךָ שׁוֹמְרֵי שַׁבָּת וְקוֹרְאֵי עֹנֶג, עַם מְקַדְּשֵׁי שְׁבִיעִי, כֻּלָּם יִשְֹבְּעוּ וְיִתְעַנְּגוּ מִטּוּבֶךָ, וּבַשְּׁבִיעִי רָצִיתָ בּוֹ וְקִדַּשְׁתּוֹ, חֶמְדַּת יָמִים אוֹתוֹ קָרָאתָ, זֵכֶר לְמַעֲשֵֹה בְרֵאשִׁית: אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, רְצֵה נָא בִמְנוּחָתֵנוּ, קַדְּשֵׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתֶיךָ וְתֵן חֶלְקֵנוּ בְּתוֹרָתֶךָ, שַֹבְּעֵנוּ מִטּוּבֶךָ וְשַֹמֵּחַ נַפְשֵׁנוּ בִּישׁוּעָתֶךָ, וְטַהֵר לִבֵּנוּ לְעָבְדְּךָ בֶּאֱמֶת, וְהַנְחִילֵנוּ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְּאַהֲבָה וּבְרָצוֹן שַׁבַּת קָדְשֶׁךָ, וְיָנוּחוּ בָהּ כָּל יִשְֹרָאֵל מְקַדְּשֵׁי שְׁמֶךָ: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, מְקַדֵּשׁ הַשַּׁבָּת:
You have certainly sanctified the seventh day for your name’s sake. It is the ultimate of the works of heavens and earth. And you praised it from all the days and sanctified it from all the seasons; and thus it is written in your Torah: The heavens and the earth and all their hosts were finished. And God completed, on the seventh day, all the work of formation; and rested on the seventh day from all the work that was done. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it. For on it, God rested from all the work of creation that had been fashioned. Elohei and Elohei Avoteinu. Be pleased with our rest; sanctify us with your commandments, give us a share in your Torah, satiate us with your bounty, and gladden us in your salvation. Cleanse our hearts to serve you in truth: let us inherit, YHVH Elohenu, in love and favor, your holy Shabbat, and may Yisrael, who loves your name, rest thereon. Blessed are you, YHVH, who sanctifies the Shabbat.

5. Worship


רְצֵה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְּעַמְּךָ יִשְֹרָאֵל וְלִתְפִלָּתָם שְׁעֵה, וְהָשֵׁב הָעֲבוֹדָה לִדְבִיר בֵּיתֶךָ, וְאִשֵּׁי יִשְֹרָאֵל וּתְפִלָּתָם בְּאַהֲבָה תְקַבֵּל בְּרָצוֹן, וּתְהִי לְרָצוֹן תָּמִיד עֲבוֹדַת יִשְֹרָאֵל עַמֶּךָ:
Be pleased, YHVH Elohenu, with your people Yisrael and with their prayers. Restore the service to the inner sanctuary of your Temple, and receive in love and with favor both the fire-offerings of Yisrael and their prayers. May the worship of your people Yisrael always be acceptable to you.

(לְרֹאשׁ הַחֹדֶשׁ וחול המואד:
אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, יַעֲלֶה וְיָבֹא וְיַגִּיעַ, וְיֵרָאֶה וְיֵרָצֶה וְיִשָּׁמַע, וְיִפָּקֵד וְיִזָּכֵר זִכְרוֹנֵנוּ וּפִקְדוֹנֵנוּ וְזִכְרוֹן אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, וְזִכְרוֹן מָשִׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד עַבְדֶּךָ, וְזִכְרוֹן יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִיר קָדְשֶׁךָ, וְזִכְרוֹן כָּל עַמְּךָ בֵּית יִשְֹרָאֵל לְפָנֶיךָ, לִפְלֵיטָה לְטוֹבָה, לְחֵן וּלְחֶסֶד וּלְרַחֲמִים לְחַיִּים טוֹבִים וּלְשָׁלוֹם בְּיוֹם
 
לְרֹאשׁ הַחֹדֶשׁ: רֹאשׁ הַחֹדֶשׁ
לְפְֶּסַח: חַג הַמַּצּוֹת
לְסֻּכּוֹת:חַג הַסֻּכּוֹת
 
הַזֶּה. זָכְרֵנוּ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ בּוֹ לְטוֹבָה אָמֵן וּפָקְדֵנוּ בוֹ לִבְרָכָה אָמֵן וְהוֹשִׁיעֵנוּ בוֹ לְחַיִּים טוֹבִים אָמֵן וּבִדְבַר יְשׁוּעָה וְרַחֲמִים חוּס וְחָנֵּנוּ וְרַחֵם עָלֵינוּ וְהוֹשִׁיעֵנוּ, כִּי אֵלֶיךָ עֵינֵינוּ, כִּי אֵל מֶלֶךְ חַנּוּן וְרַחוּם אָתָּה: )
On Rosh Chodesh and Chol Hamo’ed add the following:
Our God and God of our ancestors — it will raise up, come, arrive, be seen, be desired, be heard, be considered, and be remembered — the remembrance and consideration of us and of our ancestors and of an anointed one, the descendant of David your servant. And the remembrance of Yerushalayim your holy city, and the remembrance of all your people the House of Yisrael before you. For deliverance, for goodness, for mercy, and for loving kindness, and for compassion, for life, and for well-being, and on this:
 
On Rosh Chodesh: this day of the new moon.
On Chol Hamo’ed Pesaḥ: this day of the festival of matzah
On Chol Hamo’ed Sukkot: this day of the festival of booths.
 
Remember us, YHVH Elohenu, on this day for goodness; and consider us on this day for a blessing; save us on this day for life. And for this matter of salvation and compassion; have pity and be merciful and be compassionate to us and save us. For on you are our eyes; for a merciful and compassionate God and ruler are you.

וְתֶחֱזֶינָה עֵינֵינוּ בְּשׁוּבְךָ לְצִיּוֹן בְּרַחֲמִים. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, הַמַּחֲזִיר שְׁכִינָתוֹ לְצִיּוֹן:
And let our eyes behold your return in mercy to Tsiyon. Blessed are you, YHVH, who restores the divine presence to Tsiyon.

6. Thanksgiving


מוֹדִים אֲנַחְנוּ לָךְ, שָׁאַתָּה הוּא יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד
צוּר חַיֵּינוּ, מָגֵן יִשְׁעֵנוּ, אַתָּה הוּא לְדוֹר וָדוֹר
נוֹדֶה לְּךָ וּנְסַפֵּר תְּהִלָּתֶךָ,
עַל חַיֵּינוּ הַמְּסוּרִים בְּיָדֶךָ,
וְעַל נִשְׁמוֹתֵינוּ הַפְּקוּדוֹת לָךְ,
וְעַל נִסֶּיךָ שֶׁבְּכָל יוֹם עִמָּנוּ,
וְעַל נִפְלְאוֹתֶיךָ וְטוֹבוֹתֶיךָ שֶׁבְּכָל עֵת,
עֶרֶב וָבֹקֶר וְצָהֳרָיִם,
הַטּוֹב, כִּי לֹא כָלוּ רַחֲמֶיךָ,
וְהַמְרַחֵם, כִּי לֹא תַמּוּ חֲסָדֶיךָ,
כִּי מֵעוֹלָם קִוִּינוּ לָךְ:
We give thanks to you that you are YHVH Elohenu and Elohei Avotenu forever and ever.
Through every generation you have been the rock of our lives, the shield of our salvation.
We will give you thanks and declare your praise,
for our lives that are committed into your hands,
for our souls that are entrusted to you,
for your miracles that are daily with us,
and for your wonders and your benefits that are with us at all times,
evening, morning and noon.
O beneficent one, your mercies never fail;
O merciful one, your loving-kindnesses never cease.
We have always put our hope in you.

וְעַל הַנִּסִּים וְעַל הַפֻּרְקָן וְעַל הַגְּבוּרוֹת וְעַל הַתְּשׁוּעוֹת וְעַל הַנִפְלָאוֹת שֶׁעָשיתָ לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בִּזְּמַן הַזֶּה:
 
בִּימֵי מַתִּתְיָהוּ בֶּן יוֹחָנָן כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל, חַשְׁמוֹנָאִי וּבָנָיו, כְּשֶׁעָמְדָה מַלְכוּת יָוָן הָרְשָׁעָה, עַל עַמְּךָ יִשְֹרָאֵל, לְהַשְׁכִּיחָם תּוֹרָתֶךָ וּלְהַעֲבִירָם מֵחֻקֵּי רְצוֹנֶךָ, וְאַתָּה בְּרַחֲמֶיךָ הָרַבִּים, עָמַדְתָּ לָהֶם בְּעֵת צָרָתָם. רַבְתָּ אֶת רִיבָם, דַנְתָּ אֶת דִּינָם, נָקַמְתָּ אֶת נִקְמָתָם, מָסַרְתָּ גִבּוֹרִים בְּיַד חַלָּשִׁים, וְרַבִּים בְּיַד מְעַטִּים, וּטְמֵאִים בְּיַד טְהוֹרִים, וּרְשָׁעִים בְּיַד צַדִּיקִים, וְזֵדִים בְּיַד עוֹסְקֵי תוֹרָתֶךָ. וּלְךָ עָשִֹיתָ שֵׁם גָּדוֹל וְקָדוֹשׁ בְּעוֹלָמֶךָ, וּלְעַמְּךָ יִשְֹרָאֵל עָשִֹיתָ תְּשׁוּעָה גְדוֹלָה וּפֻרְקָן כְּהַיּוֹם הַזֶּה: וְאַחַר כַּךְ בָּאוּ בָנֶיךָ לִדְבִיר בֵּיתֶךָ, וּפִנּוּ אֶת הֵיכָלֶךָ, וְטִהֲרוּ אֶת מִקְדָּשֶׁךָ, וְהִדְלִיקוּ נֵרוֹת בְּחַצְרוֹת קָדְשֶׁךָ. וְקָבְעוּ שְׁמונַת יְמֵי חֲנֻכָּה אֵלּוּ, לְהוֹדוֹת וּלְהַלֵּל לְשִׁמְךָ הַגָּדוֹל:
On Ḥannukah add:
For the miracles, for the redemption, for the mighty acts, for the salvations, and for the battles which you did for our ancestors in those days, at this time.
 
In the days of Mattathias, the son of Yoḥanan the Hasmonean High Priest, and his sons, there arose the wicked (Syrian) Greek kingdom against your people Yisrael to make them forget your Torah and transgress the laws of your will. But you, in your abounding compassion, stood for them in the time of their distress. You accounted their grievance, judged their claim, and righted their wrong. You placed the mighty in the hand of the weak, the many in the hand of the few, the impure in the hand of the pure, the wicked in the hand of the righteous, and the scoffers in the hand of those who engage in the works of your Torah. For your sake, you made a great and holy name in your world. And for your people Yisrael you made a great deliverance and a redemption as this day. And afterward your children came into the sacred place in your House. And they cleansed your Temple, purified your holy place, lit candles in your holy courtyards, and established these eight days of dedication to thank and to praise your great Name.

וְעַל כֻּלָּם יִתְבָּרֵךְ וְיִתְרוֹמֵם וְיִתְנַשֵֹּא שִׁמְךָ מַלְכֵּנוּ תָּמִיד לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד:
 
(בימים נוראים:
וּכְתוֹב לְחַיִּים טוֹבִים כָּל בְּנֵי בְרִיתֶךָ:)
 
וְכָל הַחַיִּים יוֹדוּךָ סֶּלָה
וִיהַלְלוּ שִׁמְךָ הַגָּדוֹל לְעוֹלָם כִּי טוֹב, הָאֵל יְשׁוּעָתֵנוּ וְעֶזְרָתֵנוּ סֶלָה. הָאֵל הַטּוֹב.
 
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, הַטּוֹב שִׁמְךָ וּלְךָ נָאֶה לְהוֹדוֹת:
For all these acts may your name be blessed and exalted continually, O our majesty, forever and ever.
 
Between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur add:
And inscribe all the children of your covenant for a good life.
 
Let every living thing give thanks to you. (Selah.)
and praise your name in truth, O God, our salvation and our help. (Selah.)
 
Blessed are you, YHVH, whose Name is the Beneficent One, and to whom it is fitting to give thanks.

7. Abundant Peace


שִׂים שָׁלוֹם, טוֹבָה וּבְרָכָה, חַיִּים חֵן וָחֶסֶד וְרַחֲמִים, עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְֹרָאֵל עַמֶּךָ, בָּרְכֵנוּ אָבִינוּ כֻּלָּנוּ כְּאֶחָד בְּאוֹר פָּנֶיךָ נָתַתָּ לָּנוּ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ תּוֹרַת חַיִּים וְאַהֲבַת חֶסֶד, וּצְדָקָה וּבְרָכָה וְרַחֲמִים וְחַיִּים וְשָׁלוֹם, וְטוֹ בְּעֵינֶיךָ לְבָרֵךְ אֶת כָּל עַמְּךָ יִשְֹרָאֵל בְּכָל עֵת וּבְכָל שָׁעָה בִּשְׁלוֹמֶךָ:
 
(בימים נוראים: וּבְּסֵפֶר חַיִּים בְּרָכָה וְשָׁלוֹם וּפַרְנָסָה טוֹבָה, יְשׁוָּעה וְנֶחָמָה וּגְזֵרוֹת טוֹבוֹת נִזָּכֵר וְנִכָּתֵב לְפָנֶיךָ, אֲנַחְנוּ וְכָל עַמְּךָ בֵּית יִשְֹרָאֵל, לְחַיִּים טוֹבִים וּלְשָׁלוֹם:)
 
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, הַמְבָרֵךְ אֶת עַמּוֹ יִשְֹרָאֵל בַּשָּׁלוֹם:
Give abundant well-being for Yisrael your people. For you are the supreme ruler of all well-being. And it is good in your eyes to bless us and to bless your people Yisrael
at every time and in every hour with well-being.
 
(Between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur add: In the book of life, blessings, peace, and good livelihood)
 
May we be remembered and inscribed before you, we and your entire people the family of Yisrael for a good life and for peace. Blessed is God, who makes peace. Blessed are you, YHVH, who blesses the people Yisrael with well-being.

Keep My Tongue From Evil


יִהְיוּ לְרָצוֹן אִמְרֵי פִי וְהֶגְיוֹן לִבִּי לְפָנֶיךָ יְיָ צוּרִי וְגוֹאֲלִי: (תהלים יט:טו)
 
אֱלֹהַי, נְצוֹר לְשׁוֹנִי מֵרָע וּשְֹפָתַי מִדַּבֵּר מִרְמָה וְלִמְקַלְלַי, נַפְשִׁי תִדּוֹם, וְנַפְשִׁי כֶּעָפָר לַכֹּל תִּהְיֶה, פְּתַח לִבִּי בְּתוֹרָתֶךָ, וּבְמִצְוֹתֶיךָ תִּרְדּוֹף נַפְשִׁי, וְכָל הַחוֹשְׁבִים עָלַי רָעָה, מְהֵרָה הָפֵר עֲצָתָם וְקַלְקֵל מַחֲשַׁבְתָּם. יִהְיוּ כְּמוֹץ לִפְנֵי רוּחַ וּמַלְאַךְ יְיָ דּוֹחֶה. לְמַעַן יֵחָלְצוּן יְדִידֶיךָ, הוֹשִׁיעָה יְמִינְךָ וַעֲנֵנִי. (תהלים ע:ו, תהלים קח:ז)
May it be recognized that the words of my mouth and the contemplations of my thoughts are for you, YHVH, my Rock and my Redeemer.[8]Psalms 19:15
 
My God, keep my tongue and my lips from speaking deceit, and to them that curse me let my soul be silent, and like dust to all. Open my heart to your Torah, and to your commandments let me pursue them. As for those that think evil of me speedily thwart their counsel and destroy their plots.[9]Psalms 60:7, Psalms 108:7

עֲשֵֹה לְמַעַן שְׁמֶךָ, עֲשֵֹה לְמַעַן יְמִינֶךָ, עֲשֵֹה לְמַעַן תּוֹרָתֶךָ, עֲשֵֹה לְמַעַן קְדֻשָּׁתֶךָ. יִהְיוּ לְרָצוֹן אִמְרֵי פִי וְהֶגְיוֹן לִבִּי, לְפָנֶיךָ, יְיָ צוּרִי וְגוֹאֲלִי: (תהלים יט:טו)
For each recitation of the words עשה / aseh / “do this,” it is customary for some to stand on toes.

Do this for your name’s sake, do this for your right hand’s sake, do this for the sake of your Torah. Do this for the sake of your holiness, that your beloved ones may rejoice, let your right hand bring on help and answer me. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, YHVH, my rock and my redeemer.

When reciting the next passage, some may choose to take three steps backward and bow to the left, to the right, and finally straight ahead.

עשֶֹׁה שָׁלוֹם (בימים נוראים: הַשָּׁלוֹם) בִּמְרוֹמָיו הוּא יַעֲשֶֹה שָׁלוֹם עָלֵינוּ
וְעַל כָּל יִשְֹרָאֵל, (וְעַל כָּל יוֺשְׁבֵי תֵבֶל) וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן:
The maker of perfection in the highest places, will be the maker of well-being for us and for all Yisrael; (and for all who dwell upon this planet), and let us say: Amen.

May it Be your Will


יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ, יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֶאֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שֶׁיִבָּנֶה בֵּית הַמִקְדָּשׁ בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵינוּ, וְתֵן חֶלְקֵנוּ בְּתוֹרָתֶךָ: וְשָׁם נַעֲבָדְךָ בְּיִרְאָה כִּימֵי עוֹלָם וּכְשָׁנִים קַדְמוֹנִיוֹת: וְעָרְבָה לַיְיָ מִנְחַת יְהוּדָה וִירוּשָׁלָיִם, כִּימֵי עוֹלָם וּכְשָׁנִים קַדְמוֹנִיוֹת:
May it be with desire before you, YHVH Elohenu and God of our ancestors, that the building of the Temple will be speedily in our days; and give our portion in your Torah. And there we will serve you in awe as in the days of old and the years gone by. We will come close to God with the offering of Yehudah and Yerushalayim as in the days of old and the years gone by.

The silent Tefilat Ha’amidah ends here.

Selected Readings on the Amidah

Avot ve’Imahot

YHVH is not the God of Avraham is not the God of Yitsḥak is not the God of Yaakov is not the God of Sarah is not the God of Rivka is not the God of my childhood is not the God of my youth is not the God of my adulthood is not the God of my old age is not the God of my dying is not the God of my imagining. YHVH is not my creation. YHVH is not the God who chooses is not the God who commands is not the God who punishes is not the God who creates is not the God who destroys is not the God who makes me win is not the God who sees that my enemies lose. YHVH is not my creation. YHVH is the God who alone exists and who exists alone. When I am free from ancestors, free from traditions, free from truths, free from words, free from thoughts, free from even the need to be free, there is God, and there I am not. Blessed is the One at the heart of my emptiness.

Gevurot

You are the Source and Substance of Life: Birth and death, joy and sadness, success and failure, courage and fear – all are You. All things and their complements come from You. All things and their complements are You. May I open my eyes to see You as You and not as I so desperately want You to be. May I see that time and eternity are but shadows of now, and that true immortality is to end time and awake to the deathless present that is You.

Kedushat Hashem

The One Who is the many, the Ocean Who is the wave, the Puzzle Who is the piece is God the Whole and Holy. Creation is the dance of God in space and time. I am the dance of God in this space and this time. To awake to this is to awake from ignorance. To awake to this is to awake from despair. To awake to this is to awake from needless suffering. May I find this Shabbat a rest from the sleep of fools. May I find this Shabbat an awakening to the One who is Whole and Holy – Whole and wholly me.

Kedushat Hayom

“The heavens and the earth and all within them were finished. By the seventh day God had completed the work which God had been doing; and so God rested from all the work. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because on it God rested from the divine work of creation.” You capped doing with non-doing; You blessed becoming with being; You honored labor and rest. Creation is incomplete without Shabbat. Rest reveals the importance of work. Work reveals the importance of rest. The two together make the world; the two together make a human being. I rest when I cease the struggle to control. I rest when I abandon the pride of ownership. I rest when I give thanks for what is. I set aside this day to revel in Your work by sharing Your rest. I set aside this day for mindfulness and renewal. I set aside this day to review my mission and my priorities. I set aside this day to honor all that I have been given. I set aside this day to take stock of all that I am.

Avodah

For what do I pray? For health? For happiness? For wealth or fame? Who can say what will befall me? I do what I do in pursuit of what I desire, but only the hunt is mine; the victory is in other hands. I pray for nothing, for I am nothing. My desires are not Yours. My needs are not Yours, perhaps not. I pray simply to stand in Your presence. I pray simply to stand and be present. For that is all I can do: stand and be present. Present to You and what You bring this moment and this moment again. All there is, is You; Time and eternity, self and other – all You. So I pray to pray. I pray to be aware of the Being that is all and nothing, here and there, now and forever.

Hoda’a

Spirituality is living with attention. Living with attention leads me to thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the response I have to the great debt I accrue with each breath I take. Attending to the everyday miracles of ordinary living, I am aware of the interconnectedness of all things. I cannot be without you. This cannot be without that. All cannot be without each. And each cannot be without every. Thanksgiving is not for anything, it is for everything. May I cultivate the attention to allow the thanks that is life to inform the dance that is living.

Shalom Rav

Peace is not the absence of conflict. Peace is dealing with conflict while honoring justice. Peace is not the absence of anger. Peace is expressing anger while honoring compassion. Peace is not the absence of desire. Peace is allowing for desire without the fantasy that fulfillment brings happiness. Peace is not the absence of fear. Peace is knowing how to move through fear. Peace is not the absence of self. Peace is knowing that the self is absent. May I cultivate the skills to live in peace, to live with honor, to live with
justice, to live with compassion, to live with desire, to live with fear, to live with self, to live with emptiness.

Netzor Leshoni Mera

Let me attend to my words, taking care to say what I mean and do what I say. Let me guard my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking falsehood. Let me rise above those who slander me and take care not to slander others. Let me forgive those who offend against me and take care to offend only the unjust. Let me open my heart to Torah and find in her wisdom my way to righteousness. May the words of my mouth, the meditations of my heart be acceptable to You, my friend, my rock and my redeemer. May the power that makes for peace throughout the heavens be the power from which I learn to draw to make for peace in my world and in my life. Amen.

Kiddush


וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ וְכָל צְבָאָם:
וַיְכַל אֱלֹהִים בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה:
וַיִּשְׁבֹּת בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מִכָּל מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה:
וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱלֹהִים אֶת יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, וַיְקַדֵּשׁ אֹתוֹ, כִּי בוֹ שָׁבַת מִכָּל מְלַאכְתּוֹ, אֲשֶׁר בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים לַעֲשׂוֹת:
The heavens and the earth and all their hosts were finished.
And God completed, on the seventh day, all the work of formation;
and rested on the seventh day from all the work that was done.
And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it. For on it, God rested from all the work of creation that had been fashioned.[10]Genesis 1:31 – 2:1-3

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה
יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ,
אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם וְשָׂרָה,
אֱלֹהֵי יִצְחָק וְרִבְקָה,
וֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב וְלֵאָה וְזִלְפָּה רָחֵל וּבִּלְהָה,
הָאֵל הַגָּדוֹל הַגִּבּוֹר וְהַנּוֹרָא
אֵל עֶלְיוֹן,
קוֹנֵה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ:
Blessed are you,
YHVH Elohenu and God of our ancestors,
Elohei Avraham and Sarah,
Elohei Yitsḥak and Rivkah,
and Elohei Yaakov and Leah and Zilpah, Raḥel and Bilhah
the great, mighty, and terrifying El,
El Elyon
creator of all things

מָגֵן אָבוֹת בִּדְבָרוֹ
מְחַיֵּה מֵתִים בְּמַאֲמָרוֹ,
הָאֵל (בימים נוראים : הַמֶּלֶךְ) הַקָּדוֹשׁ
שֶׁאֵין כָּמוֹהוּ הַמֵּנִיחַ לְעַמּוֹ בְּיוֹם שַׁבַּת קָדְשׁוֹ,
כִּי בָם רָצָה לְהָנִיחַ לָהֶם,
לְפָנָיו נַעֲבוֹד בְּיִרְאָה וָפַחַד
וְנוֹדֶה לִשְׁמוֹ בְּכָל יוֹם תָּמִיד,
מֵעֵין הַבְּרָכוֹת,
אֵל הַהוֹדָאוֹת אֲדוֹן הַשָּׁלוֹם,
מְקַדֵּשׁ הַשַּׁבָּת וּמְבָרֵךְ שְׁבִיעִי.
וּמֵנִיחַ בִּקְדֻשָּׁה לְעַם מְדֻשְּׁנֵי עֹנֶג,
זֵכֶר לְמַעֲשֵֹה בְרֵאשִׁית:
Shield of the fathers by God’s word,
reviving the dead by command,
the holy God; (on the Shabbat before Yom Kippur: The holy King)
who makes people rest on the holy Shabbat,
for in them God took delight to cause them to rest.
Before God we shall worship in reverence and fear.
We shall render thanks to God’s name on every day,
always in the manner of the blessings.
God of the acknowledgments, Master of Peace,
who sanctified the Shabbat and blessed the seventh day
and caused the people to rest, filled with Shabbat delight
as a remembrance of the work in Creation.

אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ,
רְצֵה נָא בִמְנוּחָתֵנוּ,
קַדְּשֵׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתֶיךָ
וְתֵן חֶלְקֵנוּ בְּתוֹרָתֶךָ
שַֹבְּעֵנוּ מִטּוּבֶךָ
וְשַֹמֵּחַ נַפְשֵׁנוּ בִּישׁוּעָתֶךָ,
וְטַהֵר לִבֵּנוּ לְעָבְדְּךָ בֶּאֱמֶת,
וְהַנְחִילֵנוּ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְּאַהֲבָה וּבְרָצוֹן שַׁבַּת קָדְשֶׁךָ,
וְיָנוּחוּ בָהּ כָּל יִשְֹרָאֵל מְקַדְּשֵׁי שְׁמֶךָ.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, מְקַדֵּשׁ הַשַּׁבָּת:
(Cong: אָמֵן)
Our God and God of our Ancestors!
Be pleased with our rest;
sanctify us with your commandments
and give us a share in your Torah,
satiate us with your bounty,
and gladden us in your salvation.
Cleanse our hearts to serve you in truth:
let us inherit, YHVH Elohenu, in love and favor, your holy Shabbat,
and may Yisrael, who loves your name, rest on it.
Blessed are you, YHVH, who sanctifies the Shabbat.

Full Kaddish

The Kaddish is one of the most familiar prayers in the siddur and comes in several forms, chanted to distinctive melodies depending on the holiday. It closes the whole service or sections of the service and concludes the study of Torah or other sacred texts. The Kaddish is composed in Aramaic, an ancient language closely related to Hebrew and once spoken widely in the Near East. Many worshippers stand during the half Kaddish, and it is customary for most to stand for the full Kaddish.

If you are reciting Kaddish, you may choose to take three steps back as you start the final line. Then bow once to the left, once to the right, and once to the center, finishing with ואמרו אמן / ve’imru amen / and let us say amen. if you are not reciting the kaddish but responding to the prayer leader or mourners reciting it, you may respond to each amen with amen, as well as recite with the community the line, יהא שמה רבא מברך לעלם ולעלמי / yehe shmeh rabba mevarakh Le’alam ul’almeh almaya / May His great name be blessed for ever, and to all eternity. At עושה שלום, it is customary for some to take three steps back, bow left and say עושה / oseh / who makes; bow right and say הוא / hu / grant, bow forward and say על כל / ve’al kol / for all. when finished, it is customary to take three steps forward.


יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵיהּ רַבָּא (אָמֵן) . בְּעָלְמָא דִּבְרָא כִרְעוּתֵהּ .
 
וְיַמְלִיךְ מַלְכוּתֵהּ . בְּחַיֵּיכוֹן וּבְיוֹמֵיכוֹן . וּבְחַיֵּי דְכָל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל . בַּעֲגָלָא וּבִזְמַן קָרִיב: וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: (אָמֵן)
 
יְהֵא שְׁמֵיהּ רַבָּא מְבָרַךְ לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּא
 
יִתְבָּרַךְ וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח וְיִתְפָּאַר וְיִתְרוֹמַם וְיִתְנַשֵּׂא . וְיִתְהַדַּר וְיִתְעַלֶּה וְיִתְהַלַּל שְׁמֵיהּ דְּקֻדְשָׁא (בְּרִיךְ הוּא.)
לְעֵֽלָּא מִכָּל בִּרְכָתָא וְשִׁירָתָא תֻּשְׁבְּחָתָא וְנֶחָמָתָא דַּאֲמִירָן בְּעָלְמָא: וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: (אָמֵן)
 
תִּתְקַבֵּל צְלוֹתְהוֹן וּבָעוּתְהוֹן דְּכָל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל, קֳדָם אֲבוּהוֹן דִּי בִשְׁמַיָּא: וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: (אָמֵן):
 
יְהֵא שְׁלָמָא רַבָּא מִן שְׁמַיָּא . וְחַיִּים עָלֵֽינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל: וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: (אָמֵן)
 
עֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו . הוּא יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם עָלֵֽינוּ . וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַל כָּל יוֺשְׁבֵי תֵבֶל: וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: (אָמֵן)
May the great name be exalted and sanctified is God’s great name (Amen) — in the world which God created at will!
 
May God establish dominion during your lifetime and during your days and during the lifetimes of all the House of Yisrael speedily and very soon! And say, (Amen)
 
May the great name be blessed forever, and for all eternity!
 
Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, (Blessed be God)
above and beyond all the blessings, hymns, praises and consolations that are uttered in the world! And say, (Amen)
 
May the prayers and supplications of all Yisrael be accepted by their Father who is in Heaven; And say, (Amen)
 
May there be abundant peace from heaven and life for us and for all God’s people Yisrael and say, (Amen)
 
May the One who makes peace in high places grant peace for us, and for all Yisrael, (and for all who dwell upon Earth).
And say, (Amen)

In two paragraphs, the Aleinu concentrates a basic tension in Judaism: the tension between the particular — Yisrael’s special relationship with God — and the universal, the faith that all of humanity will someday fully recognize the one God.

In its final form, the Aleinu dates back to the third century, but has an older history perhaps as far back as the Babylonian and Persian exiles of the Sixth and Fifth Centuries BCE. An earlier form was probably recited during the Temple service. The Aleinu served not only as a rejection of ancient paganism, but also as a counterpoint to the worship of powerful kings and emperors common in those times. In medieval siddurim, the Aleinu was placed in the Rosh Hashanah liturgy, with the shofar blowing or the musaf service, and it was directly associated with the proclamation of divine sovereignty at the beginning of the new year. But it became so popular by the Renaissance era that the Aleinu became standard near the end of every service and has appeared that way in printed prayer books ever since.

Customs vary for how much of the Aleinu is recited aloud. It is common to sing the first paragraph together, then recite the second paragraph in a low voice, singing together aloud again for the last line, “V’ne’emar ….” The leader generally gives the Community proper cues as to what to sing together and what to recite individually.

It is often customary for the community to stand together while reciting the aleinu, bowing forward for ואנחנו כורעים ומשתחוים ומודים / va’anakhnu kor’im umishtakhavim umodim / and we bend our knees and bow down and give thanks. Then, stand up straight for לפני מלך / lifnei melekh / before the king.

Hebrew (source) English (translation)

Aleinu


עָלֵֽינוּ לְשַׁבֵּֽחַ לַאֲדוֹן הַכֹּל לָתֵת גְּדֻלָּה לְיוֹצֵר בְּרֵאשִׁית . שֶׁלֹּא עָשָֽׂנוּ כְּגוֹיֵי הָאֲרָצוֹת . וְלֹא שָׂמָֽנוּ כְּמִשְׁפְּחוֹת הָאֲדָמָה: שֶׁלֹּא שָׂם חֶלְקֵֽנוּ כָּהֶם . וְגֹרָלֵֽנוּ כְּכָל הֲמוֹנָם: שֶׁהֵם מִשְׁתַּחֲוִים לְהֶֽבֶל וְרִיק . וּמִֽתְפַּלֲלִ֔ים אֶל־אֵ֖ל לֹ֥א יוֹשִֽׁיעַ:(ישעיה מה:כ) וַאֲנַֽחְנוּ כּוֹרְעִים וּמִשְׁתַּחֲוִים וּמוֹדִים . לִפְנֵי מֶֽלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא: שֶׁהוּא נוֹטֶ֣ה שָׁמַיִם֘ וְיֹסֵ֣ד אָרֶץ֒ (ישעיה נא:יג). וּמוֹשַׁב יְקָרוֹ בַּשָּׁמַֽיִם מִמַּֽעַל . וּשְׁכִינַת עֻזּוֹ בְּגָבְהֵי מְרוֹמִים: הוּא אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ . אֵין עוֹד: אֱמֶת מַלְכֵּֽנוּ . אֶֽפֶס זוּלָתוֹ . כַּכָּתוּב בְּתוֹרָתוֹ: וְיָֽדַעְתָּ֣ הַיּ֗וֹם וַֽהֲשֵֽׁבֹתָ֘ אֶל־לְבָבֶ֒ךָ֒ כִּ֤י יְהוָֹה֙ ה֣וּא הָֽאֱלֹהִ֔ים בַּשָּׁמַ֣יִם מִמַּ֔עַל וְעַל־הָאָ֖רֶץ מִתָּ֑חַת אֵ֖ין עֽוֹד:(דברים ד:לט)
It is our duty to praise the Master of all, to acclaim the greatness of the One who forms all creation, For God did not make us like the nations of other lands, and did not make us the same as other families of the Earth. God did not grant our inheritances as others, and our destiny is not the same as anyone else’s. And we bend our knees and bow down and give thanks before the King, the King of Kings, the Holy One, Blessed is God. The One who spread out the heavens, and made the foundations of the Earth, and whose precious dwelling is in the heavens above, and whose powerful Presence is in the highest heights. He is our God, there is none else. Our Ruler is truth, and nothing else compares. As it is written in your Torah: “And you shall know today and take to heart that YHVH is the only god in the heavens above and on Earth below. There is no other.”

עַל כֵּן נְקַוֶּה לְּךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ לִרְאוֹת מְהֵרָה בְּתִפְאֶֽרֶת עֻזֶּֽךָ . לְהַעֲבִיר גִּלּוּלִים מִן הָאָֽרֶץ . וְהָאֱלִילִים כָּרוֹת יִכָּרֵתוּן . לְתַקֵּן עוֹלָם בְּמַלְכוּת שַׁדַּי: וְכָל בְּנֵי בָשָׂר יִקְרְאוּ בִשְׁמֶֽךָ . לְהַפְנוֹת אֵלֶֽיךָ כָּל רִשְׁעֵי אָֽרֶץ: יַכִּֽירוּ וְיֵדְעוּ כָּל יוֹשְׁבֵי תֵבֵל . כִּי לְךָ תִּכְרַע כָּל בֶּֽרֶךְ . תִּשָּׁבַע כָּל לָשׁוֹן: לְפָנֶֽיךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ יִכְרְעוּ וְיִפּֽוֹלוּ . וְלִכְבוֹד שִׁמְךָ יְקָר יִתֵּֽנוּ: וִיקַבְּלוּ כֻלָּם ׀ אֶת עֹל מַלְכוּתֶֽךָ . וְתִמְלוֹךְ עֲלֵיהֶם מְהֵרָה לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד: כִּי הַמַּלְכוּת שֶׁלְּךָ הִיא . וּלְעֽוֹלְמֵי עַד תִּמְלוֹךְ בְּכָבוֹד: כַּכָּתוּב בְּתוֹרָתֶֽךָ: (שמות טו:יח) יְיָ֥ ׀ יִמְלֹ֖ךְ לְעֹלָ֥ם וָעֶֽד: וְנֶאֱמַר: (זכריה יד:ט) וְהָיָ֧ה יְיָ֛ לְמֶ֖לֶךְ עַל־כָּל־הָאָ֑רֶץ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֗וּא יִֽהְיֶ֧ה יְיָ֛ אֶחָ֖ד וּשְׁמ֥וֹ אֶחָֽד:
Therefore we hope in you, YHVH Elohenu, to see quickly the splendor of your strength; to cause to pass away idolatry from the land and false gods to surely be cut off; to repair the world with the majesty of Shadai. Then all mortals will call on your Name. All the wicked of the earth will return to you. All the inhabitants of the world will recognize and know that to you every knee shall bend and every tongue shall vow. Before you, YHVH Elohenu, they will bow and fall down. To the honor of your name they will give loyatly. They will receive, each of them, the yoke of your majesty. And you will speedily reign over them forever and ever. For Majesty is yours and you will reign eternally in honor, as it is written in your Torah: YHVH will reign forever and ever. And it is said: YHVH will be ruler over all the earth. On that day YHVH will be One and god’s name will be One.

Between Passover and Shavuot, the Omer is counted at this point in the service.

While often associated with mourning, the Kaddish does not mention death, resurrection, or the afterlife at all. Instead, it proclaims the greatness, holiness, and eternity of God and expresses a wish that the harmony of the heavenly spheres guide us here below, as it does above. Mourners usually stand to recite the Mourners’ Kaddish. In Sephardi and Mizrachi communities, it is common for other worshippers to stand silently with the mourners as they say Kaddish. Some Ashkenazi communities also have adopted this custom.

If you are reciting Kaddish, you may choose to take three steps back as you start the final line, then bow once to the left, once to the right, and once to the center, finishing with ואמרו אמן / ve’imru amen / and let us say amen. If you are not reciting the Kaddish but responding to the prayer leader or mourners reciting it, you may respond to each amen with amen, as well as recite with the community the line, יהא שמה רבא מברך לעלם ולעלמי / yehe shmeh rabba mevarakh Le’alam ul’almeh almaya / May His great name be blessed for ever, and to all eternity. At עושה שלום, some find it customary to take three steps back, bow left and say עושה / oseh / who makes; bow right and say הוא / hu / grant, bow forward and say ועל כל / ve’al kol / for all. When finished, it is customary to take three steps forward. You may sit after completing the prayer.

Hebrew (source) English (translation)

Mourners Kaddish


יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵיהּ רַבָּא ( אָמֵן) .
בְּעָלְמָא דִּבְרָא כִרְעוּתֵהּ .
 
וְיַמְלִיךְ מַלְכוּתֵהּ .
בְּחַיֵּיכוֹן וּבְיוֹמֵיכוֹן .
וּבְחַיֵּי דְכָל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל .
בַּעֲגָלָא וּבִזְמַן קָרִיב: וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: ( אָמֵן)
 
יְהֵא שְׁמֵיהּ רַבָּא מְבָרַךְ לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּא
 
יִתְבָּרַךְ וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח וְיִתְפָּאַר וְיִתְרוֹמַם וְיִתְנַשֵּׂא .
וְיִתְהַדַּר וְיִתְעַלֶּה וְיִתְהַלַּל שְׁמֵיהּ דְּקֻדְשָׁא (בְּרִיךְ הוּא.)
לְעֵֽלָּא מִכָּל בִּרְכָתָא וְשִׁירָתָא תֻּשְׁבְּחָתָא וְנֶחָמָתָא
דַּאֲמִירָן בְּעָלְמָא: וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: ( אָמֵן)
 
יְהֵא שְׁלָמָא רַבָּא מִן שְׁמַיָּא .
וְחַיִּים עָלֵֽינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל: וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: ( אָמֵן)
 
עֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו .
הוּא יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם עָלֵֽינוּ .
וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל .
וְעַל כָּל יוֺשְׁבֵי תֵבֶל: וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: ( אָמֵן)
May the great name be exalted and sanctified is God’s great name (Amen)
— in the world which God created at will!
 
May God establish dominion during your lifetime
and during your days
and during the lifetimes of all the House of Yisrael
speedily and very soon! And say, (Amen)
 
May the great name be blessed forever, and for all eternity!
 
Blessed and praised, glorified, exalted, extolled,
honored, adored, and lauded be the name of the Holy One, (Blessed be God)
above and beyond all the blessings, hymns, praises and consolations
that are uttered in the world! And say, (Amen)
 
May there be abundant peace from heaven
and life for us and for all God’s people Yisrael and say, (Amen)
 
May the One who makes peace in high places
grant peace for us,
and for all Yisrael,
(and for all who dwell upon Earth).
And say, (Amen)
Hebrew (source) English (translation)

Eternal Master


אֲדוֹן עוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר מָלַךְ, בְּטֶרֶם כָּל יְצוּר נִבְרָא.

לְעֵת נַעֲשָֹה בְחֶפְצוֹ כֹּל, אֲזַי מֶלֶךְ שְׁמוֹ נִקְרָא.

וְאַחֲרֵי כִּכְלוֹת הַכֹּל. לְבַדּוֹ יִמְלוֹךְ נוֹרָא.

וְהוּא הָיָה וְהוּא הוֶֹה, וְהוּא יִהְיֶה בְּתִפְאָרָה.

וְהוּא אֶחָד וְאֵין שֵׁנִי, לְהַמְשִׁיל לוֹ לְהַחְבִּירָה.

בְּלִי רֵאשִׁית בְּלִי תַכְלִית, וְלוֹ הָעֹז וְהַמִּשְֹרָה.

וְהוּא אֵלִי וְחַי גֹאֲלִי, וְצוּר חֶבְלִי בְּעֵת צָרָה.

וְהוּא נִסִּי וּמָנוֹס לִי, מְנָת כּוֹסִי בְּיוֹם אֶקְרָא.

בְּיָדוֹ אַפְקִיד רוּחִי, בְּעֵת אִישָׁן וְאָעִירָה.

וְעִם רוּחִי גְּוִיָּתִי, יְיָ לִי וְלֹא אִירָא:

Eternal Master, who reigned supreme,
Before all of creation was drawn;
When it was finished according to God’s will,
Then the Ruler’s Name was proclaimed
When this our world shall be no more,
In majesty God still shall reign,
And God was, is,
And will be in glory.
Alone is God, beyond compare,
Without division or ally;
Without beginning, without end,
to God is the power and sovereignty
He is my God, my Living Redeemer
rock of my affliction in the enemy day
God is my banner and refuge
filling my cup the day I call
Into God’s hand I commit my spirit
when I sleep, and I wake
and with my spirit, my body
My master is with me, I will not fear
Hebrew (source) English (translation)

Exalted


יִגְדַּל אֱלֹהִים חַי וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח . נִמְצָא וְאֵין עֵת אֶל מְצִיאוּתוֹ:
אֶחָד וְאֵין יָחִיד כְּיִחוּדוֹ . נֶעֱלָּם וְגַם אֵין סוֹף לְאַחְדּוּתוֹ:
אֵין לוֹ דְּמוּת הַגּוּף וְאֵינוֹ גוּף . לֹא נַעֲרוֹךְ אֵלָיו קְדֻשָּׁתוֹ:
קַדְמוֹן לְכָל דָּבָר אֲשֶׁר נִבְרָא . רִאשׁוֹן וְאֵין רֵאשִׁית לְרֵאשִׁיתוֹ:
הִנּוֹ אֲדוֹן עוֹלָם לְכָל נוֹצָר . יוֹרֶה גְדֻלָּתוֹ וּמַלְכוּתוֹ:
שֶֽׁפַע נְבוּאָתוֹ נְתָנוֹ אֶל . אַנְשֵׁי סְגֻלָּתוֹ וְתִפְאַרְתּוֹ:
לֹא קָם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל כְּמֹשֶׁה עוֹד . נָבִיא וּמַבִּיט אֶת תְּמוּנָתוֹ:
תּוֹרַת אֱמֶת נָתַן לְעַמּוֹ אֵל . עַל יַד נְבִיאוֹ נֶאֱמַן בֵּיתוֹ:
לֹא יַחֲלִיף הָאֵל וְלֹא יָמִיר דָּתוֹ . לְעוֹלָמִים לְזוּלָתוֹ:
צוֹפֶה וְיוֹדֵֽעַ סְתָרֵֽינוּ . מַבִּיט לְסוֹף דָּבָר בְּקַדְמָתוֹ:
גּוֹמֵל לְאִישׁ חֶֽסֶד כְּמִפְעָלוֹ . נוֹתֵן לְרָשָׁע רַע כְּרִשְׁעָתוֹ:
יִשְׁלַח לְקֵץ יָמִין מְשִׁיחֵֽנוּ . לִפְדּוֹת מְחַכֵּי קֵץ יְשׁוּעָתוֹ:
מֵתִים יְחַיֶּה אֵל בְּרֹב חַסְדּוֹ . בָּרוּךְ עֲדֵי עַד שֵׁם תְּהִלָּתוֹ:
Exalted be God, living and existent — unbounded by time is His existence.
God is One and there is no unity like God’s Oneness — Inscrutable and infinite is His Unity;
God has no body nor semblance of a body — nor is there any comparison to God’s holiness;
God preceded every being that was created — the First, and nothing precedes His precedence;
Behold! God is Master of the universe to every creature — God demonstrates greatness and majesty;
God granted the flow of prophecy — to a treasured, splendid people;
In Yisrael, none like Moshe arose again — a prophet who perceived God’s vision clearly.
God gave people a Torah of truth — by means of a prophet, the most trusted of His household;
God will never amend nor exchange the law — for any other one, for all eternity.
God scrutinizes and knows our hiddenmost secrets, — perceives a matter’s outcome at its inception;
God recompenses human beings with kindness according to his deed — God places evil on the wicked according to their wickedness.
By the End of Days God will send our Messiah — to redeem those longing for final salvation.
God will revive the dead in abundant kindness. — Blessed forever is God’s praised Name.
Hebrew (source) English (translation)

Peace Be Upon You


שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם . מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת . מַלְאֲכֵי עֶלְיוֹן . מֶֽלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא:
שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם . מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת . מַלְאֲכֵי עֶלְיוֹן . מֶֽלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא:
שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם . מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת . מַלְאֲכֵי עֶלְיוֹן . מֶֽלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא:
Peace unto you, guardian angels, angels of Elyon, majestic king of kings, the Blessed Holy One.
Peace unto you, guardian angels, angels of Elyon, majestic king of kings, the Blessed Holy One.
Peace unto you, guardian angels, angels of Elyon, majestic king of kings, the Blessed Holy One.

בּוֹאֲכֶם לְשָׁלוֹם . מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם . מַלְאֲכֵי עֶלְיוֹן . מֶֽלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא:
בּוֹאֲכֶם לְשָׁלוֹם . מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם . מַלְאֲכֵי עֶלְיוֹן . מֶֽלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא:
בּוֹאֲכֶם לְשָׁלוֹם . מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם . מַלְאֲכֵי עֶלְיוֹן . מֶֽלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא:
Come for peace, angels of peace, angels of Elyon, majestic king of kings, the Blessed Holy One.
Come for peace, angels of peace, angels of Elyon, majestic king of kings, the Blessed Holy One.
Come for peace, angels of peace, angels of Elyon, majestic king of kings, the Blessed Holy One.

בָּרְֿכֽוּנִי לְשָׁלוֹם . מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם . מַלְאֲכֵי עֶלְיוֹן . מֶֽלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא:
בָּרְֿכֽוּנִי לְשָׁלוֹם . מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם . מַלְאֲכֵי עֶלְיוֹן . מֶֽלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא:
בָּרְֿכֽוּנִי לְשָׁלוֹם . מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם . מַלְאֲכֵי עֶלְיוֹן . מֶֽלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא:
Bless me for peace, angels of peace, angels of Elyon, majestic king of kings, the Blessed Holy One.
Bless me for peace, angels of peace, angels of Elyon, majestic king of kings, the Blessed Holy One.
Bless me for peace, angels of peace, angels of Elyon, majestic king of kings, the Blessed Holy One.

צֵאתְֿכֶם לְשָׁלוֹם . מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם . מַלְאֲכֵי עֶלְיוֹן . מֶֽלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא:
צֵאתְֿכֶם לְשָׁלוֹם . מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם . מַלְאֲכֵי עֶלְיוֹן . מֶֽלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא:
צֵאתְֿכֶם לְשָׁלוֹם . מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם . מַלְאֲכֵי עֶלְיוֹן . מֶֽלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא:
Depart for peace, angels of peace, angels of Elyon, majestic king of kings, the Blessed Holy One.
Depart for peace, angels of peace, angels of Elyon, majestic king of kings, the Blessed Holy One.
Depart for peace, angels of peace, angels of Elyon, majestic king of kings, the Blessed Holy One.
Hebrew (source) English (translation)

Sanctification


(בלחש וַֽיְהִי־עֶ֥רֶב וַֽיְהִי־בֹ֖קֶר
י֥וֹם הַשִּׁשִּֽׁי: (בראשית א:לא)
וַיְכֻלּ֛וּ הַשָּׁמַ֥יִם וְהָאָ֖רֶץ וְכָל־צְבָאָֽם: וַיְכַ֤ל אֱלֹהִים֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔י מְלַאכְתּ֖וֹ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשָׂ֑ה וַיִּשְׁבֹּת֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔י מִכָּל־מְלַאכְתּ֖וֹ אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָֽׂה: וַיְבָ֤רֶךְ אֱלֹהִים֙ ׀ אֶת־י֣וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔י וַיְקַדֵּ֖שׁ אֹת֑וֹ כִּ֣י ב֤וֹ שָׁבַת֙ מִכָּל־מְלַאכְתּ֔וֹ אֲשֶׁר־בָּרָ֥א אֱלֹהִ֖ים לַֽעֲשֽׂוֹת: (בראשית ב:א-ג)
The heavens and the earth and all their hosts were finished.
And Elohim completed, on the seventh day, all the work of formation;
and rested on the seventh day from all the work that was done.
And Elohim blessed the seventh day and sanctified it.
For on it, Elohim rested from all the work of creation that had been fashioned.

סַבְרֵי מָרָנָן וְרַבָּנָן וְרַבּוֹתַי:
(לְחֲיִים!)
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם . בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּֽפֶן:
With your permission.
(reply: To life!)
Blessed are you, YHVH Elohenu, creator of the fruit of the vine.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם . אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְרָֽצָה בָֽנוּ . וְשַׁבַּת קָדְשׁוֹ בְּאַהֲבָה וּבְרָצוֹן הִנְחִילָֽנוּ . זִכָּרוֹן לְמַעֲשֵׂה בְרֵאשִׁית: כִּי הוּא יוֹם תְּחִלָּה לְמִקְרָאֵי קֹֽדֶשׁ . זֵֽכֶר לִיצִיאַת מִצְרָֽיִם: כִּי בָֽנוּ בָחַֽרְתָּ . וְאוֹתָֽנוּ קִדַּֽשְׁתָּ . מִכָּל הָעַמִּים: וְשַׁבַּת קָדְשְׁךָ בְּאַהֲבָה וּבְרָצוֹן הִנְחַלְתָּֽנוּ: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ מְקַדֵּשׁ הַשַּׁבָּת:
Blessed are you, YHVH Elohenu, ruler of the world who sanctified us with mitzvot and wanted us.
Who has gven us, as an inheritance, the holy Shabbat in love and desire –
a remembrance of the work of creation. For it is the first day among holy observances –
a remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt.
For you chose us and sanctified us from all peoples.
And we inherited your holy Shabbat in love and desire.
Blessed are you, YHVH Elohenu, who sanctifies the Shabbat.

“When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.
I found it was difficult to change the world,
So I tried to change my nation.
When I found I couldn’t change the nation,
I began to focus on my town.
I couldn’t change the town and as an older man,
I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man,
I realise the only thing I can change is myself,
And suddenly I realise that if long ago
I had changed myself,
I could have made an impact on my family.
My family and I could have made an impact on our town.
Their impact could have changed the nation,
And I could indeed have changed the world.”
— Rabbi Chaim Halberstam of Tsanz[11]As paraphrased by Shoshana Lepon in Heartbeats: Jewish Writers at Their Best, Volume 1 (2001). Another version, “When I was young, an ardent love of God burning inside me, I thought I could reform the world, but soon I realized that I’d better just concentrate on improving the Jews of my city. When I failed in that I turned to correcting the conduct of my family. I gave up on that too, and I’m trying to improve myself, but even in that I have failed.” (b. 1798)

Elevating Ones Hands


בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדָֽיִם:
Blessed are you, YHVH Elohenu, who made us holy through mitsvot and commanded us to elevate our hands.

Bringing Forth Bread


בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַמּֽוֹצִיא לֶ֝֗חֶם מִן־הָאָֽרֶץ: (תהלים קד:יד)
Blessed are you, YHVH Elohenu, cosmic majesty, Who brings forth bread from the earth.[12]Psalms 104:14
The Vilna Shul by Georgi Vogel Rosen (Vilna Shul, Boston) license: CC-BY

The Vilna Shul by Georgi Vogel Rosen (Vilna Shul, Boston) license: CC-BY

Ḥavurah on the Hill (HOH) is an important part of young adult Jewish life in Boston. Hundreds of young adults and the young-at-heart come together one Friday night each month for a Kabbalat Shabbat service—the Jewish service that welcomes the Shabbat—and for other Jewish holiday services and celebrations. In spring 2010, the Ḥavurah on the Hill Council announced an exciting opportunity to create a new prayer book, or Siddur, thanks to a generous grant from the Combined Jewish Philanthropies.

A small group of dedicated people heard the call and formed the HOH Prayer Book Committee. Quickly we learned how this group represented one of HOH’s greatest strengths: its diversity. Each of us had different backgrounds in Jewish education, levels of Hebrew comprehension, traditions, belief structures, and motivations for joining the committee.

We all wanted to be a part of this project because the community at HOH is welcoming and inclusive, but the old prayerbooks were not. We wanted this prayerbook to reflect HOH’s idea of a learner’s minyan. We think anyone who is Jewish or even curious about Judaism should be able to enter our Kabbalat Shabbat service and use our siddur as a resource to follow along. This requires accurate English translations, thorough transliterations, and thoughtful explanations about materials included in the service. By also including inspirational and interpretive reading, even members of our community who have been studying Judaism for many years will still be able to gain new ideas and fresh insights.

What we all agreed upon was that we wanted to create a siddur that would provide a meaningful prayer experience not only for each of us, but for all of the members of the HOH community. How we would achieve this goal was no easy task. There were almost too many requirements: a prayerbook grounded in traditional structure and language but reflecting a pluralistic community; translations that are at once reasonably close, fresh, familiar, and gender inclusive; an easy-to-read and use format; and something grounded in the rich history of Vilna Shul and Ḥavurah on the Hill. On a practical level, we wanted to update and include translations, transliterations and corrections of some Hebrew text that were in the old siddur.

Through months of hard work and dedication, meetings, and consultation with rabbis, Jewish educators and others, we developed the pages that you see before you. We hope that this siddur will inspire you to reflect on your own Jewish practice, will make you feel at home regardless of whether you go to services weekly or once a year, and will provide you with new learnings that enrich your experience at the Vilna Shul.

The Vilner Congregation, thus named because its members hailed from Vilnius (Vilna), Lithuania, began meeting in members’ homes in 1893. The congregation purchased its first permanent structure, the former Twelfth Baptist Church on Phillips Street in Beacon Hill, in 1906. Ten years later, they were displaced when the City of Boston took the property by eminent domain to expand a neighboring school.

The Congregation bought land down the street, and in 1920 began holding services in their new building, the current Vilna Shul. In subsequent decades, the community began to decline in numbers because of federal immigration quotas, urban renewal, and suburban exodus. In 1985, the Vilner Congregation was the last of the seven West End immigrant-built synagogues to close. The property remained vacant for ten years until the Boston Center for Jewish Heritage was granted possession.

After acquiring the property in 1995, the Center stabilized and began work to restore the 1920s-era building. Today the synagogue is again filled with life as it hosts community programs, Jewish life cycle events, exhibits exploring Boston’s Jewish history, and Havurah on the Hill.

Guests in the main sanctuary still sit on the original wooden benches, moved from the Vilner Congregation’s original home in the Twelfth Baptist Church. Dating from the mid-19th century, the benches once seated the African American church’s members, including former slaves and volunteers in the Massachusetts 54th Regiment that fought in the Civil War.

The Murals of the Vilna Shul

Prior to World War II, a rich history of painted synagogues dated back hundreds of years in Eastern Europe. Seemingly plain wooden synagogues revealed interiors ornately painted with exuberant, colorful scenes. This rich cultural heritage was almost completely obliterated by the Nazi regime.

However, recent restoration work at the Vilna Shul has revealed a living vestige of this lost tradition here in Boston. Historians and conservators were shocked to uncover three distinct layers of Eastern European-style murals under an old coat of beige paint on the walls of the building. This discovery dramatically altered the previous assumptions that historians had made about Jewish immigrant style in Boston—namely that Jewish Boston, in an attempt to acculturate, would have mimicked the more austere design of traditional New England meetinghouses. In fact, members of the Vilna Shul had opted for traditional Eastern European Jewish designs in bright pastels in their new synagogue.

Since then, Ḥavurah on the Hill has continued to breath life into the Vilna Shul. In return, the Vilna Shul has fostered new friendships, community, and in some very special cases, marriages and children. As a natural progression, Ḥavurah on the Hill became the young-adult extension of the Vilna Shul Board, a non-profit organization that owns and operates the Vilna Shul. Together, Havurah on the Hill and the Vilna Shul Board work as one to restore and revive the Vilna Shul and to ensure that it will continue to exist for future generations of Boston Jews.

In 2009, a grant from Partners in Preservation, a joint program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express, provided funding to uncover the oldest mural (circa 1923) decorating the back wall of the women’s section in the main sanctuary. Images from this newly uncovered mural, and portions of other murals uncovered throughout the synagogue, adorn the pages of Siddur on the Hill.

History of Ḥavurah on the Hill

Ḥavurah on the Hill formed in the spring of 2001 when five friends: David Gerzof, Aaron Mandell, Andrew Perlman, Marc Rubenfeld, and Jesse Sage were inspired to start a community-led service for young adults and the young-at-heart in the beautiful Vilna Shul sanctuary. In Hebrew, havurah means a community of friends.

Their original concept was to bring together four key components that the founders felt would bring life back into the Vilna Shul and serve as a catalyst for connecting Boston’s Jewish young adult community: Spirit & Tradition (the service), Learning (guest speakers), Community and Connectivity (sharing a kosher meal), and History (our presence and connection with The Vilna Shul).

Tales of Ḥavurah on the Hill

A couple weeks after we were engaged, we joined the Havurah on the Hill siddur committee to help create the very book you are holding. A month later, we decided to hold our wedding at the Vilna Shul—we both loved the history of the building and felt at home in the Havurah community. Getting married is an intense experience as it is, and it meant so much to both of us to be able to raise our chuppah within these beautiful walls that hold so much history. Every time we come here now, we remember our wedding day again! (Michal and Dallas Kennedy, HOH volunteers and contributors to the “Siddur on the Hill”)

Ḥavurah on the Hill and Vilna Shul are special to me because it is where I had three important firsts since my arrival to the USA. Vilna Shul is the first synagogue I visited in Boston. I read publicly from the Torah for the first time at HOH. And on Vilna’s bima, I led a Friday night Maariv service for the first time. This last first was possible because HOH is a dynamic place of learning where leaders and participants share together their love for Judaism and the community. I find HOH to be a welcoming environment to deepen engagement in Jewish life. I know that many other firsts are still waiting for me at HOH. This place can open many doors and inspires many firsts for others too. (Carmith Shai, HOH service leader and volunteer)

Like many people who started attending HOH in the winter of 2004, I first came because of an article in the New York Times. I had recently moved to Boston and my mother, having read the aforementioned article, had mentioned umpteen times that I should check out this “new up and coming place on Beacon Hill for young people like you.” I had no way of anticipating the reaction I would have to that that first experience praying in The Vilna Shul. Standing in the sanctuary I felt awed, moved by a sense of warmth as the history of my surroundings enveloped and carried me. Though the building was in significant disrepair as compared to how it stands today, I saw such great potential in my surroundings and could feel the building urging us and thanking us for having a real and active future — not just to be used a source for looking at the past. That night I approached members of the steering committee and offered to volunteer. After 5 years, I have retired from the steering committee, but I still get that incredible feeling whenever I stand near the bimah, open a prayer book, and look around. (Shoshana [Sham] Fagen, former member of the HOH Council)

My first Friday night attending HOH services, Carmel Dibner (a former HOH volunteer) asked me to lead ha’Motzi, the blessing over the bread. “No problem,” I thought, “I can handle that.” (Afterall, I’d been doing ha’Motzi since I was in Kindergarten.) So, my name was announced, I got up, recited ha’Motzi—no brain freeze, no problem. Phew. I went back to my seat. “Yashar koach,” Carmel smiled at me, “want to lead Kabbalat Shabbat next month?” Moral of the story: all ye newcomers be forewarned, at Havurah on the Hill, hamotzi is a gateway. (Malka Benjamin, HOH service leader, volunteer, and contributor to “Siddur on the Hill”)

When [Vilna Shul Executive Director] Steven Greenberg and I got word in the winter of 2009 that the Vilna Shul had been selected as one of 25 sites in Boston to compete for a share of $1 million for mural restoration as part of the American Express Partners in Preservation program from the National Trust, we were excited of course at the opportunity. The challenge, particularly for me, was keeping the whole competition a secret until the spring while still making sure everything was ready to go as soon as the competition went public. And that was how a profession I was certain would keep me comfortably rooted in history, launched me unexpectedly into the social media maze of the 21st century. First came the viral videos, with the help of a very patient and creative Emerson film student who ran around Boston Common with me making people pass around silly signs. Then came the in-gathering of facebook friends. And finally, the twittering lessons from some of the Vilna Shul’s favorite social media junkies. By the time April came around and it was time to get things seriously underway, our troops were ready – every HoH participant, Board member and friend of the Vilna Shul was determined to get the word out about the Vilna Shul murals. Votes came in from Albania to Australia, Israel to Italy, and all across the USA, but the most important ones came from the people who have stood by our building all along even when the spotlight wasn’t shining, who woke up every morning and voted first thing, forwarded emails and videos to everyone they knew (and some they didn’t). Although my eyes hurt from a month of staring at the computer, I’ll never forget how happy I was to hear HOH participants stand up and say, “We have to vote everyday—the Vilna Shul is our home!” The murals uncovered in 2010 will for me always be a testament to the hundreds of people who became our partners in the Vilna’s preservation. (Rachel Cylus, former Program Coordinator at the Vilna Shul)

I came to the Vilna Shul for the first time and loved it. So the next month I gathered up a group of eight friends to come with me to experience the Vilna magic. But on Friday afternoon they each backed out one by one – leaving me faced with the dilemma of whether to go alone or stay home. After much uncertainty, I walked hesitantly into the Shul and found a seat in the back row. A few hundred other strangers filled the room. Then during lecha dodi – as we rose to greet the Shabbat bride—I suddenly saw a striking young woman enter through the back. I decided I had to meet her and found my way to her after the service. Now, several years later, we are married with beautiful children. So I always tell people at Vilna to go up and talk to people you don’t know, even if you’ve come to services alone. You never know what might happen. (Anonymous)

On behalf of Ḥavurah on the Hill, we would like to extend our gratitude to everyone who made the creation and publication of this siddur possible. A special thanks to the Combined Jewish Philanthopies for its generous Young Adult Community grant; Rabbi Sam Seicol for his time, expertise, and assistance with translations; Rabbi Rachel Silverman for sharing her knowledge, siddur collection, and home with us; Rabbis Joe Alter, Ariel Berger, Michelle Fisher, Jane Kanarek, and Judy Weiss, as well as Miriam Rosenblum and Davida Manon for their constructive feedback and advice; Steven Greenberg for his enthusiasm, unyielding support and many late nights; Rachel Cylus for writing the CJP grant application; Mark Nystedt for his assistance in compiling the history of the Vilna Shul; David Gerzof and Jesse Sage for their help in retelling the story of Ḥavurah on the Hill; Rabbi Moshe Waldocks for his assistance with assembling our previous prayerbook; Rabbi Rami Shapiro for allowing us to incorporate his beautiful English interpretive writings; and the many other wonderful members of the Ḥavurah on the Hill community who have assisted with the creation of this siddur, including but certainly not limited to: Rebecca Barron, Aaron Beckman, Nick Burka, David Cohen, Carmel Dibner, Shani Fagen, Bella Freytis, Scott Gerwin, Seth Izen, Dan Mazor, Sarah Perron, Roneat Rish, Carmith Shai, Howard Simpson, and Dena Zigun. We could not have put this siddur together without your thoughtful input and support. Additionally, we would like to thank the Vilna Shul Board of Directors for their support of Ḥavurah on the Hill. Thank you.

-The “Siddur on the Hill” Committee
Malka Benjamin, Sue Gilbert, Dallas Kennedy, Michal Kennedy, Chelley Leveillee, Deborah Melkin, Robyn Ross, Atara Schimmel, Morris A. Singer (Co-Chair), and Georgi Vogel Rosen (Co-Chair)

SOURCES

The following sources were utilized during the research for this siddur:

  • Havurah on the Hill Kabbalat Shabbat Program siddur (2002)
  • Rabbi Sam Seicol, [translations, see below — attribution]
  • David Biale, ed., Cultures of the Jews: A New History, Schocken, 2002
  • Reuven Hammer, Entering Jewish Prayer, Schocken, 1995
  • Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman, ed., My People’s Prayer Book: Traditional Prayers, Modern Commentaries, Vols. 1-9, Jewish Lights, 2002
  • Barry W. Holtz, ed., Back To The Sources: Reading the Classic Jewish Texts, Simon & Schuster, 1986
  • A. Z. Idelsohn, Jewish Liturgy and Its Development, Dover, 1995, reprint of 1932 edition
  • Edwin Krupp, Echoes of the Ancient Skies: The Astronomy of Lost Civilizations, Oxford University Press, 1994
  • Jon D. Levenson, Creation and the Persistence of Evil, Princeton University Press, 1994
  • Max Margolis et al., eds., The Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic Text, Jewish Publication Society of America, 1917
  • and Wikipedia articles on Kaddish, Aleinu, etc., accessed August – November 2010.

Page layout by Michal Kennedy and Morris A. Singer. Cover design and graphics by Georgi Vogel Rosen, inspired by photographs of the Vilna Shul taken by Morris A. Singer and Kathleen Kennedy.

Copyright and License

This book is a joint work of the following people and is under the copyright (2011) of: Malka Benjamin, Sue Gilbert, Dallas Kennedy, Michal Kennedy, Chelley Leveillee, Deborah Melkin, Robyn Ross, Atara Schimmel, Morris A. Singer, and Georgi Vogel Rosen. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) License. No claim is made to any Hebrew text, nor any other work included herein that is used under license, as noted below.

Interpretive readings are used under license.

Translations to the following prayers are under the copyright of Rabbi Sam Secol and are used under license: Ana Bakoakh, Barkhu, Maariv Aravim, Ahavat Olam, Shma Yisrael, Ve’ahavta, Vayomer, Ehmeht ve’Ehmuna, Mi Khamokha, Hashkivehnu le’Shalom, ve’Shamru et ha’Shabbat, Tefilat ha’Amidah (holiday sections), Tefilat Ha’Amidah – Shalom, Yihyu Leratzon, Elohei Netzar, Vayikhulu, Al Kehn Nekaveh, Shalom Alekhem, and Kiddush. Rabbi Secol has licensed these translations under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) License.

Translations to the following prayers are derived from works under the copyright of Wikipedia and are used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License: Lekha Dodi, Kaddish, Tefilat ha’Amidah, Magehn Avot, Alehnu Leshabeh’akh, Adon Olam, and Yigdal.

Georgi Vogel Rosen for Havurah on the Hill - Siddur on the Hill for Friday Night (Vilna Shul, Boston) license: CC-BY.

Georgi Vogel Rosen for Havurah on the Hill – Siddur on the Hill for Friday Night (Vilna Shul, Boston) license: CC-BY.


We are grateful to the Vilna Shul in Boston and their Ḥavurah on the Hill program for preparing “Siddur on the Hill,” (2011) a siddur for Shabbat Friday night services and sharing it with free-culture compatible, open content licensing. The siddur includes original translations in English from Rabbi Sam Seicol, interpretive writings by Rabbi Rami Shapiro, and illustrations by Georgi Vogel Rosen, as well as contributions from numerous others.

I have copied Rabbi Seicol’s translation and set it side by side with the Hebrew liturgy. (Unfortunately, the Hebrew in the original PDF was not in Unicode.) I have made some changes to the translation, mainly to god-language: by replacing uppercase You and Your with lowercase, by replacing instances of “the Eternal” and “the Lord” with YHVH, and “our God” with Elohenu. I have strived to maintain Rabbi Seicol’s gender-neutral god-language. (Rabbi Seicol often translates a ḥolam, indicating masculine possessive form, with “God’s ___” where otherwise no divine name appears.) I have made many small changes to his translation and adding “K’Gavneh” from the nusaḥ ha-ARI z”l as well as an additional line before Psalm 25 dervied from the Zohar. I have also added some additional notation and Hebrew sources where they weren’t available in the PDF. Finally, I have added original sources and liturgy not provided in the original Siddur on the Hill. I may add additional prayers and prayer-related texts in the future. –Aharon Varady

Source

Notes   [ + ]

1. המקור הוא ר’ נחמן מברסלב
השיר מבוסס על מה שהוא אמר זה לא המילים המדוייקות שהוא אמר
(את המילים של השיר הזה אאל”ט כתבה נעמי שמר)
2. Cf. Likutei Moharan 2:11 and 2:63.
Likutei Moharan 2:11 — Know that when a person prays in the field, then all of the grasses/plants together come into the prayer, and they help him, and give him strength within his prayer.
Likutei Moharan 2:63 — Know that every shepherd has a unique melody (nigun) according to the grasses and the place where he herds, for every animal has a grass unique to her that she needs to eat. Also a shepherd isn’t always in one place, and according to the grasses and the place where he herds, so he has a nigun. For every grass there is a song (shirah) which it speaks, that this is the aspect of Perek Shirah, and from the song of the grasses is made the nigun of the shepherd. And this is the secret of what’s written, “And Adah bore Yaval, he was father of all who sit in tents and herd, and the name of his brother [was] Yovel, he was father of all who grab the lyre and the harp.” For just when there was in the world [for the first time] a shepherd of cattle, just then there were musical instruments. And so it is with David the king, who “knows music-playing” and therefore was a shepherd…And this is the aspect of “From the edge/wing/kanaf of the earth we heard songs (z’mirot)”–[it means] that songs and nigunim come out from the “wing of the earth”, for by means of the grasses growing in the earth/land a nigun is made. And since the shepherd knows the nigun, by means of this he gives strength to the grasses, and so there is something for the animals to eat…and there is pasture for the animals/…And also the nigun is good for the shepherd himself, since the shepherd is always with the animals, [because] it would be possible for them to draw [down] and lower the shepherd…to the aspect of the spirit of animals [if not for the nigun]….And know that the king has every nigun in completeness…for the nigun is made from the growth of the land.
3. Zohar Terumah 163-166. Translation based upon that of Daniel C. Matt, The Essential Kabbalah, p.80.
4. Zohar Terumah 169-170. Translation based upon that of Michael Berg, The Book of Zohar
5. מדרש רבה דברים פרשת ואתחנן ל״ו
לו דָּבָר אַחֵר, שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל, רַבָּנָן אָמְרִין, בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁעָלָה משֶׁה לַמָּרוֹם שָׁמַע לְמַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת שֶׁהָיוּ אוֹמְרִים לְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד, וְהוֹרִיד אוֹתָהּ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, וְלָמָּה אֵין יִשְׂרָאֵל אוֹמְרִים אוֹתוֹ בְּפַרְהֶסְיָא, אָמַר רַבִּי אַסֵּי לְמָה הַדָּבָר דּוֹמֶה לְאֶחָד שֶׁגָּנַב קוֹזְמִין מִתּוֹךְ פָּלָטִין שֶׁל מֶלֶךְ, נְתָנָהּ לָהּ לְאִשְׁתּוֹ וְאָמַר לָהּ אַל תִּתְקַשְׁטִי בָּהּ בְּפַרְהֶסְיָא אֶלָּא בְּתוֹךְ בֵּיתֵךְ, אֲבָל בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים שֶׁהֵן נְקִיִּים כְּמַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת, הֵן אוֹמְרִים אוֹתוֹ בְּפַרְהֶסְיָא, בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד.
Another explanation [for] שמע ישראל (Shema Yisrael) — The Rabbis say: When Moshe ascended to heaven he heard the Malachei HaShareit saying to God, “Barukh shem kavod malkhuto l’olam va’ed.” This, Moshe brought down to Israel. And why does not Israel make this declaration with parrhesia (openly, boldly before everyone)? Rav Assi replied: This can be compared to someone who stole jewelry from the royal palace which he gave to his wife, telling her, ‘Do not wear these in public, but only in the house.’ But on Yom Kippurim when Israel is as pure as the ministering angels, they declare with parrhesia, “Barukh shem kavod malkhuto l’olam va’ed.
6. Alternately, YHVH is unique
7. Psalms 51:17. Cf. Isaiah 6:5-7.
8. Psalms 19:15
9. Psalms 60:7, Psalms 108:7
10. Genesis 1:31 – 2:1-3
11. As paraphrased by Shoshana Lepon in Heartbeats: Jewish Writers at Their Best, Volume 1 (2001). Another version, “When I was young, an ardent love of God burning inside me, I thought I could reform the world, but soon I realized that I’d better just concentrate on improving the Jews of my city. When I failed in that I turned to correcting the conduct of my family. I gave up on that too, and I’m trying to improve myself, but even in that I have failed.”
12. Psalms 104:14

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