Lecha Dodi

Lecha Dodi Hebrew
This is one of the most popular hymns in all of Judaism. As the liner notes indicate, the text was composed in the sixteenth century by Shlomo Halevy Alkabetz, a kabbalist living in Safed in the Galilee.

Literally countless melodies have been attached to it. Lecha Dodi has become the central element of that part of the Friday night service which welcomes the Sabbath as queen and bride. We often love to bask in this hymn, letting it go on for a very long time, as we change melodies throughout and dance around the room. We only include two stanzas from the nine which make up Lecha Dodi, including the refrain. The full poem is a virtual repository of kabbalistic principles and ideas, so much so that I sometimes offer an entire class using Lecha Dodi as a springboard introduction to Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism.

The music here is very loosely based on a traditional Indian melody which I once heard and which looped back into what you find on the CD.

On the night of the recording, we did segue into other melodies taken from Krishna Das (which he in turn found in India), but we have elected in the editing process only to present my (largely) original composition. The song does not have to be done in call-and-response style; I would take great pleasure in hearing synagogues using it as part of their Friday night service.