Sunday, February 21, 2016

Understanding Tefilah: Hodu - 8 [Rav Dovid Lessin]

שירו לה' כל הארץ, בשרו מיום ליום ישועתו.

“Sing to Hashem, the entire earth, tell of His salvation daily.”

Dovid HaMelech is not only calling upon all people to sing, but also to the entire earth.  The question is simple: How do plants, rocks, and water sing?  Rav Dessler (Michtav M’Eliyahu 3:152) teaches a yesod that a creation reaches the level of singing when it arrives at the purpose for which it was created.  This is why the gemara in Chullin 91b says that Esav’s angel asked to leave Yaakov in order to say shirah.  It had fulfilled its purpose in assisting Yaakov asend to greatness and therefore was ready to sing.

This is why a person can experience a moment of pristine, other-worldly elevation in the midst of a song, such as at a kumzitz or tisch.  The beauty of a song has the power to lift up a person, so that for a moment he feels no discrepancy between who he is and who he is meant to be.  The harmony of the music brings him into harmony with himself.

In the previous pasuk, Dovid HaMelech explained that Hashem refers to us as “m’shichai,” His anointed ones.  This is a clear reference to the days of Mashiach, a time when the world will be filled with song.  All of creation, humans and non-humans alike, will actualize the purpose for which they were created and will experience sublime harmony as a result.  After alluding to the times of Mashiach, Dovid naturally turns his attention to the entire world and calls for the song that will be sung collectively at that time.

And what will that song be?  The second half of the pasuk tells us.  We will sing about Hashem’s moment-to-moment involvement in our lives.  We will realize that he’s always there with us, always holding us up, always taking care of us.  Imagine how joyous that song will be...

L’refuat Yeshaya ben Chava HaLevi

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