09 Feb Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Shabbat Shirah 5777
This Shabbat we read from Parashat B’shalach, on the Shabbat known as “Shabbat Shirah” which means “the Shabbat of Song.” It gains this title from the fact that a special song is included in both our Torah and Haftarah readings this Shabbat. In the Torah reading we find “Shirat Hayam/The Song of the Sea” sung by Moshe, the Israelite People, and then Miriam as well after the splitting of the Sea of Reeds. In the Haftarah, Deborah sings a song after the defeat of Sisera and his armies. It is not coincidence that both of these songs follow military victories, but to allow that fact to lead us to believe that songs can only be sung following military victories would be a mistake. Songs are useful tools in those moments where might and strength are shown (not to mention in moments where soldiers need to feel might and strength before battle), but they are inspirational in peaceful moments as well. Songs have the power to bring us hope, to share our dreams, to share ideas and messages and to share love. We have the chance to share song in just a couple of weeks at our Six13 concert – I hope you’ll join us to experience all the power that song has to offer.
Rabbi Hillel Skolnik