This week’s music: https://youtu.be/ygEvI8SrXgo
Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev asks the question, why did the B’nai Yisrael, The Jewish People,when standing at the foot of the Yam Suf after it split open for them, need to sing? “Az yashir Moshe u’B’nai Yirsael et Hashirah hazot la’Hashem vyomru lemore,” then Moshe and the children of Israel sang this song to God and they said the following… (Shmot15.1) Why couldn’t they just savor the moment with an introspective silence and appreciate the amazing miracle that was just performed for them?
He answers that when a person feels joy, simcha, that feeling is essentially found in the heart. That feeling can last for a brief amount of time, perhaps an hour or a bit longer until it is replaced by another feeling, a new incident in life. However, when we sing, when we express and share that feeling, the happiness grows and stays with us for much longer. How many times has it happened to you that the moment you have a wonderful experience you immediately pick up the phone to tell a friend what a great thing it was that happened to you .You want to spread the joy and make it grow .Simchah is one of those elements that when you give it to someone else you not only do not have less, i.e. you didn’t give it away, you now have more. There is now more simchah in the world..
So our ancestors sang together at the foot of the sea to maintain their blissful status, their joyful connection to God, and help it grow and last. What a great tradition for us to follow!
The Rebbe continues and explains that when we sing a melody we can be blessed to uncover the deep power and spirit that is inherent in that melody. It is revealed to us when we connect to the melody by singing it over and over again and allow it to take us to places that we were not aware of before. The trick is to not try to take over the melody, but rather to allow it to lead you to that precious hidden and soon to be revealed space.
In line with that thought, Reb Levi Yitzchak also teaches that Tu B’shvat marks the opening of the gates to Purim which is now only one month away. The best way to begin to create a place in oneself to be able to place yourself in the “Purim story” is to begin to feel the simchah now! It is the perfect preparation for Purim. To realize that Hashem created such miraculous events then and now. The splitting of the sea for the nation of Israel, the act of saving the lives of all of the Jews of Persia who were destined to be slaughtered by Haman, and the joyous miracle which we are blessed to see in Eretz Yisrael every day. It is nothing new. It is only up to us to be open and ready to receive more blessing, to reveal the joy inside of us by signing together and sharing our happiness with each other.