HASHKIVENU (Heb. הַשְׁכִּיבֵנוּ; "cause us to lie down"), initial word of the second benediction after the
of the daily evening prayer. This prayer for protection during the night is mentioned in the Talmud (Ber. 4b) and is considered as an extension of the
benediction which precedes it. There are two versions of this prayer, the Sephardi liturgy employing a shorter version for Friday evenings in view of the discouragement of supplication on the Sabbath (TJ, Ber. 4:5, 8c; also I. Davidson et al. (eds.), Siddur Rav Sa'adyah Ga'on (1941), 27 and iii). The prayer closes on weekdays with the benediction: "Blessed art thou, O Lord, who guardest thy people Israel for ever" (which uses the Babylonian text), whereas on Friday evening it ends: "Blessed art thou, O Lord, who spreadest the tabernacle of peace over us, over Israel and over Jerusalem" (which was the Palestinian text). The Midrash to Ps. 6:1 attributes the inclusion of the prayer in the evening service to the
fact that the ẓiẓit, which perform a protective function, are not worn during the night.