V’ne’emar: v’hayah Hashem l’melech al kol ha’aretz, ba’yom hahu yihyeh Hashem echad u’sh’mo echad.

And it also says [Zecharyah 14:9]: And then (at the time of Mashiach) Hashem will be king over the entire world; on that day (even the gentiles will realize that) Hashem is One (and there is no other power) and His Name will be One (mentioned by everyone).


The final two segments of Al Kein (8 and 9) will also serve as a segue into our next series, which is on Hallel. This is a most opportune time for these two segments and the start of Hallel, as we head into the Yom Tov of Pesach, in which Hallel is prominent both within the Seder and within our tefilos.

These two segments, with permission from Judaica Illuminations (Brooklyn and Scarsdale, New York), are presented verbatim from Hallel – Shirei Yonah: A Treasury of Illumination, Calligraphy, Commentary, Insights, and Laws. I felt that it was so beautifully written by Rabbi Yonah Weinrib that I wanted to present his full original writing. His sefer Hallel – Shirei Yonah is magnificent both in his artistic presentations and in his insightful and inspiring commentary. He has a similar style Haggadah, which no doubt is beautiful inside and out, as well.

In the middle of Rabbi Weinrib’s piece, you will find the final pasuk of Al Kein and its understanding.

You may want to consider adding these two segments to your Seder on Pesach, as well.


Songs in Sorrow, Songs in Joy – Part 2

We see G-d in this world in two ways: one which we feel is good, and one which we perceive to be bad for us. In the future, when our comprehension of His actions will be uncluttered by our base perceptions, we will see the true unity of G-d. The Name of G-d will be One on that day, because we are unable to see it as such at this time.

Man must realize the limitations of his song of praise to G-d in this world. It is not shir, elevated song, but shirah, a song weighed down by the hei with which this world was created. Our necessary connection to a world of matter, rather than spirit, makes it impossible to let our soul sing out in praise as it should. [Daas Tefilah]

Eich nashir es shir Hashem al admas neichar?

How can we sing the song of Hashem on an alien’s soil? (Psalms 137:4)

If man’s perception is clouded, if his actions are encumbered by corporeality and our shortcomings on this world, how can we truly sing the song to G-d?

King David tells us in Psalms 104: Ashirah laShem b’chayai. The standard translation of this phrase is: I will sing to Hashem while I live. Certainly, after one has left this earthly existence, there is no possibility of singing a song to Hashem. Lo ha’meisim y’hallelu Kah – the dead cannot praise G-d. The need for this seemingly obvious conclusion drawn by King David seems puzzling. Yet, we can understand b’chayai not to mean “while I live” (meaning, during my life), but b’chayai – with my life. Man, by the majestic acts that he will perform once in a lifetime, or through the simple actions that he performs daily, is constantly singing a song of praise to Hashem. His essence must reverberate with G-dliness, for he is the song of praise.

Man’s song, however, is not a solo. He joins millions of other individuals in the world who must also sing to G-d with their lives. Each of us harnesses the strengths we have been given, the tools endowed to us by a magnanimous Creator. It is our challenge and responsibility to fine-tune them into instruments of precision, and channel them into Divine service.

This ultimate song, the song of creation itself, takes all the individual notes that every man sings and orchestrates them into a harmonious symphony of praise to G-d. Their voices fuse towards a common goal, uniting, exalting, uplifting in praise that exceeds that of the angels. Past and present, good and evil, joy and suffering are not contradictory, discordant themes, but are all part of a greater whole. To the extent possible, we will hear strains of this perfect song of creation in our lifetime. We will continue to sing with our souls the joyous tunes of faithful observance, and cause the heavens to reverberate with a joyful refrain.

And we wait. We wait for the day when all things will be clear. We wait for the time when the bitterness of exile melts into the dawning of our final redemption. We wait to see a world where there is no pain or sorrow, only the illuminating radiance of G-d’s awesome presence. And on that day all the creatures of the world, all the nations on earth, Jew and non-Jew alike, will lift up their voices in a glorious and eternal Hallel to His Name: Hashem Hu HaElokim! “Hashem – only He is G-d!”

 To access print versions of previous Tefilah segments, please visit OU Torah’s Search portal, select the Topic of “Tefillah,” and then select “Weekly Tefilah Focus” from the Series list.


For Rabbi Mordechai Finkelman’s video and audio shiurim, which are based on our Tefilah Focus segments but also include his insightful and inspiring additions, please visit TorahAnytime.com or simply search for “TorahAnytime Rabbi Finkelman.”

You can direct any questions or comments to Eliezer Szrolovits at 917-551-0150.