Kindling The Sabbath Light - A Book Of Jewish Thoughts

Kindling The Sabbath Light - A Book Of Jewish Thoughts


FROM memory’s spring flows a vision to-night,

My mother is kindling and blessing the light;

The light of Queen Sabbath, the heavenly flame,

That one day in seven quells hunger and shame.

My mother is praying and screening her face,

Too bashful to gaze at the Sabbath light’s grace.

She murmurs devoutly, ‘Almighty, be blessed,

For sending Thy angel of joy and of rest.

‘And may as the candles of Sabbath divine

The eyes of my son in Thy Law ever shine.’

Of childhood, fair childhood, the years are long fled:

Youth’s candles are quenched, and my mother is dead.

And yet ev’ry Friday, when twilight arrives,

The face of my mother within me revives;

A prayer on her lips, ‘O Almighty, be blessed,

For sending us Sabbath, the angel of rest.’

And some hidden feeling I cannot control

A Sabbath light kindles deep, deep in my soul.


לְכָה דוֹדִי

COME, my beloved, with chorusing praise,

Welcome the Sabbath Bride, Queen of the days.

Sabbath, to welcome thee, joyous we haste;

Fountain of blessing from ever thou wast,

First in God’s planning, though fashioned the last—

Crown of His handiwork, chiefest of days.

City of holiness, filled are the years;

Up from thine overthrow! Forth from thy fears!

Long hast thou dwelt in the valley of tears,

Now shall God’s tenderness shepherd thy ways.

Wake and bestir thee, for come is thy light!

Up! With thy shining the world shall be bright.

Sing! For thy Lord is revealed in His might—

Thine is the splendour His glory displays!


(Trans. S. Solis-Cohen.)

FAR more than Israel has kept the Sabbath, it is the Sabbath that has kept Israel.

ACHAD HA’AM, 1898.

Excerpt From A Book Of Jewish Thoughts Selected And Arranged By The Chief Rabbi - Dr J.H.Hertz