most popular Shabbat prayer-song,
composed by Rabbi Shlomo Alkebetz
and commentary by Rabbi Moshe Miller
Wake up, wake up,
Your light has come, rise and
Awaken, awaken; sing a melody,
The glory of G-d will be revealed
up, wake up: As in the verse Isaiah 51:16. This is process of spiritual awakening
is referred to in Kabbala as haalat mayin nukvin (ma'n), literally, "arousing
the female waters." (1)
Your light has come, rise and shine:
As in the verse Isaiah 60:1. "Your light has come" refers to the light
of the soul; "rise and shine" signifies the soul's task to illuminate
the body (it was for precisely this purpose that the soul was brought down from
its lofty perch). The fulfillment of this task serves as a preparation for an
even greater revelation of light (2) - the light of the final redemption. (3)
The entire concept is particularly significant on Shabbat eve, when every Jew
receives an additional soul, (4) and thus an additional measure of light, for
the duration of the Shabbat. (5)
Sing a melody: See Judges 5:12.
Song is an expression of the soul's delight and has the power to elicit an even
greater measure of revelation from above. Hence, "the glory of G-d will be
revealed upon thee," face-to-face, so to speak. (6)
1 Pirush Etz Chaim; Maamarei Admor HaZaken, Al Maamarei Razal,
2 Maamarim Melukat vol. 3, p. 277.
3 See Tanya ch. 36-37.
4 Taanit 27b; Zohar vol. II, p. 208b; vol. III, p. 35b.
5 See Likutei Sichot vol. 31, Ki Tisa 2.
6 Maamarei Admor HaZaken, Al Maamarei Razal, p. 457.
Continue to stanza 7
[go to Prayer Menu for
commentary on other stanzas, and/or for the complete, original rhyming
Rabbi Moshe-Leib Miller, a guest teacher at Ascent when he
lived in Israel, was born in South Africa and received his yeshiva education in
Israel and America. He is a prolific author and translator, with some twenty books
to his name on a wide variety of topics, including a new, authoritative, annotated
translation of the Zohar. He currently lives in Chicago.