The Hebrew word for ‘song’ in the verse is zemirot, the plural form of zemer (זמר). While song is the most common definition of this word, the root ז-מ-ר has another meaning as well: to ‘prune’ a plant by removing extraneous branches. The connection between these meanings is not initially obvious, but since Hebrew words get to an object’s essence, a closer look reveals the correlation between them. A tree thrives when its heavy branches and extraneous foliage are clipped, so that it can channel its nutritional resources to its most important elements. Similarly, music is not the collection of randomly collected notes. To create a beautiful song, one must ‘prune’ extraneous sounds. This same principle can be applied to our own lives as well. In order to properly transform our entire lives into a holy song, we must remove the burdensome elements of our character.
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