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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 7

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.


Be not ashamed, nor confounded: As in the verse Isaiah 54:4. The author again addresses malchut, synonymous with the Jewish people, telling it not to be ashamed of, or confused by, the darkness and gloom of kelipat noga into which it has descended in order to elevate the embedded sparks of holiness.

Why are you downcast: Malchut is reduced to a state of spiritual immaturity (katnut) in order to enliven the lowly levels of Beriya, Yetzira, and Asiya.

In you, refuge… will be found: Since your source is preeminent in G-d's Will (the level of keter), as explained previously.

1 Maamarei Admor HaZaken, Al Maamarei Razal, p. 457.


Continue to stanza 8

[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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