A Conservative Friday Night Shabbos Service

Herbert J. Bernstein

yaya@bernstein-plus-sons.com

This is a conservative Jewish Friday night Shabbos service, based on Siddur Sim Shalom, Rabbi Jules Harlow, editor, from the Rabbincal Assembly, The United Synagogue of America, New York, 1985.

Overview of the Service

The service we present is a mixture of Hebrew and English, beginning with some of the prayers normally performed at home, followed by a substantial Kabbalat Shabbat service, ending with a Mourner's Kaddish. After the Kabblat Shabbat service, there is an opportunity for the leader of the service to teach, in which case a Kaddish De-rabbanan is said.

The Shabbat Evening service proper begins with Borachu and ends with Aleinu and a final Mourner's Kaddish.

In some places we have provided links to MP3 clips or M4V videos of melodies that may prove interesting.

Preliminaries

The typical Friday night Shabbos service begins at home with the prayer for lighting the Shabbos candles on page 717 and the meditations on page 719 and 720.  If these have not been done at home, the service begins here:

  • Candle Lighting -- page 717. A congregant says the prayer in Hebrew and English.
  • Meditation -- page 719 (last 2 paragraphs) through page 720 (first paragraph), said by the same congregant.
  • Shalom Aleichem -- page 722; congregational singing in Hebrew. (Play M4V Clip)

Kabbalat Shabbat

  • Yedid Nefesh -- page 252; congregational singing in Hebrew.
    • For an alternate English translation of Yedid Nefesh, suitable for singing to the Hebrew melody, see below. (Play M4V Clip)
  • Psalm 95
    • Lechu Neranenah -- Page 254, first two lines, congregational singing in Hebrew. (Play M4V Clip)
    • Responsive Reading -- page 255 (top 17 lines) in English.
    • Al Takshu -- page 254, lines 9-13, Reader or congregational singing in Hebrew. (Play M4V Clip)
  • Psalm 96
    • Responsive Reading -- page 255 (bottom 12 lines) - page 257 (top 11 lines) in English.
    • Reader - page 256 (lines 6-8) in Hebrew.
  • Psalm 97
    • Responsive Reading -- page 257 (lines 13-29) in English.
    • Reader - page 256 (lines 23-24) in Hebrew.
  • Psalm 98 (optional)
    • Responsive Reading -- pages 257 (last 4 lines) - page 259 (top 11 lines) in English.
    • Reader - page 258 (lines 8-9) in Hebrew.
  • Psalm 99 (optional)
    • Responsive Reading -- pages 259 (lines 13-29) in English.
    • Reader - page 258 (last 3 lines) in Hebrew.
  • Mizmor L'Dovid (Psalm 29) -- page 260; congregational singing in Hebrew.
  • L'cha Dodi pages 262-264; congregational singing in Hebrew. Rise on the last stanza and face the entrance (not necessarily the back of the sanctuary).
  • Greeting of mourners (if any) -- page 265 (bottom 4 lines)
  • Psalm 92
    • Responsive Reading -- page 267 in English.
    • Tzadik Katamar -- page 266 (last 4 lines); congregational singing in Hebrew.
  • Psalm 93
    • Responsive Reading -- page 269 (top 13 lines) in English.
    • Reader - page 268 (last 4 lines) in Hebrew.
  • Mourner's Kaddish -- page 268 (last 14 lines). Congregants should respond with "Omayn" after "Raboh" on the first line, after "V'imruh Omayn" on the third line, join in on "Y'hey sh'may ... olmayoh" on line 5, join in on "Borich Hu" on line 8, and respond with "Omayn" after each subsequent "V'imruh Omayn".

Study and Reflection

At this point in the service it is appropriate for the leader of the service to teach, in which case, the study session is completed with Kaddish De-rabbanan on page 274. Many congregants are not familiar with this Kaddish, and, even though all mourners should be invited to stand and lead this Kaddish, the Reader should be especially well prepared and should lead it slowly and clearly.

Shabbat Evening Service

  • Borachu-- page 279; Reader, then congregation, then Reader singing in Hebrew.
  • Hamaariv Arovim
    • Congregational Reading -- page 281 (top paragraph) in English.
    • Reader - page 280 (last 2 lines of Hebrew).
  • Ahavas Olom
  • Sh'ma
    • Congregational Singing -- page 284 (Sh'ma Yisroal ... line 6) with strong emphasis on the first and last syllables in Hebrew
    • Silent Reading -- page 284 (Baruch shaym ... line 8)
    • Reader or Congregational Reading -- page 284 (V'ohavtoh ... lines 7 - 11) in Hebrew
    • Silent Reading -- page 286 (first paragprah in Hebrew)
    • Reader or Congregational Reading -- page 286 (last paragraph) in Hebrew. Congregation joins in with emphasis on final "Emes"
  • Silent reading -- page 288 - page 290 (first 4 lines)
  • Me Chamocha
    • Reader -- page 290 (lines 4-6) in Hebrew
    • Congregational Singing -- page 290 (lines 7-8) in Hebrew
    • Reader -- page 290 (lines 9-10) in Hebrew
    • Congregational Singing -- page 290 ("Adonai yimloch l'olom voed" - line 10) in Hebrew
    • Reader -- page 290 (lines 11-12) in Hebrew
  • Hashkivenu
    • Congregational Reading -- page 293 (first paragraph) in English
    • Reader -- page 292 (lines 6-8) in Hebrew
  • V'shomru
    • Congregational Singing -- page 294 (first paragraph) in Hebrew. Usually done with the congregation joining in on the repeats of "V'shomru ... omlom".
  • Hatzi Kaddish
    • Reader -- page 294 (lines 10-11) in Hebrew
    • Congregational Singing -- page 294 (line 11, last word - line 16 first word) in Hebrew
    • Reader -- page 294 (lines 16-18) in Hebrew
    • Congregational Singing -- page 294 ("Tushb'chasa ..." line 11 ..) in Hebrew
  • Amidah -- pages 296-303, silently in Hebrew or English, standing
  • Vay'chulu -- page 314, first paragraph, Reader or Congregational Singing
  • Reader -- page 314, second paragraph in Hebrew
  • Mogayn Ovos -- Congregational Singing - page 314, third paragraph in Hebrew
  • V'tarhayr Lebaynu -- Reader, page 314, last paragraph in Hebrew
  • Kaddish Shalem -- Reader, page 316 in Hebrew
  • Kiddush -- Reader, page 318 (first paragraph) with Congregational Singing in Hebrew. All stand for this.
  • Optional sermon and/or announcements
  • Counting the Omer, if appropriate
  • Aleinu -- standing
    • Aleinu -- Congregational Singing - page 320 (last paragraph) in Hebrew. It is customary to "bend the knee and bow" on the line "Va'anchnu koriv umishtahavim umodim"
    • Silent reading -- page 322 until last 2 lines of Hebrew
    • "V'hoyo Adonai..." -- Congregational Singing - page 322 (last two lines) in Hebrew. It is appropriate for the Reader to sing the word "V'ne'emar" and for the congregation to join in on "V'hoyo Adonai ..."
  • Mourner's Kaddish -- page 324 (last 14 lines). Congregants should respond with "Omayn" after "Raboh" on the first line, after "V'imruh Omayn" on the third line, join in on "Y'hey sh'may ... olmayoh" on line 5, join in on "Borich Hu" on line 8, and respond with "Omayn" after each subsequent "V'imruh Omayn".
  • Additional psalms and kaddishes, if desired.
  • Closing song -- either Yigdal on page 326 or Adon Olom on page 514.
  • Shabbos greetings -- songs, Oneg Shabbat, socializing.


  • Yedid Nefesh*

    A New Translation
    by
    Herbert J. Bernstein

    Love, You hold my soul, from You sweet mercy flows,
    Take me in Your service to serve Your heart's desire.
    Let me run to You like deer upon the hills,
    Joyously to bow, submitting to Your will,
    Savoring love's taste which, flowing on my tongue,
    As sweet as honey's touch, is that for which I long.

    The glory of Your love fills my world with light.
    My soul in endless yearning seeks Your love's delight
    Please, dear God, I beg You to grant the cure it needs
    Grant my soul the pleasure to find that light so sweet.
    Then, strong and cured by having reached that star,
    My soul will serve forever the beauty that You are.

    God of mercy, please, my God for all my life,
    Have mercy on this child, this child of love's delight.
    Let me share the love for which I've always burned,
    The splendor of the passion to which I've always turned.
    Please, God, dear God, please feel my heart's desire,
    And do not quench with silence the burning of this fire.

    Let go Your veil, my love, for us there's no pretense.
    Together in Your mantle, we'll find ourselves content.
    Light the way in splendor, bring glory to my world,
    Hear our joyful laughter surround us as we whirl.
    Wait no more for love, it's here to have, to hold.
    Let me share Your favor, till time itself grows old.

    *Yedid Nefesh, by Rabbi Eleazar Azikri, is sung by many Jewish congregations on Friday night. This translation is an attempt to preserve the passionate, joyous spirit both of the original text and of the service.

    -- Copyright © 1993 Herbert J. Bernstein



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