For the week ending 14 January 2023 / 21 Tevet 5783

Perek Shira: The Song of the Fish

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“The voice of Hashem was upon the waters, the G-d of glory thundered — Hashem — upon many waters.” (Tehillim 29:3)

Some three and a half trillion fish fill the vast oceans in a kaleidoscope of colors, shapes, and sizes, displayed in all their beauty through the transparent waters. They sing how Hashem’s voice blessed them to be fruitful and multiply, in order to express His glory within the oceanic kingdom, and His kindness in feeding its myriad of creatures.

On a deeper level of understanding, the fish’s song speaks in praise of the Torah. The verse of their song is excerpted from a description of the Giving of the Torah, which was accompanied with thunder and rain that symbolize the water-like nature of the Torah. The fish sing of this voice since they are like Torah scholars who swim within the life-giving waters of the Torah and whose blissful lifestyle is unfathomable to those on land. The more Torah a person knows, the more he can appreciate the beauty and the awesomeness of the Creator’s voice upon the waters.

  • Sources: Tehillim 68:9; Mechilta D’Rashbi 19:16; Midrash Shir HaShirim 1:3; Rav Hirsch to Bereishis 48:16; Malbim; Nishmas Shir; Mibriosav Echkam; Zimras HaShamayim V’Haaretz

*In loving memory of Harav Zeev Shlomo ben Zecharia Leib

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