V’shamru Saturday Kiddush


I grew up with this prayer being sung in our Kiddush lunch table every Saturday. My father will fill his cup to its fullest, and will sing this song while sitting (while the Kiddush on Friday night he was standing as to greet the Shabbat queen) to express the unity of the Jewish people. V’shamru is taken from Exodus 31:16-17. “The children of Israel shall observe the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations as a covenant for all time. It is a sign forever between Me and people of Israel. For in six days the Eternal One made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day God ceased from work and rested.” It is also sung on Friday night. Shabbat is created to give us rest and to restore the soul. “Vayinafash” is from the Hebrew word “nefesh” (soul). Shabbat is the promise that there will be a time of peace for all people. As God guards us, we guard Shabbat. Do you believe you guard the Shabbat? How do you guard it? What do you do in your week to anticipate Shabbat? How do you feel you fill your nefesh?

וְשָׁמְרוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת, לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת לְדֹרֹתָם בְּרִית עוֹלָם. בֵּינִי וּבֵן בְּנֵי יִשׂרָאֵל אוֹת הִיא לְעֹלָם. כִּי שֵֽׁשֶׁת יָמִים עָשָׂה יהוה אֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת הָאֳרֶץ, וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי שָׁבַת וַיִּנָּפַשׁ.

V’shamru v’nay Yisrael et ha’Shabbat, la’asot et ha’Shabbat l’doh’ro’tam b’reet olam. Bay’nee u’vayn b’nay Yisrael oat hee l’olam, kee shay’shet yameem a’sah Ah’doh’nai et ha’sha’ma’yim v’et ha’aretz, u’va’yom ha’sh’vee’ee shavat va’yee’nafash..