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Shalom Aleichem: Customs

The Ben Ish Chai would make Hafafot – circles – around his table, holding two Haddasim; one for Zachor and one for Shamor – while singing Shalom Aleichem. (Year 2, Bereishit #29. See too Shaar Hakavanot , Inyan Leil Shabbat, Derush #2)

The Belzer Rebbe would recite the following verse immediately after singing Shalom Aleichem: “He will charge His angels for you, to protect you in all your ways.” (Psalms 91:11)

The first Sochatchover Rebbe would sing “Malachei Hashareit, Malachei Hashalom” in all four stanzas, and would not recite the verse, “He will charge His angels.” His son, the Shem Mishmuel, did not follow his father’s custom, which he felt was only for people on much higher levels. (Abir HaRoim page 79 #371) The Holy Reb Shlomo would sing both “Hashareit and Hashalom” for all stanzas.

My father zt”l would not sing Tzeitchem, as he did not want to imply that he wanted the angels to leave.

The Maharal did not sing Barchuni, for fear that it would sound as if we were praying to angels.

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