web analytics
July 5, 2015 / 18 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Shabbos Chazon: Light in the Darkness

Leff-071213

These thoughts explain a somewhat strange but interesting story.

The chazzan stepped up to the amud and begin to sing Tefillas Shabbos. The entire shul quickly became enthralled with the chazzan’s voice and enamored with the melodies and the way they seemed to almost become a running commentary on the poetry of Chazal’s praises to Hashem Yisbarach.

But then something happened.

The rav of the shul came up to the chazzan and motioned him to stop. The chazzan was confused. Surely, he wasn’t asking the chazzan to stop davening? What did the rav want? The rav pointed to a word in the back of the siddur, where common Shabbos niggunim were found. What was the word? The rav pointed to the word niggun, and shook his head as if to say that the chazzan should no longer sing any niggunim. They went back and forth a few times, until the chazzan got the message, and though he was confused at the rav’s strange behavior and instructions, he got the point and proceeded to melodiously lead the rest of the davening but without using any niggunim.

After the davening, the chazzan and a good portion of the members of the shul gathered around the rav to receive an explanation.

“My dear chazzan,” the rav said, “I’m sorry if I embarrassed you or hurt your feelings. I love the way you sing and the way you have led our tefilos over the years. But during the davening, I was overcome with a strong feeling and I felt compelled to act. Maybe I should have waited until after the davening. Perhaps. But I also wanted to express my thoughts to the entire olam, to the entire shul, and this was the most powerful way to do so.

“Why did I tell you to stop using any niggunim during the rest of the davening? Because something dawned on me. We have all used niggunim during davening and at the Shabbos seudos for years and years. And what do we do when the niggun seems to lend itself to an interlude connecting a kind of humming or sound? Most often, we say, ‘oy, yay, yay.’ For example, let’s take the zemer Kah Echsof. Many people sing, ‘Kah Echsof Noam Shabbos. . .’ and then sing ‘Oy, yay, yay, yay, yay. . .’

“I started to feel that we should stop saying and singing ‘oy’ on Shabbos. After all, what does the word ‘oy’ indicate in our daily language and communication? It is said upon hearing bad news, when someone mentions a problem or concern. I feel that on Shabbos, we must avoid thinking about worries, stresses and problems. We must avoid saying or singing all ‘oys.’ My dear chazzan, you were utilizing the word ‘oy,’ as we all do, very often in today’s beautiful davening, and I just felt that the time had come for us to stop using the word ‘oy’ on Shabbos!”

I can’t tell you if the above story is legend or an actual occurrence – either way, I think there’s a very good insight here.

We do place lots of ‘oys’ in our Shabbos zemiros and tefilos and even if we do so unconsciously and without thought just because it fits, maybe we should change all our ‘oys’ to some other words or sounds.

Sounds trite and unimportant?

Well, what if we really tried not to say or sing the word ‘oy’ on Shabbos? If we really actively and consciously did so, surely it would force us to think about the need for us to feel on Shabbos that all is taken care of, that we are living in the Palace of the King. That is our goal – to feel that Hashem, our King, our Father, takes care of our needs and we need not worry. We are in His House on Shabbos and as Chazal (Shabbos 153a) say, “klum chaser l’beis HaMelech—nothing is lacking in the house of the king.”

During the week, we feel the burdens and stresses of life, we feel so much is lacking, so much is chaser. So much is oy. But on Shabbos, we remind ourselves that we are mere creations and that our Creator is the one providing for all our needs. And then our melacha is asuya; our work is done. There is no more oy.

About the Author:


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.

2 Responses to “Shabbos Chazon: Light in the Darkness”

  1. Perri Boshes says:

    my husband and I took a beautiful walk last nite to commemorate the burning of the temples, the sky was so stunning when the sunset with reds and pinks, so glad I experienced hashems beauty and glory. I will never forget that moment.

  2. Perri Boshes says:

    my husband and I took a beautiful walk last nite to commemorate the burning of the temples, the sky was so stunning when the sunset with reds and pinks, so glad I experienced hashems beauty and glory. I will never forget that moment.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Prime Minister Netanyahu in 2012.
Hillary Clinton Says She Will Be Better Friend than Obama to Israel
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Avi Weiss

With Ruth, The Torah seems to be stating that children shouldn’t be punished for the sins of parents

Neihaus-070315

Without a foundation, one cannot hope to build a structure.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Why do we have a parsha in Sefer Shemos named after Yisro who was not only a former idolater, but actually served as a priest for Avodah Zarah!

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

This Land Is ‘My’ Land
‘[If The Vow Was Imposed] In The Seventh Year…’
(Nedarim 42b)

The Shulchan Aruch in the very first siman states that one should rise in the morning like a lion, implying that simply rising form bed requires strength of a lion, in line with the Midrash.

Attempts to interpret the message of Hashem in the absence of divine prophecy ultimately may twist that message in unintended ways that can lead to calamitous events.

Suddenly, the pilot’s voice could be heard. He explained that this was a special day for those passengers on board who lived in Israel.

If the sick person is thrust into a situation where he is compelled to face his sickness head on, we who are not yet sick can encourage him by facing it with him.

All agree that Jews ARE different. How? Why? The Bible’s answer is surprising and profound.

What’s the nation of Israel’s purpose in the world? How we can bring God’s blessings into the world?

“Is there a difference between rescuing and other services?” asked Ploni.

To my dismay, I’ve seen that shidduch candidates with money become ALL desirable traits for marriage

Bil’am’s character is complex and nuanced; neither purely good nor purely evil.

Amalek, our ultimate foe, understood that when unified, we are invincible and indestructible.

More Articles from Rabbi Boruch Leff
Leff-061915

Dovid’s musical Torah teachings were designed to penetrate the soul and the emotions.

Leff-052215

There is a great debate as to whether this story actually took place or is simply a metaphor, a prophetic vision shown to Hoshea by Hashem.

The Arizal taught this same approach, making the point that the Torah would never mention wicked people and their sins if there was not great depth involved from which we are to learn from.

These four parshiyos are viewed as steps in a progression toward Pesach, the Yom Tov of teshuvah m’ahavah, of returning to Hashem out of love.

Just having basic emunah during these times of great spiritual challenges is inestimable in Hashem’s eyes.

In reality, there is no such thing as an unimportant detail, an unimportant mitzvah.

“A person should sell even the beams of his own house in order to buy shoes.”

If you’re always battling against getting older, you’re always going to be unhappy.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/shabbos-chazon-light-in-the-darkness/2013/07/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: