traditional Hebrew
SATB, T solo, organ
Published by
Trancontinental Music Publications

Hashkiveinu (Lay us down to sleep) is the second blessing that concludes the evening Sh’ma (liturgy), recited every day by observant Jews. In Babylonia, the center of Jewish life during the Talmudic period (324-638 CE), the nights were especially frightening. Sparsely populated areas and rural roads were dangerous. Criminals roamed and violence was prevalent. “Remove spiritual impediment from before us and behind us.”… “Safeguard our going and coming” needs no elaboration. It meant just that.

The concluding words of the blessing are changed on the Shabbat and on the Festivals to suggest that on these holy days we require less protection against harmful elements. On these days, the people did not work in the unprotected fields, but spent the day in the relative safety of their own homes and neighborhoods. The “shelter of peace” was characteristic of the Shabbat in the physical as well as spiritual sense.

The vocal style of the tenor soloist in this setting is directly inspired by recordings of early 20th-century Jewish cantors whose virtuosity, brilliance of tone, and passionate expression have impressed me so deeply.

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Hashkiveinu Adonai eloheinu l’shalom
V’hamideinu malkeinu l’chaim
Uf’ros aleinu sukkat sh’lomecha
V’takneinu b’eitza tova milfanecha
V’hoshieinu l’ma’an sh’mecha.
V’hagein ba’adeinu
v’haser mealeinu,
Oyev, dever v’cherev v’ra’av veyagon
V’haser satan milfaneinu umeachareinu
Uv’tseil kenafecha tastireinu
Ki eil shomreinu umatzileinu ata
Ki eil melech chanun v’rachum ata
Ush’mor tzeiteinu uvoeinu
l’chaim ul’shalom meata ve’ad olam
Uf’ros aleinu sukkat sh’lomecha
Baruch ata Adonai
Baruch hu uvaruch sh’mo
haporeis sukkat shalom aleinu
v’al kol amo Yisrael
v’al Yerushalayim.


Lay us down to sleep, Lord our G-d, in peace, raise us erect, our King, to life;
and spread over us the shelter of Your peace.
Set us aright with good counsel
from before Your Presence,
and save us for Your Name’s sake.

Shield us,
remove from us foe,
plague, sword, famine, and woe;
and remove spiritual impediment from before us and behind us
and in the shadow of Your wings shelter us (Tehillim 17:8)

for G-d who protects and rescues us are You;
for G-d, the Gracious and Compassionate King, are You. (Nechemya 9:31)

Safeguard our going and coming –
for life and for peace from now to eternity. (Tehillim 121:8)
And spread over us the shelter of Your peace.

Blessed are You, Lord,
Blessed is Your name
Who spreads the shelter of peace upon us,
upon all of his people Israel
and upon Jerusalem.



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