GATEWAYS TO TORAT HAYIM

 
CONNECTING TO JEWISH LIVING WISDOM RESOURCES

 

The Shalom Aleichem Hymn Explained

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on print
by Zaklikowski, Dovid

After the Shabbath prayers on Friday night, we make “Kiddush” before beginning our meal.

 

Before kiddush, we sing Shalom Aleichem.

 

“Tradition tells us that two angels accompany us on our way to the Friday night meal. This gave birth to the classic Shabbat song Shalom Aleichem, in which we welcome the angels to our home, ask them to bless us, and then send them on their way.

 

The Torah commands us to ‘remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it.’

 

The sages understand this to mean that we must verbally declare Shabbat a holy day, so on Friday night, before we sit down to dinner, we say a prayer over wine in a ritual known as kiddush (sanctification). (A truncated kiddush is recited again the following day).”