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Reading through the Shir Shel
Yom of Shabbos we notice that it doesn’t talk about Shabbos.
In Kabbalas Shabbos, we say מזמור לדוד הבו... in which it mentions the
word קול seven
These correspond to the seven notes in music as קול means a sound. This is
the idea of Shabbos as we say מזמור שיר ליום
song for the Shabbos day.
The seven days of the week
correspond to the seven shepherds (Ushpizin). Shabbos- the seventh day,
lines up with Dovid Hamelech- the seventh shepherd
and he is נעים זמירות ישראל; sweet singer of Israel, in addition to
him saying זמירות היו לי חקיך; Your statutes were music to me.
We also say ובשירי דוד עבדך; in the songs of your servant Dovid.
Additionally, תפלה is equivalent to שירה in Gematria (515) and
Dovid Hamelech says ואני תפלה.
seven days of the week parallel the seven Sefiros (Chessed, Gevura and so on).
As a result, the Sefira of מלכות matches up with Shabbos.
Actually, it is called שבת מלכתא and as we say ישמחו במלכותך; they shall rejoice in Your kingship.
Thus, Shabbos is מקור הברכה; source of blessing, just as the source of
what occurs in a country is from the government. Dovid who corresponds to
Shabbos is מלכות and as we say דוד מלך ישראל.
Music works in a harmony of
notes just as a Zivug. Therefore, we sing on Shabbos just as we do at a
wedding. Indeed, the Midrash
tells us Shabbos is like a wedding as it is called a כלה. Is it any surprise that there are seven Brachos in the Shabbos
Shemoneh Esrei- just as there are at Sheva Brachos. Music exists after the seventh
note since each one by itself is nothing. Accordingly, after we say the seven
קול’s on Shabbos, we sing Lecha Dodi and then מזמור שיר ליום השבת. Consequently, in the Shir Shel Yom of Shabbos- the seventh
day- we say מזמור שיר ליום השבת meaning the day of
Shabbos itself sings.
This explains why we sing Zemiros on Shabbos Moreover, on Shabbos we have
additional מזמורים in פסוקי
says in Pirkei Drebi Eliezer that there are six lands and the seventh is Eretz
In a similar vein, there are six seas and the seventh is the Kineret. In regard
to the seventh land- Eretz Yisrael- it says זמרת הארץ, singing.
The word for the seventh sea- כנרת- is rooted in כנור (harp), a musical instrument.
Indeed, if one goes to the כנרת and sees its beauty, he will understand
why it sings. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that the first letters of כנור נעים עם נבל; sing joyously…raise up a
song…the sweet harp with the lyre,
spell כנען- Eretz Yisrael which is called ארץ כנען.
In light of all that we
mentioned, we realize that the Shir Shel Yom of Shabbos is perfect for Shabbos
as we say in it ולזמר לשמך עליון; to sing
praise to Your name, עלי עשור ועלי נבל עלי
הגיון בכנור; upon a ten-stringed instrument and lyre with singing
accompanied by a harp and במעשי ידיך ארנן; at the
works of Your hands I sing glad song.
R’ Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai
Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman
Nechemia Goldberg. R’ Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites
and publications. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim
where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching
Jews of all levels of observance.