The Importance of Song

There is a rabbinic teaching, based on the Torah, that animals cannot carry the burdens of their masters on Shabbat. They can, however, be led or drawn around the property by a collar.

The word translated as “collar” in this ruling is the Hebrew word “shir.” Some sages argued that the ruling should have used the word “sher,” a rarely used Hebrew word meaning collar or bracelet, related to the word “shir.” Nevertheless, the word in the ruling, translated as collar, is “shir,” usually rendered as “song.” If you have ever worked with domesticated farm animals, then you might have learned that they do respond to singing, and can be led by song – I’ve done it to lead sheep.

While the plain meaning of the ruling concerns barnyard animals, a deeper appreciation of the use of “shir,” song, helps us to understand the importance of music and song.

Zephaniah 3:17 says that the Lord will rejoice over us “בְּרִנָּה” “with singing.” Not only does the Lord lead us with song, the melody of His voice, but song causes us to reach out for Him.

Be sure to include song, and singing – especially wordless melodies from the heart – in your day. He will lead you with it, and you will connect to Him more readily by it.

Be well. Shalom.

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