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Songs of Praise: Yishtabach: Chosen Song

Throughout the Songs of Praise, we have joined in the symphony of the entire creation as it praises the Master of the Universe. We were one small voice among the myriad other singing

voices, and we experienced the joy of being a part of this great orchestra.

But how does one transition from this feeling, to the more intimate feeling of love expressed in the Shema?

At the end of Yishtabach, which concludes the Songs of Praise and leads us into the Blessings of the Shema, we say: “Creator of all souls, Master of all deeds, Who chooses songs of praise that are melodious”. We understand that there is no contradiction between being a seemingly insignificant component of an immense whole, and at the same time being an individual with a unique place and an essential purpose in creation.

God is the “Creator of all souls”; yet, He “chooses songs”. It does not say that He likes all songs, or listens to all songs in an indiscriminate manner. He chooses; this means He discerns and tunes into our song. This is the time for us, when we feel lost among too many voices -others’ and our own- to select our melodious song and bring it to the next level as we prepare to renew our vow of love to our Creator.

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