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Shimru Shabtotai


:About the Song
lyrics:

שִׁמְרוּ שַׁבְּתוֹתַי, לְמַֽעַן תִּינְקוּ וּשְׂבַעְתֶּם, 
מִזִּיו בִּרְכוֹתַי, אֶל הַמְּנוּחָה כִּי בָאתֶם, 
וּלְווּ עָלַי בָּנַי, וְעִדְנוּ מַעֲדָנַי, שַׁבָּת הַיּוֹם לַה'. 
וּלְווּ עָלַי בָּנַי, וְעִדְנוּ מַעֲדָנַי, שַׁבָּת הַיּוֹם לַה'. 

לְעָמֵל קִרְאוּ דְרוֹר, וְנָתַתִּי אֶת בִּרְכָתִי, 
אִשָּׁה אֶל אֲחוֹתָהּ לִצְרוֹר, לְגַלּוֹת עַל יוֹם שִׂמְחָתִי, 
בִּגְדֵי שֵׁשׁ עִם שָׁנַי, וְהִתְבּוֹנְנוּ מִזְּקֵנַי, שַׁבָּת הַיּוֹם לַה'. 
וּלְווּ עָלַי בָּנַי, וְעִדְנוּ מַעֲדָנַי, שַׁבָּת הַיּוֹם לַה'. 

מַהֲרוּ אֶת הַמָּנֶה, לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת דְבַר אֶסְתֵּר, 
וְחִשְׁבוּ עִם הַקּוֹנֶה, לְשַׁלֵּם אָכוֹל וְהוֹתֵר, 
בִּטְחוּ בִי אֱמוּנַי, וּשְׁתוּ יֵין מִשְׁמַנַּי, שַׁבָּת הַיּוֹם לַה'. 
וּלְווּ עָלַי בָּנַי, וְעִדְנוּ מַעֲדָנַי, שַׁבָּת הַיּוֹם לַה'. 

הִנֵּה יוֹם גְּאֻלָּה, יוֹם שַׁבָּת אִם תִּשְׁמֹֽרוּ, 
וִהְיִֽיתֶם לִי סְגֻלָּה, לִֽינוּ וְאַחַר תַּעֲבֹֽרוּ, 
וְאָז תִּחְיוּ לְפָנַי, וּתְמַלְאוּ צְפוּנַי, שַׁבָּת הַיּוֹם לַה'. 
וּלְווּ עָלַי בָּנַי, וְעִדְנוּ מַעֲדָנַי, שַׁבָּת הַיּוֹם לַה'. 

חַזֵּק קִרְיָתִי, אֵ-ל אֱ-לֹהִים עֶלְיוֹן, 
וְהָשֵׁב אֶת נְוָתִי, בְּשִׂמְחָה וּבְהִגָּיוֹן, 
יְשׁוֹרְרוּ שָׁם רְנָנַי, לְוִיַיּ וְכֹהֲנַי, וְאָז תִּתְעַנַּג עַל ה', שַׁבָּת הַיּוֹם לַה'. 
וּלְווּ עָלַי בָּנַי, וְעִדְנוּ מַעֲדָנַי, שַׁבָּת הַיּוֹם לַה'.

 

Commentary

General Synopsis:
The composer of this piyut, Rabbi Shlomo ben Yehuda ibn Gevirol, describes the beauty of the Sabbath, and its special traditions. The composer emphasizes his confidence in G-d that he will be blessed for his Sabbath observance. Shabbat is so much of a blessing that one should not hesitate to borrow money for his Shabbat expenses.  As G-d promises to bless us and pay us back for the special Shabbat indulgences we partake such as eating fine delicacies, and wearing elegant clothing. The composer writes that if Israel will keep the Shabbat properly, G-d will call its nation his special treasure. This will also help bring the redemption speedily in our days.
The greatest pleasure that man can attain, is to enjoy the radiance of the Divine spirit.  The prophet Isaiah assured us that whoever observes Shabbat will merit this enormous pleasure. Rabbi ibn Gevirol concludes his piyut yearning to see the Temple rebuilt in Jerusalem where the Levites are singing to G-d in praise.  Then he will truly attain the highest spiritual delight indulgingin the Levites song and the Priestly service.


Explanation of Stanzas:
Rabbi ibn Gevirol writes this piyut as a narrative written by the Divine.
Stanza A: "Shimru Shab'totai... v'eednu ma'adanai  Shabbat Hayom Lashem."  If you observe My Shabbat you will be showered with blessing. If you do not have enough then borrow on My account in order to delight in the pleasures of Shabbat. As today is the Sabbath of the L-rd.

Stanza B:
"L'amel kir'u d'ror, v'hitbon'nu miz'keinai, Shabbat haYom LaShem." Proclaim freedom from your weekly labor, and then I will give you a wealth of my blessing.  Bringing gladness on My day of joy, Wear colorful cloths of fine linens and wool, and learn from My Sages. As today is the Sabbath of the L-rd.


Stanza C:
"Maharu et hamanehushtu yein mishmanai, Shabbat Hayom LaShem."  Quickly make the "Queen" her Shabbat meal. Obey Esther's Command, and make a arrangement with the Creator, He will repay you for all your Shabbat expenses and more. Trust in Me, My faithful nation, drink wine from My plentiful supply. As today is the Sabbath of the L-rd.

Stanza D
: "Hineh yom g'ulah.... V'az Tihyu l'fanai utmal'u tz'funai, Shabbat Hayom LaShem."Today is the day of redemption. If you observe Shabbat properly then you be My special treasure. Stay [from the night of exile], which will be only temporary. Then you will live before Me in the land of, and be filled my by hidden store, as today is the Sabbath of the L-rd.

Stanza E: "Chazeik kiryati...az titaneg al Hashem, Shabbat HaYom L'Hashem." Make My city strong, G-d oh L-rd up high. Restore My Temple in Jerusalem with joy and song. There my Levites will chant and Priest will restore the sacrificial order Then you delight in the L-rd, as today is the Sabbath of the L-rd.


Lyricist

Rabbi Shlomo ben Yehuda ibn Gevirol

Rabbi ibn Gevirol was one of the greatest poets and Jewish philosophers of medieval Spain. He was born in Málaga in 1021. Little is known of ibn Gabirol's life. His parents died while he was a child. At seventeen years of age he became the friend and protégé of Jekuthiel Hassan.

ibn Gevirol was a master in linguistics,  and began to compose songs and piyutim by the age of 16. When barely twenty Gabirol wrote Ana, a versified Hebrew grammar, alphabetical and acrostic, consisting of 400 verses divided into ten parts. Of this grammar, ninety-five lines have been preserved by Solomon Paron. In these Gabirol reproaches his townsmen with their neglect of the Hebrew langugue.
He had a strong passion for his studies, which brought him closer to philosophy. When he was still a teen he moved to Zaragoza. His residence in Zaragoza however was embittered by strife.  He thought of leaving Spain, but remained and wandered about. He gained another friend and patron in the person of Samuel ibn Naghrela also known as Samuel HaNagid. 
Gabirol was comparatively young at the time of his death, in 1048 which followed years of wandering. A legend concerning the manner of Gabirol's death is related by Gedlaiya Ben Yosef Ibn Yaya in "Shalshelet ha-Kabbalah." In this legend, a Muslim poet, jealous of Gabirol's poetic gifts, killed him, and buried him beneath the roots of a fig tree. The tree bore fruit abundantly; and the fruit was of extraordinary sweetness. This strange circumstance excited attention; a search was instituted, the remains of the murdered Gabirol were brought to light, and the murderer expiated his crime with his life.