Saturday, December 12, 2009

15 Shir HaMaalot

The 15 Song of Ascents

A group of fifteen short psalms (120 - 134, kuf-chaf to kuf-lamed-dalet) known as the pilgrim psalms, each of which begins with the introductory phrase Shir Ha-Ma'alot (A Song of Ascents).  These psalms were sung by the pilgrims as they ascended to Yerushalayim for the festival celebrations at the Temple.  They were also sung by the Leviim in the Temple on the festival of Sukkot, during the ceremony of the Drawing of the Water.

When the Temple was destroyed these psalms were no longer sung by the pilgrims or Leviim.  Therefore it was especially appropriate to institute the reading of these psalms on the first Shabbat after Sukkot, the festival when these psalms used to be sung by the multitudes of pilgrims and by the Leviim at the ceremony of the Drawing of the Water.

The reading of Tehillim 120-134 is thus both a memorial of the Temple rituals and an expression of hope that Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel) will be restored to the people of Yisrael and that these psalms will again be sung by pilgrims and Leviim.

The 15 Song of Ascents are read every Shabbat afternoon till the spring festival of Pesach (Passover), after which the days begin to lengthen and time becomes available for the resumption of the study of the tractate Avot.

Above is a picture of the CD "15 Shir HaMalot b'Nigun Miyuchad."  The fifteen psalms set to Sephardic meditative music and sung in prayer by Ezer Yecheil.

Listen to an audio sample:  Shir HaMaalot

This CD is only available at the following website: Remarkable Maven

A showcase of just one of the many talented artists throughout the world...