For the week ending 7 January 2023 / 14 Tevet 5783

Perek Shira: The Song of the Sea Giants

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The Sea Giants say:

“Praise Hashem from the earth, sea giants and all of the depths!” (Tehillim 148:7)

Hashem created the universe to reveal His glory, and to this end He fashioned whales and other sea giants. The awe-inspiring sight of an enormous whale breaching the ocean’s surface and spouting seawater towards the sky instills within a person awe of the One Who created such giants. This causes people to speak of the Creator’s greatness. Accordingly, a sea giant is called a “tanin,” which means “speech” (see Shoftim 5:11). If such creatures would live on land, they would destroy it in their hunger and then die out themselves with nothing to eat. He therefore placed them in humungous oceans filled with fish that continue to replenish their numbers.

As great as they are, sea giants are actually more dependent upon the hand of the Creator for survival than any other bring since they require the most food. The largest whales feed on innumerable microscopic beings every day. With their very existence, they sing of the phenomenon called “the food chain,” in which an unfathomable number of beings ranging in size from blue whales to microscopic organisms are sustained by an invisible Creator, Whose praise is likewise unfathomable.

The song of the sea giants is an extract from the Psalm in which King David calls for all beings on earths us also sing to Hashem, and to thank Him for the great kindnesses He lavishes upon each of us every single day

  • Sources: Midrash Lekach Tov (Ber. 21), cited in Perek B’Shir; Midrash Shocher Tov

*In loving memory of Harav Zeev Shlomo ben Zecharia Leib

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