Shabbat is the Jewish day of rest — a thing we could all use more of these days. But, if you need a little something extra to get into the mood, look no further than this delightful a cappella medley of Shabbat prayers and melodies.
“The Evolution of Shabbat,” recorded by the Yeshiva University a cappella group Y-Studs, echoes the group’s wildly successful “Evolution of Jewish Music,” which covers 12 centuries of Jewish music and has over 3 million views.
This time, Y-Studs are taking us through the entire evolution of Shabbat, which definitely represents a less robust period of time, as it starts at sunset on Friday and ends at sunset on Saturday. But condensing the day’s worth of prayers, blessings and liturgy into five minutes is quite a feat — one that the group accomplishes successfully.
The video starts with the Friday night tefillah (Kabbalat Shabbat) and ends with the havdalah, which literally means “separation,” the weekly farewell to Shabbat, with the group lighting the havdalah candle together. We go through Friday night kiddush, the blessing over the wine (the group has a beautiful kiddush cup!), the musaf (Hebrew for “additional”) Shabbat prayer and zemirot (Shabbat table songs), all sung with so much enthusiasm (and quite a bit of melodious hand-clapping).
This video is an absolute treat, with beautiful harmonization and a lot of fun, peppy energy. It’s the ode to Shabbat we need.