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 SHOFTIM AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

Uniforms vs. Uniformity
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5767

Hanging onto Holiness by a Thread
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

Rosh Hashanah
-

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Judging My G-G-Generation
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5755

Battle Cry of the Jew
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

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

ArtScroll

It's a Nice Soft Suicide…
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Critical Followers
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

Open Your Eyes
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

> Ant-i Lesson
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

Are We listening?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

Protection For The Way
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Doctors and Pilots
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Justice and Righteousness
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

Joyful Service
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Time to Grow Up!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762



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