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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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,

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

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

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.

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

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

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,

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

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

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

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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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,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 

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

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

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

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,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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)

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.

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

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.

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,

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

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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,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”

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

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,

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

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

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,

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

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

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

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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

“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

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 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

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

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

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

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,

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: 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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,

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

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)

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

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

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

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

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,

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

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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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

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 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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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,

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 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

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

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.

Marcia Falk’s Grace After Meals Prayer

Marcia Falk’s Grace After Meals Prayer

This excerpt from Marcia Falk‘s “The Book of Blessings” offers a short prayer based on the basic blessings of the Grace After Meals. The Hebrew, English and transliterated texts inspire gratitude to both the Earth and the Source of all things for our sustenance. Marcia Falk is

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

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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