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V'SHAMRU - Motet
by Michael Reid Winikoff

Choir (SATB or TTBB) a cappella
Shabbat - Ma-ariv (Evening) or Shacharit (Morning) Service

DURATION: 2:40                                                                            Purchase

-- for SATB div (F mi)
   Listen Only (faster load)

-- for TTBB div (F# mi) 
   Listen Only (faster load)

This text, a direct statement of Exodus 31:16-17, occurs in three important places during Shabbat:  1) it immediately precedes the Friday evening Amidah; 2) it occurs in the Shaharit (Morning) Amidah; and 3) it serves as the prelude to the Shabbat morning Kiddush (blessing of the wine). 

THE MUSIC - Some of the most beautiful and sublime works in the Jewish choral repertoire happen to be renderings of this text (typically for Friday night use), among them the classic versions by Dunajewski, E. Spivak and Zilberts, all cast in the characteristic reflective minor.  This setting is called a motet because of its narrative quality, intended for spiritual contemplation by the listener rather than as a participatory congregational melody. 

Challenge level - 3 out of 6 stars

V’shamru v’nei Yisraeil
Et ha-shabbat
La-asot et ha-shabbat
B’rit olam
Uvein b’nei Yisrael ot hi l’olam
Ki sheishet yamim asah A-do-nay
Et hashamayim v’et ha-aretz
Uvayom hash’vi-i
Shavat vayinafash
And the children of Israel shall observe
the Sabbath;
they shall keep the Sabbath
throughout their generations
as an everlasting covenant. 
A sign between Me
and the children of Israel shall it be forever,
for in six days did the Lord create
the heaven and the earth;
and on the seventh day,
He ceased from His labor and rested.