Sunday, April 13, 2008

Yamim Al Ye'mei Melech

יָמִים עַל יְמֵי מֶלֶךְ תּוֹסִיף, שְׁנוֹתָיו כְּמוֹ דֺר וָדֺר
Yamim al ye'mei melech tosif, sh'nosav kemo dor va'dor

"Days onto the days of the king may You add, may his years be like all generations." (Tehillim 61:7)

The Pashut explanation given by Rashi on this passuk is that Dovid Hamelech is asking Hashem that even if it has been decreed that he die young at the hand of his enemies, Hashem should remove that decree and grant him the full 70 years of every generation.
Rav Shimshom Refael Hirsch sees Dovid Hamelech's words in a greater scope. He is praying that days should be added to him far beyond the limited years of his life on this earth. He wishes that the example he sets through his every day life, a life filled with effort exerted towards closeness with Hashem which could be seen in his every action, should remain as an inspiration to mankind through all generations, forever. Thus, his earthly deeds will live on long after his physical self.
Our actions have profound consequences that we don't even know about. Especially as Bnei Torah, our actions are constantly scrutinized by everyone around us (besides for Hakadosh Baruch Hu- Who knows all of our actions and thoughts, Shene'emar: "Hayotzer yachad libam, ha'meivin el kol ma'aseihem," "He Who fashions together their hearts, Who comprehends all their deeds." (Tehillim 33:15) ). Let us set a good example through our actions; an example that will last forever.
(Dovid Hamelech picture courtesy of Cambridge University Library)
(Kiddush Hashem picture courtesy of
the shmuz)


Anonymous said...

Why is this song always sung when a Tzadik or Talmid Chochom walks in? Are we singing (asking) that Hashem should add to the Tzadik's years? Is that the connection or is there something else?

CR said...

Yah- I think thats basically our intent. Shkoyach!

Anonymous said...

Shnotav can also mean learning.