The Custom of Reading Shir HaShirim on Friday Afternoon

Rabbi Goldie Guy

Shir HaShirim, the Song of Songs, records a dialogue of love. Many have the custom of reading this book every Friday afternoon before welcoming in the Shabbat. What is the history of this custom, and how does it frame our relationship to the Shabbat, and to God? We will use rabbinic commentary and historical analysis, together with hasidic sources, to reflect on the nature of this custom.