Monday, January 9, 2017

The Mysterious "Nechilos"

 Li-zchus ulirifuas Adina Bas Sheva bas Necha Gittel

The pasuk [Tehillim 5/1] says למנצח אל הנחילות מזמור לדוד - For the conductor on the Nechilos a song of David.

OK - Go up to ten religious Jews and ask them WHAT ON EARTH THIS PASUK MEANS???

I don't know myself....

Let us look at the meforshim: 

Rashi writes:

"אל הנחילות" - מנחם פתר בכולן נחילות ועלמות גיתות ידותון כלם שמות כלי זמר הם ונעימות המזמור היתה לפי שיר הראוי לאותו כלי. ומדרש אגדה יש מפרשים נחילות לשון נחלה ואין זה משמעות התיבה וגם ענין המזמור אינו מדבר בנחלה ויתכן לפתור נחילות גייסות כמו נחיל של דבורים וכמו (תהלים יח) ונחלי בליעל ות"י סיעת חייבין תפלה בשביל גייסות אויבים הבאים על ישראל ואומר המשורר מזמור הזה בשביל כל ישראל.

First Rashi says [in the name of "Menachem". Of Lubavitch?] that Nechilos and Gitos and Yedusun [mentioned elsewhere] are all types of musical instruments. Different musical instruments were used for different pirkei tehillim depended on what complemented the mood of the chapter. Isn't that beautiful?! They took their music seriously and made sure that the instrument matched the words. The Vilna Gaon writes that in order to understand ruchniyus one has to understand music!

Next: The Medrash says that it is from the word נחלה - inheritance. but Rashi questions this explanation because it doesn't make sense in context. No inheritance is discussed in this perek. [But see further]. 

Another possibility: Nechilos means "hordes" [see Bava Kamma 114], referring to  hordes of enemy soldiers, who attack the Jews and this perek is said as a tefilla to ward off the enemy.

[See the Radak and Rav Hirsch for  their understanding]. 

The medrash says:

".... שתי נחלות שנחל דוד מלכות בעוה"ז ובעוה"ב שנאמר אף אני בכור אתנהו, וכי בכור הי' דוד והלא קטן הי', שנאמר 'ודוד הוא הקטן' ולמה קרא אותו בכור? מה בכור נוטל שני חלקים בנחלה, אף דוד נחל שני עולמות בעוה"ז ובעוה"ב."

The "Nechilos" refers to the two inheritances [נחלות] of Kingship that Dovid inherited in this world and the next world as the pasuk says "I will place Dovid as the bechor". Is Dovid the bechor?? He is the youngest of brothers! Rather it means that just as the bechor receives a double portion so does Dovid receive two portions, this world and the next.   

What does Dovid mean? Is he excited about enjoying the pleasures of this world?? He was beyond that.

Dovid was excited about being able to taste the next world in this world. [In Bava Basra 16a it says that the Avos tased Olam Haba in Olam Hazeh]. Those are the two inheritances.

We too can aspire to taste some of the world to come in this world. The more we imbibe in ruchniyus, in Torah, Shabbos, Tefilla etc. etc. the more we will be able to taste the world to come.

[עפ"י שיחת הרבי מחב"ד זצ"ל ב' דחג השבועות תשי"ט וע"ע זאב יטרף תהילים על פרק זה]

Rav Charlap explained that when Dovid Hamelech recognized the eternal [למנצח] inheritances [נחלות] that Hashem bestowed upon the Jewish people, he sang Hashem's praises with this unique instrument called "Nechilos".