The song of the Levi’im was part of the Korban Tamid, the daily sacrifice. For almost 2,000 years we have been unable to perform this service or to hear the song of the Levi’im. Yet we keep the memory of this service alive in our hearts through the Shir shel Yom.
As part of this sacrifice, a kohen would pour a wine libation onto the altar. While he was holding the wine, a different kohen would stand next to him holding a flag. Two kohanim would stand on the table where the fat of the sacrifice was placed, and blow trumpets to alert the Levi’im that the moment for their song was near. When the kohen bent down to pour the wine, the other kohen holding the flag would signal to the Levi’im to start their song (Tamid 7,3, Rambam Hilchos Tamidim 6: 6 – 7).
Text Copyright © 2011 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org