Every Friday night we usher in Shabbat with L’cha Dodi (“Come, My Beloved”), a prayer written in the 1500s by Rabbi Shlomo HaLevy Alkabetz.* We say/sing L’cha Dodi so often that it is second nature to us, but what is its deeper meaning?
Shabbat is the only holiday to have a liturgical prelude. Once personified as a bride, the Sabbath requires what all brides do — a processional and a marriage ceremony. L’cha Dodi is the equivalent of “Here comes the bride.” The difference is that there are three involved in this wedding: Israel, God, and Shabbat. The question is who is the groom and who is the bride?
This evening as we welcome Shabbat in prayer and song, we also welcome Professor Reuven Kimelman of Brandeis University, who will offer a lively exploration of this prayer. Come and join us as we figure out our role in this romantic metaphor. Savory oneg and engaging conversation following services.
*Rabbi Alkabetz was an esteemed members of the Safed circle of scholars and mystics. His name appears as an acrostic in the prayer.+ More... - Less...
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