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ALKABETZ, SOLOMON (ca. 1505-1584).

Hebrew poet, Kabbalist, and biblical commentator. Alkabetz was born in Turkey but lived most of his life in Safed, Palestine, the 16th century center of mysticism. The best known of his poems, Lekhah Dodi (Come, My Beloved), is chanted in synagogues on Friday night. The poet expresses the love of the Jewish people for the Sabbath Bride and their longing for Zion to be rebuilt. Legend has it that every Friday afternoon, Alkabetz and his students, dressed in their Sabbath best, set out to welcome the Sabbath Queen. In the open field outside Safed they marched in procession at dusk, chanting psalms and Lekhah Dodi.

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