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Sahhatl} Senttment


By henry BERKOWITZ, D. D.
Rabbi Cong. Rodeph Shalom, Philadelphia, Pa

with special illustrations by
Katherxnb M. Cohen.

"The Sabbath is the hub of the Jew's universe ; to protract
it is a virtue; to love it a liberal education."

— I. Zangwill.



Second Thousand,


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the
year 1898, by Henry Berkowitz.



m . • • • • •


In the firm assurance that it lies with

them to awaken the religious

life and enkindle the Jewish

spirit by fostering the

Sabbath Sentiment

within their

hearts and




That was a beautiful custom which our sires observed,
but which has fallen sadly into disuse in these modem
times. Every Friday evening the Jew would return to
his home from the Synagogue, perhaps weary after the
week's toil, but with his heart all aglow with love for his
dear ones who were eagerly awaiting his coming. From
afar he could see the Sabbath light radiating from his
home, beckoning him cheerily and lo\dngly. Upon his
arrival at home his wife and children would greet him
with beaming faces, and receive his blessing in reveren-
tial attitude. Then, after all were seated about the festal
board, the husband proceeded to usher in the Sabbath by
reading to his wife that gem of Hebrew literature,
"Esheth Hayil," The Virtuous Woman. (Proverbs,
XXXI, 10-31.)

We can readily understand that the reading of this
poem, week after week, on the Sabbath eve, whenever
the exercise was not a barren and meaningless formality,
would exert an ennobling influence, not alone upon the
wife and mother, but upon the husband and children as
well. Before the minds of the women in the Jewdsh

home this poem set up a lofty ideal of wife and mother-
hood, above all, of womanhood. To her who was con-
scious of striving after this noble pattern, the reading of
it by the husband mvist have come as a loving recognition
of her merits and an encouragement to persist in her
endeavor. To the woman, however, who fell short of
these attainments, it must have come each week as a
new impetus for better effort.

Recognizing these far-reaching effects upon the Jew-
ish home and all its inmates and having drawn so much
comfort and inspiration out of these observances in our
own home, I was eager to see them spread into all Jewish
households that are deprived of this beautiful ceremony.
I therefore urged my husband to arrange a simple little
home service for the Sabbath eve, which would preserve
the spirit of the old " Kiddush" and yet adapt the form
to our modern needs.

In compliance with this wish this little book is now
sent forth. May it receive a hearty Vvclcome in every
Jewish household and help to restore and sustain one of
the most simple and effective usages for ''carrying on the
chain of piety that links the generations to each other."

FivORA BkrkowiTz.


What a work of genius is that simple, homely and
beautiful creation of the Jewish spirit — the Kiddush ! It
is the very essence of poetry wrought into an institution
of family life. It has cultivated and nourished the ideal-
ism of generations. It has proven a factor of incalculable
worth in linking loving hearts to home, to kindred, to
Israel and to God. It has given a dignity, tenderness,
and grace to the Jewish household which has constrained
all its influences and memories in an atmosphere of sweet
religiousness. This we cannot afford to lose.

In the present era of changes many are eager to
sanctify the-home life by simple religious rites, and to
find some way of holding fast to or restoring this beauti-
ful custom. They would be grateful for some formula by
which to give expression to the Sabbath Sentiment. To
them this book is offered. It is written and compiled
for their needs and in answer to a laudable "Suggestion."

It gives the formula of the Kiddush for celebrating
the advent of the Sabbath eve in the home circle. The
matter is the same as of old, modified to conform to the
beliefs, the thoughts and tastes of to-day, but retaining
the spirit that has hallowed the usage throughout many

It is given in English, with all directions in detail.
The familiar blessings over bread and wine are retained
in Hebrew with translations.

The music of one of the Sabbath Hymns is reprinted.

The book is given up largely to beautiful selections
from Jewish writings containing Sabbath Legends,
Poems, Songs, and an account of the Sabbath in History
and in the Law.

It contains also many of the sterling Ethical Pre-
cepts which have distinguished the Sabbath as a teacher
of humaneness, cheer, hospitality and domestic love.

These selections are to be used for home readings at
the pleasure of the members of the household, and are
presented to enkindle and to foster a deeper Sabbath

A Glossary explains all symbols and terms.

The poetic sentiment of this little collection of writ-
ings seemed to demand an appropriate art setting. They
are therefore illustrated with engravings of the famous
paintings on the Sabbath Eve by Moritz Oppenheim,
also with pen and ink drawings and two full page pictures
specially designed in bas-relief for this work by Miss

Katherine M. Cohen, of Philadelphia.

H. B.

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c f c

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Home Service For Sabbath Eve.

The housewife gives the family table a festive appearance.
A winecup and two loaves of bread for the blessing are set before
the head of the household. In the center of the table the Sabbath
lights are placed.

The ceremony of ushering in the Sabbath is begun by the
kindling of these lights by the housewife, who with hands uplifted,
silently asks a blessing on her home and dear ones, or uses the
formula as follows :

"May our home be consecrated, Oh, God, by the
light of Thy countenance. May it shine upon us all in
blessing, that these lights may be to us as the light of
love and truth, the light of peace and good will. Amen."


When all are seated, the master of the house says :
" Come, let us welcome the Sabbath in joy and
peace !

Like a bride, radiant and joyous, comes the Sabbath.
She brings blessings to our hearts. Work-day thoughts
and cares are put aside. The brightness of the Sabbath
light shines forth to tell that the divine spirit of love
abides within our home. In that light all our blessings
are enriched, all our griefs and trials softened.


"At this hour God's messenger of peace comes and
turns the hearts of the parents to the children and the
hearts of the children to the parents, strengthening the
bonds of our devotion to that pure and lofty ideal of the
home which is pictured in sacred writ (Prov. xxxi:10):

Whoso findeth a virtuous woman, far above pearls is her value.

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her: he will not
see his gain diminish.

She treateth him well and not ill all the days of her life.

She looketh well to the ways of her household and eateth not
the bread of idleness.

She giveth provision to her household and a task to her

She girdeth her loins with strength and giveth vigor to her

She spreadeth out her open palm to the poor. Yea, her hand
she stretcheth forth to the needy.

She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness
is on her tongue.

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smileth at the
coming of the last day.

Well known in the gates is her husband when he sitteth with
the elders of the land.

Her children rise up and call her blessed, her husband also,
and he praiseth her, saying: Many daughters have done virtu-
ously, but thou excellest them all.

False is grace and vain is beauty; but a woman that feareth
the lyord, she alone shall be praised.

Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works
praise her in the gates."


'She givetli provision to her household.
And a task to her maidens." Prov xxxiMo

The master of the house then lifts up the wine-cup and says :

"I/Ct US praise God with this symbol of joy and
thank Him for all the blessings of the week that is gone;
for life, health and strength; for home, love and friend-
ship; for the discipline of our trials and temptations; for
the happiness of our success and prosperity. Thou hast
ennobled us, O God, by the blessings of work and in love
and grace sanctified us by the blessings of rest through
the Commandment, 'Six days shalt thou labor and do
all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath hal-
lowed unto the Lord thy God.' "

"Praised art Thou, O Lord our God, Ruler of the
world, who hast created the fruit of the vine to gladden
the hearts of men."

The goblet is passed as a loving cup and each in turn drink,


The master of the house then breaks the bread and dipping a
piece in salt pronounces the blessing, saying :


"Praised art Thou, O Lord our God, Ruler of the
world, who causest the earth to yield bread for the
nourishment of men."

Each one at the table likewise partakes of the bread and salt.


The parent with hands upon the head of each child in turn
silently pronounces such a blessing as the heart may prompt, or
uses the formula as follows :

"May the God of our fathers bless you!

May He who has guided us unto this day, lead you to
be an honor to our family.

May He who has protected us from all evil, make you
a blessing to Israel and all mankind. Amen."


"O I/ord, Thou art our Shepherd, and we shall never
want. Thou openest Thy hand and satisfiest the needs
of every living being. We thank Thee for the gifts of
Thy bounty which we have enjoyed at this table. As
Thou hast provided for us hitherto, so mayest Thou


provide for us throughout our lives. Thy kindness
endureth forever and we put our trust in Thee.

"While we enjoy Thy gifts may we never forget the
needy, nor allow those in want to be forsaken. May our
table be an altar of loving kindness and our home a
temple in which Thy spirit of goodness dwells. We
praise Thee, O Lord, who in kindness sustainest the
world. Amen."




)t gag of gist.

Andante ton, moto.

I. Come,





O Sab - bath - day, and bring Peace and heal - ing




-\ — r-

2 Earthly longings bid retire. 3 Wipe from every cheek the tear,

Quench our passions hurtful fire : Banish care, and silence fear ;

To the wayward, sin-oppressed All things working for the best

Bring Thou Thy divine behest : '^e^ch us the divine behest ;

Thou Shalt rest ! Thou shalt rest !

(By permission from the "Union Hymnal," page 92.)

The family service may be brought to a close by
singing the above or some other appropriate hymn.




Note. — One or more of the following selections may
be read aloud at the pleasure of the family gathering,
sometime during the Sabbath Eve. A different selection
may be made each week.

These readings will not alone afford instruction and
entertainment to young and old, but give appropriate
direction to the conversations and discussions of the
home circle.


'IvCgends express the idealism of the masses; they mirror

the spiritual life, art, poetry, science and

ethics of a people."


Princess vSabbath.

In Arabia's book of stories
Read we of enchanted princes,
Who from time to time recover 'd
Their once handsome pristine features.

Or the whilom hairy monster
To a king's son is converted,
Dressed in gay and glittering garments
And the flute divinely playing.

Yet the magic time expires,
And once more and of a sudden
We behold his royal highness
Changed into a shaggy monster.

Of a prince of such-like fortune
Sings my song. His name is Israel,
And a witch's art has changed him
To the figure of a dog.

As a dog, with doggish notions,
All the week his time he muddles
Through life's filthiness and sweepings,
To the scavengers' derision.


But upon each Friday evening,
Just at twilight, the enchantment
Ceases suddenly — the dog
Once more is a human being.

As a man, with human feelings.
With his head and breast raised proudly,
Dressed in festival attire,
His paternal hall he enters.

"Hail, all hail, ye halls beloved
Of my gracious regal father!
Tents of Jacob, your all-holy
Entrance-posts my mouth thus kisses!

Lecho Daudi lyikras Kalle —
Loved one, come! the bride already
Waiteth for thee, to uncover
To thy face her blushing features! "

This most charming marriage ditty
Was composed by the illustrious
Far and wide known Minnesinger
Don Jehuda ben Halevy.

In the song was celebrated
The espousals of Prince Israel
With the lovely Princess Sabbath,
Whom they call the silent princess.

Pearl and flower of perfect beauty
Is the princess. * * ^ *


Yet the beauteous day fades quickly;
As with long and shadowy legs
Hastens on the fell enchantment's
Evil hour, the prince sighs sadl3^

Feeling as though with his bosom
Icy witches' fingers grappled;
He's pervaded by the fear of
Canine metamorphosis.

To the prince then hands the princess
Her own golden box of spikenard.
Long he smells, once more desiring
To find comfort in sweet odors.

Next the parting drink the princess
Gives the prince — he hastily
Drinks, and in the goblet only
Some few drops are left untasted.

With them sprinkles he the table,
Then he takes a little waxlight,
And he dips it in the moisture
Till it crackles and goes out.

Sabbath Eve.

On Sabbath eve — thus have the sages said —
Man's homeward path, with him, tw^o spirits tread.

The one a holy angel, pure and bright,
And one, a demon of malignant spite.

Happy the dwelling, where the day of rest
Is fitly honored as a welcome guest;

Where Sabbath-lamp doth hallowed radiance shed
Above the board, with festal dainties spread;

Where grateful hearts have sung with glad acclaim
Hymns of thanksgiving to God's holy name.

With sacred joy, the messenger of light,
With inward raging, the malignant sprite.

Behold. The first, in tones serene and clear,
Echoes the rapture of the ancient seer:

"How lovely are the tents of Jacob's race;
Israel, how beautiful thy dwelling place!"

"Amen!' the other, with ungracious mien,
Responds; and turns to fly the unwelcome scene;

But heareth, even though he hasten flight,
In fervent blessing raised, that voice of light.

— 2&-

"Be every Sabbath blessed as this!" Again,
Despite his will, the demon cries, "Amen!"

But woe the household, that the holy eve
Finds unprepared its presence to receive.

The lamp unlighted, table unadorned,

With work unhallowed, God's sweet Sabbath scorned;

Where no glad heart hath chanted, "Come, O, Bride!"
— Ah, woe that thrice unhappy home betide.

Weeping, the radiant angel leaves the place
Where all unwelcome is his holy face.

The Demon of Unrest, with joy malign.

Sees him depart, and cries, "This house is mine!"

"Be Sabbath-joys forever here unknown!"
"Amen!" he hears the angel's farewell moan.

O, blessed Sabbath, of God's gifts the best,
O, Royal Bride! O, lovely Queen of Rest!

Our lamp is lighted, and its sacred flame
Shines to thy glory and thy Monarch's name.

In grateful melody, our voice we raise

To sing thy beauty and thy Maker's praise.

Would all God's people knew thy saving grace,
And thou, in all their hearts, held'st honored place.

Would all God's people, in the blessings rare,
Thy loyal ones enjoy, might weekly share!


For though stern Woe rule all the world besides,
Where Sabbath dwells, there happiness abides.

"Then come, who art thy husband's crown, in peace;
Our sorrows lighten, and our joys increase."

"Amid the faithful whom thy love hath blessed,
Come, beauteous Bride! Come, gracious Queen of Rest."

Sabbath Spick.

A story is told of the Kmperor Antoninus and Rabbi
Judah the Holy. They were on friendly terms with each
other, and one Sabbath the Emperor dined with the
Rabbi and found the cold food very appetizing. He
chanced to eat at the Rabbi's house another time — it was
on a week day — and although the hot repast was varied
and costly, this did not taste as well as the other.

"Wilt thou tell me, Rabbi," the Emperor asked,
with a curiosity which was excusable in the monarch of
Rome, "what made the cold food so appetizing?"

"There was a certain spice used in its preparation,"
the Rabbi replied, "which is called Sabbath, and gives
every dish a pleasant flavo r." 1

" lyet me see it," the Emperor answered quickly. "I
would like very much to have it used in my kitchen."

"This precious spice," said the Rabbi, "is only to be
used by those who keep the Sabbath day holy. ' *


The Ring of Poi^ycrates — Talmudic Version

When Herodotus told about the ring of Polycrates,
he hardly imagined that the Talmud could furnish a par-
allel. The story is a practical argument in favor of
Sabbath observance. There lived once a righteous
Israelite, whose scrupulous regard for the Sabbath was
widely known. It was a day that he held in such high
honor that he spared no cost to give it a holiday aspect.
The Sabbath among the Jews was never a day of gloomy
asceticism; manual labor and needless exertion were for-
bidden, but the atmosphere was a bright and joyous one.
In the Israelite's vicinity lived a heathen of great wealth.
It was foretold to the latter that his property should fall
into the Jew's hands. Determined to thwart prophecy,
he sold all his fortune for a precious gem, which he
sewed in his turban, so that he might always have his
property with him. Once, while crossing a bridge, the
breeze blew his turban into the water, and wdth it he lost
his dearly prized jewel. The next day a large fish was
brought to market and as the Israelite washed to have it
for his Sabbath meal, he secured it at a high price. On
opening it the jewel was found, which made him wealthy
for all time.

Sabbation — The Sabbath River.

Josephus in his account of the journey of the Roman
Emperor, Titus, tells (Book VII-5) of the wonderful


Sabbatic River in Syria: "He saw a river as he went
along of such a nature as deserves to be recorded in
history. It hath somewhat very peculiar in it; for when
it runs, its current is strong and has plenty of water,
after which its springs fail for six days together, and
leave its channels dry, as any one may see; after which
days it runs on the seventh day as it did before, and as
though it had undergone no change at all; it hath also
been observed to keep this order perpetually and exactly ;
whence it is that they call it the Sabbatic River, that
name being taken from the sacred seventh day among
the Jews."

This natural phenomenon, which is not at all strange
in physical geography, arises simply from the flowing-
together of the waters into a natural basin until a suffi-
cient amount has accumulated so that the basin peri-
odically overflows and fills the current of the dry stream.

Pliny, the contemporary of Josephus, in his Natural
History (XXX, 2) refers to the same stream, but reports
that it flowed six days and rested on the seventh.

The Midrash and the Talmud delight in references
to this Sabbath River as though it were a holy token.

The legend of the Sabbation or Sambation occurs in
divers forms and places. Eldad, the Danite, (880 C. B. )
tells that when the descendants of the Levites hung their
harps on the willow trees by the streams of Babylon and
could not sing the songs of Zion in a strange land — the
land of their exile — a cloud enveloped them and bore
them off into the land of Havilah. Here they were safe,


for round about them flowed a rapid stream which was
impassable and served to protect them. Stones and sand
were carried along in its swift current with resistless
force Thus the mighty stream rolled on in its course
six days of the week. On the seventh it ceased its
turbulence, but lo! a thick cloud then settled upon the
waters, so that none could pass over them. Thus were
the righteous and loyal-hearted kept safe from their

The Sabbath Angei..

In the folk-lore of Israel it was held that there
were good spirits and bad spirits in the world, but
they floated invisibly in the air, trying to make little
boys good or sinful. They were always fighting with
one another for little boys' souls. But on the Sabbath
your bad angel had no power and your guardian Sabbath
angel hovered triumphantly around, assisting your every
day good angel, as you might tell by noticing how you
cast two shadows instead of one when the two Sabbath
candles were lighted. How beautiful were those Friday
evenings, how snowy the table-cloth, how sweet every
thing tasted, and how restful the atmosphere! Such
delicious peace for father and mother after the labors of
the week!



'The I<aw of the I,ord is perfect,

Quieting the soul;
The Precepts of the I,ord are plain,

Rejoicing the heart."


Note. — ^There is a wide-spread misapprehension
among Jews as well as non-Jews, about the true charac-
ter of the Jewish Sabbath. It is popularly misrepresented
to be and to have been a daj^ of rigid, severe and gloomy-

How utterly false is this notion will be found in the
testimony of the I^aws governing the Jewish Sabbath as
an institution, and in the History of the day and its

Thk Law of thk Sabbath.

The law of the Sabbath is one of those institutions
the strict observance of which was already the object of
attack in early New Testament times. Nevertheless, the
doctrine proclaimed in one of the Gospels — that the son
of man is Lord also of the Sabbath — was also current
among the Rabbis. They, too, taught that the Sabbath
had been delivered into the hand of man ( to break, if
necessary), and not man delivered over to the Sabbath.
And they even laid down the axiom that a scholar who
lived in a town, where among the Jewish population
there could be the least possibility of doubt as to whether
the Sabbath might be broken for the benefit of a danger-
ously sick person, was to be despised as a man neglecting
his duty; for, as Maimonides points out, the laws of the
Torah are not meant as an infliction upon mankind, "but
as mercy, loving kindness and peace."

The attacks upon the Jewish Sabbath have not
abated with the lapse of time. The day is still described
by almost every Christian writer on the subject in the
most gloomy colors, and long lists are given of minute
and easily transgressed observances connected with it,
which, instead of a day of rest, would make it to be a
day of sorrow and anxiety, almost worse than the Scotch
Sunday as depicted by continental writers. But it so


happens that we have the prayer of Rabbi Zadok, a
younger contemporary of the Apostles, which runs thus :
"Through the love with which Thou, O Lord our God,
lovest Thy people Israel, and the mercy which thou hast
shown to the children of Thy covenant. Thou hast given
unto us this great and holy Seventh Day." And another
Rabbi who probably flourished in the first half of the
second century, expresses himself (with allusion to
Exod. xxxi-13; Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep * * *
that ye may know that I am the I^ord that doth sanctify
you) — "The Holy One, blessed be He, said unto Moses,
I have a good gift in my treasures, and Sabbath is its
name, which I wish to present to Israel. Go and bring
to them the good tidings." The form again of the
blessing over the Sanctification-cup — a ceremony known
long before the destruction of the Second Temple — runs:
"Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, who hast sanctified
us by Th}^ commandments, and hast taken pleasure in
us, and in love and grace hast given us Thy holy Sabbath
as an inheritance." All these Rabbis evidently regarded
the Sabbath as a gift from heaven, an expression of the
infinite mercy and grace of God which He manifested to
His beloved children.

And the gift was, as already said, a good gift. Thus
the Rabbis paraphrase the words in Scripture, "See, for

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