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Lecha Dodi

Judaism's most popular Shabbat prayer-song,
composed by Rabbi Shlomo Alkebetz

new translation by Rabbi Moshe Miller


First Stanza / Refrain:

"Come out my Beloved, the Bride to meet;
The inner light of Shabbat, let us greet."


Second Stanza:

"Observe" and "Remember" in a single word,
He caused us to hear, the One and Only Lord.
G-d is One and His Name is One,
For renown, for glory and in song.


Third Stanza:

To welcome the Shabbat, let us progress,
For that is the source, from which to bless.
From the beginning, chosen before time,
Last in deed, but in thought - prime.


Fourth Stanza:

Sanctuary of the King, city royal,
Arise, go out from amidst the turmoil.
In the vale of tears too long you have dwelt,
He will show you [the] compassion [He always felt].


Fifth Stanza:

Arise, now, shake off the dust,
Don your robes of glory - my people - you must.
Through the son of Yishai, the Bethelemite,
Draw near to my soul, set her free [from her plight].


Sixth Stanza:

Wake up, wake up,
Your light has come, rise and shine.
Awaken, awaken; sing a melody,
The glory of G-d will be revealed upon thee.


Seventh Stanza:

Be not ashamed, nor confounded,
Why are you downcast, why astounded?
In you, refuge for My poor people will be found,
The city will be rebuilt on its former mound.


Eighth Stanza:

May your plunderers be treated the same way,
And all who would devour you be kept at bay.
Over you Your G-d will rejoice,
As a groom exults in his bride [of choice].


Ninth Stanza:

To right and left you'll spread abroad,
And the Eternal One you shall laud.
Through the man from Peretz's family,
We shall rejoice and sing happily.


Tenth Stanza:

Come in peace, her Husband's crown of pride,
With song (on Festivals: rejoicing) and good cheer.
Among the faithful of the people so dear,
Enter O Bride, enter O Bride;

(in an undertone: O Bride, Shabbat Queen, now come here!)


[go to Prayer Menu for commentary on each stanza separately]


Rabbi Moshe-Leib Miller, a guest teacher at Ascent when he lived in Israel, was born in South Africa and received his yeshiva education in Israel and America. He is a prolific author and translator, with some twenty books to his name on a wide variety of topics, including a new, authoritative, annotated translation of the Zohar. He currently lives in Chicago.


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