☞   //   Prayers, Poems, and Piyyutim   //   ☼ Prayers for the weekday, Shabbat, and season   //   Shabbat   //   Erev Shabbat

☞   Erev Shabbat

ברכת הילדים | An ungendered Birkat Yeladim, by Yonah Bromberg Gaber

This formulation of the Birkat Yeladim (Blessing of the Children) maintains a connection with tradition and serves to degender the blessing by calling upon quoted, mixed gender texts which have merit for children of any gender. . . .

Between the Fires: A Kavvanah for Lighting Candles of Commitment, by Rabbi Arthur Waskow (the Shalom Center)

“Between the Fires: A Prayer for lighting Candles of Commitment” was composed by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, drawing on traditional midrash about the danger of a Flood of Fire, and the passage from Malachi. . . .

A Prayer before Candle-lighting, by Chaya Kaplan-Lester

Please God Let me light More than flame tonight. More than wax and wick and sliver stick of wood. More than shallow stream of words recited from a pocket book. . . .

כוונה להפרשת חלה לשבת | Kavvanah for the separation of ḥalah before Shabbat, by Rabbi Oded Mazor

A prayer for focusing one’s mind and intention during the separation of dough in the preparation of halah before Shabbat. . . .

Prière pour Demander la Lumière Divine | A Prayer for Divine Light [upon candlelighting], by Jonas Ennery & Rabbi Arnaud Aron (1852)

A prayer on Erev Shabbat upon lighting the Shabbes Candles, in French with English translation. . . .

Prayer on Kneading and Baking Ḥallot for Shabbat, by Perle Derbaremdiger Peretz (fl. 18th c.)

A prayer upon preparing ḥallot for Shabbat. . . .

תְחִינָה פון דיא מִצְוה הַדְלָקַת הַנֵר | Prayer for the Mitsvah of Kindling the Shabbat Lights, by Sarah bat Tovim from the Tkhine of Three Gates (ca. early 18th c.)

The Prayer for the mitsvot of kindling the lights of Shabbat from the Teḥinah of the Three Gates by Sarah bat Tovim (18th century). . . .

תְחִינָה פון דיא מִצְוֺת חַלָה | Prayer for the Mitsvot of Preparing Ḥallah, by Sarah bat Tovim from the Tkhine of Three Gates (ca. early 18th c.)

The Prayer for the mitsvot of preparing Ḥallah from the Teḥinah of the Three Gates by Sarah bat Tovim (18th century). . . .

[Gebet] Am Freitag, by Fanny Schmiedl Neuda (1855)

This is the prayer for Friday, a paraliturgical teḥinah opposite the Shir shel Yom (Psalm of the Day) for Friday, included by Fanny Schmiedl Neuda in her collection of teḥinot in vernacular German. Fanny Neuda likely either composed or translated this teḥinah into German (from Yiddish) while performing in the capacity of firzogerin (precentress) of the weibershul (women’s gallery) in her husband’s synagogue in Loštice, Bohemia. . . .

Mikveh Meditation for Erev Shabbat by Rabbi Haviva Ner-David and Shira Gura

The following is a meditation I wrote (with the help of my friend Shira Gura, who teaches meditation and Yoga) to be used on Friday before Shabbat at the mikveh. It is based on midrashim related to Shabbat (for example, the notion that we receive an additional soul on Shabbat), as well as meanings behind mikveh in general (for example, the connection between the waters of Creation and the mikveh waters), and on some kavanot (sacred intentions) that came out of the Kabbalah and Ḥassidut movements. There is a strong tradition to write kavanot to use before immersing in the mikveh, since, as Maimonides writes in his Mishneh Torah 11:15, “If a person immerses but without buttressing him or herself [with sacred intention], it is as though he or she has not immersed at all.” . . .

Kavvanot when Washing One’s Body Before Shabbes, by Eyal Raviv

This is pre-Shabbos reflection that can be done in a shower or bath. Shabbat is a time when I am less focused on my selfish desires and instead my thoughts drift to my place in the larger community and world. I find myself doing some version of this before Shabbos most weeks and am welcome for the time to reflect on truly what it is to cease from lay work and consider the work that needs to be done to make the world a better place. . . .

תהלים צ״ג | The Psalm for Friday, Psalms 93 (translation by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l)

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l, included his translation of the Psalm of the Day for Friday (Psalms 93) in his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi (2009). To the best of my ability, I have set his translation side-by-side with a transcription of the vocalized text of the Psalm. . . .

Shabbat Affirmations for Erev Shabbat, by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Shabbat Affirmations for erev shabbat in preparation of welcoming the shabbat. . . .

פָּתַח אֵלִיָּֽהוּ | Pataḥ Eliyahu (Tiqqunei Zohar 17a), translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Elijah began saying: Lord of the worlds You Who are One and not just a number You are the highest of the highest most hidden of the undisclosed no thought scheme grasps You at all. . . .

תחנה פון ליכט בענטשין | Tkhine for Lighting Candles [for Shabbes]

This is a faithful transcription of the תחנה פון ליכט בענטשין (“Tkhine for Lighting Candles [for Shabbes]”) as it appeared in the Vilna, 1869 edition. I have transcribed it without any changes from The Merit of Our Mothers בזכות אמהות A Bilingual Anthology of Jewish Women’s Prayers, compiled by Rabbi Tracy Guren Klirs, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992. shgiyot mi yavin, ministarot nakeni. If you can scan an image of the page from the 1869 edition this was originally copied from, please share your scan with us. . . .

פֶּרֶק שִׁירָה | Pereq Shirah, a litany of verses spoken by the creatures & works of Creation (after the arrangement of Natan Slifkin)

Talmudic and midrashic sources contain hymns of the creation usually based on homiletic expansions of metaphorical descriptions and personifications of the created world in the Bible. The explicitly homiletic background of some of the hymns in Perek Shira indicates a possible connection between the other hymns and Tannaitic and Amoraic homiletics, and suggests a hymnal index to well-known, but mostly unpreserved, homiletics. The origin of this work, the period of its composition and its significance may be deduced from literary parallels. A Tannaitic source in the tractate Hagiga of the Jerusalem (Hag. 2:1,77a—b) and Babylonian Talmud (Hag. 14b), in hymns of nature associated with apocalyptic visions and with the teaching of ma’aseh merkaba serves as a key to Perek Shira’s close spiritual relationship with this literature. Parallels to it can be found in apocalyptic literature, in mystic layers in Talmudic literature, in Jewish mystical prayers surviving in fourth-century Greek Christian composition, in Heikhalot literature, and in Merkaba mysticism. The affinity of Perek Shira with Heikhalot literature, which abounds in hymns, can be noted in the explicitly mystic introduction to the seven crowings of the cock — the only non-hymnal text in the collection — and the striking resemblance between the language of the additions and that of Shi’ur Koma and other examples of this literature. In Seder Rabba de-Bereshit, a Heikhalot tract, in conjunction with the description of ma’aseh bereshit, there is a clear parallel to Perek Shira’s praise of creation and to the structure of its hymns. The concept reflected in this source is based on a belief in the existence of angelic archetypes of created beings who mediate between God and His creation, and express their role through singing hymns. As the first interpretations of Perek Shira also bear witness to its mystic character and angelologic significance, it would appear to be a mystical chapter of Heikhalot literature, dating from late Tannaitic — early Amoraic period, or early Middle Ages. . . .

تعالوا نضيئ شمعات السلام | בואו נאיר נרות שלום | Let us Light Candles for Peace, by Sheikha Ibtisam Maḥameed and Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum

Two mothers, one plea: Now, more than ever, during these days of so much crying, on the day that is sacred to both our religions, Friday, Sabbath Eve Let us light a candle in every home – for peace: A candle to illuminate our future, face to face, A candle across borders, beyond fear. From our family homes and houses of worship Let us light each other up Let these candles be a lighthouse to our spirit Until we all arrive at the sanctuary of peace. . . .

God Our Light, a poem by Rosa Emma Salaman (1845)

The poem, “God Our Light” by Rosa Emma Salaman, was first published in the Occident and American Jewish Advocate 3:8, Marḥeshvan 5606, November 1845, p.379-380. . . .


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