Deror Yikra


About the Piyut

Deror Yikra is one of the oldest and most popular Shabbat songs, known and sung throughout Jewish Diaspora and history. The many tunes to this piyut vary from ancient original compositions through borrowed and adapted foreign ones to modern day Israeli creations. It was written by Dunash ben Labrat, the tenth Century poet and philologist, who is considered the pioneer of the measured meter in Hebrew poetry and the harbinger of the golden age of Spain. His name appears in the first, second and fifth stanzas as an acrostic and is concealed in a playful manner in the other two.

The piyut revolves around the idea of the spiritual haven provided for the Jew on Shabbat. This personal, microcosmic salvation interweaves with the communal one of the Jewish people and in turn brings macrocosmic redemption to the whole world and elevates it to a higher spiritual level. The Jewish people are analogized in the Midrash to the groom while the Shabbat is the bride, and as spouses they take care of and protect each other. Just as the Jew observes the Shabbat so the Shabbat preserves and protects him. It redeems him from the burden of the daily routine and lets him taste a sample of the world to come, the flavor of the full and real redemption.

Deror Yikra can be found on the recordings of Piyutim North America. The author is Dunash ben Labrat, Fez-Baghdad-Sfarad, 10th Century.



Deror Yikra leven im bat / veyintzorchem kemo bavat
Na’im shimchem velo yushbat / shevu nuchu beyom Shabbat

Derosh navi ve’ulami / ve’ot yesha aseh imi
Neta sorek b’etoch karmi / she’eh shavat benei ami

Deroch poora betoch Batzra / vegam Bavel asher gavra
Netotz tzarai be’af evra / shema koli beyom ekra

Elohim ten bamidbar har / hadas shita berosh tidhar
Velamazhir velanizhar / shelomim ten kemei nahar

Hadoch kamai El kana / bemog levav u’vimgina
Venarchiv peh u’nemallena / leshonenu lecha rina

De’eh chochma lenafshecha / vehi keter leroshecha
Netzor mitzvat kedoshecha / shemor Shabbat kodshecha


Freedom shall He proclaim for His sons and daughters / and will keep you as the apple of his eye
Pleasant is your name and will not cease to be / repose and rest on the Sabbath day

Seek my home and my temple / and give me a sign of deliverance
Plant a choice vine in my vineyard / turn to the need of my people

Tread the wine-press in Botzra / and also Babylon who overpowered
Crush my enemies in anger and fury / hear my voice on the day I call out

Lord, let the dessert bloom like a mountain / myrtle, acacia, cypress and elm
To those who counsel and to those who are cautious / give peace as flowing as a river’s waters

Conquer those who rise against me, Oh zealous God / fill their hearts with fear and despair
Then we shall open our mouths / and fill our tongues with Your joyful song

Know wisdom for your soul / and it shall be a crown upon your head
Keep the commandment of your Holy One / observe the Sabbath, your sacred day




  • Musical Direction and Arrangements: Yair Harel and Omer Avital
  • Production: Ari Priven, Yair Harel and Omer Avital
  • Mixing and editing: Daniel Freedman
  • Mastered by: Randy Merrill at Masterdisk
  • Recorded at B’nai Jeshurun, New York City, July 2010