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Hashkivenu

HASHKIVENU

HASHKIVENU (Heb. הַשְׁכִּיבֵנוּ; "cause us to lie down"), initial word of the second benediction after the *Shema of the daily evening prayer. This prayer for protection during the night is mentioned in the Talmud (Ber. 4b) and is considered as an extension of the *Ge'ullah benediction which precedes it. There are two versions of this prayer, the Sephardi liturgy employing a shorter version for Friday evenings in view of the discouragement of supplication on the Sabbath (tj, Ber. 4:5, 8c; also I. Davidson et al. (eds.), Siddur Rav Sa'adyah Ga'on (1941), 27 and iii). The prayer closes on weekdays with the benediction: "Blessed art thou, O Lord, who guardest thy people Israel for ever" (which uses the Babylonian text), whereas on Friday evening it ends: "Blessed art thou, O Lord, who spreadest the tabernacle of peace over us, over Israel and over Jerusalem" (which was the Palestinian text). The Midrash to Ps. 6:1 attributes the inclusion of the prayer in the evening service to the fact that the ẓiẓit, which perform a protective function, are not worn during the night.

bibliography:

Elbogen, Gottesdienst, 99–109.

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