Carnegie Shul Chatter – January 9, 2014

Candle lighting time is 4:56


Today I am going to share with you a Sabbath prayer that is not in our prayer books.  It is a prayer that we sang near the end of our Friday evening services at Parkway Jewish Center following the Mourners’ Kaddish and preceding Shalom Aleichem and Yigdal.  Interestingly, although Parkway Jewish Center was a strict Conservative congregation, leaning towards Orthodoxy, the prayer that I am about to share with you was written by a Reform rabbi, Rabbi Gustav Gottheil.

Rabbi Gottheil, Prussian born, lived from 1827 t0 1903.  He became the senior rabbi at Temple Emanu-El in New York, and in 1886 he wrote the first Jewish hymn book printed in the United States, which became the basis for the Union Hymnal that has since been generally adopted by most Reform congregations in America.  Rabbbi Gottheil was an early Zionist and attended the First Zionist Congress in 1897.   In addition to writing The Day of Rest, Rabbi Gotttheil is credited with the commonly used translation of Maoz Tzur to Rock of Ages.  

Here is the version of  The Day of Rest  that we sang on Friday evenings.  I would gladly sing it for you, but if you have ever heard me sing in shul, you surely know that singing is not my forte.

Come, O Sabbath day and bring peace and healing on thy wing

And to every troubled breast speak of the divine behest

Thou shalt rest, thou shalt rest.

Earthly longings bid retire, quench the passion’s hurtful fire,

To the wayward sin oppressed bring thou the divine behest

Thou shalt rest, thou shalt rest.

Wipe from every cheek the tear, banish care and silence fear

All things working for the best, teach us the divine behest

Thou shalt rest, thou shalt rest.


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