|Mizmor shir l'yom hashabbat—Tov l'hodot
The two Psalm recitations, Mizmor l'david (Psalms 29) and Mizmor shir l'yom hashabbat (Psalm 92), are part of the preliminary kabbalat shabbat (welcoming the Sabbath) service. Both are derived from very old, perhaps ancient, psalmodies; and both have musically documented longevity in London and Bayonne, France. Perhaps to underscore its accepted antiquity, the unison and nonmetric features of this Psalm 92 melody are retained to this day in its choral renditions at Shearith Israel, even though nearly all other old tunes there have been sung in metricalized four-part harmonizations (as in London) probably since the early 20th century. The basic form of this version as it appeared in the Aguilar–de Sola compendium was taken by Sir Edward Elgar for a Jewish scene in his oratorio The Apostles.
Hashkivenu is part of every evening service—with some text variations. This Sabbath melody has a long lineage in Portuguese custom, with a modal variation in the London tradition and yet another in a Bayonne manuscript dating to the 1820s. The western Sephardi tradition in America has preserved it in the variant heard here.
Kaddish Shalem is the same text as the “mourners’ kaddish” toward the end of a service. Here it is sung as a prelude to bar’khu—the “call to worship” that normally begins a service proper. In Sephardi custom this bar’khu is repeated at the end of morning and evening services, a practice that originated to accommodate latecomers. When repeated thus in the evening service, it is preceded by this kaddish shalem. A variant of the tune appears in the 1857 London volume for the hymn Yigdal, indicating that it was by then already well known.
From the Kabbalat Shabbat (Welcoming the Sabbath) and Sabbath evening liturgy
Sung in Hebrew
Translation: Pinto 1766
A Psalm of David. Ascribe unto the Lord, O ye Children of the powerful, ascribe unto the Lord, Glory and Strength. Ascribe unto the Lord, the Glory due unto his Name: Worship ye the Lord, in the Excellence of Holiness. The Voice of the Lord is upon the Waters, when the God of Glory thundereth: The Lord is upon many Waters. The Voice of the Lord is powerful, the Voice of the Lord is with Glory. The Voice of the Lord rendeth the Cedars; yea the Lord hath broken the Cedars of Lebanon: He hath made them also to skip like a Calf; those of Lebanon and Sirion, like young Unicorns. The voice of the Lord divideth the Flames of Fire. The Voice of the Lord maketh the Wilderness to shake: The voice Lord maketh the Wilderness of Kadesh to tremble. The Voice of the Lord maketh the Hinds to calve through Fear; and maketh the Forests bare: Wherefore, throughout his Temple, all ascribe Glory. The Lord sat in Judgement for the Flood: And the Lord reigneth King for ever. The Lord will give Strength unto his People. The Lord will bless his People with Peace.
MIZMOR SHIR L'YOM HASHABBAT - TOV L'HODOT
Translation: Pinto 1766
It is good to render Thanks unto the Lord, and to sing Psalms unto thy Name, O most high. To declare thy Benignity in the Morning, and thy Faithfulness at Night, upon an Instrument of ten Strings, and upon the Psaltery: Upon the Harp with Meditation. For thou, O Lord hast made me glad with thy Work: I will joyfully sing of the Work of thine Hands. O Lord, how great are thy Works! thy Thoughts are very Deep. The ignorant Man knoweth not, neither doth the Fool understand this; That when the Wicked spring as the Grass, and all that do Iniquity flourish; It is, that they shall be destroyed for ever. But thou, O Lord art most high for evermore. For behold thine Enemies, O Lord, for behold thine Enemies shall perish; and all that do Iniquity shall be divided. But thou hast exalted my Horn like that of the Unicorn, anointing me with fresh Oil. Mine Eye hath also seen Vengeance on mine Enemies; and of the Wicked that rise up against me, shall my Ears hear it. But the righteous Man shall flourish like the Palm Tree, he shall grow like the Cedar in Lebanon. The Righteous who are planted in the House of the Lord, shall flourish in the Courts of our God. In old Age shall they still be fruitful; they shall be healthy and flourishing. To show that the Lord is upright: He is my Strength, and there is no Unrighteousness in him.
Translation: Pinto 1761
Cause us to lie down in Peace, O our Father, and raise us up again unto an happy Life and Peace, O our King; extend over us the Protection of thy Peace: Guide us by the good Council, and speedily save us, for thy Name Sake. Be Thou, O Lord, our Safe-guard, and with thy Mercy and Peace protect us. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who extendest the Covering of Peace over us, thy People Israel, and over Jerusalem. Amen.
May his great name be exalted and sanctified throughout the world, which he hath created according to his will; may he establish his kingdom, cause his redemption to spring forth, and hasten the advent of his anointed. In your life-time, and in your days, and in the life-time of the whole house of Israel, speedily, and in a short time; and say ye, Amen.
May his great name be blessed, and glorified for ever and ever.
May his hallowed name be praised, glorified, exalted, magnified, honoured, and most excellently adored; blessed is he, far exceeding all blessings, hymns, praises, and benedictions, that are repeated throughout the world; and say ye, Amen.
May the fullness of peace from heaven, with life, plenty, salvation, consolation, freedom, health, redemption, pardon, expiation, enlargement, and deliverance, be granted unto us, and to all his people Israel; and say ye, Amen.
May he who maketh peace in his high heavens, through his mercy bestow peace on us and all Israel; and say ye, Amen.
Choral Preparation: Jonathan Fluker
Pinto 1761 - Pinto, Isaac. Evening Service for Roshashanah [sic] and Yom Kippur. New York: Weyman, 1761.
Pinto 1766 - Pinto, Isaac. Prayers for Shabbat, Rosh-Hashanah, and Yom Kippur According to the Order of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews. New York: John Holt, 1765–66.
Don't miss our latest releases, podcasts, announcements and giveaways throughout the year! Stay up to date with our newsletter.