Kinah 22 – The Composer

Jul 16th, 2013 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer
“All I know about music is that not many people ever really hear it. And even then, on the rare occasions when something opens within and the music enters, what we mainly hear, or hear corroborated, are personal, private, vanishing evocations. But the man who creates the music is hearing something else, is dealing with the roar rising from the void and imposing order on it as it hits the air. What is evoked in him then is of another order, more terrible because it has no words, and triumphant too, for that same reason. And his triumph, when he triumphs, is ours (James Baldwin, Sonny’s Blues).”

Our Tisha b’Av Kinah – Lamentation begins, “Leave me in silence, that I may speak (without fear – Job 13:13), and let come on me what may [See, “Kinah 5-Unclothed Words – Kinah 22-Fearing To Speak,” in Readings: Kinot], I cry out to You, Who dwells in heaven; my spirit constrains me for it lacks the space to contain all I feel (Metzudat David, Job 32:18), and is too distracted by this world to express her song (Ibid. Ralbag) but I cannot keep silent.”

The Yesod v’Shoresh haAvodah, connects this Kinah – Lamentation to the Halachah that a person with a beautiful voice is obligated to use it in singing to God by leading services: We are so overwhelmed by those pressuring to convert that we have lost our ability to hear the song of Torah revealing her secrets and lessons, and are no longer able to sing our song in response to God.

This Kinah is reconnecting us with the composer within, the one who, “is hearing something else, is dealing with the roar rising from the void and imposing order on it as it hits the air.”

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