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by Michael Reid Winikoff

Choir (SATB) and Soli with optional harp or piano
Friday Evening - Kabbalat Shabbat

 DURATION: 7:40 unabridged                                                          Purchase
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THE TEXT - L'cha Dodi, often rendered Lecha Dodi, is a sublime piyyut (liturgical poem) that is the centerpiece of Kabbalat Shabbat, the preliminary service for “Welcoming the Sabbath.”  This liturgy is rooted in the mystical idea of Shabbat as an honored guest in our homes.  In poetic language echoing the Song of Songs, L’cha Dodi depicts Shabbat as a ravishing “bride,” whose arrival we eagerly welcome.  On the final verse, the congregation rises and turns to face the room’s entrance to greet the “Sabbath Queen.”  See Translation below.

THE MUSIC - This setting is loosely based on the tune traditionally assigned to this piyyut in the week(s) preceding the fast of Tisha b’Av, and uses other elements characteristic of Shabbat nusach (chant modes).  Thematic cohesiveness is tempered with variety in this rendition, such as in the casting of the refrain always in a contrasting meter to that of the verse.

PERFORMANCE - This easy setting is designed to be used either as a whole, or abridged/excerpted in any of a variety of ways as needed.  See Adaptabilities - L'cha Dodi

Challenge level - 2 out of 6 stars

L’cha dodi likrat kala p’nei shabbat
Shamor v’zachor b’dibur echad
Hishmi-anu Eil ham’yu-chad
A-donay echad ush’mo echad
L’sheim ultif’eret v’lithila.
L’cha dodi….

Likrat shabbat l’chu v’neilcha
Ki hi m’kor hab’racha
Meirosh mikedem n’sucha
Sof ma-aseh b’mach’shava t’chila
L’cha dodi….

Mikdash melech ir m’lucha
Kumi tz’I mitoch hahafeicha
Rav lach shevet b’eimek habacha
V’hu yachamol alayich chemla
L’cha dodi….

Hitna-ari mei-afar kumi
Livshi bigdei tif-arteich ami
Al yad ben Yishai beit halachmi
Karva el nafshi g’ala
L’cha dodi….

Hit’o-r’ri, hit’o-r’ri ki va oreich kumi ori
Uri Uri
Shir dabeiri
K’vod A-donay alayich nigla
L’cha dodi….

Lo teivoshi v’lo tikalmi
Ma tishtochachi uma tehemi
Bach yechesu aniyei ami
V’nivn’ta ir al tila
L’cha dodi….

V’hayu limshisa shosayich
V’rachaku kol m’valayich
Yasis alayich E-lohayich
Kimsos chatan al kala
L’cha dodi….

Yamin usmol tifrotzi
V’et A-donay ta-aritzi
Al yad ish ben partzi
V’nism’cha v’nagila
L’cha dodi….

Bo-i v’shalom ateret ba’la
Gam b’simcha uv’tzahawla
Toch emunei am s’gula
Bo-i chala bo-i chala
L’cha dodi likrat kala p’nei shabbat

Come, beloved, to meet the bride; to welcome and greet Shabbat.
“Observe” and “Remember,” in a single word,
We were commanded by the One G-d.
The Lord is One, and His name is One,
In renown, honor and praise.
Come, beloved….

Come let us go and greet Shabbat,
It is a font of blessing,
From the earliest, from the most ancient was it ordained,
Created at the last, planned from the first.
Come, beloved….

Sovereign’s sanctuary, regal city,
Arise from your ruin,
Too long have you dwelt in a valley of weeping,
He will have much compassion on you.
Come, beloved….

Shake yourself and rise from the dust,
Don your splendid garments, O my people,
By the hand of the son of Jesse, the Bethlehemite,
Draw near, redemption, to my soul.
Come, beloved…. 

Rouse, rouse, for your light has come,
Arise and shine!  Wake, wake!
Utter a song.
The glory of the Lord is shown upon you.
Come, beloved….

Be not embarrassed, be not ashamed.
Why be downcast, why do you moan?
My afflicted will have shelter in you.
The city will be rebuilt on its ancient hill.
Come, beloved….

Your despoilers are become the spoil
Your devourers are far away.
Your G-d will take joy in you,
As the bridegroom for the bride.
Come, beloved….

To your right and to your left shall you spread
You will revere the Lord.
By the child of Perez,
We shall joyfully sing and exult.
Come, beloved….

Arrive in peace, crown of the bridegroom,
In joy and happiness,
Mid the faithful of the chosen people
Arrive O bride, arrive O bride.
Come, beloved, to meet the bride; to welcome and
greet Shabbat.