The Talmud (Rosh Hashana 31a) tells us that the Haazinu song (Devarim 32) was sung weekly in the Temple and divided into six segments, given by the mnemonic HaZIV LaKh הזיו לך (where each letter is the first letter in a section). It also tells us that this method of division should be used when dividing the aliyot in the synagogue. The Shulchan Aruch rules this way as well (OC 528:5).

There are a number of traditions regarding how exactly to split it up. The first three are:

  • ה​אזינו השמים ואדברה (verse 1)
  • ז​כר ימות עולם (verse 7)
  • י​רכיבהו על במתי ארץ (verse 13)

Most understand the next one to be:

  • ו​ירא יקוק וינאץ (verse 19)

but Tosfot quotes Masechet Sofrim (12:7) that it surprisingly (because that would mean that that section (=aliya) is only 2 verses long) refers to:

  • ו​ישמן ישרון ויבעט (verse 15)

The last two are a big machloket.

Rashi, Tosfot, Tosfot Rosh, and Haghot Ashri (Ashkenaz, generally speaking) hold that it refers to:

  • ל​ולא כעס אויב אגור (verse 27)
  • כ​י ידין יקוק עמו (verse 36)

while Rambam, Rif, Rosh, and Meiri (Not Ashkenaz, generally speaking) hold that it refers to:

  • ל​ו חכמו ישכילו זאת (verse 29)
  • כ​י אשא אל שמים ידי (verse 40)

The Shibbolei Haleket (306) had the custom to uses verses 27 and 40, while Rabbeinu Chananel had 29 and 36.

The Beit Yosef says the custom (in Safed) is like the Rambam, while the Bach says the custom (in Krakow) is like Rashi.

These machlokot can all be attributed to botched traditions. I'm looking for some other more meaningful explanations for the argument, possibly from a Parshanut perspective or based on Midrashim surrounding those verses. Is there a latent conceptual difference of opinion in understanding these verses, or the Song in general? In understanding Teshuva? In understanding singing in the Mikdash? In understand getting an Aliyah?

Is there something deeper here?



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