The Psalm of Redemption II: Korban Todah
There are four verses in the entire Bible that include the word, “Baleilot,” “In the nights.” In this Psalm (92), “To relate Your kindness in the dawn, and Your reliability in the nights.” 2) “A Song of Ascents: Behold, bless God, all you servants of God, who stand in the House of God in the nights.” (Psalms 134:1) 3) “As I lay on my bed in the nights, I sought him, whom my soul loves; I sought him, and I did not find him.” (Song of Songs 3:1) 4) “Behold, the bed of Solomon; sixty mighty warriors surrounded her, of the mighty warriors of Israel, all gripping the sword, well-versed in battle, each man with his sword on his thigh, from the terror in the nights.” (Song of Songs 3:7-8)
There are “Nights of Dawn,” and “Nights of Night.” There are periods of darkness during which we can thrive because we look forward to the coming morning. There are periods of seemingly, unceasing darkness, when we stop looking forward to the dawn which doesn’t seem to come.
“To relate Your kindness in the dawn.” The first two verses listed above, describe those who relate God’s kindness in the “nights” of the dawn, when the world is filled with God’s Light – with clarity. “And Your reliability in the nights.” The latter two verses describe a different night; a night of terror; the night of exile. We seek God, Whom our souls love. We seek Him but cannot find Him as we did during the dawn; the periods of His Light manifest in the world. (Rabbi Gedaliah Silverstone: Korban Todah on Psalms)
Machberes Avodas Hashem:
I find it striking that in the two verses from the Song of Songs, the person who is stuck in , what Rabbi Silverstone described as, “A Night of Night,” is passive. In the first verse, “As I lay on my bed in the nights, I sought him, whom my soul loves; I sought him, and I did not find him,” he claims that he seeks the one whom his soul loves, yet, he is on his bed. He is seeking his love without getting up. In the second verse, “each man with his sword on his thigh, from the terror in the nights,” he stays in bed, protected by warriors. He lives in fear of the darkness.
“A Song of Ascents: Behold, bless God, all you servants of God, who stand in the House of God in the nights,” describes those who can be found in the House of God, synagogues and study halls, during the night. They do not remain in bed. They rise and actively search for the One they love.
Perhaps, Moshe taught this Psalm to the slaves in Egypt who lived in darkness, to remind them that the way they would use their Shabbat would define their “Night.” Those who would actively search for God on Shabbat, would be able to look forward to dawn and redemption. Those who remained “in their beds,” passively seeking the dawn, not actively using Shabbat, would be stuck in “A Night of Night.”