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  • Torah and Jewish Thought
  • Torah Teachings

Moshe and Shirat Hayam


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Iyyar 2, 5773
Parashat Bwshalach includes shirat hayam, sung by moshe. Does Moshe sing at any other time in the torah - or are there mashalim or midrashim to this effect, Your answer greatly appreciated.
Most of the midrashim place the emphasis on Moshe being tantamount to the rest to of the Jewish people since he is singled out when singing Shirat Hayam. "then moshe and Bnei Yisrael sang the this song." However, Moshe is not discussed as singer per se or as a composer. (See Torah Shleima by Rav Menachem Mendel Kasher zt"l on Beshalach ) There is a Midrash (מכילתא דרבי ישמעאל בשלח - מסכתא דשירה פרשה א )which speaks of ten special times that songs were sang in the Tanach. The first being in Egypt on the evening of our departure from there, referring to the Pasuk in Yeshayau (30:29). The second refers to Shirat Hayam, the third is Shirat Habe'er" referring to Bamidbar 21:17). The fourth, the midrash attributes to Moshe as the one who sings the fourth song. Now this is the interesting part. The midrash quotes the pasuk in Devarim (31:24) in the following manner: "And Moshe finished writing the song" "And Moshe finished writing the Torah" . From here and other places (Nedarim 38) we learn that the entire torah is referred to as song. The above Mechilta see Moshe as the "writer" of this song. See the introduction of the Netziv in Ha'amek Davar to Breishit called "kidmat Ha'amek" letter Gimel where he elaborates upon the concept of the Torah considered a song.
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