Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rav Shmuel Palagi's polemic against songs after Hallel, pt iii

See part i and part ii.

(2) And we derive further that it is a commandment to speak and relate in the Exodus from Egypt, and not to song as we do nowadays.

(3) Further, we learn until how much the commandment to relate and speak on the night of Pesach about the exodus from Egypt. For these Sages, after their meal, and after the order of the Haggadah, were able to engage in words of Torah, and these Sages did not do this, and they nullified study of Torah in order to relate about the exodus from Egypt; a kal vachomer and the son of a kal vachomer, if they nullified learning of Torah in order to relate the exodus from Egypt, all the more so, we should nullify all these songs and poems on the night of Pesach. For Hashem Yitbarach commanded us to relate about the exodus from Egypt, and to speak with our wives and the members of our households about this.

And also I know that this polemic will do no good with the general populace, for an uneducated person is not fearful of sin, and a corruption, once it enters, enters, for that with which one becomes accustomed becomes nature for them. Not so the Sages, fearers of Hashem who contemplate his name, who ruminate and contemplate all these matters, and admit to truth -- and the opposite of these for a golem.

And now, any master of Torah, who is zealous for the honor of Hashem and his Torah, when you are a guest by a homeowner, you need to convince him with soft words, when the homeowner wished to begin with piyutim which are customary every time, the master of Torah should say to him, "My master, homeowner, this night is not a time for song and melody, for the mitzvah is sp relate about the exodus from Egypt and to speak about the miracles and wonders that Hashem did with us and with our fathers," and you enter with him with the aforementioned ideas, in accordance with his intelligence you relate to him.

And they should refrain from saying the songs which are printed in the sefer Haggadah, and to him it will be righteousness, and from Hashem it will be full recompense. And then one may say {Sotah 47a}: Yochanan the Kohen Gadol abolished the wakers {=those Leviim who cited Tehillim, "Awake, why sleepest Thou, O Lord?"}; {and in extension} and the Sages of the generation abolished the Bu-nin {see above; I think the songs}.

{He now returns to the idea of the general polemic:}
The general principle which arised from all that I have written is that the Sefardim who say the prayer of "Yehi Ratzon Milefanecha, Hashem Hagadol Hagibbor veHanora, HaIzzuz, etc." are erring and sinning,
in their language {tongues?}. Therefore, it is a precept to hold back this prayer. And beside this, who permitted us to mention the names of the Mazalot, the angels and ministers who are designated for each day? Such as that its Mazal is the Lion and its angel is Refael, and its minister is the Sun. And so is written to all the seven days of the week. The end of the matter is that Mar bar Rav Ashi is not signed upon it.

And in any place nthat the halacha is unstable in your hands, sitting and doing nothing is preferable. And from this we deduce that one who fears the words of Hashem, from our brothers the residents of Ashkenaz {Germany?} and Poland will refrain from the aforementioned piyutim, and in particular from the disgraceful piyut Nun Bau, Nun Bau {=German of Kel Bnei}, for also Mar bar Rav Ashi did not sign upon it. And we need to fulfill the command of the Torah which is to relate and speak about the exodus from Egypt with our wives, children, and the members of our households, for so did Hashem command us, and one who keeps the commandments will know no evil matter. And it is stated {I Shmuel 2:30}:
ל לָכֵן, נְאֻם-ה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, אָמוֹר אָמַרְתִּי, בֵּיתְךָ וּבֵית אָבִיךָ יִתְהַלְּכוּ לְפָנַי עַד-עוֹלָם; וְעַתָּה נְאֻם-ה חָלִילָה לִּי, כִּי-מְכַבְּדַי אֲכַבֵּד וּבֹזַי יֵקָלּוּ. 30 Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, saith: I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before Me for ever; but now the LORD saith: Be it far from Me: for them that honour Me I will honour, and they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.
That which appears to me, in my humble opinion, I have written, and I have proven that is associated with it {?}, and my soul I have saved, here, Hamburg, in the year {Tehillim 127:1}
א שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת, לִשְׁלֹמֹה:
אִם-ה, לֹא-יִבְנֶה בַיִת-- שָׁוְא עָמְלוּ בוֹנָיו בּוֹ;
אִם-ה לֹא-יִשְׁמָר-עִיר, שָׁוְא שָׁקַד שׁוֹמֵר.
1 A Song of Ascents; of Solomon. {N}
Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it; {N}
except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

{with lamed tav ayin lamed larger, for a gematria of 530, where 1240 + 530 = 1770, unless that vav is also bolded.}
in the sidra of זוּלָתִי כָּלֵב בֶּן-יְפֻנֶּה, הוּא יִרְאֶנָּה {in Devarim 1}, etc., יַעַן, אֲשֶׁר מִלֵּא אַחֲרֵי ה.

The youngster,
Shmuel Palagi

Blogger's note: This is of interest, but should not be taken halacha lemaaseh. Consult your local Orthodox rabbi.

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