Lecha Dodi is a Hebrew-language liturgical song recited Friday at dusk, usually at sundown, in syn’agogue to welcome Shabbat. Lecha Dodi means “come my beloved,” and is a request to join together in welcoming Shabbat that is referred to as the “bride.” During the singing of the last verse, the entire congregation rises and turns to the open door, to greet “Queen Shabbat” as she arrives.
Let’s go, my beloved, to meet the bride,
and let us welcome the presence of Shabbat.
“Observe” and “recall” in a single utterance,
We were made to hear by the unified God,
God is one and God’s Name is one,
In fame and splendor and praiseful song.
To greet Shabbat let’s go, let’s travel,
For she is the wellspring of blessing,
From the start, from ancient times she was chosen,
Last made, but first planned.
Sanctuary of the king, royal city,
Arise! Leave from the midst of the turmoil;
Long enough have you sat in the valley of tears
And He will take great pity upon you compassionately.
Shake yourself free, rise from the dust,
Dress in your garments of splendor, my people,
By the hand of Jesse’s son of Bethlehem,
Redemption draws near to my soul.
Rouse yourselves! Rouse yourselves!
Your light is coming, rise up and shine.
Awaken! Awaken! utter a song,
The glory of the Lord is revealed upon you.
Do not be embarrassed! Do not be ashamed!
Why be downcast? Why groan?
All my afflicted people will find refuge within you
And the city shall be rebuilt on her hill.
Your despoilers will become your spoil,
Far away shall be any who would devour you,
Your God will rejoice concerning you,
As a groom rejoices over a bride.
To your right and your left you will burst forth,
And the Lord will you revere
By the hand of a child of Perez,
We will rejoice and sing happily.
Come in peace, crown of her husband,
Both in happiness and in jubilation
Amidst the faithful of the treasured nation
Come O Bride! Come O Bride!