Parshas Ha’azinu 5781: The Song of Torah

A gitten erev Shabbos! This week’s parsha is Parshas Ha’azinu, it is also Shabbos Shuva, the Shabbos before Yom Kippur in which we must focus on making t’shuva and returning to Hashem.

One interesting part of this parsha is that the Torah is referred to as a שירה (song) consistently, as it is referred to in the same way at the end of the last parsha. There are discussions as to what is referred to as a song, whether that is Parshas Haazinu itself, or the whole Torah. For our purposes, we shall view this through the opinion that the entire Torah is the song.

There’s a wonderful chassidishe story told over in various places that fits with this perfectly. There was once a man who had some inability to hear music. He walked by some venue where he saw people dancing, and there was a fiddle player playing his instrument. The man who couldn’t hear the music looked on everyone dancing like they were crazy, saying “What are you all so happy about? Why are you dancing? Are you all mad? There’s what to be depressed about out here, and you’re all dancing?!” Somebody came up to him and told him that if only he could hear the music then he would understand why they were all dancing and happy.

That was the moshol (parable), the nimshol (meaning of it) is like this. The fiddler is a metaphor for Hashem, the fiddle is the Torah. The people dancing and rejoicing are those who have had the initiation into Toras HaChassidus, which can be compared to wine which through not being mentioned is a remez to Penimyus HaTorah, and can truly hear the sweet music that is Torah. The fellow who can’t hear the music is the one who hasn’t had this initiation, he’s stuck in the outside world and can’t get the real geshmak and wonderfulness that is living with Hashem and hearing the music.

Rebbe Nachman says that we should turn our Torah learning into a prayer. There are those who understand this to mean that we should learn even with no understanding and just make saying/singing it the key thing. I disagree with this p’shat, because in Sefer HaMidos Reb Nachman teaches us that we should make sure to understand our learning to the point of being able to explain it in our mother tongue. Rather, what we should learn from this is that we should take our learning and use it to inspire ourselves in davening, through, so to speak, listening to the melodies of the Torah we learn in order to connect better with Hashem. When we can hear the song of Torah, this puts us in the situation of the past couple weeks parshiyos, in which we can choose the path of life or death, blessings or curses r’l.

Im yirtzeh Hashem through hearing the song of Torah we should merit to making t’shuva and choosing life and blessing, and in the merit of that choice we should also merit that Hashem should choose to bless us with all good things. Hashem should bless us all with כפרה בלי צרה (atonement without trouble), with simcha, t’shuva shleimah (complete returning), and we should merit to see Moshiach swiftly in our days.

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