Volt ich gehat koyech, volt ich gelofen in die gassen, volt ich geschrigen hoyech, Shabbos heylicher Shabbos!
If I had the strength, I would run through the streets shouting loudly, Shabbat, holy Shabbat!
Traditional Yiddish song
This Friday marks my final Kabbalat Shabbat service before my sabbatical. I’ll be joined by the original BAJC Kab Shab Band – Stephan Brandstatter on percussion and Daniel Kasnitz on guitar. We’ll be reprising many of our old favorites – including the song above, which expresses so beautifully our yearning for Shabbat, and the wonderful wordless niggun that is often sung with it.
While I am in Israel I will be shul-hopping around Jerusalem, and I hope to bring back some wonderful new tunes. But many of the songs we already sing here in Brattleboro on a Friday night are to be heard in batei k’nesset – synagogues or literally, “houses of assembly” – in Jerusalem as well. When I am sitting in the the kahal – the group – during services in Jerusalem, I will certainly be thinking of all you here in Brattleboro, and sending my prayers, not only toward the skies, but also toward my chaverim in Vermont.
I hope many of you can join Stephan, Daniel, and me to bring in Shabbat, not with geschrigen but with gesingen – not with yelling but with singing! If you can, bring a dessert for the potluck oneg afterward, but come anyway. Let’s welcome in the Sabbath Bride with joyous music and celebration!