Poems / Prayers

Peace Be Upon You

BY ANONYMOUS
Peace be upon you—
ministering angels,
angels of heaven—
from the King who is king of all kings,
the Holy One, blessed be He;
in peace be your coming—
angels of peace,
angels of heaven—
from the King who is king of all kings,
the Holy One, blessed be He.
Bless me with peace—
angels of peace,
angels of heaven—
from the King who is king of all kings,
the Holy One, blessed be He,
in peace be your leaving—
angels of peace,
angels of heaven,
from the King who is king of all kings,
the Holy One, blessed be He

TRANSLATED BY PETER COLE – POETRY FOUNDATION

Translators Notes:

Among the most beloved components of the Sabbath rites developed in the Galilean town of Safed in the sixteenth century is the rhythmically enchanting and quietly haunting anonymous hymn that begins “Shalom Aleichem”—“Peace Be Upon You”—which was sung in the home after the men of the house returned from the field on Friday evening. The poem is addressed to the Sabbath angels, and it might best be read as a hymn for the peace of the household, which in turn becomes part of the larger harmony of existence

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