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A Playlist for Shabbos

Riki Goldstein

What does Moshy Kraus sing at the Shabbos table?

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


he new Shabbos Nachas album (officially Shabbos mit Yiddish Nachas) hit the stores, appropriately enough, on a Friday. The following Sunday, producer MOSHY KRAUS got an e-mail from a man who said he had printed out the entire playlist, brought it to the table, and sang his way through it with the family, beginning to end, at his Shabbos seudah.

Kraus, together with Yiddish Nachas cocreator Yossi Green, selected a combination of Shabbos classics from recent decades — songs such as “Veshamru,” “Yiddelach Shreit Shabbos,” “Ana Melech Malchei Hamelachim,” and “Vehoyu Limshisah,” and more recent songs such as “Kiddush” and Shmueli Ungar’s “Lekovod Shabbos Kodesh.” How did they choose from the thousands of Shabbos songs?

“I attend and sing at a lot of shabbatons and Shabbos events,” Kraus explains, “so I’ve really gotten a feel for which songs the olam likes to sing along to. Often, we hold a “botteh” after the Friday night seudah, which features a lot of singing, and that is especially telling. Some songs just get sung once, others get sung over and over, with great feeling and inspiration. Those are the ones I chose.”

There’s a new tune for Dror Yikra composed by Yossi Green, whose distinctive vocals are a great counterpoint to the children’s choir. Track number one is a new composition by Hershy Rottenberg from Antwerp, beginning in Yiddish with “Shabbos of der nacht, ven der Tatteh kumt aheim fun shul —On Friday night when Tatty comes home from shul….”

Kraus explains that, “Hershy had composed this tune for Pesach, when those traditional Yiddish words which children learn together with ‘Kadeish, Urchatz’ are said in so many homes. After Pesach, it seemed like the song was over. But it was too beautiful to just let it go, and we were thrilled to give it a new lease of life as a Shabbos song.”

What does Moshy Kraus sing at the Shabbos table when he and his family are actually at home? “I do practically the same as the man who e-mailed me — I sing the Shabbos Nachas playlist. Actually, my kids start as soon as I open the door — “Shabbos of der nacht, ven der Tatteh kumt aheim fun shul...”

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 749)


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