Kol m’kaddesh is a concert setting of one of the z’mirot shel shabbat—the para-liturgical hymns that traditionally are sung collectively at the table before, during, and after the Sabbath meals. This text is usually the first hymn sung following the Sabbath eve dinner, introducing several others that lead into the recitation of the birkat hamazon—the postprandial benedictions and praise for God’s provision, commonly called grace after meals in English-speaking societies. As with all of the z’mirot, this one has dozens of extant musical expressions that have accumulated over time. But unlike most of the other z’mirot, nearly all versions for kol m’kaddesh are chantlike and nonmetrical, whether from eastern or western branches of Ashkenazi tradition.
Leib Glantz’s composition is built upon a traditional Ashkenazi chant archetype for the kol m’kaddesh text, and it also appears to combine elements from different skeletal versions—all embellished cantorially. He has provided contrast with fresh metrical treatment as well.
Sung in Hebrew
All those who observe the holiness of the seventh day as is its due,
All those who keep the Sabbath and guard it from desecration,
Shall be greatly rewarded for this deed—
“Each in his own camp and each under his banner.” (Numbers 1: 52)
You who love the Lord, who yearn for the rebuilding of the Temple,
Rejoice in the Sabbath as God’s gift of inheritance.
Raise up your hands with holiness and say to God:
“Praised be the Lord who gave [Sabbath] tranquillity to His people Israel.” (I Kings 8:56)
Help forever those who refrain from work on the seventh day,
Who walk leisurely with small steps on the Sabbath,
Who feast three times to praise You.
May their righteousness shine forth sevenfold—as the “light of the [first] seven days.”
Lord, God of Israel, perfect His love.
Lord, God of Israel, who grants eternal salvation.
Performers: Barcelona Symphony-National Orchestra of Catalonia; Elli Jaffe, Conductor; Benzion Miller, Cantor
Orchestration and arranger: Larry Spivack
Translation by Rabbi Morton M. Leifman
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