For the week ending 10 December 2022 / 16 Kislev 5783

Perek Shira: The Song of the Goose

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by Rabbi Shmuel Kraines

The domesticated goose says: Thank Hashem, call in His name, inform the nations of His deeds. Sing to Him, make music for Him, speak of all of His wonders. (Tehilllim 105:1-2)

The goose is the most vocal amongst kosher birds and it symbolizes Kosher and pure vocalization: publicizing of Hashem’s praise. It honks raucously, even for no apparent reason, calling to its human neighbors that they too should not be silent.

In particular, the goose symbolizes Torah wisdom. One who sees a goose in his dream can anticipate that he will merit wisdom. This is because the study of Torah requires saying the words of Torah aloud. The goose is especially symbolic of the role of the Rosh Yeshiva, who raises his voice so the public can hear it. It says “Sing to Him” since the Torah is called a song.

All living beings sing of their Creator, yet so many people do not know Him. We should fill our mouths with Hashem’s praise and do our utmost to make Him known, especially in public gatherings of Torah and prayer. Fittingly, the song of the goose is the opening phrase of our morning praises, Pesukei D’Zimrah.

  • Sources: Berachos 57a; Zimras Ha’aretz; Maharsha to Sotah 48a; Perek B’Shir

*In loving memory of Harav Zeev Shlomo ben Zecharia Leib

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