web analytics
January 30, 2015 / 10 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Shabbos – A Day With Hashem: Singing with the Angels

Niehaus-111513

“Okay kids, let’s sing zemiros. Yom zeh mechubad mikol yam- hey Yanky put that down!  Ummm… oh yeh – mikol yomim, ki vo shavas tzur olamim.

“Abba.”

Rishon hu limikrey kodesh–

“Aaabbbaaa!”

Yom shaboson yom–

“Abba!!!!”

“Yes Rivkaleh, what do you want – can’t you see that we’re trying to sing Shabbos zemiros?

“But Abba, I’m thirsty!”

“Okay, here take a drink. Now, where were we up to?”

“You are up to the last stanza, Abba,” says Yanky trying to hide a mischievous smile…

 

Does this scene sound familiar to you? We all try to fulfill the age-old minhag of singing zemiros at the Shabbos table, but for some reason, many times it feels like an uphill battle. Perhaps this is a sign that these songs are really special and therefore the Satan is trying his hardest to stop us. And indeed the Zohar tells us that at the Shabbos seudah we must make sure to “arouse with singing and joy.” What is the secret of Shabbos zemiros? And why is it so important to sing specifically during the seudah? If we understand this minhag and how to fulfill it, we will discover an amazing new aspect of Shabbos.

 

The 7th Wing

In addition to the custom of Shabbos zemiros, we also say extra praises in davening, such as the additions in pesukei d’zimrah and birchas yotzer ohr. The Ohr Zaruah (Hilchos Shabbos 4) explains this based on a fascinating Midrash.

One group of angels, the Chayos Hakodesh, have six wings, and each day of the week they use a different one to sing praises to Hashem. The first time they reached Shabbos they asked Hashem for a seventh wing to use on that day to praise Him. “You don’t need a wing today,” answered Hashem. “There is a wing down on earth which sings for me today as it says (Yeshaya 24:16), ‘M’knaf ha’aretz zemiros shamanu – from the edge of the earth we have heard songs.’”

On Shabbos, Hashem tells the angels that He doesn’t need their songs and praises, as He has ours. Therefore, we add many more praises and songs on Shabbos, to fulfill our special job of being the 7th wing. Now we begin to understand the importance of Shabbos zemiros. When we sing, we are joining the myriads of holy angels in their sublime task of singing praises to Hashem! But why does Hashem prefer our songs over those of the Malachim specifically on Shabbos?

Perhaps we can explain it as follows. In the past we quoted the Sma’ag who writes that the human being consists of the body, which is animalistic in nature, and the soul which is angelic. Our job is to elevate materialism to a higher and holier plateau. Thus, both components are needed: the body, to perform materialistic acts, and the soul to elevate those acts. In this aspect we are superior to angels, who are solely spiritual.

During the week we are involved in mundane matters and worldly pursuits, and it is difficult to do our task. Therefore, Hashem desires shira from angels, who don’t have such difficulties.  On Shabbos, however, when we are less connected to the physical world and are closer to Hashem, we are able to fulfill our mission properly. Everything mundane takes on a spiritual aspect: eating, sleeping and even just spending time with the family become mitzvos if they are done with the proper intentions. (See our previous article: “The Inauguration Festivities,” October 11.) This is why Hashem prefers our praises specifically on Shabbos, as this is the fulfillment of the world’s purpose.

Now we understand why zemiros are so important during the meal itself. First, singing praises to Hashem helps ensure that the meal will be one of holiness and not indulgence. However, it is much deeper than that. When we eat and drink with the correct intentions, we are soaring up to levels of kedushah, higher than the malachim. Since that is the moment Hashem has been waiting for, He now desires our praises.

With this we can understand the zemer of “Mah Yedidus,” in which we sing about all the different Shabbos delicacies and pleasures. We are not acting like drunkards in a pub who rejoice over the whiskey that intoxicated them. Rather, we are celebrating together with the foods that helped us reach these heights and elevating Olam Hazeh. We also sing about many of the different halachos of Shabbos, for that is what makes us greater than the malachim. The angels do not have the ability to go against Hashem’s command, but we have free will. Therefore, when we keep Shabbos and refrain from work or other prohibitions, we are showing that Hashem is the King of the Universe. This is something that the angels cannot do, and it makes our praise more desirable to Hashem.

 

Tips for Tunes

Now that we understand the importance of this minhag, you are probably wondering how to get past all the hurdles. Every family is different, but here are a few practical suggestions that may help (sometimes!).

About the Author: Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus, raised and educated in Los Angeles and subsequently Yeshivas Toras Moshe in Yerushalayim, is the Rosh Kollel of the Zichron Aron Yaakov Kollel in Kiryat Sefer , Israel. He lectures for the public and is the director of the Chasdei Rivka Free Loan Gemach. He can be reached at kollel.zay@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Shabbos – A Day With Hashem: Singing with the Angels

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jeremy Bird, working for Israeli campaign outfit V15, shown at Ted Talk, May 20, 2014.
V15 US Political Operative Marinated in Hate-Israel Activism
Latest Judaism Stories
Staum-013015

People often think that all they are missing is “just a little more” and then they can be truly happy.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

The Midrash is teaching a fundamental message of what it means to be a religious person.

Rabbi Sacks

Torah opposes slavery; G-d desires the free worship of free human beings, yet slavery’s permitted-?!

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

France allowed Islamists to flourish despite their loyalty to Islamic sharia law not French values

Approximately 18 years ago, my uncle called me into his office saying he had an urgent matter to discuss. I didn’t know what he had in mind.

“Where is God?” asked the Kotzker Rebbe “God is not everywhere but only where you let Him enter”

An Explosion In The Trench
‘With A Glowing Hot Knife’
(Yevamos 120b)

Her first tactic was tefillah; she immediately began to recite one perek after another of Tehillim.

When a miracle occurs that transcends nature, Hashem has broken the laws of nature to create the miracle.

“How could you have expected my glasses to be there?” argued Mr. Weiss. “You shouldn’t have to pay.”

Rather than submit to this fate and suffer torture and humiliation, Shaul decided to fall on his sword.

How can the Da’as Zekeinim say this was Hashem’s plan to allow them to become the Torah Nation? We know it was actually a punishment.

A strange midrash of fruit trees surrounding the Nation of Israel as they walked to freedom

Leading by example must be visible, regarding where, when and how-like Nachshon entering the Red Sea

Rabbi Yaakov Nagen, a Ram at Yeshivat Otniel, notes that the verse is suggesting that retelling the story of the Exodus is so important that Hashem is performing ever-greater miracles specifically so that parents can tell their stories to future generations.

More Articles from Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus
Niehaus-logo

“This is why I spoke about Shabbos,” he said. “I felt that if Hashem put this into my head right when I woke up, it was because this is what He wanted me to tell the world!”

Niehaus-120514

The Imrei Emes explains that it is called “shalosh seudos” because it has the power to sanctify all three Shabbos meals.

The Sefer Charedim writes that during the tefillah of Mincha on Shabbos, all the tefillos of Klal Yisroel are accepted!

During shmittah we refrain from agricultural activities and collection of loans, and on Yom Kippur we refrain from all physical pleasures.

Not only do we accept You as our King, it is our greatest desire that the name of Your Kingdom be spread throughout the entire universe.

When a child needs encouragement whom can he turn to?

Is the fact that we can spend time with our families just a fringe benefit of Shabbos or an integral aspect?

Now that she has entered her husband’s domain, they become extremely close.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/shabbos-a-day-with-hashem-singing-with-the-angels/2013/11/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: