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1571 – Brachos and Tefilos – (Klal 4 Siman 6) – Zmiros Shabbos 4 – Issur Pesukim 2

D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
1571 - Brachos and Tefilos - (Klal 4 Siman 6) - Zmiros Shabbos 4 - Issur Pesukim 2


We have finished siman 6, and are discussing zmiros on shabbos. We mentioned the Gemara in Sanhedrin which teaches us the issur of reading pesukim in a lighthearted, joking manner.

Today, we will learn the language of the Gemara and Rashi. 

The Gemara says that one who recites pesukim of Shir Hashirim as a song (i.e., in a non-kedusha context), or any pasuk at an improper time, such as a meal, brings bad to the world. The Torah wraps itself in sackcloth and complains to Hashem that it has become a musical instrument used for fun. Hashem responds to the Torah, and asks the Torah that since people enjoy a distraction while eating and drinking, what else should they engage in at meals. The Torah responds that if they are people who know Tanach, they should engage in Tanach. If they know Mishnah, they should engage in learning Mishnayos. If they know halacha, they should engage in the relevant halachos of the upcoming Yom Tov. 

The Gemara continues, and says that one who reads a pasuk at the proper time, brings good to the world. 

Rashi explains that the improper time to recite a pasuk is when people get together to drink, and their entertainment is to read pesukim for fun. On the other hand, the proper time to recite a pasuk is when people get together, even if it is to drink, but it is appropriate and relevant to that time.


In the sefer Lehoros Nosson (Rav Nosson Gestetner, vol 4:45), he clarifies that when one uses pesukim as a form of davening or praise to Hashem, or for inspiration to become closer to Hashem, it is included in using the idea of using a pasuk in the proper time. The song is used to further my relationship with Hashem, so that is something which brings good to the world.

He continues, and writes that we learned (shiur 1570) that according to the Magen Avraham, it seemed that only zemiros specifically instituted for Shabbos were appropriate to sing on Shabbos, implying that other songs would be problematic even if they did inspire a person. He explains that the Magen Avraham is referring to composers who used to write songs in Hebrew for the rhyme, phraseology and other musical benefits, with no intention of inspiration or coming closer to Hashem. He understands that it is those songs which the Magen Avraham was coming to exclude from singing on Shabbos. Zmiros which were not specifically instituted for Shabbos, but which inspire a person and further their relationship with Hashem are certainly muttar. 



Any zmiros which inspire and bring a person closer to Hashem are muttar to sing on Shabbos, even if they are not of the zmiros specifically instituted for Shabbos. However, using pesukim in a lighthearted manner, not for the purpose of coming closer to Hashem, brings bad to the world and is assur.


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