Mizmor L’Sodah 1
I will be forever grateful to Rabbi Moshe Don Kestenbaum for transforming Mizmor L’Sodah from a paragraph said rather quickly, trying to keep pace with the minyan, to a joyous song of gratitude that I look forward to singing (quietly) each morning. Rabbi Kestenbaum quoted the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim, siman 51), which I had not remembered or successfully applied in my davening up to the point that I heard his shiur (short shiurim on tefilah, available on Torah Anytime). The Beis Yosef (quoting the Orchos Chayim; the Ri bar Yakar and the Levush note the same idea) writes that it is a mitzvah to draw out Mizmor L’Sodah in song and sing it.
The Ri bar Yakar (this could be either the rebbe of Rashi or, more probably, of the Ramban) writes:
ואומר מזמור לתודה בלחן ערב ובשירה ארוכה יותר משאר מזמורים
And one says Mizmor L’Sodah in a sweet melody and with longer song than other mizmorim.
The Levush writes:
מזמור לתודה יש לאומרו בנגינה, מפני שהוא שיר נאה ומשובח שהיו אומרים אותו על כל קרבני התודות שהיו מקריבין, לתת שבח ותודה לא-לקים על כל הטובות שגמלנו, לפיכך אמרו חז"ל כל השירות עתידות ליבטל חוץ ממזמור לתודה כי חסדיו וטובותיו לא יפסקו לעולם...
It is appropriate to recite Mizmor L’Sodah with a melody, because it is a nice and praising song that they used to chant with all of the korb’nos Todah in the sacrificial worship, giving praise and thanks to Hashem for all of the good that He granted us. Therefore, the Sages stated that, while all of the songs will be nullified [in the time of Mashiach], Mizmor L’Sodah will not [be nullified], because His chasadim and His tovos [extended to us] will never stop.
The Levush is making reference to the Midrash (VaYikra Rabbah 9:7), which states that, in the future [in the time of Mashiach], all korbanos and tefilos (it seems others have the text as korbanos and “shiros”) will be eliminated except the korban Todah, because it is an expression of thanks, and gratitude will never be eliminated.
We will no longer need tefilos for our needs, because all of our needs will be taken care of at that time. We will also no longer have need for the other korbanos, many of which were brought as a result of our distancing ourselves from Hashem through aveiros. At that future time, the yeitzer ha’ra will no longer be operating, and we will all recognize that “Hashem Echad u’Sh’mo Echad” (Hashem is One and His Name is One).
Only thanks and praise will remain. In that time of Mashiach, we will praise Hashem for the astounding miracles through which He will have redeemed us. These future miracles will make the Makos, K’rias Yam Suf, and all the other miracles of Y’tzias Mitzrayim pale in comparison. We will have even more then than we do now to be eternally grateful for. This mizmor was written by Moshe Rabbeinu with that future time in mind.
Each morning (except Shabbos, Yom Tov, and a couple of other exceptions) we have the great privilege and opportunity to joyously sing this mizmor, as we longingly yearn to see these days of the future when the entire world will recognize and accept Hashem’s malchus, perfection, and uniqueness. May we see that day speedily in our days, b’ezras Hashem.