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Ki Eshm'rah Shabbat


:About the Song
lyrics:

 

כִּי  אֶשְׁמְרָה שַׁבָּת אֵ-ל יִשְׁמְרֵֽנִיאוֹת הִיא לְעֽוֹלְמֵי עַד בֵּינוֹ וּבֵינִי
 
 אוֹת הִיא לְעֽוֹלְמֵי עַד בֵּינוֹ וּבֵינִי

אָסוּר מְצֹא חֵֽפֶץ עֲשׂוֹת דְּרָכִיםגַּם מִלְּדַבֵּר בּוֹ דִּבְרֵי צְרָכִיםדִּבְרֵי סְחוֹרָה אַף דִּבְרֵי מְלָכִים
אֶהְגֶּה בְּתוֹרַת אֵל וּתְחַכְּמֵנִי.

אוֹת הִיא לְעֽוֹלְמֵי עַד בֵּינוֹ וּבֵינִי

בּוֹ אֶמְצָא תָמִיד נֹֽפֶשׁ לְנַפְשִׁי הִנֵּה לְדוֹר רִאשׁוֹן נָתַן קְדוֹשִׁי מוֹפֵת בְּתֵת לֶֽחֶם מִשְׁנֶה בַּשִּׁשִּׁי כָּֽכָה בְּכָל שִׁשִּׁי יַכְפִּיל מְזוֹנִי

אוֹת הִיא לְעֽוֹלְמֵי עַד בֵּינוֹ וּבֵינִי

רָשׁוּם בְּדַת הָאֵ-ל חֹק אֶל סְגָנָיו בּוֹ לַעֲרֹךְ לֶֽחֶם פָּנִים בְּפָנָיו עַל כֵּן לְהִתְעַנּוֹת בּוֹ עַל פִּי  נְבוֹנָיו אָסוּר לְבַד מִיּוֹם כִּפּוּר עֲוֹנִי

אוֹת הִיא לְעֽוֹלְמֵי עַד בֵּינוֹ וּבֵינִי

הוּא יוֹם מְכֻבָּד הוּא יוֹם תַּעֲנוּגִים לֶֽחֶם וְיַֽיִן טוֹב בָּשָׂר וְדָגִים הַמִּתְאַבְּלִים בּוֹ אָחוֹר נְסוֹגִים כִּי יוֹם שְׂמָחוֹת הוּא וּתְשַׂמְּחֵנִי

אוֹת הִיא לְעֽוֹלְמֵי עַד בֵּינוֹ וּבֵינִי

מֵחֵל מְלָאכָה בּוֹ סוֹפוֹ לְהַכְרִית עַל כֵּן אֲכַבֶּס בּוֹ לִבִּי כְּבֹרִית וְאֶתְפַּלְּלָה אֶל אֵ-ל עַרְבִית וְשַׁחֲרִית מוּסַף וְגַם מִנְחָה הוּא יַעֲנֵֽנִי

אוֹת הִיא לְעֽוֹלְמֵי עַד בֵּינוֹ וּבֵינִי.

 

 

Ki Eshm'rah Shabbat
 
 General Synopsis:

The Sabbath day is an alliance between G-d and those who observe Shabbat.  On Shabbat we are elevated spiritually with an extra soul where we celebrate Shabbat full of joy. Jewish law prohibits one to fast on Shabbat as it curtails our joy. The composer called this piyut "When I Keep Shabbat," to emphasize the feeling of the spiritual elevation and joy that is accompanied with observing the Sabbath.


Explanation of Stanzas:


Stanza A: If I will keep Shabbat, then G-d will reward me and watch over me.
Shabbat is an eternal sign between Israel and G-d.


Stanza B: On Shabbat you are forbidden to engage in business or travel. You are even not allowed to talk about material, physical and economic needs. In stead you should occupy yourself with the G-d's Torah on Shabbat which will make you wise.

Stanza C: On the Sabbath day I will always find rest and relaxation from my weekly workload. The spiritual elevation of the soul can only occur on Shabbat.

The generation, whom received the Torah, also merited to be shown by G-d the divine miracle of Shabbat. The people would get two portions of the Manna, or Divine bread on Friday, instead of the usual one portion they would get daily. This was done so they will have extra food for Shabbat without having to labor for it, since that would be a Shabbat violation.
 
The composer prayers that also G-d will double his livelihood for food, as a testimony to the double portion of Manna that fell to honor Shabbat.
 
In Stanza B there is an emphasis on learning Torah on Shabbat and in Stanza C the is emphasis is placed on preparing on Friday for the onset of Shabbat.


Stanza D:  As G-d commanded the priests in the Temple to prepare the showbread on the table in the temple, the sages deduced that fasting on Shabbat was forbidden, except of sin's Atonement day, Yom Kippur.


Stanza E: Shabbat is an honored day and where we are commanded to enjoy ourselves in all kind of material pleasures: bread, wine, meat and fish. Even those who are in mourning, cease on Shabbat as one is not permitted to mourn, as we required to be happy in Shabbat.


Stanza F: Those who desecrate Shabbat he will be receive the divine punishment of untimely death. As such the composer writes that he will cleanse his heart, with it as soap.
The composer writes how important it is to pray on Shabbat so G-d will answer his prayers. 


Lyricist

Rabbi Abraham ben Meir ibn Ezra (1089-1164)


Ibn Ezra was one of the most distinguished Jewish men of the Middle Ages. He excelled in philosophy, astronomy, astrology, poetry, linguistics, and exegesis.  He was called The Wise, The Great, and The Admirable Doctor.
 
Born at Tudela (which today is in the province of Navarre) Spain when the town was under the Muslim rule of the emirs of Zaragoza. He later moved to Cordoba. In Granada, it is said, he met his future friend (and perhaps his father-in-law) Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi. He left Spain before 1140 to escape persecution of the Jews by the new fanatical regime of the Almohads. He led a life of restless wandering, which took him to North Africa, Egypt, the Land of Israel,  Rome, Southern France, Northern France, England, and back again to Narbonne in 1161, until his death in 1167.
 
In Rome he began his masterpiece his famous commentary on the Torah which he began with the scroll of Ecclesiastics (Kohelet). As a reaction to the weak knowledge of Italy's sages understanding of the Hebrew language, Ibn Ezra wrote a book detailing the basics of Hebrew grammar and spelling. He subsequently published more books on the Hebrew language.
 In France he began writing books on astrology. He befriended Rabbi Jacob ben Meir, known as Rabbeinu Tam.  In England he wrote his contemplative book called Yesoud Mora, which reinforces the truths of the oral tradition, as well as find moral interpretations to the commandments of the Torah.
Ibn Ezra's method of Biblical exegesis was learning the simple explanation of the verse, as opposed to Rabbinical homiletics.
Ibn Ezra was an outstanding poet. His poems were mainly poems that came from observing his surroundings and what he experienced in his life.  Where he was buried there are difference of opinions, but there is a legend that he was buried next to his friend, Rabbi Yehuda Halevy in Kfar Kaboul in the Galilee