Rabbi Ari Neuwirth in Parashat Nitzavim: Why a Song? says that Torah is called Shirah (Song) in our parsha because no mitzvos can be taken out and none can be added to our perfect Torah.

There is a Russian idiom "из песни слова не выкинешь", literally "one cannot throw a word out of song".

The meaning is that "when telling a story, one may not omit even unpleasant/unsavory details", or, more broadly, "a coherent structure loses its coherence when critical parts are removed".

Is there a Hebrew analogue of this expression?

1 Answer 1


One such Talmudic idiom, not limited to poetry, goes (Ber. 40b):

כל המשנה ממטבע שטבעו חכמים אינו אלא טועה

Soncino Trans.:

If one alters the formula laid down by the Sages [in benedictions], he has not performed his obligation

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