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Those who observe Shabbat and call it a delight {See Isaiah 58:13-14} shall rejoice in Your kingdom. The people that hallows the Seventh Day: they will all be satisfied and delighted with Your bountiful goodness. Because You were pleased with the Seventh Day, You hallowed it, calling it “most precious of days, a remembrance of Creation.”

a happy childThe Jewish worship cycle consists of three services on weekdays:

  • שחרית  shacharit in the morning (from שחר shachar, meaning “dawn”)
  • מנחה mincha in the afternoon.  The word mincha means
    “a gift,” reflecting the origin of the worship services as verbal subsitutes for the sacrifices that had been offered to God when the Temple in Jerusalem stood.
  •  מעריב  maariv in the evening, taken from the word erev, meaning “evening.” One ofIsrael’s largest-circulation daily newspapers, published in the evening, is called מעריב

On Shabbat and Festivals, a fourth service is added, reflecting the additional sacrifice which used to be offered in the Jerusalem Temple. It is called   מוסף  musaf, from the root   ס ף י “to add”.

In order to qualify as an official “service,” there must be a recitation of the tefila. Yismechu is an additional paragraph in the kedushat hayom prayer in the Shabbat musaf service. It reminds us that observance of Shabbat is not a burden but rather a source of joy and delight. During the cantor’s repetition of the musaf tefila, this paragraph is typically sung with gusto, the cantor chanting each verse in turn, and the congregation returning to the opening verse Yismechu v’malchut-cha shomrei Shabbat v’korei oneg as a refrain.


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