Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Come my beloved, let us greet the Bride, let us receive the presence of Sunday; a vintage parody of Kabbalat Shabbat for Sunday in 1846.

On August 8, 1846 the Literaturblatt des Orients published the following parodic criticism of recent steps in German Reform Judaism, especially the desire to move the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. It was penned by the self-styled Moses Mendelssohn of Hamburg (surnamed Frankfurter; 1780-1861; he happens to have been Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch's paternal uncle. For more info see here).

After being introduced by a fake quote from a mystical passage concerning how one is to conduct oneself on Erev Sunday (hint: it includes tobacco), and a Talmudic passage (in the "German Talmud," not the "Babylonian" or "Jerusalem Talmud") complete with a gloss from "Tosafot" ("Why does it say that whoever drinks aged wine on Erev Sunday will merit the Emancipation and not the coming of the Messiah?Answer: this is according to the view that there is no Messiah"). The piece gives instructions leading all the way up to the recitation of Lecha Dodi in the synagogue, and his parody of Lecha Dodi follows.

לכה דודי לקראת כלה, פני זאננטאג נקבלה
Come my beloved, let us greet the Bride, let us receive the presence of Sunday:


  1. Wow, this really is something. Who was the target audience? Actual Reform rabbis or other Orthodox leaders?

  2. hmmm doesn't quite fit the tune this way

  3. Zach,I don't think the intended audience was leaders. Rather, it was readers of the Orient, who were also capable of reading and appreciating a well written piece in Hebrew.

  4. Shekoyach, this is hilarious. It bears a strong family resemblence to Masekhet Purim, which features among its authorities a "Rav Yeyna."



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