Jacob Druckman’s Sabbath Eve service, Shir Shel Ya’akov, was commissioned in 1967 by Cantor David Putterman for the twenty-third annual service of new liturgical music at the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York. His setting of Adonai malakh (Psalm 93) was excerpted from the kabbalat shabbat (welcoming the Sabbath) section of the full work and is included in Volume 18, along with an extensive analysis of the Psalm and its use as a prelude to the Sabbath.
The setting of Bar’khu, which opens the actual Sabbath evening service (ma’ariv, or arvit) contains subtle, restrained references to typical cantorial melismata that give emotional embellishment to the so-called call to worship. The choral responses represent those of the congregation. They resolve in accord with conventional tonic-centered harmonic language, which is a deviation from Druckman’s harmonic procedures of that period.
In the setting of Sh’ma yisra’el a vigorous organ part underlies both the cantorial phrases and the choral responses. This lends strength and emphasis to the text’s declaration of God’s oneness and universality.
Sung in Hebrew
Worshiped be Adonai, the Lord, to whom all praise is due.
Worshiped be Adonai, the Lord, who is to be worshipped for all eternity. Amen.
Listen, Israel! The Lord is our God.
The Lord is the only God—His unity is His essence.
Praised and worshiped be His Name whose glorious Kingdom is forever and ever.
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
Translation from the Hebrew by Rabbi Morton M. Leifman.