Hashkiveinu: Questions, Context, Music

“Hashkiveinu” “on one foot”:

“Hashkiveinu” is a prayer in the evening service asking G-d for protection at night. For more on the prayer, see: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/hashkiveinu-seeking-comfort-and-protection-through-the-night/

The Text of the Prayer

השכיבנו

הַַשְׁכִּיבֵנוּ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ לְשָׁלוֹם, וְהַעֲמִידֵנוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ (שׁוֹמְרֵנוּ) לְחַיִּים וּפְרוֹשׂ עָלֵינוּ סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמֶךָ, וְתַקְּנֵנוּ בְּעֵצָה טוֹבָה מִלְּפָנֶיךָ, וְהוֹשִׁיעֵנוּ לְמַעַן שְׁמֶךָ, וְהָגֵן בַּעַדֵנוּ, וְהָסֵר מֵעָלֵינוּ אוֹיֵב, דֶבֶר, וְחֶרֶב, וְרָעָב וְיָגוֹן, וְהָסֵר שָׂטָן מִלְפָנֵינוּ וּמֵאַחֲרֵנוּ, וּבְצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ תַּסְתִּירֵנוּ. כִּי אֵל מַלְכֵּנוּ (שׁוֹמְרֵנוּ) וּמַצִּילֵנוּ אָתָּה, כִּי אֵל מֶלֶךְ חַנּוּן וְרַחוּם אָתָּה, וּשְׁמוֹר צֵאתֵנוּ וּבוֹאֵנוּ, לְחַיִּים וּלְשָׁלוֹם, מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם.

(יום חול)

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, שׁוֹמֵר עַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל לָעַד

(בשבת)

וּפְרֹשׂ עָלֵינוּ סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמֶךָ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, הַפּוֹרֵשׂ סֻכַּת שָׁלוֹם עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל עַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַל יְִרוּשָׂלָיִם.

Hashkiveinu

Cause us to lie down to peace, Adonai our God, and raise us up to life, our Sovereign (protector), and spread over us the shelter of your peace, and direct us with good advice before You, and save us for the sake of your name, and look out for us, and keep enemies, plagues, swords, famines, and troubles from our midst, and remove Satan from in front of us and from behind us, and cradle us in the shadow of your wings, for You are God who guards us and saves us, for You are God. Our gracious and merciful sovereign (protector). Guard our departure and our arrival, to/for life and to/for peace, from now and ever more.

(On Weekdays)

Blessed are You, Adonai, who guards G-d’s People Israel forever.

(On Shabbat)

And spread over us the shelter of your peace. Blessed are You, Adonai, who spreads a shelter of peace over us, over all of G-d’s people Israel, and over Jerusalem.

Context: This prayer is found in the evening service (Ma’ariv) on both weekdays and Shabbat/Festivals. It does not have an equivalent in the morning service because there are parts of nighttime that are extra scary.

What parts of this prayer resonate with you?

Where does Hashkiveinu Belong?

(ד) בַּשַּׁחַר מְבָרֵךְ שְׁתַּיִם לְפָנֶיהָ וְאַחַת לְאַחֲרֶיהָ, וּבָעֶרֶב שְׁתַּיִם לְפָנֶיהָ וּשְׁתַּיִם לְאַחֲרֶיהָ. אַחַת אֲרֻכָּה וְאַחַת קְצָרָה. ...

(4) In the morning one recites two blessings before it (the Shema) ["yotzer or" and "ahavah rabba"], and one after it ["emet veyatziv"]; in the evening two before it ["ma'ariv aravim" and “ahavat olam"] and two after it ["emet ve'emunah" and presumably "hashkiveinu"], one long and one short. ...

Context: This comes from the Mishnah, from Tractate Brachot, which is about blessings and prayers.

Why would it be helpful to delineate the order of the prayers?

מֵתִיב מָר בְּרֵיהּ דְּרָבִינָא, בָּעֶרֶב מְבָרֵךְ שְׁתַּיִם לְפָנֶיהָ וּשְׁתַּיִם לְאַחֲרֶיהָ. וְאִי אָמְרַתְּ בָּעֵי לִסְמוֹךְ, הָא לָא קָא סָמֵךְ גְּאוּלָּה לִתְפִלָּה, דְּהָא בָּעֵי לְמֵימַר ״הַשְׁכִּיבֵנוּ״! אָמְרִי: כֵּיוָן דְּתַקִּינוּ רַבָּנַן ״הַשְׁכִּיבֵנוּ״ — כִּגְאוּלָּה אֲרִיכְתָּא דָּמְיָא.

According to Rabbi Yoḥanan, it is a mitzva to recite Shema before the evening prayer (Amidah). Mar, son of Ravina, raises an objection from a mishna: How can one do that? We learn in a later mishna: In the evening, one recites two blessings prior to the recitation of Shema and two blessings afterward. And if you say that one must juxtapose redemption (Mi Chamocha) to prayer (Amidah), doesn’t one fail to juxtapose redemption (Mi Chamocha) to prayer (Amidah), as one must recite: Help us lie down [hashkivenu], the blessing recited after the blessing of redemption (Mi Chamocha), which constitutes an interruption between redemption (Mi Chamocha) and prayer (Amidah)? They say in response: Since the Sages instituted the practice of reciting: Help us lie down (Hashkiveinu), it is considered one extended blessing of redemption, and therefore does not constitute an interruption.

Context: This is from the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Brachot, commenting on the very first mishnah in the Talmud. That mishnah discusses when one can say that evening Shema. In order to make sure that people don’t forget to say the evening Shema, Rabbi Yochanan says that if somebody says the evening Shema during their evening prayers, and then says the “blessing of redemption” (Mi Chamocha), and then says the Amidah, they get a spot in the World-to-Come. In our source, Mar son of Ravina points out that Hashkiveinu seems to be getting the way of this plan.

What would be the connection between Hashkiveinu and redemption?

(יז) סֵדֶר תְּפִלּוֹת כָּךְ הוּא. בַּשַּׁחַר מַשְׁכִּים אָדָם וּמְבָרֵךְ בְּרָכוֹת אֵלּוּ. וְקוֹרֵא הַזְּמִירוֹת וּמְבָרֵךְ לִפְנֵיהֶם וּלְאַחֲרֵיהֶם. וְקוֹרֵא אַחַר כָּךְ שְׁמַע וּמְבָרֵךְ לְפָנֶיהָ וּלְאַחֲרֶיהָ. וּמְדַלֵּג קְדֻשָּׁה מִן הַבְּרָכָה רִאשׁוֹנָה שֶׁלְּפָנֶיהָ שֶׁאֵין הַיָּחִיד אוֹמֵר קְדֻשָּׁה. וּכְשֶׁהוּא חוֹתֵם גָּאַל יִשְׂרָאֵל מִיָּד יַעֲמֹד כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּסְמֹךְ גְּאֻלָּה לִתְפִלָּה וּמִתְפַּלֵּל מְעֻמָּד כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ. וּכְשֶׁיַּשְׁלִים יֵשֵׁב וְיִפּל עַל פָּנָיו וּמִתְחַנֵּן וּמַגְבִּיהַּ רֹאשׁוֹ וּמִתְחַנֵּן מְעַט וְהוּא יוֹשֵׁב בְּדִבְרֵי תַּחֲנוּנִים. וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִקְרָא (תהילים קמה א) ״תְּהִלָּה לְדָוִד״ (מְיֻשָּׁב) וְיִתְחַנֵּן כְּפִי כֹּחוֹ וְיִפָּטֵר לְמַעֲשָׂיו:

(יח) וּבִתְפִלַּת הַמִּנְחָה מַתְחִיל לִקְרֹא (תהילים קמה א) ״תְּהִלָּה לְדָוִד״ מְיֻשָּׁב וְאַחַר כָּךְ עוֹמֵד וּמִתְפַּלֵּל תְּפִלַּת הַמִּנְחָה וּכְשֶׁמַּשְׁלִים נוֹפֵל עַל פָּנָיו וּמִתְחַנֵּן וּמַגְבִּיהַּ רֹאשׁוֹ וְיִתְחַנֵּן כְּפִי כֹּחוֹ וְיִפָּטֵר לְמַעֲשָׂיו. וּבִתְפִלַּת הָעֶרֶב קוֹרֵא קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּמְבָרֵךְ לְפָנֶיהָ וּלְאַחֲרֶיהָ וְסוֹמֵךְ גְּאֻלָּה לִתְפִלָּה וּמִתְפַּלֵּל מְעֻמָּד וּכְשֶׁיַּשְׁלִים יֵשֵׁב מְעַט וְיִפָּטֵר. וְהַמִּתְחַנֵּן אַחַר תְּפִלַּת עַרְבִית הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁבָּח. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמְּבָרֵךְ הַשְׁכִּיבֵנוּ אַחַר גָּאַל יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵינָהּ הֶפְסֵק בֵּין גְּאֻלָּה לִתְפִלָּה וַהֲרֵי שְׁתֵּיהֶן כִּבְרָכָה אַחַת אֲרֻכָּה:

(17) The order of the prayers is as follows. In the morning, ...When he has concluded the blessing after the Shema, which closes with the phrase, "Who redeemedst Isael" he immediately rises, so that the reference to the Redemption may be connected with the Amidah prayer, which, as already stated by us, is recited standing. ...

(18) ... In the evening service, the worshipper reads the Shema, reciting the appropriate blessings before and after it. The blessing referring to the redemption of Israel is connected with the Amidah, which is recited, standing. ... Though the blessing concluded, "Who redeemedst Israel" is followed by the blessing beginning, "Cause us to lie down", this is not regarded as an interruption between the blessing relating to redemption and the Amidah, both blessings being regarded as one lengthy blessing.

Context: This is from Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah, in this case the section on Prayer, where he summarizes all of the rules in the Talmud without any of the discussion. It should look familiar from what we’ve seen already.

ואע"ג דקי"ל כר"י דאמר שצריך לסמוך אף גאולה של ערבית לתפלה של ערבית השכיבנו לא הוי הפסק דכיון דתקינו ליה רבנן כגאולה אריכתא דמיא כמו בשחרית שתיקנו להפסיק בה' שפתי תפתח וכו' פשוט בריש ברכות (ד:) כתב הר"י הטעם דהשכיבנו כגאולה אריכתא דמיא מפני שכשעבר השם לנגוף את מצרים היו מפחדים ומתפללים לשם יתברך שיקיים דברו שלא יתן המשחית לבא אל בתיהם לנגוף וכנגד אותה תפלה תקנו לומר השכיבנו הילכך מעין גאולה הוי וגם למה שאמרו שה' שפתי תפתח כתפלה אריכתא דמיא נתן טעם וכתבתיו בסימן קי"א:

In the Talmud, Rabbi Yochanan says that one needs to follow the evening G'ulah directly with the evening T'filah. We might see Hashkiveinu as a pause, but instead we should see it as an extension of the G'ulah. We should view it just like the preface "Adonai S'fatai, Open my lips," which was instituted as a part of the T'filah. We see Hashkiveinu as an extension of the G'ulah in that when G-d plagued Egypt, G-d caused a great fear upon the people [amidst the darkness]. They prayed to the Holy One, that the Angel of Death would not come to their houses to inflict death upon them. Hashkiveinu is a reminder of the fear the Israelites faced during the time of redemption; therefore it is a part of the ​G'ulah

Context: The Beit Yosef was written by Rabbi Joseph Caro in the 1500s (written between 1522 and 1542). It is his attempt to summarize and recategorize all rabbinic writings in the preceding 1300 years (starting with the Mishnah). It was a long and detailed text, and later he wrote the Cliffnotes version which he called the Shulchan Aruch. Orach Chayim is the section (of both of them) about prayers and holidays. In this part, Rabbi Caro is trying to explain why “Hashkiveinu” counts as part of the “Redemption” prayer.

There are different ways to view a prayer, all of which can co-exist simultaneously. Does this angle on the prayer resonate for you?

Let’s Approach from a Different Angle


ואמר רבי חמא ברבי חנינא מאי דכתיב (דברים יג, ה) אחרי ה' אלקיכם תלכו וכי אפשר לו לאדם להלך אחר שכינה והלא כבר נאמר (דברים ד, כד) כי ה' אלקיך אש אוכלה הוא אלא להלך אחר מדותיו של הקב"ה מה הוא מלביש ערומים דכתיב (בראשית ג, כא) ויעש ה' אלקים לאדם ולאשתו כתנות עור וילבישם אף אתה הלבש ערומים הקב"ה ביקר חולים דכתיב (בראשית יח, א) וירא אליו ה' באלוני ממרא אף אתה בקר חולים הקב"ה ניחם אבלים דכתיב (בראשית כה, יא) ויהי אחרי מות אברהם ויברך אלקים את יצחק בנו אף אתה נחם אבלים הקב"ה קבר מתים דכתיב (דברים לד, ו) ויקבר אותו בגיא אף אתה קבור מתים


And Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “After the Lord your God shall you walk, and G-d shall you fear, and G-d's commandments shall you keep, and unto G-d's voice shall you hearken, and G-d shall you serve, and unto G-d shall you cleave” (Deuteronomy 13:5)? But is it actually possible for a person to follow the Divine Presence? But hasn’t it already been stated: “For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24), and one cannot approach fire. He explains: Rather, the meaning is that one should follow the attributes of the Holy One, Blessed be G-d. He provides several examples. Just as G-d clothes the naked, as it is written: “And the Lord G-d made for Adam and for his wife garments of skin, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21), so too, should you clothe the naked. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be G-d, visits the sick, as it is written with regard to G-d’s appearing to Abraham following his circumcision: “And the Lord appeared unto him by the terebinths of Mamre” (Genesis 18:1), so too, should you visit the sick. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be G-d, consoles mourners, as it is written: “And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that G-d blessed Isaac his son” (Genesis 25:11), so too, should you console mourners. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be G-d, buried the dead, as it is written: “And he was buried in the valley in the land of Moab” (Deuteronomy 34:6), so too, should you bury the dead.

Context: This is from the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sotah, which is about women accused of sexual misconduct. The Mishnah discusses consequences and how they are appropriate, and then gives Biblical examples of appropriate consequences. After Rabbi Hama, son of Rabbi Hanina explains one of those Biblical examples, we get another Biblical explanation that he provided.

What does this text tell us about the relationship between how G-d behaves and how we should behave?

(א) הַשכִּיבֵנוּ ה' אֱלקֵינוּ לְשלום. וְהַעֲמִידֵנוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ לְחַיִּים וּפְרוש עָלֵינוּ סֻכַּת שלומֶךָ. וְתַקְּנֵנוּ בְּעֵצָה טובָה מִלְּפָנֶיךָ. וְהושיעֵנוּ מְהֵרָה לְמַעַן שמֶךָ. וְהָגֵן בַּעֲדֵנוּ: וְהָסֵר מֵעָלֵינוּ אויֵב דֶבֶר וְחֶרֶב וְרָעָב וְיָגון. וְהָסֵר שטָן מִלְפָנֵינוּ וּמֵאַחֲרֵינוּ. וּבְצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ תַּסְתִּירֵנוּ. כִּי אֵל שומְרֵנוּ וּמַצִּילֵנוּ אָתָּה. כִּי אֵל מֶלֶךְ חַנּוּן וְרַחוּם אָתָּה: וּשמור צֵאתֵנוּ וּבואֵנוּ לְחַיִים וּלְשלום מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עולָם: וּפְרוש עָלֵינוּ סֻכַּת שלומֶךָ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' הַפּורֵש סֻכַּת שלום עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל עַמּו יִשרָאֵל וְעַל יְרוּשלָיִם:

(1) Help us, Lord, to lie down in peace, and awaken us again, our Sovereign, to life. Spread over us Your shelter of peace; guide us with Your good counsel. Save us because of Your mercy. Shield us from enemies and plague, from starvation, sword, and sorrow. Remove the evil forces that surround us. Shelter us in the shadow of Your wings, O G-d, who watches over us and delivers us, our gracious and merciful Ruler. Guard our coming and our going; grant us life and peace, now and always. Spread over us the shelter of Your peace. Praised are you, Lord, who spreads the shelter of peace over us, over all G-d's people Israel, and over Jerusalem.

Context: This is the Hashkiveinu prayer that we saw earlier.

1. This prayer is only said in the evening service. Why do we only say it at night? And for whom must it ring especially true?

2. The Hebrew phrase for "shelter of peace" is "sukkat shalom". Why is a sukkah invoked instead of a house?

3. If you were rewriting the "Shield us from" sentence today, what would you include?

4. How does Sotah 14a inform your reading of this prayer?

5. What are some actions you can work into your current routine based on this text from the siddur?

Musical Settings

As you listen to these renditions, please think about what what additional or different meaning these versions hold for you. What do they make you think of? How do they make you feel?

Biblical and Theological Influences

(א) בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית בָּרָ֣א אֱלֹהִ֑ים אֵ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וְאֵ֥ת הָאָֽרֶץ׃ (ב) וְהָאָ֗רֶץ הָיְתָ֥ה תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ וְחֹ֖שֶׁךְ עַל־פְּנֵ֣י תְה֑וֹם וְר֣וּחַ אֱלֹהִ֔ים מְרַחֶ֖פֶת עַל־פְּנֵ֥י הַמָּֽיִם׃ (ג) וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֖ים יְהִ֣י א֑וֹר וַֽיְהִי־אֽוֹר׃ (ד) וַיַּ֧רְא אֱלֹהִ֛ים אֶת־הָא֖וֹר כִּי־ט֑וֹב וַיַּבְדֵּ֣ל אֱלֹהִ֔ים בֵּ֥ין הָא֖וֹר וּבֵ֥ין הַחֹֽשֶׁךְ׃ (ה) וַיִּקְרָ֨א אֱלֹהִ֤ים ׀ לָאוֹר֙ י֔וֹם וְלַחֹ֖שֶׁךְ קָ֣רָא לָ֑יְלָה וַֽיְהִי־עֶ֥רֶב וַֽיְהִי־בֹ֖קֶר י֥וֹם אֶחָֽד׃ (פ)

At the beginning of God's creating of the heavens and the earth, when the earth was barren and void, there was darkness over the face of Ocean, and a rushing-spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters. God said: Let there be light! And there was light.

God saw the light: that it was good. God separated the light from the darkness.

God called the light: Day! and the darkness he called: Night! There was setting, there was dawning: one day.

(כא) וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוָ֜ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֗ה נְטֵ֤ה יָֽדְךָ֙ עַל־הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וִ֥יהִי חֹ֖שֶׁךְ עַל־אֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם וְיָמֵ֖שׁ חֹֽשֶׁךְ׃ (כב) וַיֵּ֥ט מֹשֶׁ֛ה אֶת־יָד֖וֹ עַל־הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם וַיְהִ֧י חֹֽשֶׁךְ־אֲפֵלָ֛ה בְּכָל־אֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרַ֖יִם שְׁלֹ֥שֶׁת יָמִֽים׃ (כג) לֹֽא־רָא֞וּ אִ֣ישׁ אֶת־אָחִ֗יו וְלֹא־קָ֛מוּ אִ֥ישׁ מִתַּחְתָּ֖יו שְׁלֹ֣שֶׁת יָמִ֑ים וּֽלְכָל־בְּנֵ֧י יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל הָ֥יָה א֖וֹר בְּמוֹשְׁבֹתָֽם׃

YHWH said to Moshe: Stretch out your hand over the heavens, and let there be darkness over the land of Egypt; they will feel the darkness! Moshe stretched out his hand over the heavens, and there was thick darkness throughout all the land of Egypt, for three days, a man could not see his brother, and a man could not arise from his spot, for three days. But for all the Children of Israel, there was light in their settlements.

Questions for Discussion

1. Why do you think darkness existed before light?

2. How could light exist when the sun wasn't yet created until the 4th day?

3. What is the relationship between the darkness and light of the 9th Plague and darkness and lights of creation?

4. How might the language of Hashkiveinu (and some of its creative interpretations) speak to the concepts of darkness in these toraitic texts.

(א) שִׁ֗יר לַֽמַּ֫עֲל֥וֹת אֶשָּׂ֣א עֵ֭ינַי אֶל־הֶהָרִ֑ים מֵ֝אַ֗יִן יָבֹ֥א עֶזְרִֽי׃ (ב) עֶ֭זְרִי מֵעִ֣ם יְהוָ֑ה עֹ֝שֵׂ֗ה שָׁמַ֥יִם וָאָֽרֶץ׃ (ג) אַל־יִתֵּ֣ן לַמּ֣וֹט רַגְלֶ֑ךָ אַל־יָ֝נ֗וּם שֹֽׁמְרֶֽךָ׃ (ד) הִנֵּ֣ה לֹֽא־יָ֭נוּם וְלֹ֣א יִישָׁ֑ן שׁ֝וֹמֵ֗ר יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ (ה) יְהוָ֥ה שֹׁמְרֶ֑ךָ יְהוָ֥ה צִ֝לְּךָ֗ עַל־יַ֥ד יְמִינֶֽךָ׃ (ו) יוֹמָ֗ם הַשֶּׁ֥מֶשׁ לֹֽא־יַכֶּ֗כָּה וְיָרֵ֥חַ בַּלָּֽיְלָה׃ (ז) יְֽהוָ֗ה יִשְׁמָרְךָ֥ מִכָּל־רָ֑ע יִ֝שְׁמֹ֗ר אֶת־נַפְשֶֽׁךָ׃ (ח) יְֽהוָ֗ה יִשְׁמָר־צֵאתְךָ֥ וּבוֹאֶ֑ךָ מֵֽ֝עַתָּ֗ה וְעַד־עוֹלָֽם׃

A song for ascents: I lift my eyes to the mountains. From where will my help come? My help comes from YHWH, Maker of the heavens and the earth. He does not allow your foot to stumble. Your guardian does not sleep. Behold He does not sleep and He does not slumber, He is the Guardian of Israel. YHWH is your Guardian. YHWH is your shade. He is at your right hand. By day the sun will not strike you, nor the moon by night. YHWH will guard you from all harm. He will guard your life. He will guard you in your coming and your going, from now until forever.

(ח) וָאֶעֱבֹ֨ר עָלַ֜יִךְ וָאֶרְאֵ֗ךְ וְהִנֵּ֤ה עִתֵּךְ֙ עֵ֣ת דֹּדִ֔ים וָאֶפְרֹ֤שׂ כְּנָפִי֙ עָלַ֔יִךְ וָאֲכַסֶּ֖ה עֶרְוָתֵ֑ךְ וָאֶשָּׁ֣בַֽע לָ֠ךְ וָאָב֨וֹא בִבְרִ֜ית אֹתָ֗ךְ נְאֻ֛ם אֲדֹנָ֥י יְהוִ֖ה וַתִּ֥הְיִי לִֽי׃

(8) Now when I passed by you, and looked upon you, and, behold, your time was the time of love, I spread my skirt over you, and covered your nakedness; I swore unto you, and entered into a covenant with you, says the Adonai you God, and you becamest Mine.

(ט) וַיֹּ֖אמֶר מִי־אָ֑תּ וַתֹּ֗אמֶר אָנֹכִי֙ ר֣וּת אֲמָתֶ֔ךָ וּפָרַשְׂתָּ֤ כְנָפֶ֙ךָ֙ עַל־אֲמָ֣תְךָ֔ כִּ֥י גֹאֵ֖ל אָֽתָּה׃

(9) And he said: ‘Who art thou?’ And she answered: ‘I am Ruth thine handmaid; spread therefore thy skirt over thy handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.’

(ו) בָּר֥וּךְ אַתָּ֖ה בְּבֹאֶ֑ךָ וּבָר֥וּךְ אַתָּ֖ה בְּצֵאתֶֽךָ׃

(6) Blessed are you in your coming, and blessed are you in your going.

נעמן גר תושב היה נבוזר אדן גר צדק היה מבני בניו של סיסרא למדו תורה בירושלים מבני בניו של סנחריב לימדו תורה ברבים ומאן נינהו שמעיה ואבטליון מבני בניו של המן למדו תורה בבני ברק ואף מבני בניו של אותו רשע ביקש הקב"ה להכניסן תחת כנפי השכינה אמרו מלאכי השרת לפני הקב"ה רבונו של עולם

Naaman was a geir toshav (a not yet Jewish community member), and so was Nebuzar, who was a righteous geir (proselyte), who was descended from the children of Sisera. He taught Torah in Jerusalem, and the Children of Senacharib taught Torah to the masses in Bnei Brak––these were Shimayah and Abtalyon. The decedents of Haman taught Torah in Beni Brak as well. The Holy One leads even those who are wicked under the wings of Shekhinah (God's feminine side). The ministering angels said to the Holy One Master of the Universe

(ח) שָׁ֭מְרֵנִי כְּאִישׁ֣וֹן בַּת־עָ֑יִן בְּצֵ֥ל כְּ֝נָפֶ֗יךָ תַּסְתִּירֵֽנִי׃

Protect me as the apple of the eye, Hide me in the shadow of your wings.

ברכות השחר

מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ, מֶלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּם, שֶׁהֶחֱזַרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי בְּחֶמְלָה רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶךָ

Morning Blessings

I give thanks before You, ever-living Sovereign, for you have restored my soul to me in mercy: How great is your faith [in me]!

The morning blessing reflects the pre-scientific and child-like belief that falling asleep is dangerous. Not only is night time filled with all sorts of dangers––animals, bandits, blindness––but the ancients believed that when someone loses consciousness, a piece of them actually dies. Each morning when they wake up, their nefesh​, their soul is restored to them.

Appendix A: Creative Alternatives to Hashkiveinu

LET THERE BE LOVE

Let there be love and understanding among us. Let peace and friendship be our shelter

from life's storms. Adonai, help us to walk with good companions, to live with hope in our hearts and eternity in our thoughts, that we may lie down in peace and rise up waiting to do Your will

(Mishkan T’filah, 161)

GIVE US A PLACE TO REST

Give us a place to rest, Adonai, our God. Bring us into shelter in the soft, long, evening shadows of Your truth. For with You are true protection and safety, and in Your Presence are acceptance and gentle love. Watch over us as we go forth. Prepare for us as we return. Spread over us Your shelter of peace, over all we love ––over Jerusalem and Yours

(Mishkan T'filah , 161)

ONE DAY

Sometimes I lay

Under the moon
And thank God I'm breathing
Then I pray
Don't take me soon
'Cause I am here for a reason

Sometimes in my tears I drown
But I never let it get me down
So when negativity surrounds
I know some day it'll all turn around because

All my life I've been waiting for
I've been praying for
For the people to say
That we don't wanna fight no more
There will be no more wars
And our children will play

One day

(Matisyahu, One Day)

With appreciation to: Josh Franklin (whose sheet “Hashkiveinu” provided the structure for this one), Yair Kosowsky-Sachs, Sylvia Rothschild, and Cantor Liz Berke