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From
Simcha Groffman

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Kinder Torah
For parents to share with children at the Shabbos Table

Parashas Tzav

A Symphony of Praise

"Abba, I am so excited. We are approaching the end of Pisukei DiZimra and are on the verge of finishing the last psalm in Tehillim."

"I agree Avi. It is a very emotional and significant point in the morning tefillos (prayers). Rashi, in his commentary on the Gemora (Shabbos 118) explains that this is one of the two main psalms of Pisukei DiZimra. Therefore, the Yesod ViShoresh HaAvodah proclaims that it is fitting to say it with exceedingly great simcha (joy). As with all tefillos, it is necessary to understand the words and concepts that we are praying."

"Please explain them to me, Abba."

"It is my privilege, Avi. There are thirteen 'hallelu's' in psalm 150. The Radak explains that they hint to Hashem's thirteen middos of rachamim (mercy). The commentator Even Yechia analyzes the first four 'hallelu's'. They correspond to four groups that praise the Creator. 'Praise the Almighty in His Sanctuary. This is His holy dwelling place - the world of the angels. They are the first group that praises Hashem. 'Praise Him in the firmament of His might. These are the heavenly stars and planets. They reveal His mastery over the physical world. 'Praise Him for His mighty deeds.' This represents His rule over our world - the lowest one. Lastly, 'Praise Him as befits His abundant greatness.' This refers to Klal Yisrael. We praise the myriad of great and wondrous deeds that He has performed for our nation."

"Hashem is so good to us, Abba."

"Absolutely, Avi. The psalm then goes on to describe the different musical instruments that we use to praise the Almighty. Rav Shimshon Refael Hirsch relates that the shofar is the solemn instrument which awakens us and calls us to His service. Lyre and harp are instruments which express man's meditation upon Hashem. Drum and dance publicly manifest exultation. Organ and flute may express the quieter rejoicing of an individual. Cymbals and trumpets are loud instruments which may serve to call the whole congregation to participate in the rejoicing."

"What a symphony of praise to Hashem, Abba!"

"Indeed, Avi. However, the greatest tribute is saved for last. 'Let every neshama (soul) praise Hashem, Halleluka!' The Radak explains that the exalted praise of the neshama is the contemplation of Hashem wondrous deeds. Each individual uses all of the kochos (energies) of his neshama to serve the Almighty. The Vilna Gaon adds that the two-letter Name, 'Yud', 'Kay' is used because it represents wisdom, understanding, fear, and love. The Malbim illuminates a different facet of this verse. Dovid HaMelech is appealing to every creature that has the breath of life within him to glorify the Almighty. Each and every breath that we breathe is a masterpiece of admiration to the Creator of this glorious universe. This completes the Tehillim section of Pisukei DiZimra. The Abudarham relates that we repeat the last verse to mark the end of the Tehillim. No one can accuse Klal Yisrael of rushing to finish, as we say the last verse twice."

"What an awesome ending to the book of Tehillim. Abba, you have inspired me to put all of my kochos hanefesh (spiritual energy) into my morning prayers."

"Avi, may your tefillos be accepted with favor."

Kinderlach . . .

The last psalm of Tehillim describes the various groups that praise Hashem, and the musical instruments they use to evoke deep emotions. We, Klal Yisrael, comprise the most exalted group. Our contemplation of Hashem's awesome wonders and kindness is the most sublime form of praise. With each and every breath we take, we can extol the Creator, Halleluka!

Kinder Torah Copyright 2011 All rights reserved to the author Simcha Groffman


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