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Simcha Groffman

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Kinder Torah
For parents to share with children at the Shabbos Table

Parashas Vayikra

Shiru Lashem

'Abba, I really love singing.'

'What type of singing, Avi?'

'I love singing Shabbos zemiros. I also love singing on Yom Tov, Purim, and Chanukah. Making a chosson and kallah happy with song is also one of my favorites.'

'That Is truly wonderful, Avi. Did you know that there is a more sublime form of song in the Torah called 'Shira'?'

'Are you referring to the 'Shira' at the Yom Suf, Abba?'

'Yes I am, Avi. It is one of only ten Shiras sung in history. The Baal HaTurim's commentary on Parashas Beshallach (Shemos 15:1) lists the ten: Shiras HaYom, Shiras HaBe'er [the well] (Bamidbar 21:17), Ha'azinu (Devarim 32:1), Shiras Yehoshua (Yehoshua 10:12), Shiras Devora (Shoftim 5:1), Shiras Chana (Shmuel Aleph 2:1), Shiras Dovid (Tehillim 18:1), Shiras Shlomo (Tehillim 30:1), Shiras Chizkia (Yishaya 38:10) and ... '

'And what, Abba?'

'And the Shira that has not yet been sung.'

'Now you really have my curiosity going. Can you please explain this subject of Shira to me?'

'With pleasure, Avi. Shira is the joyous expression of praise and gratitude to the Creator of the universe. Where does it come from? Rashi, in his commentary on Shiras HaYom (Shemos 15:1) relates that witnessing a miracle inspires a person's heart with a desire to sing Shira. The Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh elaborates that this desire is the result of yiras haromemus (fear of Hashem's awesome might) and perfect emunah (faith). When one's heart is purified and elevated to the madrayga (spiritual level) that he experiences this yira and emunah, then he merits Ruach HaKodesh (Divine Inspiration) and the Almighty puts the holy words into his heart and mouth.'

'Can we still sing these Shiras nowadays, Abba?'

'We can, and do, Avi. The Shiras HaYom is incorporated into the daily prayers. We read the Shiros in the Chumash each year. The ones recorded in the Novi are also free for us to experience. When we merit seeing Hashem's miracles in our lives, we can add our own feelings and meanings to these Shiras. However, there is one experience which no existing Shira can describe.'

'The coming of Moshiach!'

'Precisely, Avi. That is the subject of Psalm 149, towards the end of Pisukei DiZimra. 'Halleluka! Sing to Hashem a new song!' The Radak relates that with the coming of Moshiach, the miracles and resulting joy will be so great, that no old Shira will suffice to express them. Therefore we will need a new Shira. The Even Yechiya adds that Hashem's yeshua (salvation) will be greater than any one in the past. The miracles will be incomparable and indescribable. The yira and emunah in our hearts will be on a madrayga unparalleled in the history of man. Therefore, the Almighty will inspire us with a new Shira to express this.'

'Abba, I can hardly wait to sing the new Shira!'

'We must keep praying, learning, doing mitzvos, and clinging to HaKadosh Boruch Hu. With His help, we will not have to wait much longer. May we see the Moshiach speedily in our days!'


Kinderlach . . .

The words of Psalm 149 describe the glory that will be awarded to Klal Yisrael at the time of the redemption. We will rejoice in Hashem's Kingship and praise Him with dancing, drums, and harp. He will adorn the humble with salvation. The lofty praises of Hashem are in their throats, and double edged swords in their hands to execute judgment upon the nations. That will be the splendor of all His pious ones, Halleluka!'

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