Shabbos 118: Lesson of Life

Shabbos page 118 is the gastronomic guide to Shabbos.  Tucked into this daf on what to eat on Shabbos is a strange statement from R. Yose.  R. Yose says, I want to be among those who say a full Hallel every day. The Talmud questions this and says, Really, but that is for blasphemers.  the Talmud  corrects him and says  only a few verses we call p’seuka d’zimra are appropriate.  Rashi comments those people who do it every day, are just singing songs not in the appropriate time.

When the SD read this, he saw it slightly differently. We only says  full or big hallel on a few occasions, holidays, chanuka. It is rare.  It is like life. How often are we incredibly happy, so spiritually uplifted, so on such a spiritual high? Probably not that often. Hopefully we are usually in a state of quiet happiness, contentment, peace and tranquility. But not the high, high, high of winning the lottery, marrying the girl (or boy) of our dreams, etc.  So most days the p’seuka d’zimra is appropriate. It expresses our level of happiness and contentment. Once in a while we fly high.  The Talmud is telling us that life is alot of good things, nice things and once in a while, big things.  It is unrealistic to be flying high everyday.  It recognizes that we will have great days, good days and not such good days. Those who sing hallel, like rashi says, are just “singing” a song and not expressing a real sentiment.

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