Monday, October 5, 2009

Hevel Havalim

סאִיז דָאךְ אַלְץ הֶבֶל הַבָלִים, אֵין עוד מִלְבַדו

"This is all fleeting and transient, there is nothing but Him(Hashem)!" ("Hevel Havalim" is found a few times in Koheles-1:2 and 12:8. "Ein Od Milvado" is found in Devarim-4:35)

Rav Shimshon Pincus ZT"L, in his sefer Shabbos Malchusa, speaks of a very meaningful concept; When someone is so overcome with emotion, to the point where no words would suffice to describe what he or she is feeling, one just breaks out in song. This, he states, is why we sing as we welcome in the Holy Shabbos, or more specifically, why we sing certain verses in 'Lecha Dodi' pertaining to Yemos Hamashiach (Days of the Final Redemption). Just as we may prepare all we can for The Redemption to come, and once it does come it will be so beyond anything we could have anticipated, so too by Shabbos-we go through the mundane week, preparing for the Kedusha (Holiness) of Shabbos, but once it arrives, we see how we could have never anticipated such an elevated state of existance that is the Kedusha of Shabbos. We are speechless. This is why, at that point on friday night, we break out in song.
What does this vort have to do with the song above you may ask? Well, after the words in this niggun there's a 'nay nay nay' type of chant that we sing (hopefully I'll have a clip so you could hear it). So, I would like to submit, that here too the 'nay nay nay' is representing our "breaking out in song." I've spoken before about the concept of recognizing the existance of a Borei Olam (Creator of the Universe) in all His Glory bringing an individual an unbelievable level of simcha (happiness). For such a simcha, there are no words. All we can do is break out in song. "...There is nothing but Him!!-Nay nay nay nay nay...!"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yamim Noraim Songs

In addition to "Chamol," Check out some of these previous posts of songs you may be interested in during this time of year-(just click)
Melech, Ata Vichartanu, U'vchein Tzaddikim, Ein Kitzva, L'maancha Elokeinu, Ko Amar Hashem.

Chamol Al Ma'asecha

חֲמוֹל עַל מַעֲשֶׂיךָ, וְתִשְׂמַח בְּמַעֲשֶׂיךָ, וְיֺאמְרוּ לְךָ חוֹסֶיךָ, בְּצַדֶּקְךָ עֲמוּסֶיךָ, תֻּקְדַּשׁ אָדוֹן עַל כָּל מַעֲשֶׂיךָ. כִּי מַקְדִּישֶׁיךָ בִּקְדֻשָּׁתְךָ קִדַּשְׁתָּ. נָאֶה לְקָדוֹשׁ פְּאֵר מִקְּדוֹשִׁים

"Have compassion on Your handiwork and be glad with Your handiwork. May those who take refuge in You say - when You vindicated those borne by You - 'O Master, may You be sanctified upon all your handiwork.' For with Your own holiness You have sanctified those who sanctify You. It is fitting that the Holy One be glorified by holy ones." (Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur Davening. Also in Selichos)

The ten days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, say Chazal, are the most exalted and majestic days of the year. Aside from being days of intense Tefilla and Teshuva, one is expected to display an added degree of piety and commitment in the realm of Halacha. Specifically, the Shulchan Aruch states that only bread produced in a Jewish bakery [or home] may be eaten during these ten days, not from a bakery operated by a gentile [even if the bread is Kosher] (OC 603, 1). One might ask- of what good is it to "step it up a bit" if the sense of commitment is only temporary?
The following parable sums it up beautifully. A king decided it was time to pay a personal visit to the people of his kingdom, and letters were sent to each household informing them of the kings expected arrival. "The king is coming", said one husband to his wife, "and our house is run-down and outdated. I'll go out and by some new furniture and fix this place up a bit before the king's arrival". "But there's no way we can afford it", replied his wife. "Besides, the king is coming to see 'how we live'. Well then, let him come and see exactly how we live!" "Listen", said the husband, "if the king was only interested in seeing 'how we live' he would have showed up at our doorstep unexpectedly. The king sent out letters in advance to let us know he would be coming. If so, the king isn't only interested in seeing 'how we live'; he also wants to see what we're ready to do in his honor!". The King of all Kings is coming, and we know it. Already since the start of Elul, Hashem has left His heavenly palace and is "in the fields", says the Zohar. Soon enough, during these ten days, the King will be dwelling amongst us. He wants to see what we will do in honor of His presence. So for ten days, as long as the King is "in town", let us show Him what an honor it is to have Him with us and what a privilege it is to be part of His kingdom... (Thanks to Rav Josh Rubenstein Shlit"a for this beautiful piece)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Esa Einai

אֶשָּׂא עֵינַי אֶל הֶהָרִים, מֵאַיִן יָבֺא עֶזְרִי. עֶזְרִי מֵעִם ה', עֺשֵׂה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ. הִנֵּה לֺא יָנוּם וְלֺא יִישָׁן, שׁוֹמֵר יִשְׂרָאֵל

"I raise my eyes to the mountains; from where will my help come? My help is from Hashem, Maker of heaven and earth... Behold, [He] neither slumbers nor sleeps, the Guardian of Israel." (Tehillim 121:1-2,4)

Dovid Hamelech asks: "From where will my help come?" How can he ask such a question?! Dovid Hamelech, someone so conscious of Hashem, definitely knows that Hahsem is our only source of help. So I heard a while back that this serves as a very big lesson for any truth-seeking person: You gotta ask questions. I know from experience that sometimes we have a question, something so fundamental that is bothering us, and we just feel too embarrassed to ask it. We must know that there is no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to finding the truth. We have to leave no stone unturned, digging deeper and deeper until we eventually start gaining clarity. With Hashem's help the clarity does come. For some people it comes quicker, for some it takes a lifetime. But one can never give up in search of the truth. The Chovos Halevavos (Rabeinu Bechayeh) speaks of the unbelievable simcha (happiness) one experiences when catching a glimpse of the truth. It's a feeling of comfort and security, knowing there is a Borei Olam (creator of the world) who loves and cares for us every second of our lives.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tzama Lecha Nafshi

צָמְאָה לְךָ נַפְשִׁי, כָּמַהּ לְךָ בְשָׂרִי, בְּאֶרֶץ צִיָּה וְעָיֵף בְּלִי מָיִם. כֵּן בַּקֺּדֶשׁ חַזִיתִךָ, לִרְאוֹת עֻזְּךָ וּכְבוֹדֶךָ

"Thirsts for You does my soul, longs for You does my flesh; in a land parched and weary with no water. So, too, in the Sanctuary to have beheld You, to see Your might and Your glory." (Tehillim 63:2,3)

These words came from Dovid Hamelech when he was in Midbar Yehuda (the wilderness of Judah). Even in that desolate place, after being exiled from nation, family, and home, he never wavered in his love for Hakadosh Baruch Hu. These same words are the words coming from the deepest places within every Yid in the choshech (darkness) filled world we live in. We have to purify ourselves through Torah and Mitzvos in order to bring these words to the surface until they burst forth from our lips with emesdike (true) yearning for closeness with our Creator and the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash.

Monday, February 23, 2009

It's Been Too Long

The Velt, AMUSH
I'm sorry I haven't posted any songs in a great while. Things have been very busy lately with Yeshiva and college etc. I hope to be back into the swing of things very shortly.
Kol Tuv to all and a Gutten Chodesh! "MiShenichnas Adar Marbin B'Simcha!!"
ps. keep spreading the words!!