Listen to this prayer

Our God and God of our ancestors, may You be pleased with our rest.
Sanctify us with Your commandments, grant us a share in Your Torah, 
satisfy us with Your goodness, cause us to rejoice in Your salvation, 
and purify our hearts to serve You in truth. 
In love and favor, Adonai our God, 
may you grant Your holy Shabbat to us as an inheritance, 
so that Israel—who sanctifies Your Name—may rest on it.

Blessed are You, Adonai, Who sanctifies Shabbat.

kedushat hayom prayer Because it is considered inappropriate to ply God with our petitions on Shabbat, there is just one prayer that replaces the thirteen petitions of the weekday tefila. This single prayer, known as kedushat hayom, reaffirms the holiness of Shabbat and asks that the Holy One grant us the special Shabbat blessings of purity of heart and unblemished rest.

שמחנו sam-chaynu “cause us to rejoice” is from the root שמח s m ch, as in the word שמחה simcha, “a joyous occasion”. In Deuteronomy 16:14-15 we are commanded: ושמחת בחגיך והיית אך שמח v’samachta b’chagecha…v’hayita ach sameach: “You shall rejoice on your Festivals; you shall be completely joyful.”

ישועתך Yeshuatecha “Your salvation” comes from the root י ש ע y sh ayin. The name of Moses’ successor Joshua יהושע Yehoshua—whose mission was to lead the Children of Israel into the Land of Israel—means “God will provide salvation.” Shabbat is considered a foretaste of the Days to Come, when no one would be constrained by economic necessity and everyone could spend a lifetime of joy and peace and rest.

(Centuries later, another leader named יהושע Yehoshua—in Latin, “Jesus”—would attract a loyal group of followers who believed that he was God’s instrument of salvation.)

Listen to this prayer