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Lecha Dodi

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

translation and commentary by Rabbi Moshe Miller


Stanza 6

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.


Wake up, wake up: As in the verse Isaiah 51:16. This is process of spiritual awakening is referred to in Kabbala as haalat mayin nukvin (ma'n), literally, "arousing the female waters." (1)

Your light has come, rise and shine: As in the verse Isaiah 60:1. "Your light has come" refers to the light of the soul; "rise and shine" signifies the soul's task to illuminate the body (it was for precisely this purpose that the soul was brought down from its lofty perch). The fulfillment of this task serves as a preparation for an even greater revelation of light (2) - the light of the final redemption. (3) The entire concept is particularly significant on Shabbat eve, when every Jew receives an additional soul, (4) and thus an additional measure of light, for the duration of the Shabbat. (5)

Sing a melody: See Judges 5:12. Song is an expression of the soul's delight and has the power to elicit an even greater measure of revelation from above. Hence, "the glory of G-d will be revealed upon thee," face-to-face, so to speak. (6)

1 Pirush Etz Chaim; Maamarei Admor HaZaken, Al Maamarei Razal, p. 457.
2 Maamarim Melukat vol. 3, p. 277.
3 See Tanya ch. 36-37.
4 Taanit 27b; Zohar vol. II, p. 208b; vol. III, p. 35b.
5 See Likutei Sichot vol. 31, Ki Tisa 2.
6 Maamarei Admor HaZaken, Al Maamarei Razal, p. 457.


Continue to stanza 7

[go to Prayer Menu for commentary on other stanzas, and/or for the complete, original rhyming translation]


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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