Friday, February 11, 2022

Welcoming Shabbat with Adon Olam at Beth Israel of San Diego

Adon Olam (Hebrew: אֲדוֹן עוֹלָם; "Eternal Lord" or "Sovereign of the Universe") is a hymn in the Jewish liturgy. It has been a regular part of the daily and Shabbat liturgy since the 15th century.

Its authorship and origin are uncertain. It is sometimes attributed to Solomon ibn Gabirol (1021–1058), who is known for his Hebrew poetry, although there is no solid evidence for this, and the regular metric structure does not seem to accord with his other compositions. John Rayner, in his notes to the Siddur Lev Chadash, suggests it was written in the thirteenth or fourteenth century in Spain, noting its absence from the prayer book Sefer Abudarham c. 1340. It has also been attributed to Hai Gaon (939–1038) and even to the Talmudic sage Yohanan ben Zakkai. Although its diction indicates antiquity, it did not become part of the morning liturgy until the 15th century.

Last week the clergy of Congregation Beth Israel of San Diego led the congregation in singing Adon Olam. Congregation Beth Israel, the historic center of Jewish life in San Diego, is an inclusive Reform congregation that offers a warm welcome and a nurturing home to all who seek a meyaningful and enduring connection to Judaism.

Enjoy, and Shabbat Shalom!

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