Monday, April 02, 2007

Songs of Ascent: A Qoton Qlassic

From last year (a follow-up to this essay should be ready g-d-willingly over Chol HaMoed):

The term “song” as used in the Holy Scriptures (Shir and/or Shirah) refers not only to mere singing, but also to a unique type of spiritual phenomenon. A song is the manifestation of feelings into vocalized words, which represent a spiritual connection to esoteric concepts; songs reflect a belief of the intellect fused with the subconscious righteousness of the soul. Songs are especially used to commemorate happy occasions or to express one’s emotion during a joyous occasion. The core focus of a song’s content usually speaks the praises of G-d, but the actual circumstances behind the cause of the thanksgiving are also mentioned within the song. According to Lurianic Kabbalah (from the teachings of Rabbi Yitzchack "Ari HaKadosh" Luria, 1534–1572), there are eleven expressions of song—admitting/acknowledging thanks, praising, lauding, glorifying, extolling, beautifying, blessing, eternalizing His victory, exulting, and exalting. Conversely, song is included in the fifteen languages of praise: Song, laud, praise, music (hymns), strength, rulership, triumph, greatness, powerfulness, epitome of praise, splendor, holiness, kingship, blessings, and acknowledgments of thanksgiving. Thus, song is an expression of praise, and praise is an expression of song; this is because the raison d’etre of song is to be used as a means of expressing praise to the Almighty.
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