"And then he did sing -- his heart was inspired to sing"
The Song of the Sea was not a one-time event. It was the
beginning of a song that has no end.
He was inspired to sing. And from that time ever onward,
there is a song that begs to be sung, daily. "Yoshir"
in the future tense -- for they yearned to be poets forever
more. And thus, this epic song has endured forever
A song, by nature, may be spontaneous, but it is not a
beginning. It is a result of overflowing emotions, when the
heart spills over, when a person can no longer keep his
feelings bottled up and song bursts forth. This song is the
quiet after the storm. The louder the tune, the quieter the
Before astonished eyes wonders and miracles were being
enacted; faith turned into a living experience that permeated
their entire beings. And when the souls reached the bursting
point, they found release in the expression of song. It was
an outpouring, a liberation, a surging upward, a divine
inspiration expressed through song.
Dovid Hamelech looks at the world, at himself, and
contemplates. He feels with all of his senses and nerves a
vibrant faith in the Creator and is filled with wonder and
marvel. And he sings: "Such knowledge is too wonderful for
me; I cannot attain it." "I will praise You for I am
fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works and
my soul knows it so well."
The soul is permeated with wonder and overflows with the
fearful marvel of faith. It cannot contain it. This psalm of
Dovid was its release, its expression. And this unburdening
[of a pleasant but exquisitely unbearable revelation] was the
quiet after the soul-storm.
"If a person has a refined soul," writes the Chazon Ish
zy'o, "and he finds himself in a quiet moment, free of
physical distraction, of hungering after anything, and his
eyes feast themselves upon the vista of heaven and earth and
their majesty, he cannot help but become deeply moved and
wondrous. The world will appear to him as a sealed enigma,
marvelous but inscrutable, and this mystery will grip his
heart and mind and cause him to swoon for his inability to
contain or fathom it."
As you read his words, you cannot help but shed an emotional
tear. The Chazon Ish felt the riddle of Creation with such
intensity! Who created these? This mystery enthralls his
heart and brain and is too much for him to bear. He finds
himself fainting away! "I cannot contain it!"
When he sings the song of faith, his spirit returns to him.
"When a person merits to see the truth of Hashem's reality
and existence, he is immediately suffused with boundless joy,
and his soul is pleasantly exhilarated. Imagination
complements the intellect in "gazing upon the pleasantness of
Hashem." And the refined, delicate soul is enveloped in
holiness, and feels itself becoming disembodied from the
sullied corpus, and is capable of floating about in the
heavens." This is the song of the Divine Spirit. The soul is
able to go beyond itself and as emotions simmer and overflow,
they bear the soul along with them. And all explodes forth
with tremendous vigor, bursting asunder the boundaries of the
limited, anchored body. And thus, the soul floats about in
the ethereal ether.
"Then he did sing. They had longings to be perennial poets."
To maintain that level. Not to faint. And this song became an
integral, indivisible part of our daily pesukei
dezimrah. If so, faith is capable of shaking up the
believer each day anew and rousing him in such a manner that
song shall erupt from within him. And then he shall sing . .
Rabbenu Eliezer Azkari zy'o writes in Sefer
HaChareidim: "When reciting the shiras hayom each
day, one should make the effort to do so aloud and with
intense joy, as if he was going out of Egypt that very moment
. . . For Hashem commanded that we sing this shira
every day, as it is written, `And they said, saying.' Rashbi
taught that `saying' implies something ongoing: we should
continue to say it, every day, and try to recapture and
simulate that great joy that was expressed the very first
time it was sung."
Every day, with great joy, like upon the first occasion that
it was first recited? Is this possible?
Yes, it is! We are puny and our faith is superficial. It does
not permeate all the corners of our soul, but anyone who ever
saw R' Yechezkel Levenstein zt'l, the Great Believer,
or whoever saw the Chazon Ish pouring out his soul, or
whoever was privileged to see the Chofetz Chaim describing
the events surrounding the exodus from Egypt as if he were
participating in them personally -- seeing these great men,
one could truly believe that they were feeling it and
thrilling in it as if it were a firsthand experience.
A cursory recital of the Song at the Sea from a siddur
can be likened to one who was enchanted by a haunting melody
and in order to recapture its magic, took a music sheet upon
which the notes were recorded -- and began reading them: do
re mi fa and so on.
Then did he sing: the Song of the Sea is a violin upon whose
strings can be plucked all the emotions that can be likewise
evoked upon from `heartstrings.' And the pure emunah
evoked thereby soars straight up to Heaven. "I cannot contain
it." And when he faints, lifeless, that song bursts forth, it
is released. "And they said: I shall sing unto Hashem for He
has been highly exalted . . . Hashem shall reign forever