The Welcoming of the Sabbath

The Welcoming of the Sabbath


Isaac Luria’s great Sabbath hymn is one of the few authentic works that have come down to us from the hand of this greatest of the Safed Kabbalists. The solemn drapery of its Zoharic Aramaic, suggests the grandiloquent gesture of a magician, conjuring up a marvellous pageant for all to see. It reads like the hymn of a mystery religion.

“I sing in hymns
to enter the gates,
of the field of apples
of holy ones.

A new table
we lay for her,
a beautiful candelabrum
sheds its light upon us.

Between right and left
The Bride approaches
In holy jewels
and festive garments.

Her husband embraces her
in her foundation,
gives her fulfilment,
squeezes out his strength.

Torment and cries
Are past.
Now there are new faces
And souls and spirits.

He gives her joy
In twofold measure.
Lights shine
And streams of blessing.

Bridesmen, go forth
And prepare the bride,
Victuals of many kinds
And all manner of fish.

To beget souls
And new spirits
On the thirty-two paths
And three branches.

She has seventy crowns
But above her the King,
That all may be crowned
In the Holy of Holies.

All worlds are formed and sealed within her,
But all shine forth
From the ‘Old of Days.’

To southward I set
The mystical candelabrum,
I make room in the north
For the table with the loaves.

With wine in beakers
And boughs of myrtle
To fortify the Betrothed,
For they are feeble.

We plait them wreaths
Of precious words
For the coronation of the seventy
In fifty gates.

Let the Shekhinah be surrounded
By six Sabbath loaves
Connected on every side
With the Heavenly Sanctuary.

Weakened and cast out
The impure powers,
The menacing demons
Are now in fetters.

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Artwork Option

Original, A4 Print (approx 21 x 30 cm), A3 Print (approx 30 x 42 cm), A2 Print (approx 42 x 60 cm), A1 Print (approx 60 x 84 cm)


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