Melodies for the Home
Over the years, Western Sephardi communities have accumulated many, wonderful melodies to sing around the Shabbat table. One of the best resources for these melodies is the book Sephardic Songs of Praise edited by Rev. Abraham Lopes Cardozo (Z'L), longtime Hazzan of the The Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue in New York.
Following are a few of the beautiful melodies to be found there along with recordings of them by Rev. Cardozo:
Written by Rabbi Solomon Alkabets (1505-1584), Lecha Dodi is a hymn welcoming the Sabbath.
This melody originates from Florence, Italy, and is sometimes enhanced by two rhythmic taps on a glass.
Yom Ze LeIsrael
The words of this hymn were written by Isaac Luria (1534-1572), who lived in Safed. This tune is sung in Holland by both Ashkenazim and Sephardim.
No Shabbat table would be complete without a rendition of this favorite melody, perhaps associated with the Spanish & Portuguese Jews more than any other. It is believed to have originated with the S&P community of Bordeaux.
Joshua de Sola Mendes