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OneTable Shabbat Dinner Guide

OneTable Shabbat Dinner Guide

Created by OneTable, a grassroots organization whose goal it is to help people enjoy Shabbat dinners together, the guide (39 pages) to the Friday night dinner experience provides both inspiration and optional formulae written for the host. Relevant to people of all backgrounds and levels of observance,

Moishe House: Friday Night Shabbat Rituals

Moishe House: Friday Night Shabbat Rituals

This less than 5 minute long animated video introduces the basic Shabbat rituals performed on Friday night, including the candle lighting ceremony, the Kiddush over wine, the ritual hand washing, and the blessing over Challah. With fun animations, an amusing plot, and a karaoke-style transliteration for the

How to Recite the Ashkenazi Friday Night Kiddush

How to Recite the Ashkenazi Friday Night Kiddush

In this 7:42 long video, Cantor Michael Weis explains and demonstrates how to say Kiddush on Friday night, including on-screen Hebrew text and transliteration according to traditional Ashkenazi custom. Cantor Weis offers an informative overview of the prayer, but feel free to skip ahead to 2:40 if

How to Perform the Reform Havdalah Ceremony

How to Perform the Reform Havdalah Ceremony

In this 6 and a half minute long video, Rabbi Katie Bauman provides meaningful explanations and practical instructions for how to perform the Havdalah ceremony that concludes Shabbat. This video demonstrates the Reform custom, which includes the four central blessings of the ceremony sung to a popular tune

Traditional Rosh Hashanah Evening & Daytime Kiddush

Traditional Rosh Hashanah Evening & Daytime Kiddush

This post offers links to the traditional evening and daytime Kiddush ceremonies performed on Rosh Hashanah. The page for the evening Kiddush includes the full text in English, as well as a Hebrew audio recording and step-by-step instructions for how to perform the ritual, whether

Learn the Blessing Before Reading the Torah with “Prayer-eoke”

Learn the Blessing Before Reading the Torah with “Prayer-eoke”

This video demonstrates the singing of the blessing one recites upon being called up to the Torah for an aliyah during Torah reading. This video, with Hebrew and transliterated subtitles, was created by Rabbi Ahuva Zaches of Congregation Or Ami (Reform) in Richmond, VA, as part of her YouTube

What To Expect At Synagogue Services on Saturday Morning

What To Expect At Synagogue Services on Saturday Morning

This informative article by Conservative Rabbi Daniel Kohn  provides a guide for bar/bat mitzvah guests and other newcomers to Shabbat worship services, including explanations of what to wear and do, and a description of the people who lead the various parts of the service. Despite the fact that norms

Today’s Woman of Valor: An Empowering Adaptation of Eishet Chayil

Today’s Woman of Valor: An Empowering Adaptation of Eishet Chayil

This adaptation of Eishet Chayil by Ahava Lilith EverShine goes through each verse of the traditional text, providing a modern interpretation of how the concepts can be applied to a modern, feminist woman in a contemporary world. With themes of self-love, confidence, and individualism, this

Parent Blessings Handbook: How to Select, Personalize or Write Your Own

Parent Blessings Handbook: How to Select, Personalize or Write Your Own

This post contains a 7 page Parent Blessings Handbook designed to help the parents of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah select, personalize or write a meaningful blessing to be recited during the Shabbat morning service. It contains general information about blessings, a variety of traditional and alternative

Learn the Reform Blessings Before & After Reading the Haftarah with “Prayer-eoke”

Learn the Reform Blessings Before & After Reading the Haftarah with “Prayer-eoke”

These two short videos demonstrate the singing of the blessings recited before and after the reading of the haftarah in Reform congregations. The haftarah is a selection from the book of Prophets publicly read in synagogue following the Torah reading on Shabbat, Jewish festivals and fast days. In

Reconstructionist Blessings Before & After Torah Reading & the Concept of Chosenness

Reconstructionist Blessings Before & After Torah Reading & the Concept of Chosenness

This short video demonstrates how to recite the blessings before and after the Torah reading according to the Reconstructionist tradition, which omits references to the Jews as the ‘Chosen People’ because of the movement’s ideological stance against chosenness in favor of equality. The video, with

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: How To Have an Aliyah

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: How To Have an Aliyah

This short video from Former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks demonstrates what to do and say when being called up to the Torah for an aliyah. With clear step-by-step instructions and an accompanying on-screen transliteration of the blessings, this video is particularly helpful for beginners. The video is from the

Learn to Chant the Blessings for the Aliyah

Learn to Chant the Blessings for the Aliyah

This interactive online tool from Chabad.org allows you to learn to recite the traditional blessings before and after the Torah reading at your own pace with the click of a button. With the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the blessings recited in a slow,

Learn the Blessings Before & After Reading the Torah with “Prayer-eoke”

Learn the Blessings Before & After Reading the Torah with “Prayer-eoke”

These two short videos demonstrate the singing of the blessings recited before and after the Torah reading, when called up for an aliyah. These videos with Hebrew and transliterated subtitles were created by Rabbi Ahuva Zaches of Congregation Or Ami (Reform) in Richmond, VA, as part of her YouTube

How to Have an Aliyah

How to Have an Aliyah

In this 4 minute long instructional video from MyJewishLearning.com, Rabbi Steven Exler explains and demonstrates what to do and say when being called up to the Torah for an aliyah, with the on-screen English and transliterated texts of the Hebrew blessing. Rabbi Steven Exler is

An Introduction to the “Mi Sheberach” Prayer

An Introduction to the “Mi Sheberach” Prayer

This introductory article from Chabad.org explains the Mi Sheberach prayer recited during the Torah reading and provides the Hebrew and English texts for the prayers recited during the week and on Shabbat for those who are called up to the Torah for an aliyah, for sick

What is an Aliyah and How Can You Participate?

What is an Aliyah and How Can You Participate?

Perfect for beginners, this clear article from Chabad.org explains the origins behind being called up to the Torah, as well as when and how this is practiced in Orthodox congregations, including the Hebrew, English, and transliterated texts of the blessings recited both before and after the

Aliyah 101: What You Should Know Before Being Called to the Torah

Aliyah 101: What You Should Know Before Being Called to the Torah

Perfect for beginners, this comprehensive article by Ronald L. Eisenberg explains everything you need to know about the ritual of getting called up to the Torah. The author describes the entire process in clear detail, mentioning the varying customs of different communities as well as how the

Let’s Learn T’fillah: L’cha Dodi

Let’s Learn T’fillah: L’cha Dodi

This short animated video from Rabbi David Paskin slowly demonstrates how to sing the chorus and the first two and last two verses of L’cha Dodi, the central prayer of the Kabbalat Shabbat service. He uses a catchy, upbeat tune. With on-screen Hebrew text and clear

Reform Kabbalat Shabbat Service Guide

Reform Kabbalat Shabbat Service Guide

This short Kabbalat Shabbat Guide from Temple Chai provides a list of all of the prayers and songs that make up the Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv evening service, along with a brief description of each prayer. Although it does not include the actual texts of

Conservative Kabbalat Shabbat Service Guide

Conservative Kabbalat Shabbat Service Guide

This post presents the Guide and Transliteration for Friday Evening Services from the Fair Lawn Jewish Center/ Congregation Bnai Israel, a Conservative Egalitarian Synagogue in Fair Lawn, NJ. Particularly useful for those using the Conservative Siddur Sim Shalom prayer book, this pamphlet contains a guide to the

Learn How to Sing the Ashkenazi Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Learn How to Sing the Ashkenazi Kabbalat Shabbat Service

This 16 minute long video by Rabbi Eli Garfinkel demonstrates how to sing the traditional Ashkenazi Kabbalat Shabbat service, with Hebrew, English and transliterated texts to follow along. He uses many melodies that are popular in North American Conservative synagogues. Whereas some hymns are sung in their

Guide to the Friday Night Synagogue Services

Guide to the Friday Night Synagogue Services

Great for beginners, this brief excerpt from “Friday Night and Beyond” by Lori Palatnik offers an explanation of the structure and meaning behind the Friday night synagogue services, including Mincha (the afternoon prayer), Kabbalat Shabbat, and Ma’ariv (the evening prayer). The article ends with a collection of

The Kabbalat Shabbat Experience Siddur: Guide, Text & Articles

The Kabbalat Shabbat Experience Siddur: Guide, Text & Articles

This post presents a well-formatted, printable PDF booklet of the traditional Ashkenazi Kabbalat Shabbat service with the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of each prayer. With introductory articles explaining the origins, structure and meaning behind the service, as well as short teachings scattered throughout, this

How to Perform the Orthodox Ashkenazi Havdalah Ceremony

How to Perform the Orthodox Ashkenazi Havdalah Ceremony

This 3 and a half minute long video demonstrates how to perform the Havdalah ceremony that concludes Shabbbat. Narrated by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, the video begins with a short introduction to the purpose of Havdala, followed by a step-by-step commentary

How to Perform Havdalah According to Nusach Yerushalmi

How to Perform Havdalah According to Nusach Yerushalmi

This 5:40 minute long instructional video (in Hebrew with partial English subtitles) demonstrates how to perform the Havdalah ceremony that concludes Shabbat according to an interesting mixture of customs. It begins with a Hasidic custom to recite the prayer “Gutt Fon Avraham” (“God of Abraham”)

Havdalah – Taking Leave of Shabbat: An Introduction & Guide

Havdalah – Taking Leave of Shabbat: An Introduction & Guide

This thorough article from My Jewish Learning provides a basic outline of the Havdalah ritual that concludes Shabbat, along with an explanation of the meaning behind it, step-by-step written and video guides with the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the blessings, and YouTube videos

Friday Night & Beyond: Insights on Havdalah (Plus How To, Text & Audio)

Friday Night & Beyond: Insights on Havdalah (Plus How To, Text & Audio)

Great for beginners, this thorough excerpt from “Friday Night and Beyond” by Lori Palatnik offers an explanation of the structure and meaning behind the ritual, a step-by-step how-to guide of the Orthodox Ashkenazi custom and pronunciation, complete with the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts, an audio recording,

For Kids: The Blessing Over Wine & Grape Juice

For Kids: The Blessing Over Wine & Grape Juice

This short, kid-friendly video demonstrates how to say the blessing over wine or grape juice, which is a central part of the the longer Shabbat Kiddush ceremony. In less than 30 seconds, this video slowly recites the Hebrew blessing along with karaoke-style on-screen transliteration, Hebrew text, and an

How to Make Orthodox Ashkenazi Havdalah (Printable PDF)

How to Make Orthodox Ashkenazi Havdalah (Printable PDF)

This two-page instructional guide provides a clear step-by-step explanation of how to perform the Havdalah ceremony that concludes Shabbat. Complete with the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the blessing, this is an excellent resource for beginners. This printable PDF file was created by NCSY, an

How to Recite the Reform Abbreviated Grace After Meals

How to Recite the Reform Abbreviated Grace After Meals

In this instructional video, Rabbi Gary Pokras demonstrates how to recite the abbreviated version of the Grace After Meals for Shabbat recited by Reform communities. He sings the blessing slowly and clearly while pointing to the words in a prayer book so that viewers can follow

Let’s Learn T’fillah: The First Paragraph of Ashkenazi Birkat Hamazon

Let’s Learn T’fillah: The First Paragraph of Ashkenazi Birkat Hamazon

This short animated video from Rabbi David Paskin demonstrates how to sing the first paragraph of the Ashkenazi Grace After Meals clearly and slowly. With on-screen Hebrew text and a narrator suggesting when to pause the video to practice certain parts, this video is an excellent

How to Sing the Reform Daytime Kiddush (Audio & Text)

How to Sing the Reform Daytime Kiddush (Audio & Text)

This post presents the Reform custom for the daytime kiddush, including the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the blessing and an audio recording of a popular tune in the North American Reform community. Rather than just a melody for the blessing, this custom is

Friday Night & Beyond: Insights on Daytime Kiddush (Plus Text & Audio)

Friday Night & Beyond: Insights on Daytime Kiddush (Plus Text & Audio)

This thorough excerpt from “Friday Night and Beyond” by Lori Palatnik begins with meaningful explanations as to why Kiddush is recited during the day on Shabbat. Great for beginners, this resource offers a practical how-to guide of the Orthodox Ashkenazi custom and pronunciation, complete with the Hebrew,

Orthodox Ashkenazi Daytime Kiddush (Text & Audio)

Orthodox Ashkenazi Daytime Kiddush (Text & Audio)

This post presents a printable PDF file containing the Hebrew, English and transliterated text of the daytime Kiddush, as well as a slow, clear audio recording of the blessings sung to a popular melody. From Aish.com, these resources not only present the Orthodox Ashkenazi custom, but

How to Recite the Sephardic Daytime Kiddush (Text & Audio)

How to Recite the Sephardic Daytime Kiddush (Text & Audio)

This post offers a two-page step-by-step guide explaining how to recite the daytime Kiddush according to Sephardic tradition, including the Hebrew, English and transliterated text, as well as an audio recording of the Kiddush chanted in a Sephardic style. The actual blessing over the wine is

How to Perform the Blessings Over the Children

How to Perform the Blessings Over the Children

This minute long video demonstrates how to recite the blessing over the children for both sons and daughters in Hebrew and English, including onscreen transliteration for the Hebrew blessing.   

Rabbi Teaches Congregants the Blessing Over the Children

Rabbi Teaches Congregants the Blessing Over the Children

In these two short videos, one for sons and one for daughters, Rabbi Marc Kline teachers parents at the Reform Temple Adath Israel Congregation in Lexington, KY how to bless their children on Friday night, as well as some additional meaningful intentions they can have

Traditional Ashkenazi Shalom Aleichem with Lyrics

Traditional Ashkenazi Shalom Aleichem with Lyrics

In this instructional video, Alicia Jo Rabins sings Shalom Aleichem slowly and clearly, using one of the most popular tunes, composed by Cantor Israel Goldfarb in 1918. Including a brief introduction to Shalom Aleichem and an onscreen English translation and transliteration, this is a great resource for

Traditional Ashkenazi Shalom Aleichem (Audio & Text)

Traditional Ashkenazi Shalom Aleichem (Audio & Text)

This post includes the Hebrew, English, and transliterated lyrics to Shalom Aleichem, traditionally sung before Kiddush at the beginning of the Friday night meal on Shabbat. From Aish.com, the text and audio reflect the traditional Orthodox Ashkenazi custom and pronunciation. According to many customs, including

The Shabbat Project: How to Sing Shalom Aleichem (Sephardic/Mizrahi)

The Shabbat Project: How to Sing Shalom Aleichem (Sephardic/Mizrahi)

This post includes a two-page step-by-step guide explaining how to recite Shalom Aleichem according to Sephardic (Mizrahi) tradition, including the Hebrew, English and transliterated text of the song. Whereas the general Ashkenzi tradition welcomes the accompanying angels into the home on Shabbat and then bids them

Blessing for Washing Hands: Al Netilat Yadayim

Blessing for Washing Hands: Al Netilat Yadayim

This short, interactive video introduces the basics of the ritual hand-washing before eating bread, including a slow, clear recitation of the blessing. Created by a young girl named Nicky in Colorado, this video was made for other youth as part of a project of BBYO,

Let’s Learn T’fillah: Netilat Yadayim

Let’s Learn T’fillah: Netilat Yadayim

This short, interactive, animated video demonstrates how to recite the ritual hand-washing blessing, including a brief introduction and the Hebrew text. Part of the “Let’s Learn T’fillah” (Prayer) video series, this video was created by Rabbi David Paskin, an accomplished spiritual leader, singer/songwriter, Jewish futurist,

Ritual Hand-Washing Upon Waking vs. Before Eating Bread

Ritual Hand-Washing Upon Waking vs. Before Eating Bread

This short home video compares the different customs of washing one’s hands after waking up and before eating bread. Although the same blessing is recited in both cases, the order in which the hands are washed is different. Both hand-washing rituals are concerned with purity,

How to Wash Hands Before Eating Bread

How to Wash Hands Before Eating Bread

This short animated video demonstrates how to perform the ritual hand-washing prior to eating bread, including a slow, clear recitation of the the blessings over hand-washing and eating bread, according to Orthodox Asheknazic custom and pronunciation. This video is produced by JewishPathways.com, the more advanced

A Detailed Halachic Guide to Hand-Washing

A Detailed Halachic Guide to Hand-Washing

This lengthy, detailed article explains the different halachic explanations and requirements for the various hand-washing rituals in Judaism, concluding with a guide to the hand washing before eating bread, the most complicated type of washing. In the following excerpt, one can learn about all of

Printable Hand Washing & Hamotzi Guide

Printable Hand Washing & Hamotzi Guide

This simple one-page card from Aish.com provides the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the blessings for the ritual washing of the hands and the bread. It also includes directions for the accompanying ritual actions, according to Orthodox Ashenazi custom. This resource is ideal for

How To: The Ritual Hand Washing and Blessing Over the Bread on Shabbat

How To: The Ritual Hand Washing and Blessing Over the Bread on Shabbat

This short instructional video, part of The Jewish Living Series of Perelman Jewish Day School, provides a detailed explanation of the ritual hand washing and the blessing over the bread on Shabbat, according to Ashkenazic tradition. Complete with the recitation of both blessings with accompanying transliterated subtitles,

The Shabbat Project: Sephardic Hand Washing & HaMotzi Guide

The Shabbat Project: Sephardic Hand Washing & HaMotzi Guide

This two-page resource includes a detailed step-by-step guide explaining how to fulfill the ritual washing of the hands and the blessing over challah according to Sephardic tradition, including Hebrew, English and transliterated texts. Whereas according to Ashkenazic tradition, the blessing is simply recited upon washing the

A Guide to Candle Lighting + Lighting Candles in Auschwitz

A Guide to Candle Lighting + Lighting Candles in Auschwitz

This two-page resource includes a simple explanation of how to light the Shabbat candles according to the Ashkenazic custom, the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of both the blessing and a prayer often recited after lighting the candles, and a powerful story about the sacrifice

Learn the Candle Lighting Blessing with “Prayer-eoke”

Learn the Candle Lighting Blessing with “Prayer-eoke”

This video demonstrates the singing of the blessing over the Shabbat candles clearly and slowly with Hebrew and transliterated subtitles. The video was created by Rabbi Ahuva Zaches of Congregation Or Ami (Reform) in Richmond, VA, as part of her YouTube series, “Prayer-eoke,” a Karaoke-style program for learning

Laws and Customs Practiced in Preparation for the Grace After Meals

Laws and Customs Practiced in Preparation for the Grace After Meals

In this halachic discourse, Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir of the Orthodox Union, discusses the obligations and customs Jews practice before reciting the Grace After Meals, including washing hands, leaving the leftover bread on the table, and covering up knives on the table. This informative article

How to Sing the Abbreviated Grace After Meals for Shabbat (Reform)

How to Sing the Abbreviated Grace After Meals for Shabbat (Reform)

In this 7 minute video, Rabbi Micah Greenstein introduces and sings the abbreviated Grace After Meals for Shabbat according to the Reform tradition, including the introductory Psalm recited on Shabbat, a gender-inclusive version of the invitation (zimmun) recited in a group, and a special line added for

How to Sing Ashkenazi Grace After Meals for Shabbat (with transliteration)

How to Sing Ashkenazi Grace After Meals for Shabbat (with transliteration)

This 13 minute video demonstrates how to sing the entire Ashkenazi version of the Grace After Meals for Shabbat using a popular tune. With a slow pace and onscreen transliterated captions, this is a helpful resource for anyone who want to learn how to sing the blessing. From a

Beginning of Ashkenazi Grace After Meals (Audio & Text)

Beginning of Ashkenazi Grace After Meals (Audio & Text)

These recordings presents the beginning of the Grace After Meals according to Ashkenazi custom, sung with the modern Israeli pronunciation of Hebrew in a slow, clear voice to a popular melody. Chazzan Shoshi Rosenbaum of Mechon Hadar sings Shir Hamaalot (the Psalm sung before the blessing on

Sheet Music for Israel Goldfarb’s Shalom Aleichem

Sheet Music for Israel Goldfarb’s Shalom Aleichem

This video demonstrates how to play Rabbi Cantor Israel Goldfarb’s famous tune of Shalom Aleichem, composed in 1918. As it displays the sheet music, highlighting each note as it is played, this is a great learning tool for musicians who want to learn how to

Introduction to Eishet Chayil: Meaning, Origins, How To, English Text

Introduction to Eishet Chayil: Meaning, Origins, How To, English Text

This detailed article by Chaviva Gordon-Bennett provides a thorough introduction to Eishet Chayil, including the meaning, origins, and practical how-to’s of singing this song on Friday night, along with the English translation of the text. Published on ThoughtCo, a website that provides in-depth articles about a wide range of topics to

Introduction to Eishet Chayil: Video & Text (Hebrew, English, Transliteration)

Introduction to Eishet Chayil: Video & Text (Hebrew, English, Transliteration)

This video presents a simple, clear version of the most popular melody for Eishet Chayil, composed by Ben Zion Shenker in 1953. With on screen Hebrew, English and transliterated lyrics of the text from Proverbs 31, this video is a helpful resource for anyone who wants to learn

Some Technical Laws of the Grace After Meals

Some Technical Laws of the Grace After Meals

In this highly technical article from Aish.com, Rabbis Chaim Gross and Shraga Simmons explain the sources, structure, and intricate halachot (laws) of reciting Bircat Hamazon according to Orthodox Judaism. Part of the “Crash Course in Jewish Blessings” series, this article would be useful for those seeking a

A Complete Guide to Eishet Chayil

A Complete Guide to Eishet Chayil

This thorough article offers a complete introduction to the custom of singing Eishet Chayil on Friday night, including the reasons behind the ritual, a step-by-step guide noting common customs, the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts, and an audio recording of a popular melody, composed by Ben Zion

Guitar Chords for Ben Zion Shenker’s Popular Eishet Chayil Melody

Guitar Chords for Ben Zion Shenker’s Popular Eishet Chayil Melody

This website offers the guitar chords for the most popular melody for Eishet Chayil, composed by Ben Zion Shenker in 1953. The website offers the transliteration of the first eight verses of the song, with the instruction to simply repeat the same chords for the rest

How To Make Kiddush (Hebrew)

How To Make Kiddush (Hebrew)

This Hebrew video shows a family singing the songs and performing the Kiddush ceremony conducted at the beginning of the Friday night Shabbat meal. It includes the most popular melodies for “Shalom Aleichem” and “Eishet Chayil,” as well as the full recitation of Kiddush, according to the Sephardic

Learn the HaMotzi Blessing with “Prayer-eoke”

Learn the HaMotzi Blessing with “Prayer-eoke”

This short, to the point video demonstrates the singing of the blessing over the bread on Shabbat clearly and slowly with Hebrew and transliterated subtitles. The video was created by Rabbi Ahuva Zaches of Congregation Or Ami (Reform) in Richmond, VA, as part of her YouTube series, “Prayer-eoke,” a

An Introduction: The Ritual Washing of the Hands

An Introduction: The Ritual Washing of the Hands

This short article offers a brief introduction to the origins of hand-washing rituals in Judaism, as well as a practical how-to guide for how to perform this ritual before eating bread, including the Hebrew, English, and transliterated text of the blessing. The author, Rabbi Howard

Hand-Washing Before a Meal: A Detailed Guide

Hand-Washing Before a Meal: A Detailed Guide

In this video, Rabbi Joel Finkelstein outlines the circumstances in which one is required to perform the ritual hand-washing before a meal, according to Orthodox Jewish law. He demonstrates how to do this mitzvah correctly and offers additional spiritual significance, explaining how the Sages transformed what

Hand-Washing Before a Meal: A Basic Guide

Hand-Washing Before a Meal: A Basic Guide

In this short instructional video, an American Conservative rabbi offers a presentation of how to wash one’s hands before eating bread. This practice, which can be traced back to the biblical Kohanim (Priests), sets a tone of sanctity as we begin any meal, and is thus

Blessing the Children on Friday Night: Origins and How-To

Blessing the Children on Friday Night: Origins and How-To

This thorough introductory article by Tamar Fox outlines the origins and various family customs for the ritual blessing over the children, as well as the Hebrew and English text. The author also offers different explanations for why Ephraim and Menashe are chosen as the biblical role

Clear Recitation of Blessing Over the Bread with Subtitles

Clear Recitation of Blessing Over the Bread with Subtitles

This short, to the point video clearly demonstrates how to recite the blessing over the bread according to most traditions. It not only provides the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts, but has the text appearing one word at a time, making it easy for beginners to follow

HaMotzi: Origins, Laws and Customs

HaMotzi: Origins, Laws and Customs

This detailed article by Chaviva Gordon-Bennett explains the meaning, origins, customs, and practical how-to’s of the blessing over the bread on Shabbat, including the Hebrew, English and transliterated text of the blessing. Published on ThoughtCo, a website that provides in-depth articles about a wide range of topics to

A Practical Guide to Washing Hands Before a Meal (Hebrew)

A Practical Guide to Washing Hands Before a Meal (Hebrew)

In this exclusively Hebrew video produced by Yahaduton, a YouTube channel that provides instructional videos for Israelis looking to learn more about performing mitzvot according to Orthodox Ashkenazi tradition, two actors explain and demonstrate the historical and spiritual significance of hand washing before eating bread.

Rabbi Sacks: An Introduction to the Ritual Hand Washing Before a Meal

Rabbi Sacks: An Introduction to the Ritual Hand Washing Before a Meal

Produced by the United Synagogue, an Orthodox British organization committed to helping young adults live observant Jewish lives, this practical video offers an introduction to how and why Jews wash their hands before eating bread. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the previous chief Rabbi of Great

How to Separate Challah: Sephardic & Ashkenazi Customs

How to Separate Challah: Sephardic & Ashkenazi Customs

This excerpt from “The Secret of Challah” by Shira Wiener & Ayelet Yifrach provides clear and concise directions for both Ashkenazim and Sepharadim on how to perform the mitzvah (commandment) of Hafrashat Challah – separating the dough when making challah. The instructions provide the Hebrew, English and transliterated

Reform: How to Recite the Blessing Over Children (Audio & Text)

Reform: How to Recite the Blessing Over Children (Audio & Text)

This instructional post provides the Hebrew audio and the Hebrew, English and transliterated text of the blessing over the children according to the Reform tradition, which makes a slight modification to the traditional Hebrew text of the blessing over the daughter. According to Reform custom, the word

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: How To Make Hamotzi

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: How To Make Hamotzi

This short video from Former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks demonstrates how to perform the blessing over the bread on Shabbat according to Orthodox Ashkenazic tradition. Complete with an explanation about why bread is considered the most significant food, this video breaks down the ceremony into practical steps. With

Aish: How to Make HaMotzi

Aish: How to Make HaMotzi

The following responsum, written by Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld for Aish.com’s Ask The Rabbi, column, describes how to perform the blessing over the bread on Shabbat from start to finish according to Orthodox law and tradition. Rabbi Rosenfeld’s clear and thorough response is perfect for those interested in

Students Explain the HaMotzi Customs

Students Explain the HaMotzi Customs

This short, humorous video, created by students at Makor of Hebrew College, describes several customs pertaining to the HaMotzi ritual performed on Shabbat. The students not only explain the various customs, but also provide a live demonstration of the overall ritual in order to gain a

Chabad: Origins, Laws and Customs of the Two Loaves

Chabad: Origins, Laws and Customs of the Two Loaves

This thorough article, written by Rabbi Aryeh Citron of Chabad.org, discusses both the meaning behind the two loaves used for the blessing over the bread on Shabbat, as well as practical, detailed, step-by-step guidance on how to perform this ritual according to Orthodox Ashkenazic tradition. With reference

How and Why Jewish Parents Bless Their Children on Shabbat

How and Why Jewish Parents Bless Their Children on Shabbat

This sweet animated video includes a brief explanation about why Jewish parents traditionally bless their children on Shabbat, as well as various customs that different families may practice, and the Hebrew, English and transliterated text of the blessing. Ideal for those who want to know both the

Washing for Bread: Symbolism, How To, FAQ & Reflections

Washing for Bread: Symbolism, How To, FAQ & Reflections

In this article, Lori Palatnik explains the deep symbolism behind the hand-washing ritual and provides a straight forward guide as to how to perform the commandment, complete with the Hebrew, English, and transliterated text of the blessing, as well as an audio recording. The article

Hand-Washing before a Meal 101

Hand-Washing before a Meal 101

This colloquially-written, point-form article shares the basics of the ritual hand-washing that takes place prior to eating bread at any meal, including Shabbat. Complete with the English, Hebrew and transliterated text of the blessing, this article is relevant for anyone who is interested in learning how

Ritual Hand-Washing: A Clear Explanation

Ritual Hand-Washing: A Clear Explanation

This brief yet thorough article  clearly explains the origins and directions for the ritual of washing hands prior to eating bread at a meal, including the Hebrew, English, and transliterated text of the blessing. Written by Rabbi Louis Jacobs (1920-2006), founder of the Masorti/Conservative movement in the UK,

Shabbat Candle Lighting: An Introduction

Shabbat Candle Lighting: An Introduction

The following article briefly explains the basic structure of the candle lighting ceremony and some related customs, including the text of the blessing in Hebrew, English translation and transliteration. The post was written by Rabbi Howard Markose, a Jerusalem-based educator and former community rabbi who

Detailed Guide to Shabbat Candles in Jewish Law

Detailed Guide to Shabbat Candles in Jewish Law

This is a highly technical article about the laws of lighting Shabbat candles according to Orthdox halacha, meant for those who are familiar with Jewish legal terminology in Hebrew. It presents the candle-lighting blessing in transliteration, and as is the custom in some Orthodox circles,

Candle Lighting Times

Candle Lighting Times

This short article explains exactly when to light Shabbat candles, according to Orthodox halacha, as well as what one can do if they have missed the lighting time. It includes additional resources that will help individuals determine the correct time to light the Shabbat candles based on

Shabbat Candles FAQ

Shabbat Candles FAQ

This article contains clear and detailed answers, according to an Orthodox Jewish perspective, to a number of  frequently asked questions about lighting Shabbat candles on Friday night, including who, when, where, and with what materials to light them. Written for the lay person, one can

Chabad: How to Light Shabbat Candles

Chabad: How to Light Shabbat Candles

This short instructional video describes and illustrates step-by-step instructions on how to light the Friday night Shabbat candles at home. This video is complete with the recitation of the blessing that is said over the candles, along with the Hebrew and English transliterated texts. It also provides helpful tips

How to Light Shabbat Candles: Kabbalistic Wisdom

How to Light Shabbat Candles: Kabbalistic Wisdom

This video describes how to light the Friday evening Shabbat candles according to the Orthodox Ashkenazi tradition. In addition to the recitation of the blessing, this video provides explanations of the meaning behind the lighting of the candles according to Kabbalistic traditions. This video is for those

How to Light Shabbat Candles: Bringing Light to your Family

How to Light Shabbat Candles: Bringing Light to your Family

This video, by Rabbi Janet Ross Marder, describes how to light the Shabbat evening candles, with a focus on bringing light and peace to your home and family. Rabbi Marder describes some of the intentions one may have before and after the candles are lit,

Aish: How To Light Shabbat Candles

Aish: How To Light Shabbat Candles

The following ‘how to’ video provides step-by-step instructions on how to light the Friday night Shabbat candles according to the Orthodox Ashkenazic tradition and pronunciation, complete with the recitation of the blessing.  This video was designed for those who are learning to light the Shabbat candles

Chabad: How and Why We Light the Shabbat Candles

Chabad: How and Why We Light the Shabbat Candles

In this 18 min. lecture, Rabbi Yosef Shusterman, renowned Chabad rabbi and authority on Jewish law and Hassidut, gives an extensive overview of the practical how to’s of the lighting of the Shabbat evening candles according to Orthodox tradition. Topics such as the reasons behind

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on How and Why to Light the Candles

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on How and Why to Light the Candles

The following video from Jewish Online Guides, an educational initiative by The United Synagogue, explores the lighting of the Shabbat candles according to Orthodox Ashkenazi tradition. Complete with an introduction to the meaning behind lighting the candles by the Former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks,

Lighting Candles: A ‘How-to’ for Kids

Lighting Candles: A ‘How-to’ for Kids

This karaoke video demonstrates how to light the Shabbat candles, including subtitles in Hebrew as well as the translation and transliteration in English. While specifically aimed at children, this video is helpful for anyone who wants to learn to read and sing the blessing. This video was

A Beginners’ Guide to Shabbat Candle Lighting: Article and Video

A Beginners’ Guide to Shabbat Candle Lighting: Article and Video

The following article, How to Light Shabbat Candles, by Rabbi Michael Strassfeld, Richard Siegel and Sharon Strassfeld, discusses both the how to’s of the Shabbat candle lighting ceremony and the significance behind the ritual, according to a plethora of Jewish thinkers and philosophies. Reprinted with

Introduction: How to Light the Shabbat Candles

Introduction: How to Light the Shabbat Candles

This introductory video provides a step-by-step explanation on how to light the Shabbat evening candles according to Asheknazic tradition, using captions, pictures, and music to capture the magical ambience of lighting the Shabbat candles. There is an English translation of the blessing as well as a brief

How to Light Shabbat Candles: Reform Tradition & Customs

How to Light Shabbat Candles: Reform Tradition & Customs

This video demonstrates how to light the Shabbat candles and recite the blessing according to the Reform tradition. In the first of a series of instructional videos, Rabbi Betsy Torop discusses the basic ‘how tos’ of the ceremony, along with several common customs that people implement

Kiddush FAQs

Kiddush FAQs

This article answers basic questions about how to make Kiddush on Friday night, including who can make Kiddush and when, and what materials are required for making Kiddush. Written in simple, colloquial language by Ezra Pepperman, this article is a helpful resource for beginners looking

Students Teach How To Make Kiddush

Students Teach How To Make Kiddush

This short, quirky home video features students from the Conservative Hebrew High School of Congregation Beth El of Voorhees, NJ, acting out and discussing what they have learned about making Kiddush. The students also whimsically demonstrate other Friday night home rituals, such as singing “Shalom Aleichem,” lighting

Kiddush 101: Discover Everything About Kiddush

Kiddush 101: Discover Everything About Kiddush

This detailed article by Chaviva Gordon-Bennett explains the meaning, origins, customs, and practical how-to’s of the Kiddush ceremony according to Orthodox Ashkenazi tradition, including the translated and transliterated text. Published on ThoughtCo, a website that provides in-depth articles about a wide range of topics to a general audience, this article

How to Make Kiddush: A Step-by-Step Guide from Chabad

How to Make Kiddush: A Step-by-Step Guide from Chabad

This article includes a short introduction to the Kiddush from a Chabad-Lubavitch Orthodox perspective, including a breakdown of the structure of the text, a step-by-step guide on how to properly perform the ritual, and links to the relevant text and audio. This article is intended for secular

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks & Chabad: How to Perform Friday Night Kiddush

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks & Chabad: How to Perform Friday Night Kiddush

This short video, narrated by Former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, provides an introduction to the Friday night Kiddush, as well as a thorough demonstration of how to make Kiddush according to the custom of the Chabad Lubavitch community. Apart from the unique dress of the family in

Eishet Chayil with On Screen English, Hebrew, Transliterated Text

Eishet Chayil with On Screen English, Hebrew, Transliterated Text

This video presents a slow but lively version of one of the most popular melodies for Eishet Chayil, composed by Ben Zion Shenker in 1953. There are on screen English, Hebrew and transliterated texts of the lyrics on a video backdrop of emotive landscapes and images

Common Mistakes Made During Kiddush

Common Mistakes Made During Kiddush

In this 8:33 long video, Rabbi Joel Finkelstein of the Modern Orthodox Anshei Sphard Beth El Emeth Congregation in Memphis, Tennessee, goes through the most common mistakes made while listening to or making Kiddush on Shabbat. Although Rabbi Finkelstein uses many Hebrew terms throughout the video that may not be

What to Expect at a Shabbat Dinner

What to Expect at a Shabbat Dinner

The following article is a helpful resource for anyone seeking basic information on the norms and rituals of a typical traditional family Shabbat dinner. It comes from www.kveller.com, a Jewish parenting website. So you’ve been invited to a Shabbat dinner? Shabbat shalom! Here’s what to expect at

Techincal Laws of the Grace After Meals

Techincal Laws of the Grace After Meals

This highly technical article from Halachipedia.com explains the detailed laws associated with reciting the Grace After Meals according to Orthodox tradition. Some questions answered in this article include: How long do I have to say Bircat Hamazon once I am finished eating? What is the minimum amount of bread

How to Light Shabbat Candles: Conservative Tradition

How to Light Shabbat Candles: Conservative Tradition

This article provides a concise overview of the ritual of lighting Shabbat candles in the home on Friday night, including where, when, by whom, and how the candles should be lit. The article provides a step-by-step guide, as well as an English transliteration and translation

What to Expect at a Reform Shabbat Service

What to Expect at a Reform Shabbat Service

This article by Rabbi Wendi Geffen answers basic questions about the evening and morning Shabbat services in Reform Congregations, such as whether or not there will be music and what people may be wearing. This is a helpful resource for someone who is planning on

A Complete Guide to Performing a Traditional Friday Night Kiddush: Text & Audio

A Complete Guide to Performing a Traditional Friday Night Kiddush: Text & Audio

This step-by-step guide  explains how to perform the basic Orthodox Ashkenazi Kiddush, including the Hebrew, English, and transliterated text of the blessings. Reprinted on Aish.com, this is an excerpt from “Friday Night and Beyond” by Lori Palatnik, a writer, Jewish educator and the Founding Director of The Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project,

Learning and Schmoozing with the Rabbis: Making Kiddush

Learning and Schmoozing with the Rabbis: Making Kiddush

In this informative and amusing video, ideal for beginners, Rabbi Rafi Rank and Rabbi Josh Hearshen provide basic information about how to perform Kiddush, including the necessary materials and a simultaneous on-screen transliteration. They also share ideas about themes mentioned in Kiddush, including creation and rest, the Exodus

How to Perform the Traditional Friday Night Kiddush Video & Text

How to Perform the Traditional Friday Night Kiddush Video & Text

This step-by-step video demonstrates how to recite the Kiddush ceremony at the beginning of a traditional Friday night Shabbat meal in a traditional Ashkenazi home. Beginning with a short introduction to the meaning behind the ritual, Rabbi Chaim Galfand then provides a detailed explanation of which words

Candle Lighting with Rabbi Eli Garfinkel

Candle Lighting with Rabbi Eli Garfinkel

In the first 49 seconds of this brief homemade instructional video, Rabbi Eli Garfinkel demonstrates how to light the Shabbat candles and recite the blessing according to the Asheknazic tradition, along with transliterated English subtitles. Those interested in learning how to recite the Kiddush, the

Shabbat Blessings over the Candles, Wine and Challah

Shabbat Blessings over the Candles, Wine and Challah

In this short, well-produced video, Rabbi Matt Soffer explains and demonstrates the Shabbat blessings over the candles, wine and bread (challah), according to Ashkenazic custom. Rabbi Soffer, the rabbi of Temple Israel of Boston (Reform), sings the blessings in a clear, pleasant voice and explains

Blessing the Challah: A 3-Step Guide

Blessing the Challah: A 3-Step Guide

This short post outlines the basic order of blessing the challah, including the text of the blessing in Hebrew, English and transliteration.  How to Bless the Challah 1. The challot are uncovered and the blessing is recited as follows: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם, הַמּוצִיא לֶחֶם מִן

6 Challah Recipes & The Mitzvah of Separating Challah

6 Challah Recipes & The Mitzvah of Separating Challah

The following article from Aish.com provides six different challah recipes, including eggless, whole wheat, and the “always successful” recipe, reprinted from “Taste of Shabbos: The Complete Cookbook,” and “Adventures in Bubby Irma’s Kitchen.” There is a special obligation to eat two (or three) bread meals

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Customs

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Conservative Ashkenazi Grace After Meals (Audio + Text)

Conservative Ashkenazi Grace After Meals (Audio + Text)

In this audio recording, Rabbi Barry Kenter of the Greenburgh Hebrew Center sings the Shabbat version of the Grace After Meals according to Conservative Ashkenazi tradition. Conveniently separated into 14 audio recordings and accompanied by a PDF file with the Hebrew, English and transliterated text, this is a

Traditional Text for the Blessing Over the Children

Traditional Text for the Blessing Over the Children

This post provides the traditional Hebrew, transliterated and English text for the blessings over sons and daughters traditionally recited on Friday night. This resource is perfect for someone who simply wants to know what words to recite, without additional information.  Blessing a Daughter Hebrew ישְִמׂךְֵ אלֱֹ-היִם

Reform Havdalah (Text & Audio)

Reform Havdalah (Text & Audio)

This straightforward post presents the Reform tradition for the Havdalah ceremony that concludes Shabbat, including an audio recording that uses Jewish American singer-songwriter Debbie Friedman‘s popular melody and the full Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the blessing. The Reform Havdalah ceremony contains only the four

The Israeli weekend in 70 seconds

The Israeli weekend in 70 seconds

This short clip (1:15) walks  us through a typical Israeli weekend with its variety of colors, flavors, and feels. Whether religious or secular, Arab or Jewish, all Israelis love the weekend!

What does Shabbat mean in Tel Aviv?

What does Shabbat mean in Tel Aviv?

This fun clip (2:22) put out by the Birthright Israel Alumni Community demonstrates the special associations people have of Shabbat in Israel, whether religious or not. The makers of the video take to the streets of predominantly irreligious Tel Aviv to ask residents and visitors what

An Orthodox woman prepares for Shabbat in Jerusalem

An Orthodox woman prepares for Shabbat in Jerusalem

This wordless video clip (1:41) takes us along for the journey as an Orthodox woman in Jerusalem shops, bakes, and makes her weekly preparations for Shabbat. Set to the heartwarming music of Aaron Razel, this clip encapsulates the taste and feel of a typical Friday for

A Reform Prayer for Kislev & Hannukah

A Reform Prayer for Kislev & Hannukah

This link opens up the Hebrew, English and transliterated text of a prayer that can be read from the beginning of the Hebrew month of Kislev through the end of Hannukah. Comprised of selected verses from Isaiah 60 about the power of divine light in dark times,

Al HaNissim for Hannukah

Al HaNissim for Hannukah

Al HaNissim is a short paragraph added to the Amidah prayer and the Grace After Meals on Hannukah, thanking God for the miraculous redemption celebrated on this holiday and briefly retelling the story of Hannukah. The full Hebrew and English text can be seen below. The

Traditional Rosh Hashanah Evening & Daytime Kiddush

Traditional Rosh Hashanah Evening & Daytime Kiddush

This post offers links to the traditional evening and daytime Kiddush ceremonies performed on Rosh Hashanah. The page for the evening Kiddush includes the full text in English, as well as a Hebrew audio recording and step-by-step instructions for how to perform the ritual, whether

Audio Recordings of Ashkenazi High Holiday Liturgy

Audio Recordings of Ashkenazi High Holiday Liturgy

This link will take you to the musical prayer navigator of Mechon Hadar, where you can find audio recordings for each part of the synagogue service for Shabbat, weekday, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Festivals and Rosh Chodesh. A useful resource for those who want to learn

Reform Blessings Before & After the Reading of the Haftarah

Reform Blessings Before & After the Reading of the Haftarah

This post presents the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the blessings recited before and after the reading of the haftarah in Reform congregations. The haftarah is a selection from the book of Prophets publicly read in synagogue following the Torah reading on Shabbat, Jewish festivals

Hebrew Coming-of-Age Misheberakh Prayers

Hebrew Coming-of-Age Misheberakh Prayers

This post presents the Hebrew texts of four different coming-of-age Mi Sheberach prayers: traditional Bar Mitzvah, traditional Bat Mitzvah, 80 year old, and second Bar Mitzvah, sometimes celebrated 70 years after the first. Created by egabbai.com, these small cards are specifically designed for the gabbai –

Learn the Reform Blessings Before & After Reading the Haftarah with “Prayer-eoke”

Learn the Reform Blessings Before & After Reading the Haftarah with “Prayer-eoke”

These two short videos demonstrate the singing of the blessings recited before and after the reading of the haftarah in Reform congregations. The haftarah is a selection from the book of Prophets publicly read in synagogue following the Torah reading on Shabbat, Jewish festivals and fast days. In

Misheberakh Prayer for a Bat Mitzvah Girl

Misheberakh Prayer for a Bat Mitzvah Girl

This post presents the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the Mi Sheberach prayer for a Bat Mitzvah girl to be recited during the Torah reading service in synagogue. The blessing was published by JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance and shared on Ritualwell, a project

A “Tkhine” for Lighting Candles on Shavuot

A “Tkhine” for Lighting Candles on Shavuot

This “tkhine” (supplication) is a para-liturgical prayer in Hebrew and Yiddish with an English translation that is meant to be recited by a woman after lighting candles to welcome the holiday of Shavuot, an auspicious time for personal prayer. The prayer beseeches God to help the

The “Mi Sheberach” Prayer for One Who Has an Aliyah

The “Mi Sheberach” Prayer for One Who Has an Aliyah

This post provides the Hebrew and English texts for the prayer recited for one who is called up to the Torah on Shabbat. An excerpt from a longer article from Chabad.org, this text reflects the tradition of the Orthodox Hasidic Chabad-Lubavitch community.  Mi Sheberach to be said after

Reconstructionist Blessings Before & After Torah Reading & the Concept of Chosenness

Reconstructionist Blessings Before & After Torah Reading & the Concept of Chosenness

This short video demonstrates how to recite the blessings before and after the Torah reading according to the Reconstructionist tradition, which omits references to the Jews as the ‘Chosen People’ because of the movement’s ideological stance against chosenness in favor of equality. The video, with

Reconstructionist Blessings Before & After Torah Reading with Feminine God-Language

Reconstructionist Blessings Before & After Torah Reading with Feminine God-Language

This post presents the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of a the blessings recited before and after the Torah reading when called up for an aliyah, using feminine God-language and omitting reference to the Jews as the ‘Chosen People.’ The blessings were formulated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Reb

Traditional Blessings Before & After Torah Reading

Traditional Blessings Before & After Torah Reading

This post presents the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the blessings recited before and after the Torah reading when called up for an aliyah, as well as audio recordings of each blessing sung by Cantor Daniel Singer of the Reform Stephen Wise Free Synagogue.  Blessing

Learn the Blessings Before & After Reading the Torah with “Prayer-eoke”

Learn the Blessings Before & After Reading the Torah with “Prayer-eoke”

These two short videos demonstrate the singing of the blessings recited before and after the Torah reading, when called up for an aliyah. These videos with Hebrew and transliterated subtitles were created by Rabbi Ahuva Zaches of Congregation Or Ami (Reform) in Richmond, VA, as part of her YouTube

Reconstructionist Kabbalat Shabbat Melodies

Reconstructionist Kabbalat Shabbat Melodies

Click this link to hear different versions of songs from Kabbalat Shabbat, recorded by Bnai Keshet, a vibrant Reconstructionist congregation in Montclair, NJ known for its lively, musical Kabbalat Shabbat services. 

Spanish & Portuguese Kabbalat Shabbat Melodies

Spanish & Portuguese Kabbalat Shabbat Melodies

Click this link to hear songs from the Kabbalat Shabbat services of the Spanish & Portuguese Jews’ Congregation of London. This website explains the prayer customs of this community, featuring both traditional and contemporary melodies. The purpose of this website is to provide an online resource of

Syrian Song of Songs and Kabbalat Shabbat (Audio)

Syrian Song of Songs and Kabbalat Shabbat (Audio)

This post includes two audio recordings representing the Syrian custom and musical style, sung by Hazzan Faraj Samra. The first clip is a 20 minute long audio recording of the Song of Songs, traditionally recited in its entirety prior to Kabbalat Shabbat in many Sephardic

Cantor Shira Lissek’s Conservative Musical Kabbalat Shabbat

Cantor Shira Lissek’s Conservative Musical Kabbalat Shabbat

This hour long video features Cantor Shira Lissek leading the entire Kabbalat Shabbat service with musical accompaniment. Shira Lissek is the Associate Cantor of Park Avenue Synagogue, the largest Conservative community in NYC and the flagship of Jewish liturgical music in North America. 

Kippalive: A Capella Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat

Kippalive: A Capella Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat

This 9 and a half minute long video features the Israeli male a Capella group, Kippalive, singing harmonic versions of many of Rabbi Shlomo Calebach‘s most famous melodies for Kabbalat Shabbat. The group sings selected verses of each of the songs from the Shabbat Shabbat service, except

Conservative Kabbalat Shabbat Service Guide

Conservative Kabbalat Shabbat Service Guide

This post presents the Guide and Transliteration for Friday Evening Services from the Fair Lawn Jewish Center/ Congregation Bnai Israel, a Conservative Egalitarian Synagogue in Fair Lawn, NJ. Particularly useful for those using the Conservative Siddur Sim Shalom prayer book, this pamphlet contains a guide to the

The Kabbalat Shabbat Experience Siddur: Guide, Text & Articles

The Kabbalat Shabbat Experience Siddur: Guide, Text & Articles

This post presents a well-formatted, printable PDF booklet of the traditional Ashkenazi Kabbalat Shabbat service with the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of each prayer. With introductory articles explaining the origins, structure and meaning behind the service, as well as short teachings scattered throughout, this

Orthodox Ashkenazi Kabbalat Shabbat & Ma’ariv (Hebrew, English, Transliteration)

Orthodox Ashkenazi Kabbalat Shabbat & Ma’ariv (Hebrew, English, Transliteration)

This post presents a well-formatted, printable PDF booklet of the traditional Ashkenazi Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv evening prayer service with the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of each prayer. Originally created for a minyan held annually at the Arisia science fiction convention in Boston, MA, which takes place

Nusach Edot Hamizrach Kabbalat Shabbat Service (Hebrew Text)

Nusach Edot Hamizrach Kabbalat Shabbat Service (Hebrew Text)

This post presents the entire Edot Hamizrach Kabbalat Shabbat service in Hebrew, including the Song of Songs, which is traditionally recited prior to Kabbalat Shabbat in Sephardic congregations, and Bameh Madlikin, a passage from the Mishnah which is often recited between Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv.

Siddur Livnat HaSapir for Welcoming Shabbat: A Personal Prayerbook by Aharon Varady

Siddur Livnat HaSapir for Welcoming Shabbat: A Personal Prayerbook by Aharon Varady

This link opens up a digitized version of Siddur Livnat HaSapir for Welcoming Shabbat, a complete Friday night prayerbook compiled by Aharon Varady, with Kabbalat Shabbat on page 38-94. Varady defines his personal siddur as “Nusach Ashkenaz with other choice customs,” explaining that it reflects his own

K’Gavna: A Kabbalistic Reading Following Kabbalat Shabbat

K’Gavna: A Kabbalistic Reading Following Kabbalat Shabbat

This post presents the Nusach Ha’Ari and Nusach Sefard tradition of reciting a passage from the Zohar called K’Gavna between Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv. This Kabbalistic commentary on Parshat Terumah explains the profound spiritual significance of the evening service on Shabbat. The English translation below

Yemenite Recitation of the Song of Songs

Yemenite Recitation of the Song of Songs

This 27 minute long audio recording presents the entire Song of Songs chanted according to Yemenite custom and pronunciation. One of the five megillot (scrolls) of the Bible, the Song of Songs is traditionally recited prior to Kabbalat Shabbat in Sephardic synagogues. With themes of

Bameh Madlikin: Hebrew Text of Mishnah Recited on Friday Nights

Bameh Madlikin: Hebrew Text of Mishnah Recited on Friday Nights

In many Orthodox congregations (both Ashkenazi and Sephardic,) the second chapter of the Mishnah Tractate Shabbat is recited on Friday nights, either between Kabbalat Shabbat and the Maariv evening prayer or after Kiddush (part of Ma’ariv on Shabbat) in synagogue. It discusses the lighting of Shabbat

Nusach Sefard-Jerusalem Kabbalat Shabbat Service (Hebrew Text & Audio)

Nusach Sefard-Jerusalem Kabbalat Shabbat Service (Hebrew Text & Audio)

This link will direct you to the full Hebrew text of the Kabbalat Service according to the Sefard, Jerusalem tradition, along with a 20 minute long audio recording of the entire service in the chanting style characteristic of this tradition. This resource is from the

Moroccan Kabbalat Shabbat Service (Hebrew Text & Audio)

Moroccan Kabbalat Shabbat Service (Hebrew Text & Audio)

This link will direct you to the full Hebrew text of the Moroccan Kabbalat Shabbat service along with a 27 minute long audio recording of the entire service in the chanting style characteristic of this tradition. The service includes the Psalms, hymns and Talmudic passages

Reform Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Reform Kabbalat Shabbat Service

This link opens up the 2003 version of the UC-Berkeley Siddur for Shabbat. The Kabbalat Shabbat service (pages 1-19) includes some of the hymns and Psalms of the traditional service, together with contemporary writings, prayers, and poems, quotations from Jewish thinkers throughout history, and Talmudic and biblical

Humanistic Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Humanistic Kabbalat Shabbat Service

This link opens up a Humanistic Kabbalat Shabbat Service (pages 4-17), which includes a selection of poems, prayers and songs in Hebrew and English. Yedid Nefesh, a Kabbalistic hymn that often precedes Kabbalat Shabbat, is included in the candle lighting ceremony. The service begins with selected verses

Secular/ Humanist Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Secular/ Humanist Kabbalat Shabbat Service

This Secular/Humanist Shabbat Service presents poems and prayers for Kabbalat Shabbat on pages 6-10. This section includes translations and transliterations of Hebrew/Yiddish poems about welcoming the Sabbath Queen, by Hayim Nahman Bialik, Zalman Shenour and Kadia Molodowsky, secular/humanist adaptations of Shalom Aleichem and the Shema by Morris Sukenik, and Marcia Falk‘s

Renewal Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Renewal Kabbalat Shabbat Service

This excerpt from “Shabbat: A personal guide to the spiritual observance of Shabbat” presents the Kabbalat Shabbat service of the Beyt Tikkun Jewish Renewal neo-Hasidic synagogue in Berkeley, California. This Kabbalat Shabbat service begins with an outdoor meditation celebrating creation, followed by selections from Shema, a central

Reconstructionist Kabbalat Shabbat (Hebrew & English)

Reconstructionist Kabbalat Shabbat (Hebrew & English)

This link will open up a digitized version of “The Sabbath Prayer Book,” the first Reconstructionist siddur to have entered the public domain, arranged and translated by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of the Reconstructionist movement. The complete Kabbalat Shabbat service can be seen from page 34-59,

Conservative Kabbalat Shabbat & Ma’ariv (Transliteration)

Conservative Kabbalat Shabbat & Ma’ariv (Transliteration)

This 20 page PDF document contains an English transliteration of the entire evening service on Shabbat, including Kabbalat Shabbat, Ma’ariv, and some additional prayers.Specifically designed for the Conservative Beth El Congregation of Durham, NC, this resource is based on the Siddur Sim Shalom used in

Orthodox Kabbalistic Kabbalat Shabbat (Hebrew, English, Transliteration)

Orthodox Kabbalistic Kabbalat Shabbat (Hebrew, English, Transliteration)

This 63 page PDF document contains the entire evening service on Shabbat, including Kabbalat Shabbat, Ma’ariv, and some additional prayers. With Hebrew, English and transliterated texts, as well as short introductions and explanations, this is an excellent resource for beginners. Created by Kabbalah4All, it focuses

The Blessing for the Ritual Handwashing

The Blessing for the Ritual Handwashing

This image provides the Hebrew, English and transliterated text of the blessing for the ritual washing of the hands before eating bread (and upon waking up).This resource was created by NCSY, an Orthodox organization dedicated to inspiring Jewish youth to engage with Judaism and Torah. 

Reconstructionist Havdalah and the Concept of Chosenness

Reconstructionist Havdalah and the Concept of Chosenness

This post includes the Hebrew and English text of the Havdalah ceremony according to Reconstructionist tradition, as well as an explanation of the variations from the traditional text. To hear an audio recording, visit the Behrman House website and click on the green arrow (the small

Orthodox Ashkenazi Havdalah Ceremony (Audio & Text)

Orthodox Ashkenazi Havdalah Ceremony (Audio & Text)

These resources from Aish.com present the audio and Hebrew, English, and transliterated text of the Havdalah ceremony, according to Orthodox Ashkenazi custom and pronunciation. The four blessings are preceded by biblical verses that praise God and inspire faith in divine salvation. 

Reconstructionist Havdalah with Masculine & Feminine God Language

Reconstructionist Havdalah with Masculine & Feminine God Language

This post presents the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the Reconstructionist Havdalah ceremony, where each of the four blessings is displayed twice – once using feminine God-language and once using traditional masculine God-language. The English translation offers a soulful interpretation of the text that emphasizes

“The Candle and Spices” – Traditional Yemenite Havdalah Song

“The Candle and Spices” – Traditional Yemenite Havdalah Song

This low quality 3 minute long video features Achinoam Nini singing a beautiful a capella version of the Yemenite song “The Candle and Spices,” traditionally sung at the Yemenite Havdalah ceremony. This poem is written by the sixteenth-century Yemenite poet Sa’adiah. Nini is an Israeli singer

Yemenite Havdalah (Hebrew)

Yemenite Havdalah (Hebrew)

This short audio recording presents the Yemenite Baladi custom for the Havdalah ceremony that concludes Shabbat. Nusach Baladi uses a unique Yemenite pronunciation of Hebrew, which some scholars regard as the most authentic and most closely related to the Hebrew of ancient Israel. The subtle chanting

Moroccan Havdalah

Moroccan Havdalah

In this 6 and a half minute long video, Israeli singer of Jewish hymns, Moshe Louk, leads the Havdalah ceremony according to the custom of Moroccan Jewry. A unique feature in the Moroccan tradition seen in this video is the recitation of the introductory song “Avarech

Edot Hamizrach/Sephardic Havdalah (with Hebrew text)

Edot Hamizrach/Sephardic Havdalah (with Hebrew text)

This 2 minute long video demonstrates the Nusach Edot Hamizrach Havdalah commonly used by Jews of Sephardic and Mizrahi heritage. The Hebrew blessing is recited quickly, using a subtle chanting melody reflective of Oriental and Arabic musical influences. The full text of the blessing in Hebrew

Turkish Tradition of the Daytime Kiddush

Turkish Tradition of the Daytime Kiddush

In this 4 minute audio recording, Cantor Moshe Habusha, a Jerusalem-born singer and musician of Iraqi ancestry, presents a slow, soulful rendition of the daytime Kiddush according to the Turkish tradition. 

Home Video of Yemenite Daytime Kiddush

Home Video of Yemenite Daytime Kiddush

This low quality home video from the Shimoni family presents the Yemenite tradition for the daytime Kiddush, including the preceding Psalms and biblical passages recited according to this tradition. This video reflects the unique pronunciation and chanting style of the Yemenite Jewish community.

Iraqi Tradition of Daytime Kiddush

Iraqi Tradition of Daytime Kiddush

In this 5.5 minute long audio recording, Cantor Moshe Habusha, a Jerusalem-born singer and musician of Iraqi ancestry, presents a slow, soulful rendition of the daytime Kiddush according to the Iraqi tradition and pronunciation.     

Reform Daytime Kiddush (Audio & Text)

Reform Daytime Kiddush (Audio & Text)

This post presents the Reform custom for the daytime kiddush, including the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the blessing and an audio recording of a popular tune in the North American Reform community. Rather than just a melody for the blessing, this custom is

Atkinu Seudata: A Kabbalistic Poem Recited Before Kiddush

Atkinu Seudata: A Kabbalistic Poem Recited Before Kiddush

This post presents an in-depth explanation and the Aramaic, English and transliterated texts of a Kabbalistic poem recited before the daytime Kiddush, according to Jewish mystical traditions. The poem is based on passages in the Zohar and composed by Rabbi Isaac Luria, “The Ari,” the leader of the kabbalistic

Introduction to Daytime Kiddush (with text)

Introduction to Daytime Kiddush (with text)

This post from Wikipedia offers a brief introduction to the daytime Kiddush, including an explanation of how it differs in status and content from the nighttime ritual. It also provides the Hebrew and English text of the Kiddush, while mentioning that there are many different

A Reform Summer Camp’s Abbreviated Grace After Meals with Hand Motions

A Reform Summer Camp’s Abbreviated Grace After Meals with Hand Motions

This almost 3 minute video from URJ Camp Kalsman demonstrates how the campers and staff at this Reform camp recite a shortened version of the traditional Grace After Meals with hand motions that reflect the meaning of the blessing. Recited clearly and slowly to a

Chabad Daytime Kiddush

Chabad Daytime Kiddush

This printable PDF file presents the Hebrew and English text of the daytime Kiddush according to the custom of the Chabad Lubavitch Hasidic tradition. The actual blessing over the wine is preceded by Psalm 23,  a Kabbalistic passage, and several Biblical verses. In 1803, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi,

Nusach Ari Grace After Meals (Audio & Hebrew text)

Nusach Ari Grace After Meals (Audio & Hebrew text)

This post presents an almost 5 minute long audio recording and the Hebrew text for the Nusach Ari version of the Grace After Meals. Nusach Ari refers to the prayer customs of 16th century Kabbalist Rabbi Isaac Luria, the Ari, as well as the derivative version of his

Abbreviated Grace After Meals: The Four Blessings

Abbreviated Grace After Meals: The Four Blessings

This post includes the Hebrew text of the abbreviated version of the Grace After Meals, along with a printable PDF file that contains the English translation and transliteration. This shortened version of the blessing, which includes the four essential blessings contained within the longer text,

Preliminary Psalms Recited Prior to the Grace After Meals

Preliminary Psalms Recited Prior to the Grace After Meals

This short excerpt from Wikipedia briefly presents the various customs as to which Psalms are traditionally recited prior to the Grace After Meals on different days, including the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts below.  Preliminary Psalms Psalm 126, Shir Hama’alot (Song of Ascents), which expresses the Jewish hope

Yemenite/Baladi Grace After Meals (Hebrew Text)

Yemenite/Baladi Grace After Meals (Hebrew Text)

This post presents the Hebrew text for the Nusach Baladi Grace After Meals used by many Yemenite Jews. The blessing is preceded by the recitation of Psalm 23 and Psalm 77. Nusach Baladi uses a unique Yemenite pronunciation of Hebrew, which some scholars regard as

One Line Grace After Meals

One Line Grace After Meals

The one-line version of the Grace After Meals, presented below in Aramaic, English and transliterated, has been adopted for general use in many Conservative communities. Some Conservative prayer books include this Aramaic phrase along with additions in English. There are several different shortened versions of the

By the Sweat of Their Brow: An Alternative Humanist Grace After Meals

By the Sweat of Their Brow: An Alternative Humanist Grace After Meals

This post offers two poems in Hebrew and English, excerpts from Dr. Tzemah Yoreh‘s work, “By the Sweat of their Brow, a Humanist Birkon.” After a brief explanation of the rationale behind his project, Dr. Yoreh offers a poem that references Biblical characters who altruistically fed

An Original Blessing of the Children and the Parents

An Original Blessing of the Children and the Parents

This video show the recitation of an original blessing for the protection and joy of families during a unique Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony at the port in Tel Aviv, when the Beit Tefilah Israeli Congregation invited local Israeli families to celebrate Shabbat together with foreign workers

Blessing the Spirit of All-which-Lives after Eating and Feeling Satiated: An Ecological Grace After Meals

Blessing the Spirit of All-which-Lives after Eating and Feeling Satiated: An Ecological Grace After Meals

This post provides the PDF file of “Haveri Nevarekh: Blessing the Spirit of All-which-Lives after Eating and Feeling Satiated: A Birkon” by Aharon Varady. Pages 14-30 offer an adapted version of the traditional Hebrew Ashkenazi Grace After Meals with an English translation that emphasizes the deep ecological wisdom

Yosef Karduner: Breslov Melody for Eishet Chayil

Yosef Karduner: Breslov Melody for Eishet Chayil

This solemn melody for Eishet Chayil comes from Yosef Karduner‘s album, “Yearning for Shabbat: Traditional Breslov Songs for Shabbat Night.” An Israeli Hasidic singer, songwriter, and composer, Karduner is heavily influenced by the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement.

Ya Comimos: Ladino Prayer Following Grace After Meals

Ya Comimos: Ladino Prayer Following Grace After Meals

This post includes the lyrics for “Ya Comimos” in traditional Ladino, modern Ladino, and English. This poetic prayer is recited after the traditional Grace After Meals by some Jews of Spanish and Portuguese descent. Also known as Judeo-Spanish, Ladino was initially simply the language of the province in

Blessing Oneself on Erev Shabbat

Blessing Oneself on Erev Shabbat

Based on the traditional blessing over the children, this alternative blessing by Rabbi Kami Knapp encourages people to bless themselves to emulate a positive trait of a chosen role model on Friday night. Although this blessing was written with an acknowledgement of those who may be  –

Yemenite Custom for Eishet Chayil

Yemenite Custom for Eishet Chayil

This website presents an audio recording of the late Yemenite poet and singer Binyamin Nachum singing Eishet Chayil with the unique chanting style used in Yemenite custom. This recording is part of the archive of Jewish liturgical songs and prayers in the National Library of Israel. 

Let Us Bring Forth Food: Humanistic Ha-Motzi

Let Us Bring Forth Food: Humanistic Ha-Motzi

This blessing for breaking bread, inspired by HaMotzi, meaning “the one who brings forth,” was composed by Machar: The Washington Congregation for Secular Humanistic Judaism. Typical of this movement, founded in 1963 by the late Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine, the blessing omits any mention of God,

Be Who You Are: An Alternative Blessing Over the Children

Be Who You Are: An Alternative Blessing Over the Children

This excerpt from Marcia Falk‘s “The Book of Blessings” offers a contemporary, open-ended text for blessing one’s children on Friday night in a way that empowers them with a sense of possibility, is free of gender roles, and does not limit them to the qualities of

Yitzchak Meir & Friends: Carlebach Shalom Aleichem

Yitzchak Meir & Friends: Carlebach Shalom Aleichem

In this song Yitzhak Meir & Friends perform Shalom Aleichem using the tune composed by the influential musician and teacher, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, “The Singing Rabbi.” The song comes from “New Souls,” an album of Friday night Shabbat songs that was the result of the collaborative

David D’Or: Chabad Shalom Aleichem Tune

David D’Or: Chabad Shalom Aleichem Tune

This video features Israeli singer, composer and songwriter, David D’Or, performing the Chabad melody for Shalom Aleichem from the album “Tzama 2: Artists Singing the Melodies of the Ba’al HaTanya.” The goal of this album, a collaborative project of some of Israel’s most well known

Yosef Karduner: Breslov Melody for Shalom Aleichem

Yosef Karduner: Breslov Melody for Shalom Aleichem

This lively melody for Shalom Aleichem comes from Yosef Karduner‘s album, “Yearning for Shabbat: Traditional Breslov Songs for Shabbat Night.” An Israeli Hasidic singer, songwriter, and composer, Karduner is heavily influenced by the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement.

Yemenite Shalom Aleichem

Yemenite Shalom Aleichem

This casual home video presents Ronen Garama singing a Mizrahi influenced version of Cantor Israel Goldfarb’s popular melody for Shalom Aleichem. Garama, the grandson of Yemenite immigrants to Israel and the owner of a gardening company that tends graves, sings this song for composer Yehuda

Ethiopian Shalom Aleichem

Ethiopian Shalom Aleichem

This video features Shalom Aleichem sung in both Hebrew and Ge’ez (an ancient Ethiopian language) to a melody that reflects Ethiopian musical influences. With images of the Ethiopian Jewish community in the background, this video shows how ancient Jewish traditions are celebrated in different communities in

Vurka and Amnishov Hasidic Shalom Aleichem Melody

Vurka and Amnishov Hasidic Shalom Aleichem Melody

This almost 8 minute long song presents the Shalom Aleichem melody used by the Vurka and Amshinov Hasidic dynasties. With its heavy instrumental style, arranged by Gavriel Saks, this rendition is quite sombre and emotive. The Amshinov dynasty, named after a town in Poland, was founded by

Radomsk Hasidic Melody for Shalom Aleichem

Radomsk Hasidic Melody for Shalom Aleichem

This joyous, lively melody for Shalom Aleichem comes from the Radomsk Hasidic dynasty. Performed by Reb Yonatan Shtencel, the Vizhnitz Choir and the Yedidim Choir, this song comes from the album, “Songs from Yesteryear: Shabbos Songs.” According to common custom, each stanza is recited three

Ribbon Kol Haolamim: A Prayer Based on Shalom Aleichem

Ribbon Kol Haolamim: A Prayer Based on Shalom Aleichem

This post includes the Hebrew and English translation for “Ribbon Kol Haolamim,” a prayer that is recited or sung after “Shalom Aleichem” in many communities, as well as an audio recording reflecting the tradition of the Bene Israel Indian Jewish community. Largely comprised of praise and

Traditional Ashkenazi Shalom Aleichem (Audio & Text)

Traditional Ashkenazi Shalom Aleichem (Audio & Text)

This post includes the Hebrew, English, and transliterated lyrics to Shalom Aleichem, traditionally sung before Kiddush at the beginning of the Friday night meal on Shabbat. From Aish.com, the text and audio reflect the traditional Orthodox Ashkenazi custom and pronunciation. According to many customs, including

Shalom Aleichem with Alternating Masculine and Feminine God-Language

Shalom Aleichem with Alternating Masculine and Feminine God-Language

This post presents an alternative version of Shalom Aleichem, where half of the stanzas are written with the traditional masculine God-language, while the other half use feminine God-language, reflecting a blend of Jewish tradition with modern feminist approaches. While the Hebrew and transliterated texts are based on the

Kabbalistic Poems Recited Before Kiddush: Atkinu Seudata & Azamer Bishvochin

Kabbalistic Poems Recited Before Kiddush: Atkinu Seudata & Azamer Bishvochin

This post includes both audio recordings and the Aramaic, English and transliterated texts of two poems that are often recited before Kiddush on Friday night, according to Jewish mystical traditions. Both poems are based on passages in the Zohar (the most important work of Kabbalah) and composed

Alternative HaMotzi: Humanistic & Theistic Version

Alternative HaMotzi: Humanistic & Theistic Version

In this alternative blessing over the bread, Lesley Reuter encourages readers to gratefully reflect on the source of their food, whether they believe it comes through human effort or Divine generosity. With both humanistic and theistic versions, this blessing is relevant for anyone looking to

The Blessing Over Wine: Masculine, Feminine and Non-Gendered God Language

The Blessing Over Wine: Masculine, Feminine and Non-Gendered God Language

This post includes the blessing recited over wine in Hebrew, English and transliterated, using masculine, feminine and non-gendered God-language. This blessing is only one small part within the Shabbat Kiddush ceremony, and it is also recited before drinking wine or grape juice at any time

Kiddush & Building Community: Humanistic Liturgy

Kiddush & Building Community: Humanistic Liturgy

This community-centered blessing over the wine was composed by Machar: The Washington Congregation for Secular Humanistic Judaism. Typical of this movement, founded in 1963 by the late Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine, the blessing omits any mention of God, as Humanistic Judaism enables people of any ethnic or

Do We Wash Each Hand Two or Three Times?

Do We Wash Each Hand Two or Three Times?

This short post describes the different halachic opinions regarding how many times one must wash each hand when performing the ritual hand-washing before eating bread, including both technical and mystical explanations. This response was written by Rabbi David Sperling, an Orthodox rabbi with an expertise

Secular/ Humanist HaMotzi Texts

Secular/ Humanist HaMotzi Texts

The following excerpts from a Secular/Humanist Shabbat Service emphasize our connection to the land and themes of social justice, in English, Hebrew transliteration and some Yiddish. Although the traditions of Shabbat are often seen as purely religious rituals, many secular Jews around the world see Friday night

Printable Hand Washing & Hamotzi Guide

Printable Hand Washing & Hamotzi Guide

This simple one-page card from Aish.com provides the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the blessings for the ritual washing of the hands and the bread. It also includes directions for the accompanying ritual actions, according to Orthodox Ashenazi custom. This resource is ideal for

Motzi: A Chain of Work – Prayer Prior to HaMotzi

Motzi: A Chain of Work – Prayer Prior to HaMotzi

This poetic prayer, meant to be recited prior to the blessing over the challah, brings one’s intentions toward all of the people, powers, and systems that allowed for the bread to come into existence. Written by Trisha Arlin, a writer, performer and rabbinic student at the Academy

Words Of Prayer and Intention: A Sustainability Motzi

Words Of Prayer and Intention: A Sustainability Motzi

This poetic blessing over the bread brings one’s intentions toward all of the people, powers, and systems that allowed for the bread to come into existence. The prayer finishes with an adapted English and transliterated version of the HaMotzi blessing, which includes several different concepts of

Prayer for the Rebuilding of the Temple After Candle Lighting

Prayer for the Rebuilding of the Temple After Candle Lighting

There is a custom to recite this prayer for the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem after making the blessing over the Shabbat candles. This is the same prayer that is said by many Ashkenazic Orthodox Jews at the end of the Amidah prayer, which

The Shabbat Project: Sephardic Hand Washing & HaMotzi Guide

The Shabbat Project: Sephardic Hand Washing & HaMotzi Guide

This two-page resource includes a detailed step-by-step guide explaining how to fulfill the ritual washing of the hands and the blessing over challah according to Sephardic tradition, including Hebrew, English and transliterated texts. Whereas according to Ashkenazic tradition, the blessing is simply recited upon washing the

JOFA: A Tchina for Putting Challah in the Oven

JOFA: A Tchina for Putting Challah in the Oven

The following prayer is meant to be recited by women prior to putting the challah into the oven. It asks God to bless the challah and make sure that it bakes well, and also includes general praise of God. The article provides an introduction to

HaMotzi(ah) with Masculine and Feminine God-Language

HaMotzi(ah) with Masculine and Feminine God-Language

This post presents the blessing over the bread both in its traditional format (i.e. with masculine God-language) and using feminine God-language, an option that reflects the blend of Jewish tradition with modern feminist approaches. The feminine version not only refers to God using the feminine

The Confusion of Sephardic, North African and Middle Eastern Customs

The Confusion of Sephardic, North African and Middle Eastern Customs

In her humorous, anecdotal style, Daniella Levy reveals the confusion that surrounds the specific customs of lighting Shabbat candles in the Sephardic, North African and Middle Eastern traditions. This post is from the Letters to Josep blog, in which the author, an Orthodox American-Israeli Jew, shares

Personal Prayer and Meditation For Candle Lighting

Personal Prayer and Meditation For Candle Lighting

This short article explains the tradition of reciting personal prayers during the time of candle lighting and also suggests meditating on mystical ideas about fire. Originally from Wellsprings of Wisdom, a “virtual retreat center,” these ideas are relevant for those seeking spiritual renewal and personal growth

Traditional Prayer for the Family Following Candle Lighting

Traditional Prayer for the Family Following Candle Lighting

This prayer for the family is often recited after lighting the Shabbat candles, an auspicious time for prayer, according to Jewish tradition. Many women use this as an opportunity to recite their own personal prayers or those written by women in the past. Feel free

Mizrahi Grace After Meals (Hebrew Audio & Text)

Mizrahi Grace After Meals (Hebrew Audio & Text)

This post presents the Hebrew text and an audio recording of the full weekday Grace After Meals, according to the custom and pronunciation of Edot HaMizrach practiced by many Sephardic and Middle Eastern Jews. The audio is performed by Cantor Moshe Habusha, a Jerusalem-born singer and musician

Bendigamos Al Altísimo: A Spanish Grace After Meals Hymn (Audio & Text)

Bendigamos Al Altísimo: A Spanish Grace After Meals Hymn (Audio & Text)

Bendigamos (literally “Let Us Bless”) is a Spanish hymn traditionally sung after meals by Jews of Spanish, Portuguese and Turkish descent (in addition to the traditional Grace After Meals.) This post includes a Wikipedia article describing this custom, as well as an audio recording and the lyrics

OneTable Shabbat Dinner Guide

OneTable Shabbat Dinner Guide

Created by OneTable, a grassroots organization whose goal it is to help people enjoy Shabbat dinners together, the guide (39 pages) to the Friday night dinner experience provides both inspiration and optional formulae written for the host. Relevant to people of all backgrounds and levels of observance,

Ashkenazi Grace After Meals (Audio + Text)

Ashkenazi Grace After Meals (Audio + Text)

This recording presents the complete Grace After Meals according to Ashkenazi custom, sung with the modern Israeli pronunciation of Hebrew in a slow, clear voice to a popular melody. Performed by Sandy Bernstein, Chazzan of Congregation Beth El-Ner Tamid (CBENT), and shared by the American Jewish

Reform Abbreviated Grace After Meals (Audio & Text)

Reform Abbreviated Grace After Meals (Audio & Text)

This post includes an audio recording of an abbreviated version of the Grace After Meals, accompanied by the Hebrew, English, and and transliterated text. According to many opinions, this shortened version is only used when time is lacking. It contains shortened versions of the four essential blessings

Different Orthodox Shalom Aleichem Customs

Different Orthodox Shalom Aleichem Customs

In this short article, Rabbi Simcha Weinberg, founder of the leading Torah website, The Foundation Stone, briefly presents the unique “Shalom Aleichem” customs of several well-known rabbinic figures, including The Ben Ish Chai (Rabbi Yosef Chaim MiBagdhad (1835-1909), a great Iraqi leader and authority on Sephardic

Debbie Friedman’s Shalom Aleichem with Onscreen Transliteration

Debbie Friedman’s Shalom Aleichem with Onscreen Transliteration

This video presents the operatic soprano, Rowna Sutin, performing Debbie Friedman’s original tune for Shalom Aleichem. Complete with onscreen transliterated text, this video is helpful for those who would like to learn the words for Shalom Aleichem and sing it to a popular tune. Debbie Friedman (1951-2011)

Sephardic/Mizrahi Custom: Shalom Aleichem

Sephardic/Mizrahi Custom: Shalom Aleichem

This video demonstrates the Sephardic/Mizrahi tradition for Shalom Aleichem, which has five stanzas, instead of four, as is the common Ashkenazi custom. The additional verse, “B’shiv-t’chem L’shalom,” translated as “May your rest be for peace,” blesses the accompanying angels with a peaceful rest before bidding them farewell. Complete

Nusach Sefard: Shalom Aleichem

Nusach Sefard: Shalom Aleichem

This post includes the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts for Shalom Aleichem according to Nusach Sefard. Nusaf Sefard refers to the various forms of the Jewish prayers designed to reconcile Ashkenazi customs with the customs of Rabbi Isaac Luria, “The Ari,” a foremost Kabbalist (Jewish mystic)

Complete Ashkenazi Grace After Meals (Hebrew Text)

Complete Ashkenazi Grace After Meals (Hebrew Text)

The following Hebrew text presents the Ashkenazi custom for the Grace After Meals from Tefillos.com. This is useful resource for Ashkenazi Jews who read Hebrew fluently and simply looking for the text. Tefillos.com is essentially an online weekday prayer book.

Sephardic Tradition: Friday Night Candle Lighting

Sephardic Tradition: Friday Night Candle Lighting

In this Hebrew clip (at 1:00), Inbar Tabiv demonstrates how to light the Shabbat candles, first reciting the blessing and then kindling the candles according to the tradition of many Mizrahi (Sephardic), Yemenite and Moroccan Jews. Note that instead of invoking God’s name (Adonai) during

How to Separate Challah: Sephardic & Ashkenazi Customs

How to Separate Challah: Sephardic & Ashkenazi Customs

This excerpt from “The Secret of Challah” by Shira Wiener & Ayelet Yifrach provides clear and concise directions for both Ashkenazim and Sepharadim on how to perform the mitzvah (commandment) of Hafrashat Challah – separating the dough when making challah. The instructions provide the Hebrew, English and transliterated

Alternative Blessing for Children with Masculine and Feminine God Language

Alternative Blessing for Children with Masculine and Feminine God Language

This post presents the blessing for the children using both traditional male God-language as well as feminine God-language, reflecting a blend of Jewish tradition with modern feminist approaches. The two versions of the traditional blessing are followed by Marcia Falk’s contemporary, open-ended text for blessing one’s children on Friday night

Modernizing Birkat HaMotzi: A Feminist Spiritual Approach

Modernizing Birkat HaMotzi: A Feminist Spiritual Approach

This excerpt from Marcia Falk’s “The Book of Blessings” discusses both the significance of Birkat HaMotzi (the blessing over the bread) as a symbol of community, and offers a modernization of the blessing that can be used as a table ritual whenever one sits down for a meal.

A Rabbi Blesses the Children of his Congregation

A Rabbi Blesses the Children of his Congregation

In this short recording, Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove of Park Avenue (Conservative) Synagogue in New York City blesses the children in his congregation with the blessing traditionally said by parents on Friday night. Rabbi Cosgrove recites the blessings in Hebrew and English, including the one for sons, the

Post-Candle Lighting “Tkhine”: An 18th Century Prayer

Post-Candle Lighting “Tkhine”: An 18th Century Prayer

This short “tkhine” (supplication) is a para-liturgical prayer that is meant to be recited by women just after lighting Shabbat candles, an auspicious time for personal prayer. The words express a deep desire that the act of lighting the Shabbat candles not only be accepted by God,

Shabbat Candle Lighting Blessing: Audio and Text

Shabbat Candle Lighting Blessing: Audio and Text

This audio recording demonstrates a man singing the blessing over the Shabbat candles clearly and slowly, using a popular North American melody, which was composed by Abraham Binder, musical director of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue (Reform) in the 1940s. This recording was created by Beit Am,

Shabbat Candle Lighting with Masculine and Feminine God-Language

Shabbat Candle Lighting with Masculine and Feminine God-Language

This post presents the blessing for lighting the Shabbat candles on Friday night, both in its traditional format (i.e. with masculine God-language) and using feminine God-language, an option that reflects the blend of Jewish tradition with modern feminist approaches. The feminine version not only refers

Humanistic Liturgy for Lighting Shabbat Candles

Humanistic Liturgy for Lighting Shabbat Candles

This Shabbat candle lighting ceremony was composed by Machar: The Washington Congregation for Secular Humanistic Judaism. Typical of this movement, founded in 1963 by the late Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine, the blessing omits any mention of God, as Humanistic Judaism enables people of any ethnic or

Reconstructionist Kiddush with Feminine God-Language: Text & Audio

Reconstructionist Kiddush with Feminine God-Language: Text & Audio

This article presents the Reconstructionist adaptation of Kiddush into feminine God-language, including a recording by Rabbi Margot Stein, a Reconstructionist rabbi, musician, cantor, and educator, the full text in Hebrew, English and transliteration, and an explanation of the meaning behind the textual variations. Traditionally, Jewish Hebrew liturgy

Shabbat Evening Kiddush Karaoke: Reform

Shabbat Evening Kiddush Karaoke: Reform

This ‘karaoke style’ video with Hebrew subtitles, demonstrates how to sing the Shabbat evening blessings over the wine, according to the Reform Ashkenazi tradition. Chanted by Cantor Linda Kates from the Reform Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles, this video is particularly helpful for those wanting to

Egalitarian Kiddush and “Shalom Aleychem”

Egalitarian Kiddush and “Shalom Aleychem”

The following post provides information about egalitarian approaches to Kiddush, as well as a video of Cantor Elana Rozenfeld teaching the words and melody of “Shalom Aleychem” and the Friday night Kiddush. Rozenfeld is the Cantor of Congregation Shirat Hayim, a Conservative synagogue in Swampscott,

Reconstructionist Kiddush and the Concept of Chosenness

Reconstructionist Kiddush and the Concept of Chosenness

This article includes the Hebrew and English text of the Friday night Kiddush according to Reconstructionist tradition, as well as an explanation of the variations from the traditional text. To hear an audio recording of the Kiddush, click here. The post also provides an introduction to

Traditional Ashkenazi Friday Night Kiddush: Text & Audio

Traditional Ashkenazi Friday Night Kiddush: Text & Audio

This resource includes the complete Hebrew, English, and transliterated text for the traditional Ashkenazi Orthodox Kiddush, including explanations of what motions are performed at each point. Although the Kiddush ritual is almost identical throughout the Jewish world, there are slight variations in text and pronunciation between different

Traditional Sephardic and Mizrahi Friday Night Kiddush

Traditional Sephardic and Mizrahi Friday Night Kiddush

This article includes the complete Hebrew, English, and transliterated text for the Sephardic/Mizrahi Orthodox Kiddush, as well as a video with onscreen text from Kol Echad M’mekomo.  The term “Sephardic” refers to the Jews of Iberia and the Spanish diaspora, including those who moved to Europe, North Africa,

Eishet Chayil with On Screen English, Hebrew, Transliterated Text

Eishet Chayil with On Screen English, Hebrew, Transliterated Text

This video presents a slow but lively version of one of the most popular melodies for Eishet Chayil, composed by Ben Zion Shenker in 1953. There are on screen English, Hebrew and transliterated texts of the lyrics on a video backdrop of emotive landscapes and images

Secular/ Humanist Kiddush Texts

Secular/ Humanist Kiddush Texts

The following excerpts from a Secular/Humanist Shabbat Service emphasize both universalistic concepts and the importance of rejoicing in Jewish heritage. Although the traditions of Shabbat are often seen as purely religious rituals, many secular Jews around the world see Friday night as a perfect time to gather

A Reconstructionist Reflection Before Lighting Shabbat Candles

A Reconstructionist Reflection Before Lighting Shabbat Candles

This short reflection, recited prior to light Shabbat candles, is written by Jewish-American poet, Marge Piercy, and appears in the Reconstructionist Kol Haneshama siddur. It encourages the reader to be grateful of his/her blessings and mindful of the sacred moment of lighting Shabbat candles. Reconstructionist

Yemenite Friday Night Kiddush

Yemenite Friday Night Kiddush

This video presents a recording of a traditional Friday night Kiddush according to the Yemenite tradition, recited by Tomer Hatuca, an Israeli singer and musician of Yemenite descent. Yemenite Jews have unique religious traditions, including a particular pronunciation of Hebrew which is said to be closest to

Shabbat Kiddush of Liberation: Letting the Land Rest

Shabbat Kiddush of Liberation: Letting the Land Rest

This ecological Kiddush was written for an instance when Shabbat coincided with Tu b’Shvat, the Jewish new year for the trees, by Mark X. Jacobs, the former Founding Executive Director of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL). Jacobs begins and ends with the

The Blessing for the Shabbat Candles

The Blessing for the Shabbat Candles

This short video demonstrates a woman singing the blessing over the Shabbat candles while transliterated English subtitles are displayed over emotive pictures of women blessing the candles in the background. The popular North American tune used for this blessing was composed by Abraham Binder, musical director

Shabbat Candle Blessing

Shabbat Candle Blessing

In this short video, Cantor Marnie Camhi first sings and then recites the blessing over the Shabbat candles. In a slow, clear and pleasant voice, she sings the blessing using a popular North American melody composed by Abraham Binder, musical director of the Stephen Wise Free

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Good Jews: Shalom Aleichem

Good Jews: Shalom Aleichem

In this beautifully produced music video, Good Jews perform a slow, emotive version of one of the most famous melodies of Shalom Aleichem, composed by Rabbi Cantor Israel Goldfarb in 1918. Good Jews, made up of singers and musicians Vered Forbes and Adi Silberberg, is an Israel-based

Nava Tehila: A Serene Havdalah

Nava Tehila: A Serene Havdalah

This calming melody for the Havdalah ceremony was composed by The Nava Tehila Ensemble, a Jerusalem-based group who perform both original and traditional music that draws on Jewish, Israeli and world sources to create a spiritually uplifting experience. Led by Daphna Rosenberg, the Ensemble is

Kippalive: A Capella Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat

Kippalive: A Capella Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat

This 9 and a half minute long video features the Israeli male a Capella group, Kippalive, singing harmonic versions of many of Rabbi Shlomo Calebach‘s most famous melodies for Kabbalat Shabbat. The group sings selected verses of each of the songs from the Shabbat Shabbat service, except

Shishi BaTzohorayim by Eyal Golan

Shishi BaTzohorayim by Eyal Golan

The song Shishi BaTzohorayim (3:48) by Eyal Golan speaks of the typical weekend experience for many secular Israelis, especially in the summer months—trips to the beach, beer, paddle ball, and romance! See chorus in Hebrew below. For the full Hebrew lyrics, click here. בים שישי

Yom Shishi by Hadag Nachash

Yom Shishi by Hadag Nachash

The song Yom Shishi (4:24) by popular Israeli band Hadag Nachash describes a typical Israeli weekend and the sense of relief and joy that accompanies it. See the chorus in Hebrew below. For the full lyrics in both Hebrew and English, click here. יום שישי הגיע

Little Presents by Rami Kleinstein

Little Presents by Rami Kleinstein

This sweet, poetic song (3:43) by Rami Kleinstein paints a picture of the warm associations that come along with Friday and Shabbat for many Israelis, whether religious or not. See chorus in Hebrew below. For the full Hebrew lyrics, click here. מתנות קטנות מישהו שלח

Al HaNissim for Hannukah

Al HaNissim for Hannukah

Al HaNissim is a short paragraph added to the Amidah prayer and the Grace After Meals on Hannukah, thanking God for the miraculous redemption celebrated on this holiday and briefly retelling the story of Hannukah. The full Hebrew and English text can be seen below. The

Audio Recordings of Ashkenazi High Holiday Liturgy

Audio Recordings of Ashkenazi High Holiday Liturgy

This link will take you to the musical prayer navigator of Mechon Hadar, where you can find audio recordings for each part of the synagogue service for Shabbat, weekday, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Festivals and Rosh Chodesh. A useful resource for those who want to learn

BBYO Sings Debbie Friedman’s Havdalah

BBYO Sings Debbie Friedman’s Havdalah

This 3 and a half minute long video features song leaders of the BBYO youth group singing the Reform version of the Havdalah ceremony to the popular melody composed by Jewish American singer-songwriter, Debbie Friedman. BBYO is a pluralistic Jewish youth organization affiliated with B’nai B’rith International. 

Debbie Friedman: The World of Your Dreams (Andy’s Bar Mitzvah Song)

Debbie Friedman: The World of Your Dreams (Andy’s Bar Mitzvah Song)

This post presents the lyrics to “The World of Your Dreams (Andy’s Bar Mitzvah Song),” composed by beloved Jewish American singer-songwriter, Debbie Friedman. Based on Talmud, B’rachot 17a, this song is written as a blessing to a Bar Mitzvah boy for a life of Torah, happiness

The Hadar Institute: The Content, Meaning and Music of Lecha Dodi

The Hadar Institute: The Content, Meaning and Music of Lecha Dodi

This link will take you to a three-part online audio course exploring the content, meaning, and music of Lecha Dodi, as part of Mechon Hadar’s Tefillah Toolkit series. Three scholars explore what the prayer is about, what it means to pray it, and how to get

Reconstructionist Kabbalat Shabbat Melodies

Reconstructionist Kabbalat Shabbat Melodies

Click this link to hear different versions of songs from Kabbalat Shabbat, recorded by Bnai Keshet, a vibrant Reconstructionist congregation in Montclair, NJ known for its lively, musical Kabbalat Shabbat services. 

Spanish & Portuguese Kabbalat Shabbat Melodies

Spanish & Portuguese Kabbalat Shabbat Melodies

Click this link to hear songs from the Kabbalat Shabbat services of the Spanish & Portuguese Jews’ Congregation of London. This website explains the prayer customs of this community, featuring both traditional and contemporary melodies. The purpose of this website is to provide an online resource of

The Nava Tehila Ensemble: Dancing in the Glory – A Journey into Kabbalat Shabbat

The Nava Tehila Ensemble: Dancing in the Glory – A Journey into Kabbalat Shabbat

This post features the first song from Nava Tehila Ensemble’s album, “Dancing in the Glory: A Journey into Kabbalat Shabbat,” made up of original Kabbalat Shabbat melodies. The Nava Tehila Ensemble is a Jerusalem-based group who perform both original and traditional music that draws on Jewish,

Syrian Song of Songs and Kabbalat Shabbat (Audio)

Syrian Song of Songs and Kabbalat Shabbat (Audio)

This post includes two audio recordings representing the Syrian custom and musical style, sung by Hazzan Faraj Samra. The first clip is a 20 minute long audio recording of the Song of Songs, traditionally recited in its entirety prior to Kabbalat Shabbat in many Sephardic

Cantor Shira Lissek’s Conservative Musical Kabbalat Shabbat

Cantor Shira Lissek’s Conservative Musical Kabbalat Shabbat

This hour long video features Cantor Shira Lissek leading the entire Kabbalat Shabbat service with musical accompaniment. Shira Lissek is the Associate Cantor of Park Avenue Synagogue, the largest Conservative community in NYC and the flagship of Jewish liturgical music in North America. 

The Sabbath Queen: A Poem by Hayim Nahman Bialik

The Sabbath Queen: A Poem by Hayim Nahman Bialik

This post presents the Hebrew, English and transliterated text of “Sabbath Queen,” a poem by Israel’s national poet, Hayim Nahman Bialik, about welcoming Shabbat. This poem is included in many alternative Kabbalat Shabbat services in Israel and abroad. There is also an audio recording of

K’Gavna: A Kabbalistic Reading Following Kabbalat Shabbat

K’Gavna: A Kabbalistic Reading Following Kabbalat Shabbat

This post presents the Nusach Ha’Ari and Nusach Sefard tradition of reciting a passage from the Zohar called K’Gavna between Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv. This Kabbalistic commentary on Parshat Terumah explains the profound spiritual significance of the evening service on Shabbat. The English translation below

Nusach Sefard-Jerusalem Kabbalat Shabbat Service (Hebrew Text & Audio)

Nusach Sefard-Jerusalem Kabbalat Shabbat Service (Hebrew Text & Audio)

This link will direct you to the full Hebrew text of the Kabbalat Service according to the Sefard, Jerusalem tradition, along with a 20 minute long audio recording of the entire service in the chanting style characteristic of this tradition. This resource is from the

Moroccan Kabbalat Shabbat Service (Hebrew Text & Audio)

Moroccan Kabbalat Shabbat Service (Hebrew Text & Audio)

This link will direct you to the full Hebrew text of the Moroccan Kabbalat Shabbat service along with a 27 minute long audio recording of the entire service in the chanting style characteristic of this tradition. The service includes the Psalms, hymns and Talmudic passages

The Singing of the Hand Washing Blessing

The Singing of the Hand Washing Blessing

This 20 second audio recording presents the blessing for the ritual hand washing sung to a tune, followed by the English translation of the blessing. Although this song is from the album “The Passover Seder,”  the blessing over washing one’s hands before eating matzah on Passover

Al Netilat Yadaim Children’s Song

Al Netilat Yadaim Children’s Song

This catchy children’s song was composed by Yisroel “Erik” Ilyayev to give kids an easy way to remember the words to the ritual hand washing blessing. 

The Hand Washing Song: A Catchy Camp Song

The Hand Washing Song: A Catchy Camp Song

This short video presents a fun, catchy song about the ritual handwashing before eating bread. Performed by Yakov Fleischmann, the Director of Camp Stone, this song is aimed at campers and staff at this Orthodox summer camp. Based on popular melodies, this song can be

Havdalah Medley Using Many Popular Melodies

Havdalah Medley Using Many Popular Melodies

This link presents a beautiful 7 minute long musical Havdalah medley that switches between many well known tunes. The opening paragraph “hine el yeshua’ati” is sung to the traditional melody from the Modzitz Hasidic group known for their musical compositions. “Layehudim” is sung to the

The Maccabeats & Netanel Hershtik Make Havdalah

The Maccabeats & Netanel Hershtik Make Havdalah

This 5 minute long video presents The Maccabeats & Netanel Hershtik singing havdalah to two popular melodies. The opening paragraph “hine el yeshua’ati” is sung to the traditional melody from the Modzitz Hasidic group known for their musical compositions, while the four central blessings of the

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach’s Melody for the Opening Verses of Havdalah

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach’s Melody for the Opening Verses of Havdalah

This 5 minute long audio recording features Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach singing his original melody for “Hiney El Yeshuati,” the opening verses of the Havdalah ceremony. Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (1925-1994), also known as the “Singing Rabbi,” composed thousands of melodies and recorded over 25 albums. Although his roots lay in

“The Candle and Spices” – Traditional Yemenite Havdalah Song

“The Candle and Spices” – Traditional Yemenite Havdalah Song

This low quality 3 minute long video features Achinoam Nini singing a beautiful a capella version of the Yemenite song “The Candle and Spices,” traditionally sung at the Yemenite Havdalah ceremony. This poem is written by the sixteenth-century Yemenite poet Sa’adiah. Nini is an Israeli singer

A Subtle Melody for the Chabad Daytime Kiddush

A Subtle Melody for the Chabad Daytime Kiddush

This audio recording presents Rabbi Chay Amar singing a subtle melody for the daytime Kiddush, including the preliminary Psalms and passages recited according to the Chabad-Lubavitch custom. Rabbi Amar is the co-director of the Chabad of Golden Beach in Florida.   

Etti Ankri’s Psalm 23 Recited Prior to Daytime Kiddush

Etti Ankri’s Psalm 23 Recited Prior to Daytime Kiddush

This video presents Israeli singer-songwriter Etti Ankri performing a beautiful rendition of Psalm 23, often recited prior to the daytime Kiddush. Born to a Tunisian Jewish family, Etti Ankri has been referred to as “the poet of Israeli spirituality.” This video is from a live

Atkinu Seudata: A Hasidic Melody for a Kabbalistic Poem Recited Before the Daytime Kiddush

Atkinu Seudata: A Hasidic Melody for a Kabbalistic Poem Recited Before the Daytime Kiddush

This video presents a Kabbalistic poem sometimes recited before the daytime Kiddush sung to a melody from the Modzitz Hasidic group, known for their musical compositions. Based on passages in the Zohar, Atkinu Seudata was written in Aramaic by Rabbi Isaac Luria, the leader of the kabbalistic community in Sfat in

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Shir Hama’alot

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Shir Hama’alot

This audio recording features Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach singing his original melody for Psalm 126, Shir Hama’alot (Song of Ascents), which is widely recited by Ashkenazi Jews before the Grace After Meals on Shabbat, Jewish holidays and other days on which the penitential Tachanun prayer is not recited. It expresses the Jewish hope of return to Zion following their final redemption. Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

Meydad Tasa: “Al Naharot Bavel” (By the Rivers of Babylon)

Meydad Tasa: “Al Naharot Bavel” (By the Rivers of Babylon)

This music video features Medad Tasa singing a popular tune for the first six verses of Psalm 137 (By the Rivers of Babylon), which is sometimes recited prior to the Grace After Meals on weekdays. This Psalm describes the reactions of the Jews in exile as would have been

An Emotive Rendition of the Priestly Blessing

An Emotive Rendition of the Priestly Blessing

This video presents a musical version of the Priestly Blessing, part of the blessing over the children traditionally recited on Friday nights. Sung in both Hebrew and English, the video also provides the English and transliterated words of the blessing.   

Rabbi Shefa Gold Chants the Ben Ish Chai’s Shortened Birkat Hamazon

Rabbi Shefa Gold Chants the Ben Ish Chai’s Shortened Birkat Hamazon

This post presents Rabbi Shefa Gold’s meditative Aramaic and English chant based on the Ben Ish Chai’s one-line version of the Grace After Meals. The Ben Ish Chai (Rabbi Yosef Hayim, 1835-1909), was a leading Sephardic rabbi and Kabbalist who lived in Baghdad. He ruled that in extreme

Groom Serenades Bride with Eishet Chayil at Wedding

Groom Serenades Bride with Eishet Chayil at Wedding

In this romantic video a groom serenades his new bride at their wedding using the popular melody composed by Ben Zion Shenker. All about a man’s search for a woman who possesses the qualities that will make her a wonderful wife and mother, Eishet Chayil is often

Eishet Chayil as a Eulogy at a Funeral

Eishet Chayil as a Eulogy at a Funeral

In this moving video, David Mandler sings Eishet Chayil as an ode to his late grandmother, Chaya Hentche bas Chenoch, at her funeral in Budapest. This solemn tune begins with his own composition before switching to other traditional melodies. Despite poor acoustics, this video demonstrates how Eishet

Adash: A Cappella Eishet Chayil by a Czech Vocal Ensemble

Adash: A Cappella Eishet Chayil by a Czech Vocal Ensemble

This video features an original a cappella performance of Eishet Chayil by Adash, a vocal ensemble from Ostrava University in the Czech Republic. The ensemble developed out of a unique academic course, “Hebrew Through Songs,” where Dr. Tomáš Novotný teaches the Hebrew language through music.

Blue Fringe: A Jewish Pop-Rock Song Inspired by Eishet Chayil

Blue Fringe: A Jewish Pop-Rock Song Inspired by Eishet Chayil

This pop-rock song by Blue Fringe, entitled “Eshet Chayil,” is about a couple who are predestined for one another and commit to be together forever. If not for the chorus, the final verses of Eishet Chayil sung in Hebrew, listeners may mistaken this religiously inspired

Yosef Karduner: Original Melody for Eishet Chayil

Yosef Karduner: Original Melody for Eishet Chayil

This original melody for Eishet Chayil comes from Yosef Karduner‘s album, “Dibur Pashut” (“Simple Talk”). An Israeli Hasidic singer, songwriter, and composer, Karduner is heavily influenced by the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement. Comprised of Biblical texts, Psalms, and Rebbe

AYEKA: “Eshes Chayil” – The Eternal Search for the Divine Presence

AYEKA: “Eshes Chayil” – The Eternal Search for the Divine Presence

This deeply spiritual and poetic song by AYEKA (literally, “Where Are You”), entitled “Eshes Chayil,” is about the search for the Divine Presence in the world. Known in Hebrew as the “Shechinah” (literally, “dwelling”), the Divine Presence is the feminine aspect of God, which was sent into

Avrumy Holczler: Professional Hasidic Singer Performs Eishet Chayil at His Own Wedding

Avrumy Holczler: Professional Hasidic Singer Performs Eishet Chayil at His Own Wedding

This video features Avrumy Holczler, an alto singer in the Zemiros Group, performing an original composition of the first and last two verses of Eishet Chayil at his wedding. The Zemiros Group is an all-male Hasidic choral ensemble who perform at concerts, dinners, weddings, and other

Ofir Nagar: Mizrahi Influenced Eishet Chayil

Ofir Nagar: Mizrahi Influenced Eishet Chayil

This original version of Eishet Chayil was the first song that Israeli musician Ofir Nagar ever performed in front of an audience – at his own wedding! Although he devoted his entire childhood to music, Nagar feared he would never be able to perform live

Shabbat Songs Project: Israeli Artists Perform Eishet Chayil

Shabbat Songs Project: Israeli Artists Perform Eishet Chayil

This video features a unique version of Ben Zion Shenker’s popular Eishet Chayil melody, performed by a collection of Israeli artists as part of a project that aims to spread the light of Shabbat to a wider audience. The musicians blend this classic Ashkenazi melody with

Halfon Family: A Cappella Eishet Chayil

Halfon Family: A Cappella Eishet Chayil

This impressive home video features the Halfon family singing a harmonic, a cappella rendition of Ben Zion Shekner’s famous melody for Eishet Chayil. The Halfon family, made up of Naomi, Valerie, Yael, Esther, Mordechai, and Daniel, are a talented family of singers who enjoy harmonizing around

The Maccabeats: A Cappella Eishet Chayil

The Maccabeats: A Cappella Eishet Chayil

This audio recording presents an original melody for the first three verses of Eishet Chayil performed by the Maccabeats, an all-male Jewish a cappella group that originally formed as Yeshiva University’s student vocal choir. Strongly committed to the integration of traditional and secular wisdom, the

Sensation Band: A Billy Joel Eishet Chayil

Sensation Band: A Billy Joel Eishet Chayil

This video features Sensation Band performing the first four and last two verses of Eishet Chayil to the tune of Billy Joel’s “Just The Way You Are.” The UK-based event band put the traditional lyrics to this classic romantic song, which they play at Jewish wedding

Rav Shmuel Brazil: Original Eishet Chayil Melody

Rav Shmuel Brazil: Original Eishet Chayil Melody

This is a recording of Rabbi Shmuel Brazil’s original rendition of Eishet Chayil, from the “Regesh Volume 7 – Shabbos” album. Rav Shmuel Brazil is an American singer and composer of original Jewish music, as well as Rosh Yeshivah (Principal) of Yeshivat Zeev Hatorah, an Orthodox men’s

Yosef Karduner: Breslov Melody for Eishet Chayil

Yosef Karduner: Breslov Melody for Eishet Chayil

This solemn melody for Eishet Chayil comes from Yosef Karduner‘s album, “Yearning for Shabbat: Traditional Breslov Songs for Shabbat Night.” An Israeli Hasidic singer, songwriter, and composer, Karduner is heavily influenced by the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement.

A Eulogy for Ben Zion Shenker, Composer of the Most Famous Eishet Chayil Melody

A Eulogy for Ben Zion Shenker, Composer of the Most Famous Eishet Chayil Melody

This post includes an article from The New York Times about the Jewish composer, Ben Zion Shenker, who composed the most famous melody for Eishet Chayil, sung in Jewish homes around the world each week. The accompanying video features a performance of this well known melody

Festive Melody for Eishet Chayil

Festive Melody for Eishet Chayil

This audio clip presents an upbeat version of  the first two verses of Eishet Chayil from the YouTube album “Shabbat Songs,” collection of traditional Shabbat prayers and hymns.

New York School of Jewish Song: Boys Choir Sing Eishet Chayil

New York School of Jewish Song: Boys Choir Sing Eishet Chayil

This audio recording features an American young boys’ choir singing a lovely melody for Eishet Chayil with Orthodox Asheknazi pronunciation from the New York School of Jewish Song album   

Dudi Kalish: A Hebrew and Yiddish Song Inspired by Eishet Chayil

Dudi Kalish: A Hebrew and Yiddish Song Inspired by Eishet Chayil

This video features Jewish singers Dudi Kalish and Ari Hill performing an original song by Kalish, inspired by Eishet Chayil. The lyrics include Hebrew verses from the traditional text of Eishet Chayil interlaced with Yiddish words written by Motty Ilowitz. The song initially interprets Eishet

William Goldstein: An Emotional Eishet Chayil Tribute to his Mother

William Goldstein: An Emotional Eishet Chayil Tribute to his Mother

This emotional video is William Goldstein’s tribute to his beloved mother Sylvia, complete with a backdrop of pictures and videos. Goldstein is a celebrated composer with over 40 albums who has scored over 50 movie and television projects.   

Micha’el Eliyahu BenDavid: Eishet Chayil

Micha’el Eliyahu BenDavid: Eishet Chayil

This music video presents an ethnically inspired version of Eishet Chayil by Micha’el Eliyahu BenDavid, a Christian-born musician who aims to sing the songs of Zion with joy in order to spread the love of God to the nations of the world. Although born a Christian,

Qiyan Krets: Sephardic Influenced Eishet Chayil by a Nordic Musical Ensemble

Qiyan Krets: Sephardic Influenced Eishet Chayil by a Nordic Musical Ensemble

This audio recording presents an ethnically inspired version of the first eight verses of Eishet Chayil by Qiyan Krets, a female musical ensemble that describe themselves as a Nordic excursion into the world of Al-Andalusian, Medieval and Sephardic music who take up the threads of the Sephardic, Arabic

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Eishet Chayil

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Eishet Chayil

This audio recording features Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach singing his original melody for Eishet Chayil. Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (1925-1994), also known as the “Singing Rabbi,” composed thousands of melodies and recorded over 25 albums. Although his roots lay in Orthodox traditions, he branched out to create his own style,

Eitan Katz: Emotive Eishet Chayil

Eitan Katz: Emotive Eishet Chayil

This audio recording features popular Jewish musician Eitan Katz performing his slow melody for Eishet Chayil. A member of an extremely musical family who was heavily influenced by the music of R’ Shlomo Carlebach, Eitan sees music as a powerful motivator that fills us with happiness, infuses our lives with

The Barry Sisters: A Yiddish Swing Eishet Chayil

The Barry Sisters: A Yiddish Swing Eishet Chayil

This video presents an upbeat, jazzy Yiddish version of Eishet Chayil performed by the Barry Sisters, popular American Klezmer and jazz entertainers from the 1940s-1970s. Originally known as the Bagelman Sisters, the Barry Sisters were the most popular singers in the genre called Yiddish Swing, which

A Father’s Original Melody for the Blessing Over the Children

A Father’s Original Melody for the Blessing Over the Children

This video features Yerachmiel ben Yoseph singing his original, solemn melody for the blessing over the children. Although this English song is based on the traditional Hebrew text of the blessing, there are some alterations, including invoking the names of the biblical Patriarchs instead of Ephraim and

Eliezer Diamond: Upbeat Version of Eishet Chayil

Eliezer Diamond: Upbeat Version of Eishet Chayil

This audio clip presents an upbeat version of the first eight verses of Eishet Chayil sung by Dr. Eliezer Diamond, an author, scholar, and Associate Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at The Jewish Theological Seminary.   

Elli Kranzler: Upbeat Version of Eishet Chayil

Elli Kranzler: Upbeat Version of Eishet Chayil

This audio clip presents an upbeat version of  Eishet Chayil sung by Dr. Elli Kranzler,  a psychiatrist, musical performer, and the Chazzan at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale in NYC. His pronunciation reflects the Orthodox Ashkenazi custom. This audio clip was posted on the website

Alicia Jo Rabins: An Indie-Folk Retranslation of Eishet Chayil

Alicia Jo Rabins: An Indie-Folk Retranslation of Eishet Chayil

In this video, Alicia Jo Rabins performs “Rubies,” a modern adaptation of Eishet Chayil, which she describes as a love song to the mother of the family that also makes a wonderful lullaby. Rabins retranslated the text of Proverbs 31, added some of her own interpretations,

Benny Friedman: Upbeat Shalom Aleichem

Benny Friedman: Upbeat Shalom Aleichem

In this low quality video, American Hasidic singer Benny Friedman performs his original melody for Shalom Aleichem from his album “Yesh Tikvah.”

Itzik Eshel: Shalom Aleichem Medley

Itzik Eshel: Shalom Aleichem Medley

In this diverse Shalom Aleichem medley, Israeli pop star Itzik Eshel switches between many different tunes, including those with Mizrahi musical influences, as well as the classic melody composed by Cantor Israel Goldfarb in 1918 and a popular tune from Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach that is

Yitzchak Meir & Friends: Carlebach Shalom Aleichem

Yitzchak Meir & Friends: Carlebach Shalom Aleichem

In this song Yitzhak Meir & Friends perform Shalom Aleichem using the tune composed by the influential musician and teacher, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, “The Singing Rabbi.” The song comes from “New Souls,” an album of Friday night Shabbat songs that was the result of the collaborative

David D’Or: Chabad Shalom Aleichem Tune

David D’Or: Chabad Shalom Aleichem Tune

This video features Israeli singer, composer and songwriter, David D’Or, performing the Chabad melody for Shalom Aleichem from the album “Tzama 2: Artists Singing the Melodies of the Ba’al HaTanya.” The goal of this album, a collaborative project of some of Israel’s most well known

Yosef Karduner: Breslov Melody for Shalom Aleichem

Yosef Karduner: Breslov Melody for Shalom Aleichem

This lively melody for Shalom Aleichem comes from Yosef Karduner‘s album, “Yearning for Shabbat: Traditional Breslov Songs for Shabbat Night.” An Israeli Hasidic singer, songwriter, and composer, Karduner is heavily influenced by the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement.

The Diwan Project: Meditative Shalom Aleichem

The Diwan Project: Meditative Shalom Aleichem

This 8 minute long, low quality video features The Divan Project performing a long meditative song-prayer inspired by Shalom Aleichem. Beginning from 4:26, the first line of Shalom Aleichem is repeated throughout the song, following the tradition of referring to the “malachei hashalom” (the angels

Ehud Banai: Traditional Banai Family Shalom Aleichem

Ehud Banai: Traditional Banai Family Shalom Aleichem

This simple, repetitive tune for Shalom Aleichem is performed by Ehud Banai, one of the most influential artists in Israel. According to this Hebrew article, Banai, who is from a famous musical family of Persian descent, learned this tune as a young boy in his grandparents home,

Avraham Fried: Shalom Aleichem Medley

Avraham Fried: Shalom Aleichem Medley

This live video features Avraham Fried performing a medley of Cantor Israel Goldfarb and Rav Shmuel Brazil’s popular versions of Shalom Aleichem. Fried, a popular musical entertainer in the Orthodox Jewish world, begins with Goldfarb’s slow, emotive melody, building toward Brazil’s lively, fast-paced tune. 

Nava Tehila: A Serene Shalom Aleichem

Nava Tehila: A Serene Shalom Aleichem

This calming melody for Shalom Aleichem was composed by The Nava Tehila Ensemble, a Jerusalem-based group who perform both original and traditional music that draws on Jewish, Israeli and world sources to create a spiritually uplifting experience. Led by Daphna Rosenberg, the Ensemble is part

Shalom Aleichem to Avishai Eshel’s Popular Dance Song

Shalom Aleichem to Avishai Eshel’s Popular Dance Song

This lively dance version of Shalom Aleichem is performed to the tune of the Israeli hit song, “Rak Rotzim Lirkod” (“Just Want to Dance”) by Avishai Eshel. Eshel’s unique style blends modern Israeli pop with Hasidic and Mizrahi influences. His original song is about the

The Young Efroni Choir: An Original Shalom Aleichem Performed by Young Girls

The Young Efroni Choir: An Original Shalom Aleichem Performed by Young Girls

This original composition of Shalom Aleichem by Yehonatan Nitzan is performed by the girls of the Young Efroni Choir, the preparatory choir for the well-known Efroni Choir. The Young Efroni Choir is comprised of forty 4th-6th grade boys and girls from the Hefer Valley region in Israel.

The Waldman Brothers: Rav Yitzchak Ginsburgh’s Shalom Aleichem

The Waldman Brothers: Rav Yitzchak Ginsburgh’s Shalom Aleichem

This pleasant version of Shalom Aleichem is performed by the Waldman Brothers, a Jerusalem-based band comprised of brothers, Elazar and Moshe Waldman. In the title track of their album featuring original and classic Shabbat songs, the brothers perform a musical rendition of Rav Yitzchak Ginsburg‘s

3B4JOY: Acapalla Shalom Aleichem from Three Christian Sisters

3B4JOY: Acapalla Shalom Aleichem from Three Christian Sisters

In this harmonic acapella version of Shalom Aleichem, 3B4Joy perform both Hebrew and English versions of the song. The three sisters, who started their musical journey on the stage of their childhood church, share messages of love and blessing through their music. They use one of

Del & Dawg: Bluegrass Medley with Instrumental Shalom Aleichem

Del & Dawg: Bluegrass Medley with Instrumental Shalom Aleichem

This live performance features Delano Floyd “Del” McCoury and David “Dawg” Grisman playing the classic gospel song, “Life’s Railway to Heaven,” followed by an instrumental bluegrass version of Shalom Aleichem (3:27-5:28). Grisman, who grew up in a Conservative Jewish household, is an American bluegrass mandolinist, heavily

Yonina: Shalom Aleichem from Tel Aviv

Yonina: Shalom Aleichem from Tel Aviv

In this upbeat video, Yonina perform their rendition of Shalom Aleichem from the boardwalk in Tel Aviv. With big smiles and beautiful harmonies, Yoni and Nina Tokayer create a medley of two well known melodies. The married couple are best known for their weekly pre-Shabbat

Itzhak Perlman: Shalom Aleichem on Violin

Itzhak Perlman: Shalom Aleichem on Violin

In this audio recording, world renowned Israeli-American violinist and conductor, Itzhak Perlman, performs Shalom Aleichem on violin, accompanied by the Andy Statman Klezmer Orchestra. They present a slow, emotive version of one of the most popular melodies, composed by Cantor Israel Goldfarb in 1918.   

Gat Brothers: Hasidic Musicians Sing Shalom Aleichem on “Rising Star”

Gat Brothers: Hasidic Musicians Sing Shalom Aleichem on “Rising Star”

In this clip from “Rising Star,” the popular Israeli reality TV show modeled after “American Idol, The Gat Brothers perform an original rendition of Shalom Aleichem. Dressed in traditional Hasidic Ultra Orthodox garb, Arie and Gil Gat have broken stereotypes in Israeli society, drawing tens of

Vurka and Amnishov Hasidic Shalom Aleichem Melody

Vurka and Amnishov Hasidic Shalom Aleichem Melody

This almost 8 minute long song presents the Shalom Aleichem melody used by the Vurka and Amshinov Hasidic dynasties. With its heavy instrumental style, arranged by Gavriel Saks, this rendition is quite sombre and emotive. The Amshinov dynasty, named after a town in Poland, was founded by

Sarit Hadad: Mizrahi Style Shalom Aleichem

Sarit Hadad: Mizrahi Style Shalom Aleichem

In this clip, Israeli pop singer Sarit Hadad performs the first stanza of Shalom Aleichem, using the popular melody composed by Cantor Israel Goldfarb in 1918. Hadad’s Shalom Aleichem is part of a longer song, “Father, Have Mercy on Sons,” which also includes other excerpts

Radomsk Hasidic Melody for Shalom Aleichem

Radomsk Hasidic Melody for Shalom Aleichem

This joyous, lively melody for Shalom Aleichem comes from the Radomsk Hasidic dynasty. Performed by Reb Yonatan Shtencel, the Vizhnitz Choir and the Yedidim Choir, this song comes from the album, “Songs from Yesteryear: Shabbos Songs.” According to common custom, each stanza is recited three

Shalom Aleichem as Debbie Friedman’s Legacy

Shalom Aleichem as Debbie Friedman’s Legacy

This article by Debra Nussbaum Cohen relays how Jewish American singer-songwriter Debbie Friedman‘s haunting melody for Shalom Aleichem became a staple in many North American Jewish homes since her death in 2011. As the final song composed before her passing, this tune (see Hebrew and

Juliet Spitzer: A Woman of Valor for Today

Juliet Spitzer: A Woman of Valor for Today

The music and lyrics for this modern version of Eishet Chayil were composed by singer/songwriter Juliet Spitzer, who describes herself as a “devout post-denominational Jew” and a feminist. The lyrics, which can be seen below, describe the woman of valor as a loving, charitable, optimistic, determined,

Kabbalistic Poems Recited Before Kiddush: Atkinu Seudata & Azamer Bishvochin

Kabbalistic Poems Recited Before Kiddush: Atkinu Seudata & Azamer Bishvochin

This post includes both audio recordings and the Aramaic, English and transliterated texts of two poems that are often recited before Kiddush on Friday night, according to Jewish mystical traditions. Both poems are based on passages in the Zohar (the most important work of Kabbalah) and composed

“V’zakeini” Song: A Post Candle Lighting Prayer (Rabbi Baruch Levine)

“V’zakeini” Song: A Post Candle Lighting Prayer (Rabbi Baruch Levine)

In his heartfelt signature song, “V’zakeini,” Rabbi Baruch Levine puts an excerpt from the prayer commonly recited after lighting Shabbat candles to music. The lyrics, posted below in Hebrew, English and transliteration, are a prayer to God for wise and God fearing descendent who will live lives

“V’zakeini” Song: A Post Candle Lighting Prayer (Avraham Fried)

“V’zakeini” Song: A Post Candle Lighting Prayer (Avraham Fried)

In this heartfelt song, “V’zakeini,” Avraham Fried puts an excerpt from the prayer commonly recited after lighting Shabbat candles to music. The lyrics, posted below in Hebrew, English and transliteration, are a prayer to God for wise and God fearing descendent who will live lives of

Menucha Ve-simcha

Menucha Ve-simcha

Often printed as the first of the Friday night repertoire of table songs (zemirot), this composition of unknown origin praises the “rest, joy, and light” that Shabbat heralds for the Jews. “Those who keep and remember it will attest that in six days all creation

Yah Ribon Olam

Yah Ribon Olam

This song, usually grouped among those for Friday night, is a Shabbat favorite even though its content is not Shabbat-specific. This popular rendition of Rabbi Israel Najara’s Aramaic poem from 16th-century Safed and Damascus is performed by its composer, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (1925–1994). The refrain:

Piamenta’s Rock Song Inspired by the Grace After Meals

Piamenta’s Rock Song Inspired by the Grace After Meals

This video presents Yosi Piamenta’s original rock song inspired by the Grace After Meals. Although most of this 8 minute long song is made up of musical jams, the lyrics (which are shown on the screen in Hebrew and English) are allegedly an ancient form of the Grace

Yom Zeh Le-Yisrael

Yom Zeh Le-Yisrael

This classic zemer, whose first four stanzas were written by Isaac Chandali in 15th- century Crimea, was later expanded and attributed to the famous Safed mystic Isaac Luria. This rendition includes the full expansion. The poem celebrates Shabbat as a day of “light and joy.”

A Musical Version of Nusach Ari Grace After Meals

A Musical Version of Nusach Ari Grace After Meals

This almost 12 minute long audio recording presents the Nusach Ari version of the Grace After Meals sung slowly by Rabbi Sasson Natan to an upbeat, joyful tune with musical accompaniment. Nusach Ari refers to the prayer customs of 16th century Kabbalist Rabbi Isaac Luria,

Mah Yedidut

Mah Yedidut

This Shabbat table song (zemer), usually included in the Friday night set of songs (zemirot), is a paean to the pleasures of Shabbat (“Before evening, all sorts of treats are prepared…, mulled wines for drinking…”) and a reminder of some of its prohibitions (“Business is

Fortuna Performs “Bendigamos” Sephardic Grace After Meals Hymn

Fortuna Performs “Bendigamos” Sephardic Grace After Meals Hymn

This video clip presents Brazilian singer, songwriter and actress, Fortuna, performing “Bendigamos Al Altísimo,” a Spanish hymn traditionally sung after meals by Jews of Spanish, Portuguese and Turkish descent. Fortuna, a Sephardic Jew who sings mainly in Hebrew and Ladino, researches Sephardic history and customs, with the

Bendigamos Al Altísimo: A Spanish Grace After Meals Hymn (Audio & Text)

Bendigamos Al Altísimo: A Spanish Grace After Meals Hymn (Audio & Text)

Bendigamos (literally “Let Us Bless”) is a Spanish hymn traditionally sung after meals by Jews of Spanish, Portuguese and Turkish descent (in addition to the traditional Grace After Meals.) This post includes a Wikipedia article describing this custom, as well as an audio recording and the lyrics

The IDF Rabbinical Choir Sings Eishet Chayil at Dinner

The IDF Rabbinical Choir Sings Eishet Chayil at Dinner

In this home video, the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) Rabbinical Choir, led by Chief Cantor Shai Abramson, sings a harmonic accapella arrangement of a portion of Eishet Chayil. They sang this song of gratitude around the dinner table to their host, Laura Ben-David, author of “Moving Up:

Spiritual Sustenance: Shoshannah’s Rendition of Popular Grace After Meals on Piano

Spiritual Sustenance: Shoshannah’s Rendition of Popular Grace After Meals on Piano

This audio clip presents internationally acclaimed composer and pianist, Shoshannah, performing the most popular tune for the Grace After Meals. A mindbody therapist, holistic nutritionist, and healing pianist, Shoshannah uses music to bring spiritual unity, peace, and compassion to the world. She invites listeners to

Techno Remix of Shalom Aleichem

Techno Remix of Shalom Aleichem

This video, complete with images of Israel’s many beautiful sites and landscapes, presents a techno remix of Shalom Aleichem. With its upbeat tempo, this song is great for anyone who likes to dance or simply wants to hear an interesting medley of tradition and modernity. 

Yaakov Shwekey: An Original Song Inspired by Eishet Chayil

Yaakov Shwekey: An Original Song Inspired by Eishet Chayil

This video presents an emotive rendition of the first two and last two verses of Eishet Chayil performed by the well-known Jewish musical entertainer, Yaakov Shwekey, including on screen Hebrew, English and transliterated lyrics. In order to avoid saying the name of God outside of prayer or

Gabriel Chouraki: Shalom Aleichem Melody on Violin

Gabriel Chouraki: Shalom Aleichem Melody on Violin

This video shows Gabriel Chouraki, a French-Israeli classical violinist, conductor, and Musician of Excellence in the Israeli Defense Forces, performing one of the most famous melodies of Shalom Aleichem, composed by Rabbi Cantor Israel Goldfarb in 1918. 

Yeshiva Darchei Torah Boys Choir: Benny Friedman’s Shalom Aleichem

Yeshiva Darchei Torah Boys Choir: Benny Friedman’s Shalom Aleichem

In this video, the 5th grade boys of Yeshiva Darchei Torah Boys Choir of Far Rockaway, NY perform Shalom Aleichem using the tune of Benny Friedman, an American Hasidic singer and composer. They use the “Yeshivish” pronunciation popular in North American Orthodox Ashkenazi communities. Shalom Aleichem is traditionally sung

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Shalom Aleichem

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Shalom Aleichem

This recording of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach‘s melody for Shalom Aleichem repeats each of the four stanza’s three times, a common custom in many Jewish traditions. Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (1925-1994), also known as the “Singing Rabbi,” composed thousands of melodies and recorded over 25 albums. Although his

Mordechai Ben David: Shalom Aleichem

Mordechai Ben David: Shalom Aleichem

This video presents an original tune for Shalom Aleichem, composed and performed by Mordechai Ben David, a popular American Hasidic singer and songwriter. Switching between an upbeat pace, slower, more soulful melodies, and his own rendition of popular tunes, this is an interesting and creative medley. Ben

Maayan Band: Soulful Shalom Aleichem

Maayan Band: Soulful Shalom Aleichem

This video features the Maayan Band performing their slow, soulful version of Shalom Aleichem. They use one of the most popular tunes, composed by Rabbi Cantor Israel Goldfarb of the Conservative Congregation Beth Israel Anshei Emet of Brooklyn, NY in 1918. The Maayan Band is a

Sheet Music for Israel Goldfarb’s Shalom Aleichem

Sheet Music for Israel Goldfarb’s Shalom Aleichem

This video demonstrates how to play Rabbi Cantor Israel Goldfarb’s famous tune of Shalom Aleichem, composed in 1918. As it displays the sheet music, highlighting each note as it is played, this is a great learning tool for musicians who want to learn how to

Avishai Cohen: Mediterranean and Latin Influenced Shalom Aleichem

Avishai Cohen: Mediterranean and Latin Influenced Shalom Aleichem

This live performance presents Avishai Cohen, an Israeli double-bassist, singer and composer, performing a creative rendition of Shalom Aleichem at the International Jazz Festival in Marciac, France. He bases this composition on the opening words of the four stanzas of Shalom Aleichem, traditionally sung before

Acapella Shalom Aleichem

Acapella Shalom Aleichem

This unique acapella rendition of Shalom Aleichem by Yitzi Gross is from the acapella album “A Kumzitz in the Rain,” created specifically for the Counting of the Omer and the Three Weeks, two annual periods of mourning and introspection when Jews traditionally refrain from listening to music

Rav Shmuel Brazil: Popular Melody for Shalom Aleichem

Rav Shmuel Brazil: Popular Melody for Shalom Aleichem

This is a recording of Rabbi Shmuel Brazil’s original, uptempo rendition of Shalom Aleichem, from the “Regesh Volume 3 – Shabbos” album. Composed in 1985, this melody has become popular at Shabbat tables around the world. Rav Shmuel Brazil is an American singer and composer of original

Idan Yaniv & Kinderlach: Upbeat Shalom Aleichem for Unity in Israeli Society

Idan Yaniv & Kinderlach: Upbeat Shalom Aleichem for Unity in Israeli Society

This music video presents a joyous, upbeat version of Shalom Aleichem, performed by Idan Yaniv, a popular Israeli, Bukharian singer, and Kinderlach, an Israeli children’s singing troupe. Although this modernization of the popular tune composed by Rabbi Cantor Israel Goldfarb in 1918 only repeats the first stanza of Shalom

Binny & Tunni: Shabbos Angels

Binny & Tunni: Shabbos Angels

Composed and performed by Binny and Tunni Fogelgarn of Melbourne, Australia, this music video, entitled “Shabbos Angels,” excitedly lists the many things one does to prepare for Shabbat in Orthodox homes. The chorus of the song concludes with the line “And everyone is blessed by

Guitar Chords for Ben Zion Shenker’s Popular Eishet Chayil Melody

Guitar Chords for Ben Zion Shenker’s Popular Eishet Chayil Melody

This website offers the guitar chords for the most popular melody for Eishet Chayil, composed by Ben Zion Shenker in 1953. The website offers the transliteration of the first eight verses of the song, with the instruction to simply repeat the same chords for the rest

“Tell Me Mother:” A Song About a Mother’s Prayer while Lighting the Shabbat Candles

“Tell Me Mother:” A Song About a Mother’s Prayer while Lighting the Shabbat Candles

This moving Hebrew song is about a young girl who asks her mother what she is thinking about while she lights the Shabbat candles. In answering her daughter’s question, the mother recites a well-known supplication (“techina”) attributed to an 18th century European Jewess. At the end of

Reform: The “HaMotzi” Song

Reform: The “HaMotzi” Song

In this short video, Cantor Jan Lieberman plays guitar and sings a version of the blessing over the bread often used in Reform congregations and institutions. Composed by Professor Samuel Adler, the song is comprised of an introduction to the blessing, the blessing itself, and the word ‘amen,’

HaMotzi Children’s Song (Hebrew)

HaMotzi Children’s Song (Hebrew)

This sweet song, by Israeli artist, Ariela Savir, includes the blessing over the bread as well as praise for God as the ultimate provider and a prayer for health and well-being for all. With its light, upbeat melody, this song from the “Crown of Prayer”

‘I Love Challah Rolls’ Song

‘I Love Challah Rolls’ Song

This humorous music video, produced by campers and staff from TheZone Jewish Sleepaway Camp, presents a humorous accounting of the mitzvah of the blessing the bread on Shabbat. A spoof of the song ‘I Love Rock n Roll,’ by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, the new

Avraham Fried: The Traditional Jewish Blessing for Sons

Avraham Fried: The Traditional Jewish Blessing for Sons

This video features Avraham Fried singing the blessing for sons in a large open-air amphitheater in Jerusalem, accompanied by a large male choir. In order to show respect for the sanctity of God’s name, the word “Hashem” (literally, “the name”) is substituted. Popular in American, Orthodox circles,

Michael Ben Naim’s Original Blessing Over the Children

Michael Ben Naim’s Original Blessing Over the Children

This music video features Israeli artist, Michael Ben Naim, and a woman (presumably his wife) singing his original, emotive melody for the Hebrew blessing over their children. Whereas the blessing traditionally begins with a blessing for the son or daughter followed by the priestly blessing for both,

Yehuda Katz Sings the Traditional Blessing for Daughters

Yehuda Katz Sings the Traditional Blessing for Daughters

In this video, American-Israeli singer Yehuda Katz performs the traditional Friday night blessing for daughters in Hebrew. In order to show respect for the sanctity of God’s name, the word “Hashem” (literally, ‘the name’) is substituted. Yehuda Katz, a close friend and student of the late Reb Shlomo Carlebach, is the

Shabbat Sweet: A Unique Melody for Shabbat Candle Lighting

Shabbat Sweet: A Unique Melody for Shabbat Candle Lighting

In this video, Billy Kaplan offers a unique rendition of the blessing over the Shabbat candles (starting at 1:05), including a post-blessing message of hope. In his blessing, the singer replaces the name of God (Adonai) with a euphemism (Adoshem) in order not to recite

Alexander Goldscheider’s Tune for the Blessing over the Shabbat Candles

Alexander Goldscheider’s Tune for the Blessing over the Shabbat Candles

In this video, Alexander Goldscheider, a Jewish Czech-born composer, performs a unique musical rendition of the blessing over the Shabbat candles. Golscheider’s uses lyrical repetition and rising notes throughout the melody to create an emotive and inspiring tone. Viewers can learn the tune and the words

Paul Ben-Haim’s Rendition of the Blessing Over the Shabbat Candles (Reform)

Paul Ben-Haim’s Rendition of the Blessing Over the Shabbat Candles (Reform)

This audio clip (the second track on the album, “Sacred Services from Israel”), demonstrates an operatic version of the blessing over the Shabbat evening candles according to Reform tradition. Paul Ben-Haim (1897-1984), a Liberal Jew from Munich, was already a noted composer when he emigrated to

Matisyahu’s Kiddush

Matisyahu’s Kiddush

In this video, world-famous Jewish musician, Matisyahu, sings a slow, emotive rendition of the Friday night Shabbat Kiddush according to Orthodox Ashkenazi custom and pronunciation, as images of other traditional Shabbat rituals are shown in slow motion. Matisyahu, known for his deeply spiritual lyrics, beat-boxing, and reggae influence,

A Jazzy Kiddush

A Jazzy Kiddush

This creative jazz rendition of the Ashkenazi version of the Kiddush blessing is from the “Hear O Israel: A Prayer Ceremony in Jazz” album, which combines traditional Hebrew songs and prayers with modern jazz. Produced in New York in 1986, it is sung by soprano Antonia

Acapella Kiddush: Soul Key Choir

Acapella Kiddush: Soul Key Choir

In this video, The Soul Key Choir, an all male Israeli acapella group, performs a beautiful harmony of the biblical verses recited by many Orthodox communities as the opening of the Shabbat evening Kiddush over the wine.

Rabbi Klatzko’s Musical Kiddush

Rabbi Klatzko’s Musical Kiddush

In this video, Rabbi Benzion Klatzko sings the Shabbat evening Kiddush according to the Orthodox Ashkenazi tradition and pronunciation to a slow, emotive melody, as images related to Shabbat scroll by on the screen. Rabbi Klatzko is the CEO and founder of Shabbat.com, a Jewish social network

Jazz/Blues Kiddush

Jazz/Blues Kiddush

This entertaining video demonstrates a unique style of singing the Shabbat evening blessings over the wine with a jazz-blues twist. Benson Simmonds, an actor and acting coach from Los Angeles, California, known for his work in Ice Sharks (2016) and To Love, Honor & Betray (1999), sings the

Kiddush Blues by the Klezmer Company Orchestra

Kiddush Blues by the Klezmer Company Orchestra

This live Hebrew performance by the Klezmer Company Orchestra demonstrates how to sing the Shabbat evening blessings over the wine, according to the Reform Ashkenazi tradition. Sung by guest vocalist Leo Williams and The Ebony Chorale of the Palm Beaches, this rendition of Kurt Weill’s

Richard Tucker’s Cantorial Kiddush

Richard Tucker’s Cantorial Kiddush

In this video, the great American tenor and cantor Richard Tucker (1913-1975) performs the Shabbat evening blessings over the wine according to the Reform Ashkenazi tradition. Tucker’s musical talent was nurtured from an early age, and he led the prayers in several Reform synagogues including

Ehud Banai: Mizrahi Influenced Eshet Chayil

Ehud Banai: Mizrahi Influenced Eshet Chayil

This simple, repetitive tune for Eshet Chayil is performed by Ehud Banai, one of the most influential artists in Israel. This song is from his album, “New Song,” where most of the tracks are based on traditional Jewish liturgical songs and prayers. The tunes reflect multiple customs and musical influences,

Kurt Weill’s Musical Composition of Kiddush

Kurt Weill’s Musical Composition of Kiddush

This post includes an introduction to Kurt Weill’s musical composition of Kiddush, including an original audio and several videos of other artists covering his work. Weill’s musical composition of Kiddush is an excellent example of how Jewish rituals can be made more accessible to Jews

Rabbi Menachem Creditor: An Original Melody for Yedid Nefesh

Rabbi Menachem Creditor: An Original Melody for Yedid Nefesh

This 4 minute long home video presents an original tune for Yedid Nefesh, composed and performed by Rabbi Menachem Creditor, the rabbi of the Conservative Netivot Shalom Congregation in Berkley, California. The liturgical poem is often sung by Ashkenazi congregations between the afternoon Minchah prayer on

Yigal Bashan: Likrat Shabbat (Hebrew)

Yigal Bashan: Likrat Shabbat (Hebrew)

This song, written by Avi Koren and performed by Yigal Bashan, is an Israeli classic describing the atmosphere of a traditional Friday night Shabbat dinner. It contains references to common Shabbat rituals, including the lighting of the Shabbat candles, the table set for a festive meal

Ana B’Ko’ach: A Musical Kabbalistic Meditation with On-Screen Text

Ana B’Ko’ach: A Musical Kabbalistic Meditation with On-Screen Text

This 6:26 minute long video produced by The Kabbalah Center provides deep mystical meditations based on the Kabbalistic secrets hidden within the song, Ana B’Koach, traditionally sung as part of the Kabbalat Shabbat prayer service. It also provides a musical version of the prayer and concludes

Yedid Nefesh: Introduction & Audio

Yedid Nefesh: Introduction & Audio

This post provides a brief introduction to the liturgical poem “Yedid Nefesh,” often sung by Ashkenazi congregations between the afternoon Minchah prayer on Friday and the beginning of the Kabbalat Shabbat service. Although the authorship is uncertain, it is commonly attributed to the sixteenth century

Ethiopian Melody for Lecha Dodi on the Tel Aviv Port

Ethiopian Melody for Lecha Dodi on the Tel Aviv Port

This 5 minute long video presents an upbeat traditional Ethiopian melody for Lecha Dodi, the central song of the Kabbalat Shabbat service. This recording comes from the Kabbalat Shabbat service of Beit Tefilah Israeli, a creative, innovative and inclusive Jewish-Israeli community that offers meaningful Jewish ritual,

Shabbat Candle Lighting: A Children’s Sing Along

Shabbat Candle Lighting: A Children’s Sing Along

This sweet video presents Kindergarten and Second Grade students from Temple Isaiah of Lafayette, California singing the blessing over the candles, as the transliterated text of the blessing scrolls over watercolor pictures painted by the students. The children are using a popular North American melody, which was composed by Abraham

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach Singing Kiddush

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach Singing Kiddush

This is a video of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach’s musical rendition of Friday night Kiddush according to Orthodox Ashkenazi tradition and pronunciation. Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, also known as the “Singing Rabbi,” composed thousands of melodies and recorded over 25 albums. Although his roots lay in Orthodox traditions,

Fountainheads Shabbat

Fountainheads Shabbat

A musical parody by the Ein Prat Fountainheads, https://foheads.com. Lyrics: Do you want to bake a Challa? Or even play a little ball? Yesterday it was just me and you Now you’re addicted to the photos on your wall! We used to go hiking In

Fiddler on the Roof: A Sabbath Prayer

Fiddler on the Roof: A Sabbath Prayer

This video is a clip from the 1971 film, Fiddler on the Roof, where Tevye and his family gather to light the Shabbat candles and welcome the Sabbath. Tevye’s wife, Golde, lights the candles, and then they sing a prayer for the safety and well-being

Jewbilation: The Sound of Shabbos

Jewbilation: The Sound of Shabbos

Here is Jewbilation singing the catchy Simon and Garfunkel tune adapted for Shabbat.

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Informative Articles & Videos

Click here to show more Informative Articles & Videos content

What is Kiddush?

What is Kiddush?

This short video provides a playful but informative discussion about how and why we make Kiddush. Rabbi John Carrier of Reform Burbank Temple Emanuel explains that Jews sanctify sacred time ideally using wine, a vehicle for joy. This ritual does not change the wine in

Aliyah 101: What You Should Know Before Being Called to the Torah

Aliyah 101: What You Should Know Before Being Called to the Torah

Perfect for beginners, this comprehensive article by Ronald L. Eisenberg explains everything you need to know about the ritual of getting called up to the Torah. The author describes the entire process in clear detail, mentioning the varying customs of different communities as well as how the

The Origins and Meaning Behind the Blessing Over the Children

The Origins and Meaning Behind the Blessing Over the Children

In this 3:17 long video, Rabbi Spike Anderson from the Reform Temple Emanu-El of Atlanta explains the origins and meaning behind the custom of blessing the children on Friday night. He recites the blessing in Hebrew and English and explains how the custom empowers parents

An Introduction to the “Mi Sheberach” Prayer

An Introduction to the “Mi Sheberach” Prayer

This introductory article from Chabad.org explains the Mi Sheberach prayer recited during the Torah reading and provides the Hebrew and English texts for the prayers recited during the week and on Shabbat for those who are called up to the Torah for an aliyah, for sick

A Detailed Lecture About the Torah Reading Service & Aliyot

A Detailed Lecture About the Torah Reading Service & Aliyot

In this 30 minute video lecture from Chabad.org, Rabbi Menachem Posner provides a clear explanation of the entire Torah Reading service in synagogue, including an in-depth description of getting called up to the Torah for an aliyah. This video reflects the customs of the Orthodox

What is So Special About the Aliyahs?

What is So Special About the Aliyahs?

With references to halachic and Kabbalistic sources, this brief article from Chabad.org explains why being called up to the Torah is a special honor, focusing on the spiritual significance behind this ritual. As part of Chabad’s online “Ask the Rabbi” service, Rabbi Baruch S. Davidson explains

What is an Aliyah and How Can You Participate?

What is an Aliyah and How Can You Participate?

Perfect for beginners, this clear article from Chabad.org explains the origins behind being called up to the Torah, as well as when and how this is practiced in Orthodox congregations, including the Hebrew, English, and transliterated texts of the blessings recited both before and after the

The Hadar Institute: The Content, Meaning and Music of Lecha Dodi

The Hadar Institute: The Content, Meaning and Music of Lecha Dodi

This link will take you to a three-part online audio course exploring the content, meaning, and music of Lecha Dodi, as part of Mechon Hadar’s Tefillah Toolkit series. Three scholars explore what the prayer is about, what it means to pray it, and how to get

Welcoming the Bride: Exploring the Songs of Kabbalat Shabbat

Welcoming the Bride: Exploring the Songs of Kabbalat Shabbat

This link will take you to a six-part online audio course exploring the meaning behind the songs of Kabbalat Shabbat. Theologian, scholar, and educator, Rabbi Shai Held, examines each of the eight Psalms of the Kabbalat Shabbat service through a literary and theological lens, extracting lessons

The Structure & Mystical Meaning of Kabbalat Shabbat

The Structure & Mystical Meaning of Kabbalat Shabbat

This post presents two approximately 4 minute long videos by Rabbi David Paskin introducing the basic structure and meaning behind the Kabbalat Shabbat service. The first video focuses on the first six Psalms of the service, which represent the six days of the week leading

The King and Queen in the Field: Reimagining a God Metaphor in Elul (Article & Poem)

The King and Queen in the Field: Reimagining a God Metaphor in Elul (Article & Poem)

The article and poem by Alden Solovy explore two traditional metaphors of God – the harsh King often seen throughout Bible, alongside the compassionate, loving Queen we greet in the Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony. Solovy calls for us to combine these two metaphors, imagining a God that exhibits

L’cha Dodi and the Kabbalist Background to Kabbalat Shabbat: A Collection of Articles

L’cha Dodi and the Kabbalist Background to Kabbalat Shabbat: A Collection of Articles

This link will take you to a collection of articles exploring the Kabbalistic background to the Kabbalat Shabbat service, with a special focus on the L’cha Dodi prayer, a central song of the service with deep mystical origins. Compiled by the Jewish scholar, Noam Zion, these

The Structure and Spirit of the Kabbalat Shabbat Service

The Structure and Spirit of the Kabbalat Shabbat Service

This brief article from Chabad.org describes the structure of the Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv even prayer services on Shabbat. With a focus on prayer as the essence of Shabbat, the author describes how regular weekday prayer are adapted to reflect the special spirit of this

Introduction to the Kabbalat Shabbat Prayer Service

Introduction to the Kabbalat Shabbat Prayer Service

This introductory article describes the origins and structure of the Kabbalat Shabbat services, noting various customs practiced in different communities. Originally from the Encyclopaedia Judaica, this article was shared on Jewish Virtual Library.  Kabbalat Shabbat Kabbalat Shabbat (קַבָּלַת שַׁבָּת; literally “Reception of the Shabbat“) designates the inauguration of the Shabbat in

Guide to the Friday Night Synagogue Services

Guide to the Friday Night Synagogue Services

Great for beginners, this brief excerpt from “Friday Night and Beyond” by Lori Palatnik offers an explanation of the structure and meaning behind the Friday night synagogue services, including Mincha (the afternoon prayer), Kabbalat Shabbat, and Ma’ariv (the evening prayer). The article ends with a collection of

The Kabbalat Shabbat Experience Siddur: Guide, Text & Articles

The Kabbalat Shabbat Experience Siddur: Guide, Text & Articles

This post presents a well-formatted, printable PDF booklet of the traditional Ashkenazi Kabbalat Shabbat service with the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of each prayer. With introductory articles explaining the origins, structure and meaning behind the service, as well as short teachings scattered throughout, this

K’Gavna: A Kabbalistic Reading Following Kabbalat Shabbat

K’Gavna: A Kabbalistic Reading Following Kabbalat Shabbat

This post presents the Nusach Ha’Ari and Nusach Sefard tradition of reciting a passage from the Zohar called K’Gavna between Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv. This Kabbalistic commentary on Parshat Terumah explains the profound spiritual significance of the evening service on Shabbat. The English translation below

Welcoming the Sabbath with Kabbalat Shabbat, Lecha Dodi and Ma’ariv

Welcoming the Sabbath with Kabbalat Shabbat, Lecha Dodi and Ma’ariv

This introductory article by George Robinson outlines the basic structure of the Kabbalat Shabbat and evening prayer service, including an explanation of traditions held in various communities and the development of customs throughout history. Although the Kabbalat Shabbat service is made up of many different prayers,

What is Havdalah and Why is it Important?

What is Havdalah and Why is it Important?

In this 3 and a half minute long video, Dayan Ivan Binstock explains the Havdalah ceremony that concludes Shabbat, including the basic structure of the ritual as well as its important symbolic and spiritual meaning. Dayan Binstock is the Rabbi of St John’s Wood United Synagogue (Orthodox)

The Mystical Meaning of Havdalah

The Mystical Meaning of Havdalah

In this almost 14 minute long video, Rabbi Alon Anava delves into some of the mystical reasons behind the Havdalah ceremony that concludes Shabbat. He explains the custom of rubbing a bit of the wine used for Havdalah on one’s eyelids, pockets, temples and the

Havdalah – Taking Leave of Shabbat: An Introduction & Guide

Havdalah – Taking Leave of Shabbat: An Introduction & Guide

This thorough article from My Jewish Learning provides a basic outline of the Havdalah ritual that concludes Shabbat, along with an explanation of the meaning behind it, step-by-step written and video guides with the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the blessings, and YouTube videos

Havdalah 101

Havdalah 101

This thorough article from Wikipedia provides a comprehensive overview of the Havdalah ceremony that concludes Shabbat, including an introduction to the basic structure of the ritual, the meaning behind it, and variations depending on different customs and times in the Jewish calendar.  Havdalah Havdalah (“separation”) is a Jewish religious ceremony

What Is Havdalah?

What Is Havdalah?

This thorough article from Chabad.org provides a comprehensive introduction to the Havdalah ceremony that concludes Shabbat, including an outline of the ritual, an exploration of the deep spiritual meaning behind it, and some technical details and customs about how to perform this ritual at different

A Brief Halachic Exploration of the Shabbat Morning Kiddush

A Brief Halachic Exploration of the Shabbat Morning Kiddush

This 4 minute long audio recording presents the different customs and halachic opinions regarding the wording of the daytime Kiddush. The short but highly technical lecture is relevant to those with a background and interest in the development of Jewish law. Rabbi Ari Enkin is a

Kiddush as a Bridge Between the Physical & Spiritual

Kiddush as a Bridge Between the Physical & Spiritual

This short video provides a brief and meaningful explanation for why Jews make Kiddush at Shabbat meals. Arik Singer, a former educator at the Orthodox Perth Hebrew Congregation in Australia and current assistant principal at Yerushalayim Torah Academy in Israel, explains that the recitation of Kiddush

A Talmudic Analysis of Kiddusha Rabba – The Great Kiddush

A Talmudic Analysis of Kiddusha Rabba – The Great Kiddush

This article is an analysis of the Talmudic passages from which we learn the minimum halachic requirement for the daytime Kiddush. The ideas are based upon the insights of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, a preeminent teacher, philosopher, social critic, and author, with a mission to make the Talmud and

Friday Night & Beyond: Insights on Havdalah (Plus How To, Text & Audio)

Friday Night & Beyond: Insights on Havdalah (Plus How To, Text & Audio)

Great for beginners, this thorough excerpt from “Friday Night and Beyond” by Lori Palatnik offers an explanation of the structure and meaning behind the ritual, a step-by-step how-to guide of the Orthodox Ashkenazi custom and pronunciation, complete with the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts, an audio recording,

Daytime Kiddush as a Reminder of the Sanctity of Shabbat

Daytime Kiddush as a Reminder of the Sanctity of Shabbat

In this 2.5 minute video, Rabbi Chaim Brovender explains how the daytime Kiddush serves as a reminder of the sanctity of Shabbat, regardless of whether one simply recites the blessing over the wine or the optional additional verses preceding this blessing. Rabbi Brovender is the head

A Halchic Discussion of the Wording of Kiddush

A Halchic Discussion of the Wording of Kiddush

  This short, technical article discusses which passages should be recited prior to the blessing over the wine as part of the daytime Kiddush on Shabbat. Due to its technical nature, its use of Hebrew, and its references to halachic works and personalities, this article

Friday Night & Beyond: Insights on Daytime Kiddush (Plus Text & Audio)

Friday Night & Beyond: Insights on Daytime Kiddush (Plus Text & Audio)

This thorough excerpt from “Friday Night and Beyond” by Lori Palatnik begins with meaningful explanations as to why Kiddush is recited during the day on Shabbat. Great for beginners, this resource offers a practical how-to guide of the Orthodox Ashkenazi custom and pronunciation, complete with the Hebrew,

Introduction to the Grace After Meals

Introduction to the Grace After Meals

This thorough and informative article explains the structure, content, and development of the Grace After Meals, as well as some spiritual intentions behind the ritual and explanations of various customs. Due to its use of Hebrew and references to the Hebrew text of the prayer,

Women and Zimmun

Women and Zimmun

This two page article by Jennifer Breger summarizes the complicated subject of a women’s participation in a “Zimmun,” (literally, “invitation”) the opening verses of the Grace After Meals recited responsively when people have eaten together as a group. Referencing many halachic sources, the author differentiates

Rabbi Yitz Wyne Explains the Blessing Over the Children

Rabbi Yitz Wyne Explains the Blessing Over the Children

In this 2:43 long video, Rabbi Yitz Wyne, the founder and spiritual leader of Young Israel Aish of Las Vegas, explains the biblical origins and deep parenting lessons that can be found within the traditional blessing over the children.   

The Blessing Over the Children as an Expression of Love

The Blessing Over the Children as an Expression of Love

In this 3.5 minute video, Rabbi Janet Ross Marder demonstrates how the blessing over the children allows family members to express their love for one another on Shabbat. Acknowledging that it may feel awkward for some, Rabbi Marder explains how the ritual combines physical touch, the powerful words of

JOFA: The Women’s Role in Kiddush, HaMotzi & Havdallah

JOFA: The Women’s Role in Kiddush, HaMotzi & Havdallah

The following excerpt from the article “Halachot of Kiddush, HaMotzi and Havdalah, printed by The Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA), illustrates how women and men are equally obligated to  participate in the commandments of Kiddush (the blessing over the wine) and HaMotzi (the blessing over

Seeing Parenthood’s Trajectory in the Priestly Blessing

Seeing Parenthood’s Trajectory in the Priestly Blessing

This thoughtful article by Rabbi Noah Arnow provides an interesting Hassidic interpretation of the priestly blessing, which is part of the traditional blessing over the children recited on Friday nights. Rabbi Arnow not only sees in these words all of the stages of parenting –

Eishet Chayil Q&A

Eishet Chayil Q&A

This excerpt from an article by Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky presents and responds to both technical and philosophical questions about specific words and verses in Eishet Chayil. Due to his use of Hebrew words and traditional Orthodox analytical style, it may be most relevant to those with a

On Labor Day, Let’s Consider a New ‘Woman of Valor’

On Labor Day, Let’s Consider a New ‘Woman of Valor’

This article, posted on Labor Day by Lana Adler, criticizes Eishet Chayil for celebrating a woman who works only for others, instead of herself. While she is certainly capable and appreciated by others, all of her labor is for her husband, children, and household, instead

A Love Letter to the Woman of Valor

A Love Letter to the Woman of Valor

In this scholarly article, Dr. Malka Simkovich describes her evolving relationship to the song Eishet Chayil. While she once disregarded it as outdated and misogynistic, upon a closer analysis of the textual structure she came to realize that the Woman of Valor is actually engaged

A Valorous Woman: A Feminist Critique of Eishet Chayil

A Valorous Woman: A Feminist Critique of Eishet Chayil

This blog post by Ellie Kahn challenges the impossible standards to which women have always been held, from Biblical times (as seen in Proverbs 31, the text of Eishet Chayil) through today. Although the author acknowledges that parts of this poem are still relevant, she calls

Women of Valor: An Evolving Role Model

Women of Valor: An Evolving Role Model

In this article, Jordyn Rozensky explores the concept of valor from a modern, feminist perspective, challenging readers to think about what it means to them and who they consider contemporary “Women of Valor.” Rozensky, an activist, storyteller and photographer, is the Director of Social Media at The Jewish Women’s

Standing or Sitting for Shalom Aleichem and Eshet Chayil?

Standing or Sitting for Shalom Aleichem and Eshet Chayil?

This short post states that there is no uniform custom for whether the songs “Shalom Aleichem” and “Eshet Chayil” should be sung standing or sitting on Friday night. This response was written by Rabbi Yoel Lieberman, an Orthodox rabbi with an expertise in Jewish law, as part of Yeshiva.co‘s “Ask

Happy to Skip Eishet Chayil: A Modern Feminist Critique

Happy to Skip Eishet Chayil: A Modern Feminist Critique

In this personal critique, Lauren Kramer challenges the traditional custom of singing Eishet Chayil to the woman of the house on Friday night. She claims that the words are outdated and that they present an unrealistic and absurd portrayal of the ideal woman, to whom

Exploring the Controversial Aspects of Shalom Aleichem: Idolatry & Domestic Relations

Exploring the Controversial Aspects of Shalom Aleichem: Idolatry & Domestic Relations

In this provocative article, Atar Hadari explores some of the more controversial aspects of the song “Shalom Aleichem,” explaining why several leading rabbinic figures have taken issue with it. Hadari suggests that the essence of the song, traditionally sung to the ministering angels on Friday night,

Friday Night: Angels in My House

Friday Night: Angels in My House

In this personal article, Jewish educator Amy Deutsch suggests an original understanding of what type of angels we are welcoming into our home when we sing Shalom Aleichem on Friday night. Deutsch bases her interpretation on the adaptations that singer-songwriter Debbie Friedman made to the lyrics in her

An Introduction to Shalom Aleichem

An Introduction to Shalom Aleichem

The Wikipedia entry about Shalom Aleichem includes an explanation of the origins and background of the custom of singing ‘Shalom Aleichem’ on Friday night prior to Kiddush, along with the Hebrew, English and transliterated text, a discussion about controversial aspects of the poem, and aa

Kiddush: Stand or Sit?

Kiddush: Stand or Sit?

This responsum, written for Aish.com’s “Ask The Rabbi” column, explains the halachic reasoning behind some of the different customs regarding whether the nighttime and daytime Kiddush ceremony should be recited while standing or sitting.  Kiddush: Stand or Sit? Question: Whenever I go to someone’s house for Shabbat, I

Pre-Candle-Lighting Tzedakah Custom for Children

Pre-Candle-Lighting Tzedakah Custom for Children

This short post suggests a creative way to involve children in the custom of giving charity before lighting Shabbat candles. Originally published in “A Kolot Egalitarian Bentcher: Shabbat Blessings and Customs for Your Home”(Philadelphia, PA: Kolot, 2001), this tradition was shared by Julie Korostoff and Christer

Hand-Washing & Silence on Shabbat

Hand-Washing & Silence on Shabbat

This home video explores the custom of refraining from speaking between washing one’s hands and making the blessing over the bread. Referencing a wide variety of halachic sources, Rabbi Drew Kaplan describes several different customs, as well as the reasoning behind them. Despite the video being

Why Do We Not Speak Inbetween Washing Our Hands and Eating Bread?

Why Do We Not Speak Inbetween Washing Our Hands and Eating Bread?

In this clear video, Orthodox Rabbi Simon Harris of Wembley United Synagogue describes the halachic development of the custom of not speaking between the ritual hand-washing and eating bread. Rabbi Harris sites many of the different rabbinic sources in which this practice is discussed, rendering

How Kiddush Became Part of the Synagogue Service

How Kiddush Became Part of the Synagogue Service

This article by the late German Jewish scholar Rabbi Ismar Elbogen discusses how the Kiddush was introduced into the synagogue service in Babylonia, a custom which eventually spread to Ashkenazi Jewish communities in the Diaspora. Ideal for readers with an interest and background in ancient Jewish history and

Why Do We Wash Our Hands Before Eating Bread?

Why Do We Wash Our Hands Before Eating Bread?

This short post explains the biblical origins behind the ritual hand-washing before bread, which is based on the ancient purity rituals of the Kohanim (Priests) in the Temple. This explanation was written by Orthodox Chabad Rabbi Naftali Silberberg as an answer to a question posted on AskMoses.com,

Rabbi Abraham Twerski: Candle Lighting and a Child’s Self Worth

Rabbi Abraham Twerski: Candle Lighting and a Child’s Self Worth

In this short post, Rabbi Abraham Twerski relays his childhood memories of his mother lighting the Shabbat candles, focusing on the powerful message they sent about his own inherent self worth. Rabbi Abraham Twerski is an American Hasidic rabbi and psychiatrist. This excerpt is from the manual

Braided Challah: Integrating the Mundane & the Holy

Braided Challah: Integrating the Mundane & the Holy

This article explores the meaning behind the braiding of the Shabbat challah, suggesting that it symbolizes the weaving of our weekday mentality into a Shabbat state of mind. The author, Rabbi Yossi Lipsker is the rabbi at Chabad of the North Shore, and the article was originally posted

Six Strand Braided Challah: The Unity of Shabbat

Six Strand Braided Challah: The Unity of Shabbat

This article explores the meaning behind the custom of braiding of the Shabbat challah with six strands, suggesting that it symbolizes how we bring the diversity in our lives together in peaceful unity on Shabbat. It also includes a video demonstrating how to make challah

Shabbat Home Ritual: Candle Lighting

Shabbat Home Ritual: Candle Lighting

In this short post, Sarah Fishman describes the basics of the candle lighting ceremony, as part of an article introducing the Shabbat home rituals of candle lighting, kiddush over wine, and challah (bread). The author, a  rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Shabbat Home Ritual: Kiddush

Shabbat Home Ritual: Kiddush

In this short post, Sarah Fishman describes the basics of the Kiddush ceremony, as part of an article introducing the Shabbat home rituals of candle lighting, kiddush over wine, and challah (bread). The author, a  rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in

Shabbat Home Ritual: Challah

Shabbat Home Ritual: Challah

In this short post, Sarah Fishman describes the basics of the challah ceremony, as part of an article introducing the Shabbat home rituals of candle lighting, kiddush over wine, and challah (bread). The author, a  rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in

Reb Zalman Schachter Shalomi: Shabbat Candle Lighting as a Lesson in Faith

Reb Zalman Schachter Shalomi: Shabbat Candle Lighting as a Lesson in Faith

This interview describes how watching his mother light Shabbat candles was a formative spiritual experience for Reb Zalman Schacther Shalomi, one of the founders of the Jewish Renewal movement, which endeavors to reinvigorate modern Judaism with Kabbalistic, Hasidic, and musical practices. When asked about his earliest memory of faith, Reb

The Power of Light in Judaism

The Power of Light in Judaism

Inspired by both nature and Jewish mysticism, this short article explores the physical and spiritual power of light in Jewish tradition as well as our own personal experience. Originally from Wellsprings of Wisdom, a “virtual retreat center,” these ideas are relevant for those seeking spiritual renewal and

Sacred Ritual: Lighting Shabbat Candles

Sacred Ritual: Lighting Shabbat Candles

This short article serves as an introduction to the basics of the candle lighting ceremony, including who lights candles, with what type of candles, when, and how, plus a mention of some deep, mystical ideas behind the ritual. Originally from Wellsprings of Wisdom, a “virtual retreat center,”

An Academic Approach to the Meaning of Shabbat Candles

An Academic Approach to the Meaning of Shabbat Candles

In this highly sourced academic article, Dr. Ismar Schorsch explores how and why lighting Shabbat candles is of paramount importance in Jewish tradition, despite the fact that it is actually not a biblical commandment. Using modern anecdote, historical sources, biblical exegesis, and a wide array of

Shabbat Candles: Why is it Called ‘A Women’s Mitzvah?’

Shabbat Candles: Why is it Called ‘A Women’s Mitzvah?’

This article, reprinted on My Jewish Learning from JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, mentions a variety of candle lighting customs, including how many candles to light, the order of lighting and blessing, and some associated rituals many women do before or after lighting candles. Providing

The Meaning Behind the Flames

The Meaning Behind the Flames

In this comprehensive article, Rhona Lewis shares many of the deep spiritual and kabbalistic teachings behind the mitzvah of lighting Shabbat candles. Using a wide variety of Biblical, Talmudic, halachic and historical sources, the author explores the origins of the ritual, the meaning behind it,

“Benching” 101: The Origin, Stucture, Customs and History of the Grace After Meals

“Benching” 101: The Origin, Stucture, Customs and History of the Grace After Meals

This comprehensive introductory article by Kate Palley provides a thorough explanation for people of all knowledge levels on the origin, structure, customs, and history of the Grace After Meals. The author clarifies the circumstances under which one is required to recite this blessing and explains the function of a zimmun (invitation

Why Say Bircat Hamazon? A Halachic and Spiritual Approach from Maimonides

Why Say Bircat Hamazon? A Halachic and Spiritual Approach from Maimonides

In this ten-minute video featured on Chabad.org, Rabbi Mendel Kaplan discusses the halachic and spiritual significance of the Grace After Meals according to Maimonides (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, 1135-1204), a highly influential leader, philosopher, Torah scholar, and physician. Maimonides points out that Judaism is the only

A Brief Introduction to the Grace After Meals

A Brief Introduction to the Grace After Meals

This short post offers a basic overview of the Grace After Meals, including its biblical sources, an explanation of its structure, and links to the full Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the traditional Ashkenazi blessing. What is Birkat Hamazon? ‘Birkat Hamazon,’ literally ‘the blessing

Zemirot: An Introduction

Zemirot: An Introduction

The word ‘zemer’ (plural – ‘zemirot’) actually means ‘song’ in Hebrew.  It has become the word used almost exclusively to describe the various table songs that are sung at the three meals that are traditionally enjoyed on Shabbat. Whether during Friday night dinner, just before

An Esoteric, Historical and Halachic Analysis of the Grace After Meals

An Esoteric, Historical and Halachic Analysis of the Grace After Meals

This 46 minute lecture from Chabad.org is an in-depth exploration of some esoteric, historical and halachic ideas around the Grace After Meals by Rabbi Yehuda Leib Schapiro, the dean of the Yeshiva Gedola Rabbinical College of Greater Miami, the Rabbi of Congregation Beis Menachem, and a community

OneTable Shabbat Dinner Guide

OneTable Shabbat Dinner Guide

Created by OneTable, a grassroots organization whose goal it is to help people enjoy Shabbat dinners together, the guide (39 pages) to the Friday night dinner experience provides both inspiration and optional formulae written for the host. Relevant to people of all backgrounds and levels of observance,

Which Biblical Woman Was the Original Eishet Chayil?

Which Biblical Woman Was the Original Eishet Chayil?

This essay discusses some theories as to which biblical woman the poem, Eishet Chayil, could be referring. The author, Asher Gabbay, suggests that since the only woman in the Bible specifically referred to as “Eishet Chayil” was Ruth (3:11), the Moabite widow and King Solomon’s direct

Different Orthodox Shalom Aleichem Customs

Different Orthodox Shalom Aleichem Customs

In this short article, Rabbi Simcha Weinberg, founder of the leading Torah website, The Foundation Stone, briefly presents the unique “Shalom Aleichem” customs of several well-known rabbinic figures, including The Ben Ish Chai (Rabbi Yosef Chaim MiBagdhad (1835-1909), a great Iraqi leader and authority on Sephardic

Alone Time: Why We Usher the Shabbat Angels Out

Alone Time: Why We Usher the Shabbat Angels Out

In this article from Chabad.org, Rabbi Elly Krimsky explores why we bid farewell to the accompanying angels in Shalom Aleichem, focusing on a Chasidic idea that when we are alone we have the opportunity to be the closest with God. This article is helpful for those looking to

The Role of Angels in Judaism

The Role of Angels in Judaism

This comprehensive article from Chabad.org provides a survey of the Jewish understanding of angels and the role they play within Jewish theology. Shalom Aleichem, traditionally sung on Friday night before Kiddush, is addressed to the ministering angels that accompany a Jew home from synagogue services on

Shalom Aleichem: Various Customs and Explanations

Shalom Aleichem: Various Customs and Explanations

In this short article, Devorah Channah outlines the origins of Shalom Aleichem, as well as several different customs of why and how the song is sung according to different traditions on Shabbat and holidays.  Devorah Channah is an artist and designer of traditional and contemporary head coverings, who

Do Jews Believe in Angels?

Do Jews Believe in Angels?

This comprehensive article, written by Rabbi Louis Jacobs on MyJewishLearning.com, discusses the development of the references and understanding of angels in Judaism from Biblical times until modern day, including an exploration of how literally the concept should be taken. When one sings Shalom Aleichem to the ministering angels

Maimonides’ Ten Levels of Angels

Maimonides’ Ten Levels of Angels

In this article, Whitney Hopler elaborates on the ten different types of angels found in Jewish literature according to Maimonides (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, 1135-1204), the great medieval Spanish philosopher. Although angels have played a central role in Jewish theology from biblical times until today, different schools

Friday Night & Beyond: Insights on Shalom Aleichem (Plus Text & Audio)

Friday Night & Beyond: Insights on Shalom Aleichem (Plus Text & Audio)

This thorough excerpt from “Friday Night and Beyond” by Lori Palatnik provides meaningful explanations as to why Shalom Aleichem is recited at the beginning of the Shabbat evening meal. Complete with the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts, an audio recording of the popular, upbeat version composed by Rabbi

The Significance of the Shabbat Angels in Breslov Hassidic Thought

The Significance of the Shabbat Angels in Breslov Hassidic Thought

This excerpt from “7th Heaven: Shabbat With Rebbe Nachman of Breslov” explores the significance of angels in Jewish theology, focusing on the accompanying angels that visit the home each Shabbat. Moshe Mykoff suggests that human beings’ unique combination of physical and spiritual components enables us to

Introduction to Eishet Chayil: Meaning, Origins, How To, English Text

Introduction to Eishet Chayil: Meaning, Origins, How To, English Text

This detailed article by Chaviva Gordon-Bennett provides a thorough introduction to Eishet Chayil, including the meaning, origins, and practical how-to’s of singing this song on Friday night, along with the English translation of the text. Published on ThoughtCo, a website that provides in-depth articles about a wide range of topics to

How To Read Eshet Chayil: Reflections from a Feminist Scholar

How To Read Eshet Chayil: Reflections from a Feminist Scholar

This reflection by feminist scholar, Dr. Wendy Zierler, traces her evolving relationship with the words of Eshet Chayil over the course of her life. She suggests several ways of reading the text, exploring the Kabbalistic origins, the literal reading, and how it can be applied in our

More Precious Than Pearls: A Digital Book of Essays on Eishet Chayil

More Precious Than Pearls: A Digital Book of Essays on Eishet Chayil

This 94 page book, “More Precious Than Pearls: A Prayer for the Women of Valor in Our Lives,” is a collection of ten essays discussing Eishet Chayil from a wide variety of perspectives, written by leading Jewish educators, rabbis, thinkers, and activists. The final chapter is an

Eishet Chayil: A Template for Modern Women

Eishet Chayil: A Template for Modern Women

In this article, a modern woman who lives by Jewish tradition explains why she feels that Eishet Chayil is very relevant for her and her family. In response to another article which claims that the poem is outdated and unrealistic, Ashira Lapin Gobrin claims that

How Eishet Chayil Shaped One Woman’s Evolving Jewish Identity

How Eishet Chayil Shaped One Woman’s Evolving Jewish Identity

In this personal article, Sarah Zell Young shares how her religious journey is reflected in her evolving relationship with the words of Eishet Chayil. From her initial embracing of traditional observance, through a period of rejection of Eishet Chayil on feminist grounds, to life experiences that enabled

Origins and Interpretations of Proverbs 31

Origins and Interpretations of Proverbs 31

This brief article from Wikipedia offers an introduction to Proverbs 31, the Biblical source for Eishet Chayil. It provides both literal and classic interpretations of the text, and gives different theories as to the authorship of the poem. To see a list of sources referenced, see the

Why We Recite Eishet Chayil on Friday Night

Why We Recite Eishet Chayil on Friday Night

In order to explain why Eishet Chayil is traditionally sung on Shabbat, this detailed article by Rabbi Yehuda Shuprin offers insight into the literal reading of the text, as well as several allegorical interpretations from Kabbalistic, biblical, and rabbinic literature. Rabbi Yehuda Shurpin responds to questions for the “Ask

A Scholarly and Contextual Approach to the Identity of the Eshet Chayil

A Scholarly and Contextual Approach to the Identity of the Eshet Chayil

This scholarly article argues that there is no single answer to the question “Who is the Eishet Chayil?” because the interpretation relies upon the context in which it is read. Professor Jacqueline Vayntrub explores the possible identities of the Eishet Chayil: is she the perfect housewife,

A Complete Guide to Eishet Chayil

A Complete Guide to Eishet Chayil

This thorough article offers a complete introduction to the custom of singing Eishet Chayil on Friday night, including the reasons behind the ritual, a step-by-step guide noting common customs, the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts, and an audio recording of a popular melody, composed by Ben Zion

Chabad: Origins, Customs, and Meanings Behind Shalom Aleichem

Chabad: Origins, Customs, and Meanings Behind Shalom Aleichem

In this 9:15 long video from Chabad.org, Rabbi Pinchas Taylor gives a thorough and detailed explanation of the origins, customs and meanings behind singing Shalom Aleichem as part of the Shabbat evening ritual. Sung weekly in Jewish homes across the globe, Shalom Aleichem has been part of the Friday

Why Repeat Shalom Aleichem Three Times?

Why Repeat Shalom Aleichem Three Times?

This responsum from the “Ask the Rabbi” column of the Ohr Somayach website provides several explanations for the popular custom of reciting each stanza of Shalom Aleichem three times, as opposed to once. Due to its use of Hebrew terminology and halachic concepts, this post may

Introduction to the Blessing Over the Children

Introduction to the Blessing Over the Children

This short article offers a brief introduction to the structure and customs of the blessing over the children, traditionally recited on Friday night. The author, Rabbi Howard Markose, is a Jerusalem-based educator and former community rabbi who received rabbinical ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.  The

Washing for a Meal: The Practical, The Philosophical & The Mystical

Washing for a Meal: The Practical, The Philosophical & The Mystical

In these three long video lectures, Chabad Rabbi Mendel Kaplan breaks down the mitzvah of Netilat Yadayim at mealtime, with an in-depth exploration of the practical, philosophical and mystical aspects of the hand washing ritual. These videos are beneficial for anyone who is looking to dedicate their

Chief Rabbi of the UK on Blessing the Children on Shabbat

Chief Rabbi of the UK on Blessing the Children on Shabbat

In this short video, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the United Kingdom, Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, explains why children are blessed on Shabbat and why the blessings differ for sons and daughters. The rabbi shares the English translation of the blessing as well as why sons

Personalizing the Blessing of the Children on Shabbat

Personalizing the Blessing of the Children on Shabbat

This article shows how the ritual blessing over the children on Shabbat can be used as an opportunity to infuse spirituality and intention into the sometimes challenging and mundane experience of parenting. After an anecdotal introduction about her own transition into motherhood, Dasee Berkowitz outlines the reasons behind the traditional

Introduction to the Blessing over the Bread

Introduction to the Blessing over the Bread

This short article offers a brief introduction to the blessing over the bread, including an explanation of the purpose of blessings, a description of the origins of this ritual, mention of associated rituals, and a basic summary of how to fulfill this commandment. The author,

Blessing the Children and the Importance of Family

Blessing the Children and the Importance of Family

In this article, Ariela Pelaia presents how the blessing over the children on Shabbat is traditionally practiced, as well as ways in which modern families have adapted the ritual to reflect their values. She explains how this custom exemplifies the importance of family in Judaism and offers

The Mitzvah of Separating Challah

The Mitzvah of Separating Challah

This introductory article by Rabbi Mendy Hecht explains the commandment of ‘Hafrashat Challah’ (‘separating challah’), complete with the English transliteration and translation of the blessing. Rabbi Hecht is the founder of the Chabad Jewish Center of Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, NY.

Challah Kabbalah: How to Make Mystical Bread for Shabbat

Challah Kabbalah: How to Make Mystical Bread for Shabbat

This short video, created by the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI), transforms the mundane act of making bread into a holy and mystical experience by connecting each ingredient with a corresponding attribute or meditation that will infuse both the baker and the challah with deep, spiritual meaning. The

Friday Night & Beyond: Insights on HaMotzi

Friday Night & Beyond: Insights on HaMotzi

This thorough excerpt from “Friday Night and Beyond” by Lori Palatnik includes spiritual explanations for many of the customs surrounding the HaMotzi ritual and personal reflections from people about what the blessing means to them. It also provides a clear step-by-step guide explaining how to perform the ritual

Friday Night & Beyond: Insights on the Blessing Over the Children (Plus Text & Audio)

Friday Night & Beyond: Insights on the Blessing Over the Children (Plus Text & Audio)

This thorough excerpt from “Friday Night and Beyond” by Lori Palatnik explains the biblical origins of the ritual blessing over the children on Friday night, as well as a practical how-to guide for parents, complete with the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts and audio recordings of the

Friday Night & Beyond: Insights on HaMotzi

Friday Night & Beyond: Insights on HaMotzi

This thorough excerpt from “Friday Night and Beyond” by Lori Palatnik includes spiritual explanations for many of the customs surrounding the HaMotzi ritual and personal reflections from people about what the blessing means to them. It also provides a clear step-by-step guide explaining how to perform the ritual

Why We Dip the Bread in Salt During the HaMotzi Ritual

Why We Dip the Bread in Salt During the HaMotzi Ritual

This responsum from Chabad.org discusses the origins of dipping bread into salt before eating it as part of the HaMotzi ritual. Rabbi Yehuda Shurpin, a writer for the websites ‘Ask the Rabbi’ column, provides both technical halachic explanations for the custom, as well as the Kabbalistic (Jewish mystical)

Reform: Explaining the HaMotzi Ritual

Reform: Explaining the HaMotzi Ritual

The following excerpt from “Shabbat Customs,” published by ReformJudaism.org, describes the various customs pertaining to the blessing over the bread on Shabbat, including the covering of the bread and knife, the amount of bread needed for a blessing, and how the bread is divided up and

Why We Cover the Bread During HaMotzi

Why We Cover the Bread During HaMotzi

This article from Chabad.org provides biblical, Talmudic and halachic reasons for the custom of covering the challah before and during the HaMotzi blessing. In practice, the Shabbat challah is covered from the beginning of the Kiddush (blessing over the wine) until immediately before (or after – customs vary) the

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Women’s Obligation in HaMotzi and Shabbat Meals

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Women’s Obligation in HaMotzi and Shabbat Meals

This article, written by Halacha Yomit (Daily Laws), describes the women’s obligation to participate in the blessing over the bread and the three meals on Shabbat according to Orthodox tradition. Ideal for those who have a background and interest in Jewish law, the article uses a lot

The Origins of Ritual Hand-Washing In Jewish Thought

The Origins of Ritual Hand-Washing In Jewish Thought

In this excerpt, Chaviva Gordon-Bennett provides an overview of the origins and significance of the different Jewish hand washing rituals, including washing the hands before eating bread. With supporting texts from the Torah (Bible), Talmud, and Midrash (oral teachings), this article gives its reader a unique understanding of

Rabbi Yechial Eckstein: The Spiritual Significance of Challah

Rabbi Yechial Eckstein: The Spiritual Significance of Challah

In this clear video, Rabbi Yechial Eckstein describes the spiritual meaning of challah and how it differs from regular bread. Rabbi Eckstein explains how challah is used during the Shabbat meals and also uses various biblical verses and customs to show how challah is the ultimate symbol of

HaMotzi: The Primordial Past & The Messianic Future

HaMotzi: The Primordial Past & The Messianic Future

This excerpt from “The Way Into Jewish Prayer (Jewish Lights)” by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman explores how the words of the blessing over the bread make a theological statement about both the primordial past and the messianic future. The article also provides links to see the Hebrew text of

Why We ‘Scratch’ the Challah before Bircat HaMotzi

Why We ‘Scratch’ the Challah before Bircat HaMotzi

This article from Chabad.org discusses the halachic (legal) and Kabbalistic (mystical) explanations for ‘scratching’ the Challah before the blessing over the bread on Shabbat. Scratching, or placing a small cut in the top of the challah, is done immediately before the recitation of the blessing over the bread.

Rav Kook on HaMotzi: For All Times

Rav Kook on HaMotzi: For All Times

This excerpt from “Gold from the Land of Israel” by Rabbi Chanan Morrison is a textual analysis of the word “HaMotzi” as it is found in Exodus 6:7, based on the teachings of Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaKohen Kook. The author analyzes a Talmudic discussion as to whether

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan: The Connection Between the Exodus and Challah

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan: The Connection Between the Exodus and Challah

This excerpt from “Sabbath: Day of Eternity” by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan describes the deep spiritual connection between the Exodus from Egypt and the two loaves of bread eaten during Shabbat meals. Using textual support from the Torah, Rabbi Kaplan demonstrates how eating the Shabbat bread is

The Secret Shabbat Blessing: A Blessing from the Heart

The Secret Shabbat Blessing: A Blessing from the Heart

In this essay, Rabbi Leah Doberne-Schor shares why it is important for parents to go beyond the traditional text to bless their children with their own “secret Shabbat blessing,” based on the essence of who they are. She sees this as an opportunity for parents to

Turn Your Home into a Temple with the Blessing Over the Children

Turn Your Home into a Temple with the Blessing Over the Children

This short article demonstrates how to say the Friday night blessing over the children in English, explaining that because this ritual includes the ancient priestly blessing once recited in the holy Temple in Jerusalem, uttering it helps to symbolically render the Shabbat table a small temple in

Covering Our Eyes During Shabbat Candle Lighting

Covering Our Eyes During Shabbat Candle Lighting

This post explains the halachic reasoning behind the popular custom of covering one’s eyes while reciting the blessing after lighting the Shabbat candles. The author, Rabbi Howard Markose, is a Jerusalem-based educator and former community rabbi who received rabbinical ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. 

Lighting Candles: A Spiritual Cure-all

Lighting Candles: A Spiritual Cure-all

In this thought-provoking article, psychologist, Dr. Miriam Biber, explores the unique spiritual power of lighting the Shabbat candles through personal anecdotes and biblical, Talmudic and Chassidic sources. Described as a prototype for all of the other commandments, she explains the lighting of Shabbat candles as a physical manifestation of

Shabbat Candle Lighting: Empowering or Restricting to Women?

Shabbat Candle Lighting: Empowering or Restricting to Women?

The following article addresses whether the tradition of women lighting Shabbat candles is empowering or restricting. The anonymous author explores the role of women in Orthodox Judaism, drawing on both Jewish mysticism and practice, considering questions such as whether lighting Shabbat candles keeps women as the

Waving the Hands Before Candle Lighting: A Kabbalistic Understanding

Waving the Hands Before Candle Lighting: A Kabbalistic Understanding

This short post explores the Halachic (Jewish law) and Kabbalistic (Jewish mysticism) explanations as to why those lighting the Shabbat evening candles wave their hands three times over the lit candles before reciting the blessing. The response uses various concepts from Kabbalah, such as the five

The History and Symbolism of Lighting Shabbat Candles

The History and Symbolism of Lighting Shabbat Candles

In this short, informative video, Rabbi Michael Laitner offers both historical and spiritual explanations for the Shabbat evening candle lighting and provides guidelines on how to fulfill the commandment. This video is appropriate for people of all backgrounds who want to learn more about the history

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel Quotes on Shabbat Candles

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel Quotes on Shabbat Candles

These poetic quotes from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel describe the moment when Shabbat arrives, bringing with it an atmosphere of light, peace, rest, joy, and renewal. Heschel points to the creative and transformative power of lighting Shabbat candles, which officially marks the beginning of this holy day. In

Women in Judaism: Lighting Shabbat Candles

Women in Judaism: Lighting Shabbat Candles

This article explains how lighting Shabbat candles brings peace and harmony into the home, both practically and symbolically, and why this ritual is connected to the unique role of women in Judaism. The author, Leah Kohn, an Orthodox educator, suggests spiritual meditations and psychological insights to

Shabbat Candles as a Revelation of the Hidden Light of Creation

Shabbat Candles as a Revelation of the Hidden Light of Creation

The following excerpt is a translation and explanation of a Hasidic text relating to Shabbat candle lighting, from The Sabbath Soul: Mystical Reflections on the Transformative Power of Holy Time by Eitan Fishbane. The original text explored in this excerpt was written by the Sfat Emet (1847-1905), R.

Reconstructionist Thought on Candle Lighting

Reconstructionist Thought on Candle Lighting

In this short excerpt from the essay “Exploring Judaism: A Reconstructionist Approach,” Shabbat candle lighting is expounded on as an example of the importance of ritual within Reconstructionist Judaism. Reconstructionist Judaism is a modern Jewish movement that views Judaism as a progressively evolving civilization in its

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on How and Why to Light the Candles

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on How and Why to Light the Candles

The following video from Jewish Online Guides, an educational initiative by The United Synagogue, explores the lighting of the Shabbat candles according to Orthodox Ashkenazi tradition. Complete with an introduction to the meaning behind lighting the candles by the Former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks,

Candle Lighting: The Test of Time

Candle Lighting: The Test of Time

The following excerpt from the article “Truth Stands the Test of Time” explains how the Shabbat candles are symbolic of the truth and authenticity of the Torah and the Jewish people. When one lights the Shabbat candles weekly, they are bearing witness to the eternity

The History of Lighting the Shabbat Candles

The History of Lighting the Shabbat Candles

In this excerpt from the article, “Lighting Sabbath Candles,” Avi Lazerson discusses the historical and textual explanations for the commandment of lighting the Shabbat evening candles. He explains how this ritual was given specifically to women, although men are also obligated to light the candles in the

Candle Lighting: A Blessing or a Curse to Women?

Candle Lighting: A Blessing or a Curse to Women?

In the following excerpt from Wendy I. Zierler’s article, “Shedding Feminist Light on the Sabbath Candles,” Zierler explores the possibility that the commandment for women to light the Shabbat evening candles is based on negative associations, rather than positive ones. This article, found in “My

The Connection Between Giving Tzedakah and Shabbat Candle Lighting

The Connection Between Giving Tzedakah and Shabbat Candle Lighting

The following article describes the practice of giving tzedakah (charity) before lighting the Shabbat evening candles, along with an explanation as to how these two actions are intrinsically connected. This article is helpful for those seeking a deeper understanding of the meaning behind the ceremony through

One Jewish Woman’s Musings on Eishet Chayil

One Jewish Woman’s Musings on Eishet Chayil

In this personal blog post, Amy Meltzer shares her desire, as a Jewish woman, to hear her praises sung at her family’s Friday night table, particularly since showing such appreciation is something she would like modeled for her daughters. Since her husband does not sing,

Psalm 23

Psalm 23

The following article outlines the place of Psalm 23 in Shabbat liturgy in various communities, as well as a literary analysis of several theological and psychological interpretations of the words, according to various thinkers. The author, Rabbi Peretz A. Rodman, is an American-born, Jerusalem-based rabbi, educator, writer,

The Role of Wine in Jewish Tradition

The Role of Wine in Jewish Tradition

This excerpt, from an article by Rabbi Maurice Lamm, explains the integral place of wine in Sabbath, festival, and wedding rituals, as a celebratory and symbolic marker between the mundane and the sacred. The significance of wine within Jewish ritual is a shared practice among

Kiddush in Kabbalistic Thought

Kiddush in Kabbalistic Thought

In this excerpt from “The Thirteen Petalled Rose,” Talmudic scholar Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz provides a step-by-step interpretation of the ritual of Kiddush on Shabbat evening, using complex Jewish mystical thinking and language aimed at readers with a strong background in Jewish learning. Translated from the

Kiddush: Shabbat and the Possibility of Transformation

Kiddush: Shabbat and the Possibility of Transformation

Using both Hassidic and classic commentaries, these excerpts from the article “Shabbat and the Possibility of Transformation” explore Kiddush as a reminder of the personal and national redemptive power of Shabbat. The entire article, written by Rabbis Sharon Brous and Aaron Alexander from The Ziegler School

Shabbat as Rest from Creation

Shabbat as Rest from Creation

In this article, Rabbi David Aaron explores the deeper meaning of rest on Shabbat, as referenced in the Friday night Kiddush, by encouraging readers to focus on the “yeses” instead of all of the halachic prohibitions. Through an examination of the original verses in the Torah, the author demonstrates

Kiddush as a Refelction of the Jews’ Universal and Particular Relationship with God

Kiddush as a Refelction of the Jews’ Universal and Particular Relationship with God

This excerpt from the article “The Dual Nature of Shabbat Observance” provides insight into how the text of Kiddush reflects the Jews’ simultaneous universal and particular relationship with God. Rabbi Avi Baumol, currently serving the Jewish community of Krakow, formerly an educator in different Orthodox

Kiddush: At Home or Synagogue?

Kiddush: At Home or Synagogue?

This article, ideal for readers with an interest in the development of Jewish law and custom, discusses whether the Friday night Kiddush should be recited as part of the evening services at synagogue in addition to at home prior to the Shabbat meal. It includes

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel: Kiddush and the Sanctification of Time

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel: Kiddush and the Sanctification of Time

This excerpt from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s “The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man,” explores the idea of Shabbat as a symbol for the sanctification of time. Although Heschel does not specifically mention Kiddush in this writing, the ritual of making Kiddush – literally, “sanctification” – is an example

A Woman Before God: Candle Lighting Throughout the Generations

A Woman Before God: Candle Lighting Throughout the Generations

This article discusses the strong feminine aspect of the candle lighting ritual, including how various traditions which have been handed down from generation to generation through family matriarchs have gained halachic status. Among other practices, the article explores the ancient sources for lighting the candles and

“Shamor” and “Zachor”: Observe and Remember

“Shamor” and “Zachor”: Observe and Remember

This blog post by Rabbi Adam Feldman explores the dual language of “shamor” and “zachor” used in the Torah to command the Jewish people to “remember” and “observe” Shabbat. Jewish tradition explains that one of the reasons for lighting two candles on Shabbat is to

HuffPost Blog: “Going Dark” on Shabbat

HuffPost Blog: “Going Dark” on Shabbat

In this blog post, Ellie Krupnick shares her personal journey of coming to appreciate the refuge from technology and work offered by Shabbat. Although not specifically about the candle lighting ritual, the author mentions how this “beautiful, magical tradition” ushered in the peace and rest of

Sarah’s Light: The Candles that Never Waned

Sarah’s Light: The Candles that Never Waned

This enlightening article explores the age old connection between Jewish women and Shabbat candles, explaining references to the Matriarch, Sarah, lighting Shabbat candles in the Torah and Midrash. The article delves into the tradition that both Sarah and Rivkah’s Shabbat candles miraculously remained lit from one week

Ana B’Ko’ach: A Musical Kabbalistic Meditation with On-Screen Text

Ana B’Ko’ach: A Musical Kabbalistic Meditation with On-Screen Text

This 6:26 minute long video produced by The Kabbalah Center provides deep mystical meditations based on the Kabbalistic secrets hidden within the song, Ana B’Koach, traditionally sung as part of the Kabbalat Shabbat prayer service. It also provides a musical version of the prayer and concludes

Shabbat Observance in Alaska: Lighting Shabbat Candles Without Sunset

Shabbat Observance in Alaska: Lighting Shabbat Candles Without Sunset

In this article, Rabbi Dov Gartenberg shares his thoughts and halachic insights about Shabbat observance when living in Alaska, where during certain times of the year, the sun does not set at all within a twenty-four hour period. This phenomenon directly impacts when Friday night

Switching On Shabbat: Temples in Time

Switching On Shabbat: Temples in Time

Referencing Jewish thinkers Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Blu Greenberg, this article describes lighting the Shabbat candles as a transformative act that enables us to create temples in time, thus turning Shabbat on in the world. The author connects Shabbat to the Divine act of

Rav Kook: Blessings Over Bread and Torah

Rav Kook: Blessings Over Bread and Torah

This excerpt, written by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, explores the dual benefits we gain from both eating and studying Torah, comparing the Grace After Meals and the blessing over studying Torah. Rav Kook, the First Ashkenazi Cheif Rabbi of Israel, was a revered Torah scholar,

A Historical Approach to the Composition and Structure of the Grace After Meals

A Historical Approach to the Composition and Structure of the Grace After Meals

This thorough article by Rabbi Yizchak Etshalom outlines the structure of the Grace After Meals, explaining how the Biblical command to thank God for the food and land is fulfilled through this lengthy prayer, written by multiple authors throughout Jewish history. This historical approach is most

The Significance of Fire in Judaism

The Significance of Fire in Judaism

This excerpt notes the universally recognized power of fire, as well as its particular significance in Jewish ritual, such as lighting Shabbat and Hannukah candles and the Havdalah ceremony. It comes from “The Jewish Catalog: A Do-It-Yourself Kit,” a collection of articles aimed at Jews

Yedid Nefesh: Introduction & Audio

Yedid Nefesh: Introduction & Audio

This post provides a brief introduction to the liturgical poem “Yedid Nefesh,” often sung by Ashkenazi congregations between the afternoon Minchah prayer on Friday and the beginning of the Kabbalat Shabbat service. Although the authorship is uncertain, it is commonly attributed to the sixteenth century

Candle Lighting as a Spiritual Union

Candle Lighting as a Spiritual Union

This piece provides a mystical explanation of the Shabbat candle lighting ritual, applying ancient Kabbalistic concepts in a way that is relevant for modern Jews. Written by Rabbi Goldie Milgram, a self-described “postdenominational, or reconformadox” rabbi and teacher, this excerpt comes from her book, “Reclaiming Judaism

The Sabbath as a Journey Through the Worlds   

The Sabbath as a Journey Through the Worlds   

In this piece, the author describes Shabbat as a holistic experience, beginning with the lighting of the Shabbat candles. She suggests that the two candles represent different dualistic aspects we encounter in the world. Deeply personal and spiritual, with references to many different Jewish sources,

Lighting Candles as a Way to “Unplug” from Distraction and “Plug in” to Shabbat

Lighting Candles as a Way to “Unplug” from Distraction and “Plug in” to Shabbat

In this short video, Rabbi Noa Kushner encourages people to use Shabbat – and particularly, candle lighting- as an opportunity to “unplug” from the distractions and tasks of daily life in order to connect to their values, their selves and the people they love. She

Chabad Customs: The Background and Details of Shalom Aleichem

Chabad Customs: The Background and Details of Shalom Aleichem

This short post presents the background and halachic details surrounding Shalom Aleichem, according to the Shulchan Aruch Harav – the body of Jewish law compiled by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (the Alter Rebbe), the founder and first Rebbe of the Chabad Hasidic movement. While

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The Sabbath Queen: A Poem by Hayim Nahman Bialik

The Sabbath Queen: A Poem by Hayim Nahman Bialik

This post presents the Hebrew, English and transliterated text of “Sabbath Queen,” a poem by Israel’s national poet, Hayim Nahman Bialik, about welcoming Shabbat. This poem is included in many alternative Kabbalat Shabbat services in Israel and abroad. There is also an audio recording of

Bread from the Earth: Food Justice Ceremony

Bread from the Earth: Food Justice Ceremony

This ceremony, meant to be performed before the blessing over the bread, encourages people to contemplate the source of their food, the process it went through to get onto the Shabbat table, and the complexity of food systems. Structured as a guide for hosts, this

“If I Let It” – Poem Preceding Shabbat Candle Lighting

“If I Let It” – Poem Preceding Shabbat Candle Lighting

This short poem by Trisha Arlin provides a “kavanah,” – a direction in which to focus one’s attention – to be utilized when welcoming Shabbat. The poem mentions many ways in which Shabbat can be wonderfully different from all the other days of the week, but

An Alternative Havdalah Ceremony Celebrating Jewish Diversity

An Alternative Havdalah Ceremony Celebrating Jewish Diversity

This post provides a link to “Havdalah: A Celebration of Difference,” an alternative ceremony written by Rabbi Leila Gal Berner to emphasize the idea of pluralism within the Jewish community. Written specifically to include Jews of patrilineal descent and Jews-by-choice who are not accepted by

The First American Bat Mitzvah: A Personal Account

The First American Bat Mitzvah: A Personal Account

In this article, Judith Kaplan Eisenstein shares a personal account of her Bat Mitzvah, the first Bat Mitzvah ceremony celebrated in America in 1922. The daughter of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, Judith recalls her own hesitations and those of her community, emphasizing how her

Reconstructionist Torah Reading Blessings in ASL

Reconstructionist Torah Reading Blessings in ASL

In this video, Rabbis Darby Leigh and Roni Handler demonstrate how to sing and sign the Reconstructionist version of the blessing before Torah reading in American Sign Language, which is especially helpful for those who are deaf or hard of hearing and those seeking to make their

Aliyah to the Torah vs. Aliyah to Israel

Aliyah to the Torah vs. Aliyah to Israel

In this post from Chabad.org, Rabbi Yossi Lew explains why the term “aliyah” is used to describe both being called up to the Torah and moving to Israel. In both cases, aliyah – which means ascent – refers to a spiritual elevation, as opposed to

A Prayer Before One’s Aliyah to the Torah

A Prayer Before One’s Aliyah to the Torah

This post presents an original prayer which was written by Rabbi Jill Hammer to be recited by an individual or community at the time that the Torah is lifted or before one’s own personal aliyah. Although she wrote this blessing specifically for the holiday of

A Woman Describes Her First Aliyah to the Torah

A Woman Describes Her First Aliyah to the Torah

In this personal article, Lauren Hamburger relays her first experience of being called up to the Torah for an aliyah, a practice that is traditionally reserved for men. The author describes how it felt to be an active participant in the service, as opposed to

Attend Reform Shabbat Services Online

Attend Reform Shabbat Services Online

This link takes you to the official website of the Reform movement, where you can view live streams and recorded Kabbalat Shabbat services from Reform synagogues all across North America. Whether you are curious about the synagogue services or simply can’t make it all the

A Kabbalat Shabbat Poem About the Stillness of Evening

A Kabbalat Shabbat Poem About the Stillness of Evening

This poem by Ruth F. Brin describes the stillness and silence of the transition into evening, as reflected in the physical world, human beings, and God. Brin, a liturgical pioneer in the 1950s, modernized traditional Jewish prayers and texts with new interpretive readings and original poetry reflecting her own

A Kabbalat Shabbat Poem About Transitions

A Kabbalat Shabbat Poem About Transitions

This poem by Rabbi Annie Lewis explores the cyclical, evolving nature of the physical world and human beings, focusing on the transition into Shabbat as a time of peace and rest. Rabbi Annie Lewis, a poet, activist, and therapist, shared this poem on Ritualwell, a project of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Rituals for Turning Off Devices Before Shabbat

Rituals for Turning Off Devices Before Shabbat

This post by Elana Bell presents a short blessing and a list of actions to add spiritual intention to the simple act of turning of your electronic devices before Shabbat. Elana Bell, a poet, performer and lecturer, shared this ritual on Ritualwell, a project of the

An Illustrated Kabbalat Shabbat Siddur

An Illustrated Kabbalat Shabbat Siddur

This link opens up “An Illustrated Kabbalat Shabbat Siddur with Drawings by Daniel Nebenzahl,” a Hebrew siddur for adults full of drawings that are meant to inspire the user. The siddur contains the Mincha afternoon prayers, Kabbalat Shabbat, and the Ma’ariv evening service in Nusach

The King and Queen in the Field: Reimagining a God Metaphor in Elul (Article & Poem)

The King and Queen in the Field: Reimagining a God Metaphor in Elul (Article & Poem)

The article and poem by Alden Solovy explore two traditional metaphors of God – the harsh King often seen throughout Bible, alongside the compassionate, loving Queen we greet in the Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony. Solovy calls for us to combine these two metaphors, imagining a God that exhibits

A Humorous Skit About Havdalah Stereotypes

A Humorous Skit About Havdalah Stereotypes

This short video playfully pokes fun at different stereotypical behaviors associated with the Havdalah ceremony, such as “The Mumbler,” who mutters the entire ceremony quickly under his breath and “The Guy Who Has to Turn Off the Lights.” Aimed at an Orthodox audience who is

A Havdalah Prayer for Holy Separations

A Havdalah Prayer for Holy Separations

This poem by Trisha Arlin is praise for the things between which we separate, as well as the separation itself. Inspired by the Havdalah ceremony that distinguishes between the holiness of Shabbat and the mundane of the rest of the week, this poem references the

The Cup of Miriam Ceremony for Havdalah

The Cup of Miriam Ceremony for Havdalah

This ceremony over a cup of water can be added to Havdalah, symbolizing the miraculous source of fresh water that accompanied the Israelites in the desert. Known as “Miriam’s Well,” the Talmud explains that this blessed water was granted to the Children of Israel in

Blessing Over Separations: A Havdalah Poem

Blessing Over Separations: A Havdalah Poem

This poem by Shelby Handler focuses on the power and beauty of the special space created by distinguishing between two things. Written as a prayer to God, with emotive language and imagery, the author lists many different things between which we separate, including both basic

A Havdalah Poem

A Havdalah Poem

This short poem by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat is inspired by the Havdalah ceremony that marks the end of Shabbat and the beginning of a new week. The poem encourages readers to bring intention to this transformative ritual, bidding a heartfelt goodbye to the holiness of

The Blessing Over the Wine in ASL

The Blessing Over the Wine in ASL

This video demonstrates how to sign the blessing over the wine in American Sign Language, which is especially helpful for those who are deaf or hard of hearing and those seeking to make their practice more inclusive. Although this blessing is said as part of the

Mayim Achronim: Washing the Finger Tips Prior to Grace After Meals

Mayim Achronim: Washing the Finger Tips Prior to Grace After Meals

This brief post by Rabbi Baruch Davidson outlines the laws, customs and meaning behind the commandment to wash one’s fingertips after eating, prior to reciting the Grace After Meals. Rabbi Davidson is a writer for Chabad.org, the official website of the Chabad Lubavitch Hasidic movement. 

Alternative Blessings, Food for Thought, and Thought for Food

Alternative Blessings, Food for Thought, and Thought for Food

This two page PDF document includes a variety of blessings, meditations, teachings and customs to be performed before, during and after eating in order to elevate this seemingly mundane physical act into a spiritual, intentional experience. The ideas come from a wide range of sources,

A Poetic Translation of Shir Hama’alot (Psalm 126)

A Poetic Translation of Shir Hama’alot (Psalm 126)

This post presents Shim’on Menachem’s poetic and nuanced translation and interpretation of Psalm 126, which is traditionally recited before the Grace After Meals by Ashkekazi Jews on Shabbat, holidays, and other days on which the penitential Tachanun prayer is not recited. According to Menachem, this post-exilic Psalm switches its narrative

Prayer for the Peace of Two States for Two Peoples (for the Birkat Hamazon)

Prayer for the Peace of Two States for Two Peoples (for the Birkat Hamazon)

This Hebrew and English text by Ira Tick is a prayer for a peaceful, just solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict written for inclusion in the Grace After Meals. While the author’s political opinions are clearly stated, people of varying political stances could use this text

A Social Justice Themed Thanksgiving Adaptation of the Grace After Meals

A Social Justice Themed Thanksgiving Adaptation of the Grace After Meals

This post presents an English adaptation of the traditional Grace After Meals written by Interfaith Workers Justice, an American organization that engages faith communities  as allies in advancing workers’ rights. Composed for Thanksgiving, this prayer inspires gratitude to God, America, and food laborers for their food and

Grace After Meals Meditation Based on Traditional Sources

Grace After Meals Meditation Based on Traditional Sources

This post suggests a Grace After Meals mediation for gratitude, intention, and blessing, based on two separate verses from Jewish liturgy. The first is a Hebrew verse from the last paragraph of the Edot Hamizrach Grace After Meals recited by Jews of Sephardic, Middle Eastern,

A Groom’s Eishet Chayil Inspired Poem to his Bride

A Groom’s Eishet Chayil Inspired Poem to his Bride

In this lighthearted, low quality video, Josh Lannik recites an original rhyming poem to his new wife, Liz Shayne, at their wedding. To the delight of the guests, the groom recites the entire poem while down on one knee, explaining that he chose to compose a

English Translation of Eishet Chayil with Animated Graphic Representations

English Translation of Eishet Chayil with Animated Graphic Representations

This well-produced video presents an artistic graphic representation of each verse of Eishet Chayil, including a translation of the words into English as well as pleasant background music. This video was created by Logos Bible Software, the leading provider of multilingual tools and resources for digital

The Priestly Blessing

The Priestly Blessing

This informative article by the late Rabbi Louis Jacobs explains the origins, meaning, and practice of the Priestly Blessing in the synagogue service, which also is part of the blessing over the children on Friday nights. The author describes when, where and how the ritual

A Pictorial View of the Woman of Valor

A Pictorial View of the Woman of Valor

This creative post by Karen Wolfers-Rapaport includes a photographic representation of each verse of Eishet Chayil, along with background information and deeper explanations of the text. It is an interesting resource for anyone looking for new perspectives on the custom. The author and photographer is a psychotherapist

Blessing the Beloved: An Alternative to Eishet Chayil for Opposite & Same Sex Couples

Blessing the Beloved: An Alternative to Eishet Chayil for Opposite & Same Sex Couples

This excerpt from Marcia Falk‘s “The Book of Blessings” offers an alternative ceremony to Eishet Chayil, based on verses in the Song of Songs. Because of the gendered nature of Hebrew language, the author offers one English translation along with both the Hebrew and English

In Search of Eishet Chayil: An Empowering Lesson Plan for Adolescent Girls

In Search of Eishet Chayil: An Empowering Lesson Plan for Adolescent Girls

This thorough lesson plan by Aya Baron is designed to help adolescent girls feel empowered, valorous, and aware of the messages sent to them by mainstream media and Jewish tradition, so that they can make wise choices about how they relate to them. Throughout the

An Empowering Eishet Chayil Poem from a Healing Ritual for Abused Women

An Empowering Eishet Chayil Poem from a Healing Ritual for Abused Women

The following poem is a short excerpt from a healing ceremony designed to assure an abused Jewish woman that she is not alone. This empowering and optimistic version of Eishet Chayil affirms the battered woman’s attempt to change her situation and assures her that she has

People of Valor: Changing Traditions at an Egalitarian Summer Camp

People of Valor: Changing Traditions at an Egalitarian Summer Camp

In this blog post, Hani Fish-Bieler recalls how the staff and campers at Camp Ramah, a Conservative egalitarian sleepover camp, decided to change an old camp tradition where on the last Shabbat of the summer, the male campers serenade thefemale campers with Eishet Chayil. Because both

A Poem Inspired by Eishet Chayil

A Poem Inspired by Eishet Chayil

In this poem, Eric S. Kingston explores the concept of a Woman of Valor, focusing on both a woman’s ability to change the world through her actions, as well as her internal worth as a Divine Creation. This poem was posted on TheJewishWoman.org, a section of

An Artist’s Interpretation of Eishet Chayil

An Artist’s Interpretation of Eishet Chayil

This artistic interpretation of Eishet Chayil by Roni Pinto features the image of a woman lighting Shabbat candles, made up out of the Hebrew letters of Eishet Chayil. Roni Pinto explores religious and philosophical themes through the use of Hebrew letters in her work. Her explanation

Ribbon Kol Haolamim: A Prayer Based on Shalom Aleichem

Ribbon Kol Haolamim: A Prayer Based on Shalom Aleichem

This post includes the Hebrew and English translation for “Ribbon Kol Haolamim,” a prayer that is recited or sung after “Shalom Aleichem” in many communities, as well as an audio recording reflecting the tradition of the Bene Israel Indian Jewish community. Largely comprised of praise and

A Shalom Aleichem Classroom Activity for Children

A Shalom Aleichem Classroom Activity for Children

This short lesson plan vaguely outlines a classroom activity for children based on the words of the song “Shalom Aleichem.” This educational resource, posted on the Behrman House website, is an excellent way to help children deeply engage with the ritual in a creative, hands-on way.

Ministering Angels vs. Angels of Peace

Ministering Angels vs. Angels of Peace

This short post explains why, according to many traditions, the first stanza of “Shalom Aleichem” addresses the “ministering angels” (“malachei hasharet”) while the rest of them address the “angels of peace” (“malachei hashalom”). This response by journalist Dovid Zaklikowski was posted on Chabad.org, the website of

Guatemalan Christian sings ‘Shalom Aleichem’

Guatemalan Christian sings ‘Shalom Aleichem’

In this article from Israel National News, Netanel Izak relays the personal story of how he met a Guatemalan Christian on a trip to Taiwan who told him that his Church regards Israel and the Jewish people very highly. They proceeded to sing his favorite song,

Juliet Spitzer: A Woman of Valor for Today

Juliet Spitzer: A Woman of Valor for Today

The music and lyrics for this modern version of Eishet Chayil were composed by singer/songwriter Juliet Spitzer, who describes herself as a “devout post-denominational Jew” and a feminist. The lyrics, which can be seen below, describe the woman of valor as a loving, charitable, optimistic, determined,

Gender Bias in Translation: Why is “Chayil” Often Translated as “Virtuous”?

Gender Bias in Translation: Why is “Chayil” Often Translated as “Virtuous”?

This thorough article examines the different ways that the word “chayil” is used throughout the Bible, suggesting that gender bias has influenced translators and commentators to understand “chayil” differently when it is applied to men and women. Whereas the word is used 242 times throughout the Bible,

A Ceremony to Honor Women & A Modern Version of Eishet Chayil

A Ceremony to Honor Women & A Modern Version of Eishet Chayil

This ceremony was designed to honor the women in our lives and learn from their character traits and contributions. Based on the concept of Eishet Chayil, that it is important to honor and extend gratitude to women, this group ceremony includes an adapted version of

A Contemporary “Women of Valor” Ceremony for the Passover Seder

A Contemporary “Women of Valor” Ceremony for the Passover Seder

This ceremony, meant to be performed before drinking the third cup of wine at the Passover seder, encourages people to honor contemporary (mostly American) Jewish “women of valor” who have made significant contributions in politics, social justice, art, science and spirituality. Structured as a script for a

A Response to Eishet Chayil: An Egalitarian Poem from Wife to Husband

A Response to Eishet Chayil: An Egalitarian Poem from Wife to Husband

This poem, meant to be recited by a wife to her husband, was written by Ruth F. Brin as a response to the traditional Eishet Chayil. Whereas the text from Proverbs 31 praises a woman for all she does for the family, this contemporary poem emphasizes

Shalom Aleichem Ceremony for Going on Hospice

Shalom Aleichem Ceremony for Going on Hospice

In this detailed, step-by-step guide, Lisa Sacks outlines a way to transform the difficult experience of going on hospice into a meaningful transition for both the patient and his/her loved ones, by changing the focus from fighting against a disease to living for the remaining

“Malachim” Jewish Angel Cards

“Malachim” Jewish Angel Cards

This post introduces “MALACHIM Jewish Angel Cards,” each with an image and blessing, created by Deborah Eisenbach-Budner to be used during the ritual singing of “Shalom Aleichem” to welcome the ministering angels into the home on Friday nights. Eisenbach-Budner is a Jewish educator affiliated with the Reconstructionist

A Shalom Aleichem Poem

A Shalom Aleichem Poem

This original poem by Gila Gevirtz is inspired by the tradition of singing Shalom Aleichem to the ministering angels that come to bless Jewish homes on Friday evening. Gevirtz, a published author of Jewish-themed children’s books, likens God’s love upon reflecting on the world each Shabbat

Pre-Candle-Lighting Tzedakah Custom for Children

Pre-Candle-Lighting Tzedakah Custom for Children

This short post suggests a creative way to involve children in the custom of giving charity before lighting Shabbat candles. Originally published in “A Kolot Egalitarian Bentcher: Shabbat Blessings and Customs for Your Home”(Philadelphia, PA: Kolot, 2001), this tradition was shared by Julie Korostoff and Christer

Ritual Hand-Washing Upon Waking vs. Before Eating Bread

Ritual Hand-Washing Upon Waking vs. Before Eating Bread

This short home video compares the different customs of washing one’s hands after waking up and before eating bread. Although the same blessing is recited in both cases, the order in which the hands are washed is different. Both hand-washing rituals are concerned with purity,

Hand-Washing Blessing in ASL

Hand-Washing Blessing in ASL

This video demonstrates how to sign the ritual hand-washing blessing in American Sign Language, which is especially helpful for those who are deaf or hard of hearing and those seeking to make their practice more inclusive. While there are no subtitles, there is an audio of

Ha-Motzi Blessing in ASL

Ha-Motzi Blessing in ASL

This video demonstrates how to sign the blessing over the bread in American Sign Language, which is especially helpful for those who are deaf or hard of hearing and those seeking to make their practice more inclusive. While there are no subtitles, there is an audio

The Ultimate Gluten-Free Challah Recipe

The Ultimate Gluten-Free Challah Recipe

This gluten-free challah recipe is perfect for anyone with a gluten sensitivity who still wants to participate in the ritual of baking and enjoying homemade challah for Shabbat. The article includes an introduction from the author, Vered Meir, an avid baker based in Oakland, California.

Ritual Hand-Washing Meditation

Ritual Hand-Washing Meditation

In this short meditative practice, June Kozak Kane suggests intentions which one can ponder while performing the ritual hand-washing in order to make this act more meaningful. Although the author is specifically referring to the hand-washing upon waking, where one washes each hand alternately three

A Ritual of Sending Challah to Kids in College

A Ritual of Sending Challah to Kids in College

In this personal story, Sheri Linder describes how she bakes challah each week and sends it in the mail with a bottle of grape juice and candles to each of her children who are away at college. Linder likens the process of baking challah to

Race & Social Justice: “Until Justice Rolls Down Like Water”

Race & Social Justice: “Until Justice Rolls Down Like Water”

This ceremony, meant to be performed before the ritual hand-washing prior to eating bread, encourages people to contemplate issues of race in society, imagine an ideal world, and recognize the things which we cannot wash clean. Structured as a guide for hosts, this ceremony comes

Motzi: A Chain of Work – Prayer Prior to HaMotzi

Motzi: A Chain of Work – Prayer Prior to HaMotzi

This poetic prayer, meant to be recited prior to the blessing over the challah, brings one’s intentions toward all of the people, powers, and systems that allowed for the bread to come into existence. Written by Trisha Arlin, a writer, performer and rabbinic student at the Academy

Words Of Prayer and Intention: A Sustainability Motzi

Words Of Prayer and Intention: A Sustainability Motzi

This poetic blessing over the bread brings one’s intentions toward all of the people, powers, and systems that allowed for the bread to come into existence. The prayer finishes with an adapted English and transliterated version of the HaMotzi blessing, which includes several different concepts of

And She Laughed: A Kitchen Ritual for Healing from Miscarriage

And She Laughed: A Kitchen Ritual for Healing from Miscarriage

This article suggests that making challah can be a therapeutic, healing ritual for women suffering from miscarriages and infertility. Rabbi Jodie Gordon, a feminist, Reform rabbi and educator, shares her own personal story and then outlines how to conduct this ritual for an individual or a

Senator Joe Lieberman: On Candle Lighting

Senator Joe Lieberman: On Candle Lighting

In this short post, former American Senator Joe Lieberman describes the candle lighting experience in his own home, including several ideas that make it personally meaningful. Although the quotes are from Lieberman’s book, “The Gift of Rest,” the entire post is from the manual of The

Shabbat Candle Lighting Source Sheet

Shabbat Candle Lighting Source Sheet

This resource, helpful for educators and those with background in reading Jewish texts, is both an educational worksheet and a collection of sources about lighting Shabbat candles. Created by Rabbi David Polsky of Congregation Anshe Sfard, an Orthodox synagogue in New Orleans, this comprehensive resource includes references

Are Your Shabbat Candles Toxic?

Are Your Shabbat Candles Toxic?

In this article, Lisa Rose, a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, outlines some of the health and environmental issues associated with burning candles in the home, and then offers safe, healthy alternatives for Shabbat use. Relevant to those who are passionate about natural health, sustainability and the environment,

Shalom Sesame: Learn About Shabbat with Grover

Shalom Sesame: Learn About Shabbat with Grover

In this sweet, amusing video, Grover learns about Shabbat on “Shalom Sesame,” the Israeli version of the popular children’s television series, “Sesame Street.” Grover helps his friend prepare for Shabbat on a busy Friday afternoon, and in the process, he learns about Shabbat candles, Kiddush,

A Shabbat Eve Meditation: Breathing Exercises around Shabbat Candle Lighting

A Shabbat Eve Meditation: Breathing Exercises around Shabbat Candle Lighting

This is a short poem written to guide a group meditation at the time of welcoming Shabbat, either before or after candle lighting. It encourages group members to focus on their breathing, using their breath as a means for letting go of the stresses and

Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi’s Creative Interpretation of the Grace After Meals

Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi’s Creative Interpretation of the Grace After Meals

This innovative translation of the Ashkenazi Grace After Meals by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, the father of the Jewish Renewal movement, brings the English translation to life. Schachter-Shalomi, warmly known as ‘Reb Zalman,’ provides a soulful, vivid interpretation, allowing people to connect to this prayer on a

The Importance of Reciting the Grace After Meals (Yiddish)

The Importance of Reciting the Grace After Meals (Yiddish)

This 8 minute long video, which targets a Yiddish speaking audience, seeks to enlighten Orthodox Jews about the importance of the ritual washing of one’s hands performed before eating bread and the Grace After Meals blessing recited after eating bread. The music video follows a Hasidic

Shalom Aleichem in ASL

Shalom Aleichem in ASL

This video, presented by interpreter David Bar Tzur, demonstrates how to sign Shalom Aleichem in American Sign Language, which is especially helpful for those who are deaf or hard of hearing and those seeking to make their practice more inclusive. Using music composed by Rabbi Cantor Israel

A Feminist Eishet Chayil Poem

A Feminist Eishet Chayil Poem

In this post, Tamara Cohen, a Jewish feminist writer, activist and educator, shares personal memories of how her mother, a hard-working professional woman and feminist, was gratified to have Eishet Chayil sung to her at the Shabbat table. Nevertheless, the author offers her own poem – an

A Creative Lesson Plan to Teach the Grace After Meals to Students

A Creative Lesson Plan to Teach the Grace After Meals to Students

This  twelve-part lesson plan from The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education aims to teach middle school students the meaning and purpose of the Grace after Meals, using it as a gateway to conveying the importance of Jewish prayer as a whole. Through hevruta (learning in pairs), students

The Mitzvah of Separating Challah

The Mitzvah of Separating Challah

This introductory article by Rabbi Mendy Hecht explains the commandment of ‘Hafrashat Challah’ (‘separating challah’), complete with the English transliteration and translation of the blessing. Rabbi Hecht is the founder of the Chabad Jewish Center of Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, NY.

Challah Kabbalah: How to Make Mystical Bread for Shabbat

Challah Kabbalah: How to Make Mystical Bread for Shabbat

This short video, created by the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI), transforms the mundane act of making bread into a holy and mystical experience by connecting each ingredient with a corresponding attribute or meditation that will infuse both the baker and the challah with deep, spiritual meaning. The

How to Separate Challah: Sephardic & Ashkenazi Customs

How to Separate Challah: Sephardic & Ashkenazi Customs

This excerpt from “The Secret of Challah” by Shira Wiener & Ayelet Yifrach provides clear and concise directions for both Ashkenazim and Sepharadim on how to perform the mitzvah (commandment) of Hafrashat Challah – separating the dough when making challah. The instructions provide the Hebrew, English and transliterated