Perashat Shofetim – Singing Yimlokh Ado-nai & Adon ‘Olam at the End of Sha’harit

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Friday, 13 August 2010 | AP | Shabat

3 Elul haMerusa 5770 – Aug. 12, 2010. – Perashat Shofetim Shabat Shalom!

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Perashat Shofetime”H Ribi Kfir Dadon s”t
Translated by : Zachary Lubat s”t

“Vehaya keshibto ‘al kisé mamlakhto”
“And it shall be that when he sits down on the throne of his Kingdom”

What is the first thing a king does immediately after he rises to power? He does what he views as most important. One king will worry about the security of his nation and land, another will worry about the livelihoods of his people, and yet another will worry about himself and fortify his palace or give his relatives high positions. However, our Tora in its great holiness, teaches us that the first thing a Jewish king must do when he comes into power is write two Sifré Tora. One he places in his treasure storage and the other he carries with him at all times and reads from it all his life. This is the way of a king of Israel: right from the start of his ruler he begins with Tora, as it is of most importance to every Jew.

The Ramban asks: the next pasuq begins “vehaita ‘imo” (“and it [the Tora] shall be with him”) which is in the feminine form, and continues “Veqara bo” (“and he shall read from it”) which is in the masculine form. Why did the Tora make this change? The Ramban explains that it is not the Sefer Tora that “shall be with him”, but the Tora (feminine) itself should be with him, engraved in the depths of his heart. “And he should read from it”; he (masculine) should read it in his heart, and from there he will draw his springs of spirit because the Tora is inside his heart.

One can also explain that the word “bo” refers to his throne; that when the king will sit on his throne and write the Sifré Tora, then “it shall be with him and he shall read from it” – he should read the Sifré Tora on his throne. This is teaching us that a Jewish king is not like kings of other nations who waste their time indulging in all the pleasures of the world on their thrones. Rather, the King of Israel sits on his throne and savours every second to learn the holy Tora.

The Gemara in Masekhet Shabat says: Ribi Shim’on says all of Israel are like the sons of kings; and just as a king begins his ruler ship by strengthening and fortifying himself with the Tora, so should every child begin his kingship with Tora. So too the beginning of every day for a Jew should be with Tora.
We find ourselves now at the end of a year and the beginning of a new year. We must begin with the studying of Tora and fulfilling of Misvot and adding on more and more from what we were not able to accomplish in the previous year. Then it will be fulfilled in us what it says about a king “Lema’an ya-arikh yamim ‘al mamlakhto hu ubanav veqereb yisrael” (“So that he will prolong his years over the kingdom, he and his sons amid Israel”).

Netibot haMa’arab – e”H Ribi Mordekhai Lebhar s”t

149. Before returning the Tora to the hekhal, the hazan says the pasuq “Yimlokh Ado-nai le’Olam Elohayikh Sion, leDor vaDor Haleluy-a” in a nice tune, and the congregation repeats this after him. We then follow the Sefer Tora back to the Hekhal while everyone sings Mizmor leDavid Havu l’Ado-nai. Some have the custom that the children say “Yimlokh Ado-nai…” and the congregation repeats after them.This is to make Hashem reign over us after the ‘Amida that we have read from his Tora, we have accepted the yoke of His Tora and its Misvot. Through this pasuq we are expanding His Kingship forever. The mizmor that we say while accompanying the Sefer Tora is replete with references to standing at Har Sinai.

155. At the end of Shaharit of Shabat we say the piyut Adon ‘Olam in a special tune. Some have the custom that the children congregate and sing this together. We sing this piyut because within it there is a lot of faith in Hashem and Shabat testifies to the faith of Hakadosh Barukh Hu who created the world. These two reasons together cause us to increase our faith in Hashem. It is brought down by the Shla in the name of the Qadmonim that one who says this piyut with the proper intentions, his tefila will be heard and the Satan cannot have any negative affect on his tefila. See Noheg beHokhma p. 212, Leqet haQesirp. 48, Qobes Minhagim (Shabat).


Our holy sages, Hazal, teach us that “one who studies [at least two] Halakhot daily is guaranteed a portion in ‘Olam Haba (the world to come).” -Masekhet Meghila 28b

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