Basya Schechter and Shaul Magid, preparing to welcome congregants to an interactive Shabbat service. (Batya Ungar-Sargon/JTA)

Lecha Dodi

This hymn, sung to welcome the Sabbath, has mystical origins.

Lecha Dodi (‘Come my friend’) is the hymn sung during the synagogue service on Friday night to welcome the Sabbath. It was composed by Solomon Alkabetz, a Kabbalist (mystic).

Lecha Dodi in Hebrew and English


לְכָה דוֹדִי לִקְרַאת כַּלָּה

Come, lover, to welcome the bride

פְּנֵי שַׁבָּת נְקַבְּלָה

The face of Shabbat we will receive


שָׁמוֹר וְזָכוֹר בְּדִבּוּר אֶחָד

“Keep” and “remember” in one saying

 הִשְׁמִיעָנוּ אֵל הַמְּיֻחָד

We were caused to listen by the Unified God

 ה’ אֶחָד וּשְׁמוֹ אֶחָד

Adonai is One, and His Name is One

 לְשֵׁם וּלְתִפְאֶרֶת וְלִתְהִלָּה

To His name, and to glory and to praise!

 Find the rest of the words to  Lecha Dodi on Sefaria.

Find Lecha Dodi in transliteration on the Zemirot Database.

Listen to Lecha Dodi (courtesy of Mechon Hadar)

Louis Jacobs, a British rabbi and theologian, served as rabbi of the New London Synagogue. Rabbi Jacobs lectures at University College in London and at Lancaster University. He has written numerous books, including Jewish Values, Beyond Reasonable Doubt, and Hasidic Prayer.

© Louis Jacobs, 1995. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be stored, transmitted, retransmitted, lent, or reproduced in any form or medium without the permission of Oxford University Press.

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