Psalm 150 says:

Praise the Lord with the trumpet, psaltery, harp, timbrel, stringed instruments, organs, loud cymbals and high-sounding cymbals.

We haven't used musical instruments in worship since the Temple was destroyed, as a sign of mourning. So why do we recite this psalm in the daily morning service?

Perhaps to make us look forward to the rebuilt Temple when we will be able to do these things? But these are phrased as commands, commands that we can't fulfill...

(Same with the sacrifices. Of course, these texts should be read and studied. But why must they also be in the liturgy when we can't act on them?)

  • 7
    we also say a whole section about korbanot every day
    – Heshy
    Jan 15, 2020 at 0:27
  • 1
    Probably as per the end of Menachos
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Jan 15, 2020 at 0:55
  • 1
    Are you asking why tehillim 146-150 were specifically chosen to be part of Peskedui d'zumra? Jan 15, 2020 at 16:02
  • As for the sacrifices, we include them in the liturgy BECAUSE we cannot perform them. The rabbis invoke "וּֽנְשַׁלְּמָ֥ה פָרִ֖ים שְׂפָתֵֽינוּ - Instead of bulls we will pay [The offering of] our lips." (Hosea 14:3, tr. JPS 1985) The prayer is a surrogate offering. Jan 15, 2020 at 22:01
  • 1
    So pray with intent! Jan 15, 2020 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


The Alshech has this answer:

"...וזה יאמר פה הללוהו בתקע שופר שמעורר אתכם בו לשוב עדיו שעי"כ תזכו ותהללוהו בנבל וכנור וכל מינים..."

Translated: "And here he shall say Praise Him with blasts of the horn which wakes you to return his crown by which you'll be rewarded and be able to Praise Him with a harp, etc..."

I also found this article which says that the different instruments reflect different "moods" of the neshama, all of which can and should be directed towards Avodat Hashem.

  • I don't get why this implies we must read about the instruments during worship. Jan 16, 2020 at 1:13
  • @Maurice Mizrahi According to the Alshech, we await the higher form of Avodah through the Mikdash. The shofar is an instrument that is used to awaken us to do whatever we can to bring about the Mikdash and usage of the rest of the instruments. According to the article, each instrument is a reflection of different aspects of the soul, with each aspect relevant and important to a person's Avodah.
    – Harel13
    Jan 16, 2020 at 7:36

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