by R' Ephraim Sprecher | Links by CDG
The last of the 613 Mitzvot is, “And now, write for yourselves this song, teach it to the Children of Israel. Place it into their mouths”…(Devarim 31:19 | עברית).
According to Sanhedrin 21b | עברית this verse teaches that it is a Mitzva for every Jewish Person to write a Sefer Torah for himself. Why is the Torah referred to by the unusual term “song”? There is no other Mitzva in the Torah which is called a song.
The Aruch Hashulchan (עברית) deals with this question. He states, “Any dispute between Tanaim and Amoraim, or between the Poskim, whose genuine aim is to get to the truth of a Halachic issue, represents the words of the Living G-d and has valid Halachic status. Moreover, these Halachic disputes glorify our Holy and Pure Torah, which is called a SONG. The beauty of the SONG being that the voices are all different. This is why the Torah is so delightful. And whoever learns the Talmud will see different beauty in all the voices that are different from one another.” (Introduction to Aruch Hashulchan – Choshen Hamishpat) (specific link not found - CDG).
The Torah is G-d’s LOVE SONG to the Jewish People. The plurality of opinions, disputes, methods, and styles of understanding the Torah is NOT a fault. It is the incredible symphony of these different voices and opinions that combine to form a beautiful harmony that captures the hearts of all who study the Talmud.
This is the uniqueness and beauty of the Oral Torah. Talmud Yerushalmi, Sanhedrin, Chapter 4 (sorry, no English translation -CDG) makes an incredible statement. “If the Torah had been given clear, and as a finished product, it would NOT have continued to exist!
The Torah was purposely given in a way that allowed various Halachic conclusion to be drawn from it. This is NOT a fault in the Halachic system. G-d gave us the Torah THIS WAY so that it would continue to exist forever.
Therefore, The term SONG was used in reference to the Mitzva to write a Sefer Torah. The writing of the Sefer Torah symbolizes our powerful desire to sing G-d’s Holy Love Song!
At the end of this video one of R' Sprecher's students plays and sings an original song in honor of the upcoming Rosh haShana 5779 ה"תשע"ט!