The Daily Chizzuk by our Rebbe Rav Eliezer Berland shlit”a – “Without the morning zermirot, the prayer isn’t accepted at all”
Thursday, 1 Nisan 5783 – The Chatam Sofer never in his life missed “Odeh L’Kel”
These are his holy words:
Before the revelation of David, the Ari said, “Whoever laughs will not finish his year, because, ‘And David was dancing with all his might’” (II Shmuel 6:14). The main thing is to dance with all one’s might. All his life, David would only jump.
“Dancing will all his might” – people are not familiar with this avodah (service of Hashem). Rabbeinu came and brought back that there is a concept of dancing with all one’s might – to dance, to jump, to sing. Without singing, the prayer does not ascend. If a person does not sing before and after, the prayer does not ascend.
The Gra says in Teruma, that through the morning zemirot [the songs before the prayers, which also appear in Sephardic siddurim in the “Bakashot” section], the prayer ascends. Without the morning zemirot, Hashem does not accept the prayer at all. You need to hear the song of the birds, rising in the morning and hearing the birds sing – these are angels.
If a person does not sing the prayer, does not sing “Odeh L’Kel…, the Chatam Sofer in his life never missed “Odeh L’Kel.” The Chatam Sofer authored songs. There is a book of songs that the Chatam Sofer authored.
The Rebbe says that all of this is through niggumim [melodies] and through lifting up the legs – livelihood is drawn. The Rebbe says that through dancing, a person receives livelihood, healing… Livelihood – this is the legs. A person needs to toss up his legs – “it will be as a result (ekev-heel) of you listening.”
The Rebbe says (Likutey Moharan 169) that [the reason] he does not dance is because he has judgments upon him. The Rebbe says, that this that he decides not to dance is only because he has judgments upon him. He thinks that he is smart, he doesn’t dance, he doesn’t sing. He sees that everyone is singing; he is smarter than everyone – you have harsh judgments upon you.
Suddenly, the child is sick. Suddenly, the wife is sick. He doesn’t understand why – because through the troubles, it is impossible to dance. The fact that you don’t dance is because you have judgments on you. You don’t sing because you have judgments upon you. And then messengers of judgments come – the running messengers.
Motza’ei Simchat Torah is the time of the running messengers. From Hoshana Rabbah – in Hebrew, we say “Pitka Tava [lit. “good message,” i.e. wishing a person a good final judgment]. In Yiddish, we say “Agut K’vitle,” because on Hoshana Rabbah, they seal and hand over the seal of judgment to the running messengers. Therefore, the Ari enacted to dance until the morning. The Ari enacted that as long as they’re still dancing, it is still possible to tear up the messages, even if they already wrote them.
Through dancing, we nullify all decrees, that the child won’t be sick, that the wife won’t be sick. These are all decrees. It’s not that they suddenly caught the cold. They say there will be snow in the Hermon tomorrow.
Because at the moment of childbirth, all the judgments come out of the woman. When a woman needs to give birth, she is in really harsh judgements. Then the legs become cold. And how do we take the judgments out of the legs? Through dancing!
A person doesn’t dance, because he has a judgment on him. Therefore, the Ari enacted Hakafot Shniot [the encircling of the Torah following Simchat Torah]. Today, they already took this on throughout Israel. In every place, they do Hakafot Shniot, in every city.
We would walk with Torah scrolls in Hakafot Shniot. We went through all of Haifa with Torah scrolls. Everyone rant to kiss the Torah scrolls. The most heretical people that were there ran after the Torah scrolls to give another kiss. Bring the Torah scroll, bring, bring, come close to me, bring, allow me to kiss, allow me a little… We would run with the Torah scroll in the streets of Haifa, all of Haifa, from Rechov HaHalutz, from Rechov Hertzl, whoever is familiar, Rechov Hertziliya, Rechov HaNevi’im. [Through] all of this, we would go about with Torah scrolls.
When we were children until the age of 14 and a half — with red flags [the flag of the workers’ unions]. After this, we already walked with the head of the bakeries with Torah scrolls. We walked four kilometers from Rechov Sdrot Rothschild. Whoever is familiar with Haifa, today this is the Central Bus Station. We walked all of Sdrot Rothschild until Rechov HaGefen – there is the army recruitment office. After this, from Rechov HaGefen, we went to Rechov Hertziliya. After this, Rechov HaNevi’im. After this, Rechov Hertzl until my home – with Torah scrolls, we walked.
For Motza’ei Simchat Torah, the Ari enacted that we walk with the Torah scrolls and walk about the whole city – “Walk about Tzion and encircle her” (Tehilim 48:13). It is written that we need to walk with Torah scrolls and encircle the city. Last year, we walked through the whole city, in Jerusalem, until Rechov Agrippas, we went. There, we walked about and entered Rechov Yaffo, and from there to Rechov Sarei Yisrael.
This is one lesson about dancing, that the Rebbe says that it is impossible to make confession except through dancing. “It will be as a result (ekev-heel)” – to toss up the heels. It’s not enough that a person dances. One needs to toss up the heels, to remove them from the ground. Because that they are attached to the ground brings all the judgments.
After this, in Lesson 178, the Rebbe says that one needs to traverse the entire structure of joy. It’s not enough to only dance. It also needs to be with the heart, with the mind – “And eternal joy on their heads” (Yeshaya 35:10).
Rabbeinu brings that the avodah is to do all the dances, to dance everything.