Limmud NY Notes: An alternate Kiddush

I went to Limmud NY 2011 and wrote a lot of posts about it. Here’s a guide to them.

I’m at Limmud NY 2011! Here are some notes from a session called Creating an Egalitarian Day for God, taught by William Friedman. I have a more full set of notes on the session over at Jewschool, but this bit is very liturgy-centric, so I’m posting it here at The Shuckle.

So Friedman, by way of introducing Deut. 5, mentioned that it’s a great text on Shabbat and that he wishes we used it in some ritual context–other than reading it on the week that it’s read, obviously. he said:

If I were a braver person, I’d start saying this at Kiddush every week.

Which is cool. Here’s the passage he was referring to:

Deut. 5

(12) Six days shall you work and do all of your labor.

(13) The seventh day is a Sabbath to Adonai your God; do not labor on it, neither you nor your son, daughter, male-servant, female-servant, ox, donkey, any of your animals, nor the stranger in your gates–in order that you male- and female-servant may rest like you.

(14) Remember that you were servants in the land of Egypt, and that Adonai your God brought you out from there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm; thus Adonai your God commanded you to do the Sabbath day.

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9 responses to “Limmud NY Notes: An alternate Kiddush

  1. I’m not sure I understand why one would have to be “a braver person” to introduce this as part of weekly Kiddush. It just amplifies on the ideas in v’shamru which is standard in our weekly Kiddush, adding the never-to-be-forgotten reminder that avadim hayinu. I’ll bet that if our shlicha tzibur were to just precede with v’shamru by reading this, no one would say boo, and if she did it every week for four weeks and skipped it the fifth week, people would ask why she was tampering with our Kiddush minhag.

  2. It’s actually closer to the text of Zakhor read in the Kiddusha Rabba, but with the idea of social justice more explicit than in the Exodus 20 line. But there isn’t a parallel “VeZakhru” to “VeShamru” to switch that – so we’d lose the “Shamor v’Zakhor” thing that happens at Kiddusha Rabba.

  3. William Friedman

    I’m the guy who taught the shiur, and just wanted to respond to two points:
    1) My comment about being a “braver person” was tongue-in-cheek, but does indicate my abiding respect for inherited liturgy. Nevertheless, the fact that the texts recited at Kiddusha Rabbah are still fluid (even week-to-week in some communities, not to mention between communities) means that it’s a “change” that’d be relatively easy to insert. @Simcha, Actually replace ושמרו with שמור את יום השבת would be _more_ parallel. Perhaps I’ll try that . . . :-)
    2) Devarim 5 makes an entirely different point than ושמרו. The latter is about the unique relationship created on Shabbat between the Jews and their God; the former is directly about social justice, and Shabbat as an institution that itself is part of a regime of social justice.

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