Sunday, November 12, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitzah 16 - Neshamah Yeseira for Nusach Ashkenaz

From Shabbos: Taam HaChaim Vayakhel 5765. For more inspirational thoughts on Shabbos and other topics, please visit
At the end of Lecho Dodi, we recite the words בואי בשלום עטרת בעלה גם בשמחה ובצהלה; enter in peace, O crown of her husband, even in joy and good cheer. This is the version of those who pray Nusach Ashkenaz. Those who pray Nusach Sefard, however, recite the words גם ברנה ובצהלה, even in joyous song and good cheer. What is the meaning for this discrepancy? Rabbi Yitzchak Sender in the Commentators Shabbos writes that the Gemara states that the Divine Presence is not manifest where there is sadness. The Divine Presence only exists where there is joy and proof of this is that Elisha the Prophet called for music to be played to eliminate his sadness. Nusach Sefard maintains that in order to acquire joy, we must sing, as song stirs the soul and uplifts a person, preparing him to be worthy of the Divine presence. Nusach Ashkenaz, however, posits that the joy that one must feel is catalyzed through the presence of the Neshama Yeseira, the extra soul that one receives every Shabbos. Once we experience this additional soul, we can be assured that we will maintain a state of joy, and we can greet the Divine Presence on Shabbos with joy.