Rabbi Yehuda opened his discourse with the verse: "Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing" (Psalms 100:2). We have learned that all service of G‑d that a person does, should be performed with joyfulness and heartfelt desire in order that the worship should be complete. How can it be said then, that a person who brought a sacrifice [in repentance] could be happy? Such a person has transgressed the commandments of his Master and the commandments of the Torah. What sort of face should he show in standing before his Master? Certainly it should be with a broken and saddened spirit. Where is the joy and where is the singing that he needs to bring together with his sacrifice?

Priest and the Levi…fulfilled the joy and singing on his behalf….

However we have learned elsewhere that a person who has sinned before his Master and transgressed His commandments and comes to bring a sin offering to rectify himself, needs to feel broken and remorseful in spirit. If he weeps while bringing his sacrifice, that is better than anything else he might do - and so we see that neither joy nor singing were present. So how were these [two aspects] present [at the bringing of the sacrifice]?

They were actualized through the Priest [Cohen] and the Levi who were also present at the offering of the sacrifice. They fulfilled the joy and singing on his behalf.

A song cuts the harsh judgment at its source….

The joy was represented by the Priest who is always far from strict judgement [because he is rooted in kindness (chesed) the opposite of din]. A Priest should always show himself with a shining face - happier than all the rest of the people - because his crown [literally "keter", of priesthood] enables him to.

The elated song was performed by the Levi, and this is appropriate because the Levites would sing, as we have learned.

In Hebrew the word for "song" is "shir" or "zemer", both of which mean to "cut". The idea is that a song cuts the harsh judgement at its source. In English the word din means a loud, confused noise. Singing rectifies this annoying commotion and the resulting sweet tones uplift the spirit. In English as well as in Hebrew, singing cuts away din!

So both the Priest and the Levi [were present performing their roles of joy and singing when the penitent brought his sacrifice with a broken heart and] completed the person's proper worship of G‑d. The Priest would conduct the ceremony in happiness and with heartfelt desire in order to unify the Holy Name as is fitting, and the Levi would sing. This is what is meant by [the continuation of the verse above]: "Know [in Hebrew, "De'u", from the word "daat"] that the Lord is G‑d." (Psalms 100:3)

The sacrificial ceremony [from the Hebrew, "korban"] caused mercy to draw in [in Hebrew, "lekarev", the root of the word "korban"] the judgment so both were in equilibrium [under daat].

Daat is in the middle channel of the tree of the sefirot and is able to "unite" the right and left sides - mercy and judgment - respectively.

…How can he fulfill the requirement to serve G‑d with joy and with song, especially since he doesn't feel it?

In these days, [when the Temple is destroyed, and] we can't bring sacrifices, one who has sinned and wishes to return to his Master, certainly should have a bitter soul, and be full of remorse and weeping and have a broken spirit. But if this so - how can he fulfill the requirement to serve G‑d with joy and with song, especially since he doesn't feel it?

The answer is as we have learned. When a person prays and praises his Master and rejoices in his learning Torah and sings his learning out loud in a melodious way, that is the gladness and singing referred to in our text.

And when he arrives at the place of viddui / confession in prayer he should then pray with a broken and contrite heart.

Zohar, page 8a,b; translation and commentary by Simcha-Shmuel Treister

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