The Temple was destroyed on a Sunday. According to the regular schedule of the Shir shel Yom, the Levi’im should have been singing, “Hashem is the earth and its fullness.” However, on the day that Hashem’s house was to be desecrated, He did not deem it appropriate that the Levi’im should sing these words.
On that Sunday, a miracle transpired. Instead of singing the correct song for that day, the Levi’im sang the song for Wednesday, “G-d of vengeance, Hashem.” At the last moment before terrible destruction would befall the Jewish people, Hashem wanted to give a sign that He would avenge what had taken place (Eirechin 11b).
The song of Wednesday concludes: “He will cut them off, Hashem, our G-d, will cut them off.” While this was an appropriate message for our enemies at the time of the Temple’s destruction, it is a harsh closing for us on a normal weekday. Therefore, we add the first three verses of the next chapter, “Lechu niranana – Come, let us sing to Hashem.” In addition to concluding on a more pleasant note, saying these verses, which open Kabbalas Shabbos, remind us that Shabbos will soon be here.
Text Copyright © 2011 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org