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Friday, March 24, 2006


The plaque at the Kever of the Chiddushei HaRim in Poland

Yesterday, 23rd of Adar, was the yahrzeit of the Chiddushei HaRim, the first Gerer Rebbe, talmid of the Yid HaKodesh, Rebbe Simcha Bunim of Pshis'cha, and a talmid-chaver of Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Kotzk.

In his honor, we present some gems from him - for Shabbos:

· Were I blessed with a sweet voice, I could sing you new hymns and songs every day; for with the daily rejuvenation of the world, new songs are created.

· The Gemara Yerushalmi [Sukka 5:6] asks why is a harp [or lyre] called a Nevel [a word associated with degradation]? It answers, because it degrades, or puts to shame, all other musical instruments. The Chiddushei HaRim asks, the implication here is that the harp plays more beautifully than all the other instruments, why then would it have such a disgraceful name? He answers that although it plays better and more beautifully than the other instruments, because it disgraces its fellow instruments, it is called Nevel

· Sometimes an attachment to Hashem [dveykus] comes to a person, and it makes them into a new creation. This is Shira [song]. And this is [also] what Shabbos does, which is itself Shira, as in Tehillim [92:1] Mizmor Shir l’Yom HaShabbos. Shira is also capable of causing sins to be forgiven, as the Midrash relates that Kayin told Adam HaRishon that he did teshuva and came to a compromise [with G-d], and immediately Adam said, “Mizmor Shir l’Yom HaShabbos.”

· Our Sages relate that every day the angels called Chayos sing Shira with one of their wings, but on Shabbos, they have no more wings [since the prophet states that they have only six wings]. Hashem says to them, “I have one wing on Earth, called Knesses Yisrael [the Jewish People]. What does Shira have to do with the wings of angels? The Chiddushei HaRim says that Song uplifts a person, just as wing uplifts a bird or other winged creature, as the Arizal says.

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