Yom Zeh Mechubad (Dovid Gabay)

August 16, 2020

Like many of you, I was born at a young age, and from that point forward, I grew up in a house filled with song. The sounds of my father’s sweet, airy chalil (flute) would be heard whenever he felt the sudden whim to play it, and my mother was always humming one tune or another as she went about her day. A record, tape or CD was usually playing somewhere in the house, so long as neither of my sisters had an important test to study for the next day. (They sure did have a lot of tests as I seem to recall…) However, when Shabbos arrived, we all found our places around the table and eagerly waited for the zemiros to begin.

My father, a’h and my brother would dutifully take the melody and serve as the rock solid foundation for our impromptu choir. My youngest brother and I would be assigned to various diatonic harmonies, and my mother and sisters would fill in the blanks with some falsetto and the like – it was a veritable vocal orchestra! The zemiros that we sang at our Shabbos tables of old remain some of the fondest memories for me and for most everyone I come across. The nostalgia, the simplicity, the warm feeling that accompanies these memories is what we try to recreate with our own families at our own tables. The energy which we bring to our own renditions will be implanted into the minds and hearts of the next generation, forming a backdrop into the intrinsic flavor of their Shabbos experience as a whole.

Just as the salt of our Shabbos tables is used to enhance the taste of the delicacies before us, the choice of song is of utmost importance and must enhance the spiritual taste of our Shabbos tables. We all have our “go-to’s” and our “classics” and then we have a variety of choices that we may cycle through week to week. But after this tune came out, it was immediately inserted into the family repertoire. The “retro” style arrangement by Yisroel Lamm of this Yossi Green composition was introduced to the world by Dovid Gabay on his 2010 album called Eretz Yisroel. This song in honor Shabbos, Yom Zeh Mechubad, was composed by an unknown author named Yisroel, whose name forms an acrostic as the beginning of each stanza.

We are taught to honor Shabbos. We are also taught how to honor Shabbos. We do so with the clothing we wear, the food that we prepare, the words that we use, and by that way we act on this most holy day. We sing on Shabbos to express its beauty and to praise Hashem for the blessings that the day inherently contains. This song not only does justice to the lofty implications expressed in the words of this piyut; joyous and pleasant, melodic and catchy, this song checks off the main items on my zemiros criteria as well. It is my hope that it does the same for each of you.

Wishing you an honorable Shabbos!

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1 Comment

  1. elisha

    I am enjoying this so much! Each stanza is an independent melody. Need to listen to it a few times!


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