The first "stanza" in the Lecha Dodi hymn sung Friday night starts

שמור וזכור בדיבור אחד

I gather that this expression is a "condensed version" from Mechilta on Yitro (parsha 7)

זכור ושמור שניהם נאמרו בדיבור אהד

Why does Lecha Dodi have these in reverse order of the Midrash? I would also think that Lecha Dodi would follow the Torah's "chronological" order, i.e., Yitro appears first so Zachor should be mentioned first.


2 Answers 2


The beginning of each stanza spells the name of the author שלמה הלוי. I surmise that the author wanted to spell his name and therefore reversed the order.

  • You know ... I was so focused on composing my question after having written another related one on the Mechilta, that I completely overlooked this simple fact! Thanks.
    – DanF
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 17:50

The Baruch She’amar brings that while the remembrance occurs in the daytime (eve of shabbat) the observance takes place in the night (of shabbat), therefore the reversed order.

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