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The essential commandment of Shabbat is to celebrate it. The world depends on our appreciation and valuing of the gifts we receive daily. Stopping to give thanks for that is the “work” of the Sabbath.


Yismechu is a proclamation of Shabbat celebration and pretty much all melodies composed for this text strive to express that sense of joy. Billy’s melody is no different in that respect. With an insistent percussive beat established by the guitar, the seven singers of Beged Kefet explode with energy and expectation. Shabbat, and all the gifts that accompany it, has arrived!

This recording comes from “The First Album,” Beged Kefet’s 1987 debut. Beged Kefet (1982-2009) was comprised of Rabbi Les Bronstein, Rabbi Billy Dreskin, Cantor Ellen Dreskin, Cantor Riki Lippitz, Cantor Benjie Ellen Schiller, Beth Sher, and Cantor Leon Sher. As you will hear, we worked hard to produce tight harmonies. And this was before you could tune things up afterward. Audio verite, you might say!


Yis-m’chu v’mal-chut-cha shomrei
Sha-bat v’ko-rei oneg

Am m’kad-shei sh’vee-ee ku-lam
Yis-b’u v’yit-ahn-gu m’tu-ve-cha

V’hash-vee-ee ra-tzi-ta bo v’ki-dash-to
Chem-dat ya-mim o-to
Ka-ra-ta ze-cher l’ma-a-seh v’rei-sheet

Translation: Those who keep Shabbat by calling it a delight will rejoice in Your Creation. Those who cherish the seventh day will be gladdened by Your goodness. This day is Israel’s festival of the spirit, sanctified and blessed by You. It is the most precious of days, a reminder of the joy of Creation.


released June 1, 1987
text from Jewish liturgy
music by Billy Dreskin
performed by Beged Kefet
sound engineering by Skipp Tullen z”l (Tullen Sound Recording, Morristown, NJ)

Additional information

Download Format

MP3 Audio (orig Beged Kefet recording), Lead Sheet for 2 Voices (pdf), Piano-Vocal Score for 2 Voices (pdf)


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