Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Jewish Imperative To Sing, Part VIII

Musical Note By Cantor Sherwood Goffin

As we say before the Psalm for each day, the Levites were required to sing the Daily Psalm as well as at every sacrifice and at other various occasions in the Holy Temple. As the Rambam says, (Hilchot Klei HaMikdash), some of the Levites were appointed to be watchmen while others were appointed to sing. (Perhaps it depended on whether they had pleasant voices).Both thereby fulfilled their requirement to to participate in the Avodat HaKodesh - the Holy Duties of the Temple service. Aminmum of 12 Levites would sing the service and a group of Levites and talented Isrealites would accompany them - at all times- with instruments. The Rambam also states that each Levite, at age 25, had to study singing for 5 years before he joined the choir at age 30. Later on, when his voice failed, he then became a watchman.

In shul, each congregant is like a Levite and must join in song with the Chazzan. Since this not the Holy Temple, no one - voice or not- should take the role of the Watchman. Don't sit back and "watch". Join in with us! Good or bad, every voice counts! As we are bidden: "Shiru Lashem Shir Chadash" - sing to G-d a new song. It doesn't say "only those with good voices" We accept all voices and all prayers. G-d only wants you to pray. Let us hear you!

Daven Well and Sing Along!

(c) 2007 Sherwood Goffin

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