Shochen Ad

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Shochen Ad, שׁוֹכֵן עַד (Translated as He Who abides forever or He Who dwells in eternity) is a prayer recited toward the end of Pesukei Dezimra during the Shacharit service of Shabbat and Yom Tov, and during the Passover Seder in the Ashkenazic tradition. It is based on the verse from the Book of Isaiah 57:15.[1]

On Shabbat, Shochen Ad marks the beginning of the service for the chazzan of the Shacharit (following Pesukei Dezimra). This is a sign of God's creation of the world during the other six days of the week, followed by Shabbat being a day of rest. On the Shalosh regalim, the chazzan begins the service on the previous verse known as Hakel B'tzatzumot (part of Nishmat), signifying miracles God performed associated with these holidays. On the High Holidays, the chazzan begins on the word Hamelekh (המלך) within that verse, as during these days, an emphasis is placed on recognition of God as King.[2] It is also described in Sefer HaChaim that loudly chanting the word Hamelekh has the effect of driving away accusers from the throne of judgement.[3] Additionally, the letter ה is dropped off the word היושה, alluding to the fact that now God is sitting on the throne.[4]

Shochen Ad is not found in the Sephardic tradition, which uses Shav'at Aniyim (שַׁוְעַת עֲנִיִים) instead.

After the verse Shochen Ad are four lines of three verses each. The second word in each of these verses begin with the Hebrew letters י,צ,ח, and ק, giving rise to a theory that יצחק (Yitzchak, Isaac) may be the name of the unknown author of this prayer.[5] In the Sephardic siddur, and on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur among Ashkenazim, the third words from each verse are ordered so the third letters of each of these words in order spell the name רבקה (Rivka, Rebecca). This alludes to how Isaac and Rebecca (from the Book of Genesis) prayed together to have children.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mishkan T'filah: Weekdays/Festivals, non-transliterated By Elyse Frishman, editor, page 185
  2. ^ Rite and reason: 1050 Jewish customs and their sources By Shmuel Pinchas Gelbard, page 246
  3. ^ The Complete Artscroll Machzor for Rosh Hashanah, page 404
  4. ^ A guide to Jewish religious practice By Isaac Klein, page 185
  5. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 404
  6. ^ The Complete Artscroll Machzor for Rosh Hashanah, page 405