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The Psalm of Redemption IV: Liflugat Reuven

I. “To relate Your kindness in the dawn, and Your reliability in the nights,” describes how Shabbat morning, and her two “nights,” the additions we make to Shabbat, both before and after. We use Shabbat to achieve clarity after a week of “la’asot,” doing, working, creating. We use Shabbat to reconnect to God after the distraction and distance of “la’asot,” being involved in the mundane, in other words, Teshuva.

II. However, “Upon a ten-stringed instrument and upon lyre, with singing accompanied by a harp,” (Verse 4) cannot describe Shabbat when we do not use musical instruments. This verse teaches us that Shabbat transforms our “La’asot,” into a symphony celebrating God’s gifts. (Rabbi Zelig Reuven Bengis – Liflugat Reuven: Bereishit)

Machberes Avodas Hashem:
I. Moshe taught this Psalm to the slaves in Egypt as a way of transforming their unrewarding work for Pharaoh into “La’asot,” a fulfillment of God’s intention in creation; that we use our lives to work and create. We do not measure “La’asot,” by what we physically accomplish with our work, but by our ability to see our work as the fulfillment of the purpose of our existence. This is Shabbat as the end of the week.

This certainly applies to us as well. This Psalm reminds us that our daily drudge can be far more; it can be our “La’asot,” our fulfilling the purpose of our existence.

Once the slaves in Egypt were able to view their work as “La’asot,” they could find the music in their work for Pharaoh, as can we transform our “La’asot” of the week into a symphony of praise. This is Shabbat as the life force of the coming week.

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