Wine Blessing (Kiddush) Audio

Pretty much all Jewish ceremonies and celebrations involve wine, and Shabbat dinner is no exception. But ritual doesn’t exist for the sake of itself, it exists to accomplish something, almost like an ancient form of technology.

While it’s tempting to imagine that our sages simply decided to sweeten celebratory practices from births to weddings with wine because, well, wine, they actually do it because the wine itself is like a switch: flip it, and we’ve set time apart, made it special, holy, other. It’s not about the wine itself, it’s about what it has the power to do when we raise our glass with intention.

That’s the magic of kiddush, from the Hebrew word for holy — our ability to demarcate time, to say that this Friday night, this Shabbat dinner, this exact moment, which has never occurred before and never will again, is special. Cheers to that.

Traditional kiddush in its entirety is pretty long, as it includes an introductory passage taken directly from the book of Genesis, a one line blessing (borei pri ha’gafen) that acknowledges the wine itself, and a closing passage that evokes both the creation narrative and the exodus from Egypt. It’s the final line of that closing passage (mikadesh ha’Shabbat) that makes the wine a symbolic conduit for marking this time as sacred.

There are two main approaches to a traditional kiddush, one short and sweet, sort of like a light bodied Pinot Noir, the other full and robust, more like a Bordeaux. In other words, you can’t make a bad choice.

Thanks to Shira Kline, award-winning performer and music educator, and Josh Nelson, influential composer and performer, for these incredible audio recordings.

Spoken in Hebrew – Short Version

Transliteration
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha’olam borei p’ri ha’gafen.
Baruch Atah Adonai m’kadesh ha’Shabbat.

Spoken in English – Short Version

Blessed are You, Infinite One, Creator of the fruit of the vine. Blessed are You, Infinite One, Who sanctifies Shabbat.

Spoken in English – Long Version

There was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. And the heavens and earth and all their components were completed. God completed by the seventh day the work that God had done, and God rested on the seventh day from all of the work that God had done. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, for on it God rested from all of the work that God had created to do.

Blessed are You, Infinite One, creator of the fruit of the vine.

Blessed are You, Infinite One, Source of the universe
Whose love allows us to become holy through our actions.
With that same love You made the sanctity of Shabbat our heritage
and a reminder of the work of creation.
As first among our sacred days, it recalls liberation from Egypt.
We seek to be holy to You, to embrace this sacred potential among all people,
for out of love You have passed down to us Your holy Shabbat.
Blessed are You, Infinite One, who sanctifies Shabbat.

Melech Short Version

Transliteration
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha’olam borei p’ri ha’gafen.
Baruch Atah Adonai m’kadesh ha’Shabbat.

Ruach Short Version

This version uses the word ruach instead of melech. Melech means king or ruler, whereas ruach means spirit or wind. This version is popular with those involved in the Jewish Renewal movement. Check out this essay about the difference between the word choices from a Reform rabbi.

Transliteration
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Ruach ha’olam borei p’ri ha’gafen.
Baruch Atah Adonai m’kadesh ha’Shabbat.

Melech Long Version

Transliteration
Va’yihi erev va’yihi voker yom ha’shishi
Va’yichulu ha’shamayim va’ha’aretz v’chol tziva’am.
Va’yichol Elohim ba’yom ha’shivi’i milachto asher asah
va’yishbot ba’yom ha’shivi’i mi’kol milachto asher asah.
Va’yivarech Elohim et yom ha’shivi’i va’yikadesh oto
ki vo shavat mi’kol melachto asher bara Elohim la’asot.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha’olam borei p’ri ha’gafen.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha’olam asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’ratzah vanu
v’Shabbat kodsho b’ahahvah uv’ratzon hinchilanu zikaron l’ma’aseh v’reishit.
Ki hu yom tehilah l’mikra’ei kodesh zeicher litziat Mitzrayim.
Ki vanu vacharta v’otanu k’dashta mi’kol ha’amim
v’Shabbat kodshicha b’ahavah uv’ratzon chinchaltanu.
Baruch Atah Adonai mikadesh ha’Shabbat.

Ruach Long Version

This version uses the word ruach instead of melech. Melech means king or ruler, whereas ruach means spirit or wind. This version is popular with those involved in the Jewish Renewal movement. Check out this essay about the difference between the word choices from a Reform rabbi.

Transliteration
Va’yihi erev va’yihi voker yom ha’shishi
Va’yichulu ha’shamayim va’ha’aretz v’chol tziva’am.
Va’yichol Elohim ba’yom ha’shivi’i milachto asher asah
va’yishbot ba’yom ha’shivi’i mi’kol milachto asher asah.
Va’yivarech Elohim et yom ha’shivi’i va’yikadesh oto
ki vo shavat mi’kol melachto asher bara Elohim la’asot.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Ruach ha’olam borei p’ri ha’gafen.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Ruach ha’olam asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’ratzah vanu
v’Shabbat kodsho b’ahahvah uv’ratzon hinchilanu zikaron l’ma’aseh v’reishit.
Ki hu yom tehilah l’mikra’ei kodesh zeicher litziat Mitzrayim.
Ki vanu vacharta v’otanu k’dashta mi’kol ha’amim
v’Shabbat kodshicha b’ahavah uv’ratzon chinchaltanu.
Baruch Atah Adonai mikadesh ha’Shabbat.

OneTable

OneTable empowers people who don’t yet have a consistent Shabbat dinner practice to build one that feels authentic, sustainable, and valuable. The OneTable community is funded to support people (21-39ish), not in undergraduate studies, and without an existing weekly Shabbat practice, looking to find and share this powerful experience.

1 Comment

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    Is there a musical notation to reference for the sung versions?

    Jonathan Simcosky Reply

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