“I sing to G-d, for He is exalted…” (Exodus 15:1) After Moshe (Moses) and the Jewish People saw the great miracle of the splitting of the sea, their salvation from the oncoming chariots of Pharaoh and the Egyptian army, and the total destruction of that army, they broke out in song. These events were enough to make anyone, even the most stoic — or tone-deaf — among us, sing the praises of the Al-mighty. Their sudden, miraculous salvation from death could hardly be ignored.
Yet, there are events in life that the Talmud (Pesachim 118, Sotah 2) teaches are just as miraculous, but do not usually trigger the same response: when a couple is joined in marriage, or even finding a job, shows the Divine Hand at work.
Even something as “mundane” as the body’s ability to perform normal functions, says the Talmud, is as profound a miracle as the splitting of the sea. Dr. Kenneth Prager of Columbia University Medical Center wrote how he came to appreciate Judaism’s special “Asher Yatzar” prayer said after using the bathroom “after seeing patients whose lives revolved around their dialysis machines, and others with colostomies and urinary catheters.” See his moving story in its entirety.
We all enjoy expressing our positive feelings, or “singing” — whether in the form of actual song, sharing good news with other people, or cheering for our home team. This natural ability and inclination could also be channeled, from time to time, to sing about the common miracles of everyday life. Instead of saying the “Asher Yatzar” prayer as a simple recitation, we can invest it with feeling and meaning. We can also, of course, look out for and journal about the miracles we witness each day of our lives. Every day we could sing to G-d, recognizing His daily miracles and thanking Him for another moment of life. We can do so privately, or join good friends to sing about our everyday miracles. Why shouldn’t we? (Based on Tiferes Shimshon, Rabbi Shimshon Pincus zt”l).
May we all find that we have many opportunities and reasons to sing!