I wrote V’shamru for the choir of Temple Beth El in Aptos, CA.  I had this tune in my head for a couple years before using it in this piece, and if you hung out with me at all in college you probably heard me play it on piano.  Repeating the middle section, over and over, helped me learn to play the rhythm 3-over-2 (click here if you don’t know what 3 over 2 is and want to learn).

V’shamru is a prayer religious Jews sing every Friday evening to welcome in the Sabbath, and there are likely hundreds of settings of this prayer sung around the world.  In my setting I attempted to capture a sound that could be both ancient and modern to represent every generation joining in song.


V’shamru v’nei Yisrael et ha-Shabbat,

La’asot et ha-Shabbat l’dorotam, b’rit olam.

Bei-ni u-vein b’nei Yisrael ot hi l’olam.

Ki shei-shet ya-mim ah-sah Adonai,

Et ha-sha-mayim v’et ha’aretz,

uva-yom hashvi’i shavat va-yi-nafash.

English Translation:

The people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath,

observing it in every generation as a covenant for all time.

It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel,

for in six days the Eternal God made heaven and earth,

and on the seventh day God rested and was refreshed.

Performed by the Temple Beth El choir with Leta Miller conducting and Malia Roberson on piano.

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