Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Beauty of Song: Understanding the Shir shel Yom

Making Time for Song

The Chasam Sofer was a Torah giant of the nineteenth century. He was both the Rosh Yeshiva and rabbi of Pressburg, a city that was home to one of the most important yeshivas and communities of his day. His halachic opinions were sought from across the Jewish world, and his numerous published works are still widely studied to this day.

Despite his devotion to Torah study and his busy schedule of communal responsibilities, music had a special place in his heart. Throughout his lifetime, the Chasam Sofer composed many songs expressing his devotion to Hashem. He once remarked that after Torah learning, the next best way to achieve genuine spiritual heights is through song. His son, the Kesav Sofer, was once asked where his father found the time to compose these verses. The Kesav Sofer replied that during the days between Yom Kippur and Sukkos his father had been so totally overwhelmed with powerful feelings of love toward his Creator that he had difficulty learning Torah. In an attempt to give expression to the feelings in his heart, he penned those songs (Nachlei Binah, p. 8).

Music and song are a way to tap into our hearts and express our deepest emotions in prayer. When the Temple stood, every day the Levi’im sang the Shir shel Yom, a chapter of Tehillim that was relevant to that day. Their beautiful song was one of the most moving parts of the Temple service.

Today the Temple lies in ruins, and we cannot hear the beauty of that song. Our Sages ruled that we should say the Shir shel Yom every day to remind us of this void, in order that we should merit seeing the Temple rebuilt in our days (Seder Hayom p. 52). Thus, we conclude our morning prayers with the Shir shel Yom every day (Rema 132,2).

Let us look into the origins and customs of this practice so we can conclude our prayers with the same emotion and devotion as the Levi’im injected into their song.


Text Copyright © 2011 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON KI SAVO AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

Teshuva and Rebi Elazar ben Dordai
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

Past, Present, and Future
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5763

High Holidays & Sound Investments
Jon Erlbaum - 0

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Labor of Love
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

We Need Lots of Help!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Soul of Approval
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

> The Focus of Rosh HaShana
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Returning Home to Our Land
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

Giving in to the Dictates of One's Heart
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

ArtScroll

Parashat Haazinu
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Counting Our Blessings
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Tatooed With Faith
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Judge Me Tender, Judge Me Sweet
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5760

We Will Survive
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Don't Invite An Audit
- 5767

Circumstantial Repentance
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5763



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information