Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Understanding Tefilah: Mizmor Shir Channukat HaBayit L’Dovid - 5

Rav Lessin

“Zamru L’Hashem Chassidav, V’Hodu L’Zecher Kadsho.”

At this point, Dovid turns his attention to others, and beseeches them to sing to Hashem along with him.  He specifically addresses the “Chassidim,” those whose lives are committed to fulfilling the ratzon Hashem even under difficult circumstances (see Moshe’s bracha to Levi in Devarim 33:8). “Chassid” comes from the word “chessed,” an attribute that entails turning outward and focusing on someone other than oneself.  The Chassid is one who has placed Hashem in the center of his life. Dovid is encouraging this group of devoted Jews to pour out their hearts in song.  As we see in this week’s parsha, at times a person must explode with song, for there is no other way to express his overwhelming feelings of gratitude (see Rashi on the words “Az Yashir” regarding Moshe’s heart’s decision to sing).

This sentiment is expressed in the second half of the pasuk, when Dovid tells the Chassidim to give thanks.  The object of that thanks, Hashem, is referred to here as “Zecher Kadsho.”  Rav Hirsch explains that this is a reference to Hashem’s four letter name.  It is stated in this way because the Beit Hamikdash is referred to as the place of “kadosh l’Hashem.”  Dovid’s call to the “kedoshim” (Chassidim) to give thanks to “Zecher Kadsho” (Hashem) at the inauguration of the “makom kadosh l’Hashem (Beit Hamikdash) conveys the message that all three pillars of kedusha are inextricably bound and belong together.

L’Refuat Gavriel Pinchas ben Devorah Zlata

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