Never Ending Sound

(Torah Portion Va’eschanan) Never Ending Sound

Twice each Shabbos we recite King David’s 29th Psalm that begins with the word Mizmor L’Dovid. The first time is Friday evening during the Kabalas Shabbos – welcoming Shabbos prayer and the second time is after reading the Torah scroll while it is carried back into the ark.

This prayer’s connection to the holy day of Shabbos is because it describes the awesomeness of G-d’s Revelation at Mount Sinai when He proclaimed the Ten Commandments. The fourth command is to observe and remember the day of Shabbos and the awesome event that occurred on the day of Shabbos.

Thus, we recite this Psalm when we welcome the Shabbos and when the Torah – which was originally given on Shabbos – is returned to the ark.

There is another connection between this Psalm and Shabbos and its prayers. The Talmud asks why the Shabbos Amidah – silent prayers has seven blessings as opposed to the weekday Amidah which has eighteen blessings. The Talmud explains that because within this Psalm, the word Kol – the sound of G-d’s Revelation – is mentioned seven times.

This Psalm relates to the weekday Amidah prayer as well; for the Name of G-d is mentioned eighteen times corresponding to eighteen blessings of the weekday Amidah.

In this week’s Parsha the Torah recaps the events of G-d’s Revelation at Mount Sinai. Rabainu Bechaya points out that within its description, the Torah mentions the words Kol – sound, seven times, which alludes to the seven blessings of the Amidah.

In one instance, when the Torah describes the Kol – the sound of G-d proclaiming the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai – it say that the sound never stopped.

There are various interpretations of this statement: Never again will such a great sound and event be repeated; There weren’t any other sounds uttered throughout the world during the Revelation; The sound was without an echo; It was uttered without a break for breath and the sound got stronger, unlike a human voice which needs to pause and also gets weaker as it goes on; The sound never ceased – the sound of G-d’s Revelation continues forever.

One of the commentators point out that when G-d proclaimed the Ten Commandments, its sounds became imbedded into the Tablets, thus those sounds which are contained in the stones are still accessible, they never ceased.

Based on this, the Tablets of the Ten Commandments were actually the precursor to what has become commonplace in today’s technology such as Ipods etc. For the most part, our ‘stone’ devices, which we call computer chips, contain music, voices and sound, and can always be accessed through following the prescribed directions and application.

The sound of G-d’s Proclamations exist forever within the Tablets of the Ten Commandments and can always be accessed!

This past Tuesday night we were blessed with the merit of marrying off our son Shua to Estee Kleinman. The wedding was held in NY and was magnificent, spirited and filled with joy.

During the wedding Chupah ceremony, and throughout the seven days of celebration that follow, if ten men are present in honor of the bride and groom at a celebratory meal, a host of blessings are recited after the Birchat Hamazon – grace after meals.

Within the last blessing, the word Kol – sound, is mentioned five times – sounds of; joy, gladness, the groom, the bride etc.

Based on these five expressions of Kol, sounds – in honor of the bride and groom, the Talmud teaches us that one must contribute to the joy of the bride a groom, and if one does so, he will merit increased appreciation of Torah which was given with five mentions of the word Kol – sounds – a hint to the Five Books of Moshe.

The reward corresponds to the deed: Since one brought joy to groom and bride, he merits a renewed appreciation to Torah which brings joy, as King David writes, “The commandments of G-d are upright and they gladden the heart.”

Wishing you a restful, peaceful
and inspirational Shabbos!
Rabbi Dovid Saks