Todah and Vidui

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By Rabbi Berach Steinfeld

Rav Tanchuma says in the name of Reish Lakis Yerushalmi, Shavuos, Perek Alef, halacha heh that when Hashem told Moshe to be misvadeh” his sins, Moshe began to say the kapittel Tehillim of Mizmor LeSoda. The meforshim on the Yerushalmi explain that the lashon of todah is a lashon of vidui and that is why Moshe said that kapittel when he was told to do vidui.

We find in the Medrash Tanchuma at the end of Parshas Noach that Dovid Hamelech established the kapittel Tehillim of Mizmor LeSoda as a remembrance of the Korban Toda. The Midrash says that if all korbanos would be bateil, the korban Toda would not be bateil. That is why Dovid Hamelech established this perek in TehillimTosfos in Avoda Zoradaf chof daled, amud bais says that the perek Mizmor LeSoda was said at the time of bringing a korban Todah. With this we understand why we don’t say this mizmor on Shabbos and Yom Tov; because a Toda was not brought on those days.

How can we reconcile that the Toda is both a lashon of thanks and lashon of vidui? The Sfas Emes writes the following on the topic of Chanuka. The inyan of vidui is set up in a way that Hashem accepts the confession of the sinner and forgives the person. For this we need to thank the Ribbono Shel Olam. Why is the vidui of a Korban Toda better than all other korbanos and therefore we say this special perek of Mizmor LeSoda?

When we say vidui by all other korbanos we are actually vying for a kapara on a certain sin that caused the person to be required to bring a korban. When one brings a Todah one is thanking Hashem for all the good that he received, but there still is a vidui necessary. The person may have been put into an unfortunate position (of which he was saved) due to the fact that he sinned. That is why he is misvadeh on the korban Toda, acknowledging that he had sins. This type of vidui is better than all other forms of vidui on other korbanos since it is not a vidui for a particular sin, but rather a general vidui.

With this explanation we can understand the reason why Moshe began with the Perek of Mizmor LeSodah as soon as he heard the concept of vidui. It is to teach us that the best vidui one can say is on a Korban Todasince it is not for a particular sin. It is also a time for thanks to Hashem for extricating the person from his troubles. This would be a great way to reconcile the two reasons of Mizmor LeSoda.

May we be zocheh to say Mizmor LeSoda on the Geulah Shelaima!

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