Advice to Worriers and Hard Workers

Enter the Sabbath rest

Photo: Flash90

This time I bring you several popular Orthodox singers in Israel rendering their uniquely modern, jazzy musical interpretation of a well-known traditional Jewish Sabbath song – Lekha Dodi (Let’s Go My Beloved). Several of these singers have been featured here at Israel Today.

The lyrics are from Rabbi Shlomo Halevi dating to the 16th century. From time to time we get a new tune to these great, biblically inspired words (please take a look below).

This song is usually sung at the beginning of the Sabbath. The Sabbath day of rest is likened to an honored, majestic queen as the song echoes biblical bridal language from the Song of Solomon. 

We cannot imagine our lives without the Sabbath. How important it is to the mind, the spirit and the body of man to have a day of rest, when we can and must put our daily worries aside, relax and enjoy.

Part of the Jewish tradition is to observe the Sabbath with song and praise, thus distinguishing between Sabbath and the work week.


For each line we provide first the English translation, then the transliteration, and then the original Hebrew.


Let’s go, my beloved, to meet the bride,
Lekhah dodi liqrat kallah
לכה דודי לקראת כלה‎

and let us welcome the presence of Shabbat.
p’ne Shabbat neqabelah
פני שבת נקבלה‎


Verse 1:

“Safeguard” and “Remember” in a single utterance,
Shamor v’zakhor b’dibur eḥad
שמור וזכור בדבור אחד‎

We were made to hear by the unified God,
hishmiʿanu El hameyuḥad
השמיענו אל המיחד

God is one and God’s Name is one,
Adonai eḥad ushemo eḥad
יי אחד ושמו אחד‎

In fame and splendor and praiseful song.
L’Shem ul’tiferet v’lit’hilah
לשם ולתפארת ולתהילה‎

Verse 2:

To greet Shabbat let’s go, let’s travel,
Liqrat Shabbat lekhu v’nelekhah
לקראת שבת לכו ונלכה‎

For she is the wellspring of blessing,
ki hi m’qor haberakhah
כי היא מקור הברכה‎

From the start, from ancient times she was chosen,
merosh miqedem nesukhah
מראש מקדם נסוכה‎

Last made, but first planned.
sof maʿaseh b’maḥashavah teḥilah
סוף מעשה במחשבה תחלה‎

Verse 3:

Sanctuary of the king, royal city,
Miqdash melekhʿir melukhah
מקדש מלך עיר מלוכה‎

Arise! Leave from the midst of the turmoil;
Qumi tz’i mitokh ha-hafekhah
קומי צאי מתוך ההפכה‎

Long enough have you sat in the valley of tears
Rav lakh shevet b’emeq habakha
רב לך שבת בעמק הבכא‎

And He will take great pity upon you compassionately.
v’hu yaḥamol ʿalayikh ḥemlah
והוא יחמול עליך חמלה‎

Verse 4:

Shake yourself free, rise from the dust,
Hitnaʿari me’afar qumi
התנערי מעפר קומי‎

Dress in your garments of splendor, my people,
Livshi bigde tifartekh ʿami
לבשי בגדי תפארתך עמי‎

By the hand of Jesse’s son of Bethlehem,
ʿAl yad ben Yishai bet ha-laḥmi
על יד בן ישי בית הלחמי‎

Redemption draws near to my soul.
Qorvah el nafshi g’alah
קרבה אל נפשי גאלה‎

Verse 5:

Rouse yourselves! Rouse yourselves!
Hitʿoreri hitʿoreri
התעוררי התעוררי‎

Your light is coming, rise up and shine.
Ki va orekh qumi ori
כי בא אורך קומי אורי‎

Awaken! Awaken! utter a song,
ʿUri ʿuri shir daberi
עורי עורי שיר דברי‎

The glory of the Lord is revealed upon you.
K’vod Adonai ʿalayikh niglah
כבוד יי עליך נגלה‎

Verse 6:

Do not be embarrassed! Do not be ashamed!
Lo tevoshi v’lo tikalmi
לא תבושי ולא תכלמי‎

Why be downcast? Why groan?
Mah tishtoḥaḥi umah tehemi
מה תשתוחחי ומה תהמי‎

All my afflicted people will find refuge within you
bakh yeḥesu ʿaniye ʿami
בך יחסו עניי עמי‎

And the city shall be rebuilt on her hill.
v’nivnetah ʿir ʿal tilah
ונבנתה עיר על תלה‎

Verse 7:

Your despoilers will become your spoil,
V’hayu limshisah shosayikh
והיו למשסה שאסיך‎

Far away shall be any who would devour you,
V’raḥaqu kol mevalʿayikh
ורחקו כל מבלעיך‎

Your God will rejoice concerning you,
Yasisʿalayikh Elohayikh
ישיש עליך אלהיך‎

As a groom rejoices over a bride.
Kimsos ḥatan ʿal kalah
כמשוש חתן על כלה‎

Verse 8:

To your right and your left you will burst forth,
Yamin usmol tifrotzi
ימין ושמאל תפרוצי‎

And the Lord will you revere
V’et Adonai taʿaritzi
ואת יי תעריצי‎

By the hand of a child of Peretz,
ʿAl yad ish ben Partzi
על יד איש בן פרצי‎

We will rejoice and sing happily.
V’nismeḥah v’nagilah
ונשמחה ונגילה‎

Verse 9:

Come in peace, crown of her husband,
Boi v’shalom ateret baʿalah
בואי בשלום עטרת בעלה‎

Both in happiness and in jubilation
Gam b’simḥah uvetzahalah
גם בשמחה ובצהלה‎

Amidst the faithful of the treasured nation
Tokh emune ʿam segulah
תוך אמוני עם סגלה‎

Come O Bride! Come O Bride!
Boi khalah boi khalah
בואי כלה בואי כלה

(via Wikipedia)

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