THE SABBATH IN MUSIC
By A. W. BINDER
I will sing, O Sabbath, songs of love unto thee, For it is fitting, O day that art precious to me.
( JUDAH HALEVI)
EARLY in the history of the Jewish people, the Sabbath was called a delight and a day of good cheer. It was never a day of mortification or sadness, as among the Babylonians of ancient days. In the Temple at Jerusalem special sacrifices were offered, excerpts from the Bible read, and a special "Psalm for the Sabbath Day" sung by the Levites. This was Psalm 92, still recited as the Psalm of the Sabbath. Significantly, Psalm 92 is one of the ten psalms which begin with the words Mizmor Shir, both meaning "song." This was interpreted to mean that the Sabbath was to abound in song and praise, and so to be a delight. It was also considered significant that this psalm contains much musical terminology. In it are found such words as 'Asor, meaning ten-stringed instrument;1 Navel, large harp; Higgayon, meditative music; Kinnor, small harp; Aranen, "I shall sing" or "I shall be joyful."