Come in peace, her Husband's crown of pride,

With song (on Festivals: rejoicing) and good cheer.

Among the faithful of the people so dear,

Enter O Bride, enter O Bride; an undertone: (O Bride, Shabbat Queen, now come here!)

According to Shaar HaKavanot, one should turn around to face the west before reciting, "Come in peace…." The first time one says the phrase "Enter O Bride" he should bow to the right, the second time to the left, and when reciting "O Bride, Shabbat Queen, now come here" he should bow to the middle. The reason for facing west is, as our Sages state, "the Shechina is in the west". Tiferet Shlomo gives another reason: A tzadik has the power to elevate lost souls, and particularly on Shabbat eve when the worlds are elevated. Accordingly, it is customary to turn to face west when reciting this stanza, alluding to the lost souls that can now be elevated. Come in peace…should be said with tremendous joy…

Enter O Bride, enter O Bride. As one says the words "enter O Bride" one should have the intention (kavana) that at this point one receives the additional Shabbat soul.

"Enter O Bride" under the wedding canopy; "enter O Bride" to the home of her husband, the Jewish people. Some have the custom to repeat the phrase "enter O Bride" three times. According to the Talmud (Bava Kama 32b) and Tikunei Zohar, Tikun 24, it should only be said twice. However, Shaar HaKavanot and Pri Etz Chaim state that it should be said a third time quietly (adding the words "Shabbat Queen"). The reason for whispering the final phrase is because it corresponds to the sefira of daat, which is generally not counted among the ten sefirot, whereas "enter O Bride" recited twice correspond to chochma and bina.

Bride, Shabbat Queen. When the Shabbat, synonymous here with the Shechina, first begins to enter, it is referred to as "the bride". At this point, when the Shechina enters under the bridal canopy and becomes "married" to the Jewish people, who are compared to a king, she is called the "Shabbat Queen".

Shabbat Queen. This was an addition made by the Arizal, based on the custom of Rabbi Chanina recorded in Bava Kama 32b.

This ends our series on Lecha Dodi.

To read the entire original rhyming translation of Lecha Dodi (without commentary) click here.

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