Posts Tagged ‘Shabbat Queen’

 

Queen and King

Posted on: September 4th, 2019 by Alden No Comments

On Friday evening we yearn for the arrival of the Sabbath Queen, recalling the mystics of Safed who walked into the fields singing to greet her. The Queen is in the field, bringing love and comfort.

In Elul, the month before the High Holidays, the King is in the field. So taught Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of Chabad. The King’s place is in the palace, but in Elul the King comes to the fields to meet us. This is El Melekh Ne’eman, the Faithful Sovereign.

The Sabbath Queen is our metaphor of blessing and peace. The Faithful King is our metaphor of justice and forgiveness. Every Shabbat in Elul—beginning this Friday night—we can imagine the energy of a Faithful God, Creator of Shabbat, Sovereign of justice and mercy, coming through the fields to greet us.

Here’s a meditation for the four Shabbatot of Elul. For a fuller explanation, including pitfalls of these metaphors, see my essay on Ritualwell. The postscript is a calendar note on Rosh Chodesh Elul.

Queen and King
Come in peace,
Beloved of Israel,
Sabbath Queen,
Bringing sweet bread
And fine wine.

Come with grace,
Faithful King,
Sovereign and loyal,
Bringing hope
And mercy.

ידיד נפש Yedid Nefesh
Dearest Soul,
Meet us in the fields of our days.

אבינו מלכנו Avienu Malkeinu,
Our Father our King,
Bless us with renewal.

מקור חיים Makor Hayyim,
Source of Life,
Show us the wells of living waters.

אל מלך נאמן El Melech Ne’eman,
Loyal Sovereign,
Bring your realm of prosperity.

Let the glory of Shabbat dwell with us.
Let the hope of forgiveness enliven us.
Let the taste of rest comfort us.
Let the promise of renewal sustain us.
And we will glimpse the world to come as you bless us.
And we will become strong and humble in your Word.

The Queen is in the field.
The King is in the field.
They have come together,
To bless us,
To see us,
To sustain us
With their sacred power.

Greet them with music,
Greet them with dance,
Loving and keeping the Sabbath,
Doing the work of prayer and repentance,
With Torah and mitzvot,
With humility and passion,
And with songs of praise.

© 2019 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: A technical note on the calendar. Rosh Chodesh Elul occurs on the last day of the month of Av and the first day of the month of Elul. So, while last Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Elul, it was actually Av 30, and therefore not a Shabbat in Elul. That is why the Elul recitation of Psalm 27 didn’t begin until Sunday.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

Postscript: The King and Queen metaphors are anthropomorphic, partial expressions of the many expressions of the Indivisible One, therefore useful but limited. Special thanks to Rabbi Bob Carroll and Rivkah Moriah for their thoughtful comments. The description of R’ Schneur Zalman’s use of the King metaphor is adapted from Chabad.org. The translation of El Melekh Ne’eman as “Sovereign Loyal God” is from the Nehalal Siddur.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Free stock photos

Shabbat is the Place

Posted on: April 7th, 2016 by Alden No Comments

Mediterranean SunsetThis meditation is inspired by life in Jerusalem. Many of my Shabbat meditations have been inspired by my home, including: “Shabbat Settles on Jerusalem” and “Shabbat Sings.” This piece appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Shabbat is the Place
Shabbat is the place
Where time and space meet,
Without questioning
How the beginning began
Or how the ending ends.

Shabbat is the place
Where song and silence meet,
Blessing each other
With the gift of rest.

Shabbat is the place
Where dreams and angels meet,
Yearning together
For a world of peace.

Shabbat is the place
Where holiness and eternity meet,
Praying together
For the world to come.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day

Postscript: My other Shabbat prayers include: “Come, Beloved” and “Welcome, Sabbath Queen.” Click here for a full list of my Shabbat prayers, blessings and stories.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Water Jew Doing in Israel?

Shabbat Sings

Posted on: September 17th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

song-of-praise_3_10_367_227What if Shabbat could sing praises? Would we listen in awe? Would we sing a duet? This meditation is inspired by the Sabbath prayer La’el asher shavat. The line: “ויום השביעי משבח ואומר” (“The seventh day itself gives praise”). Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman calls that prayer “a midrashic treatment of Psalm 92, ‘A Song for the Sabbath Day,’ personifying Shabbat as an entity that itself praises G-d.” This prayer quotes a line from Psalm 92, “It is good to give thanks to G-d.”

Shabbat Sings
Shabbat sings to us as she approaches,
An ancient song of joy and desire,
A quiet song of hope and anticipation.
Yes, Shabbat sings as she arrives,
Her scarves dancing around her
In the gentle breeze.

Shabbat sings to us when she arrives,
A sweet song of love and reunion,
A simple song of laughter and surrender.
Yes, Shabbat sings with us,
Joyful, exuberant,
As we dance together in the glow of sunset.
It is good to give thanks to G-d.

Walk with me, Oh my queen!
Take my arm, Oh my bride!
And we will pretend
That you can linger in my arms always.
We will make believe
That we have been reunited forever.

Shabbat sings to us when she departs,
A tender song of longing,
A whispered voice of dreaming.
Yes, Shabbat sings as she leaves,
As we cling to her fragrant skirt,
As we breathe the last moments of holiness
Into our yearning hearts.

© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: My other Shabbat prayers include: “Come, Beloved” and “Shabbat Settles On Jerusalem.” Click here for a full list of my Shabbat prayers, blessings and stories. The Hoffman quote is from My People’s Prayer Book, Volume 10, Shabbat Morning, Shachariet and Musaf.

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Rabbi Elliott’s Blog

“Alden has become one of Reform Judaism’s master poet-liturgists…" - Religion News Service, Dec. 23, 2020

“Mesmerizing, spiritual, provocative, and thoughtful, Alden was everything you would want in a guest scholar and teacher.” – Rabbi Denise L. Eger, Congregation Kol Ami, Los Angeles, and Past President, CCAR

"Alden Solovy has become one of the most revered liturgists of the last decade…" - Jewish Post & Opinion, March 29, 2023

“Alden left everyone feeling inspired.” – Cantor Jeri Robins, Shabbat Chair, NewCAJE6