For the week ending 30 October 2021 / 24 Cheshvan 5782

Perek Shira - The Song of Existence - The Song of the Garden of Eden

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by Rabbi Shmuel Kraines

The Garden of Eden says:

[Hashem says,] “Awaken, north wind, and come, south wind, blow through My garden, causing its fragrances to flow out.”

[The Jewish nation responds,] ”Let my Beloved come to His garden and eat His delectable fruits.”

(Shir HaShirim 4:16)

The Garden of Eden sings about the true, unending pleasure experienced after this world.

It describes how Hashem invites the north and south winds to circulate their divine fragrances for the pleasure of the righteous within it. North is the direction which symbolizes the physical aspects of creation, and thus its wind delights the soul for righteous usage of the physical world, such as the giving of money for charity. The south wind brings pleasure due for spiritual accomplishments, such as Torah study. The Garden sings how all will be justly rewarded for their unique role in Hashem’s world. Then, Hashem and His nation will be united in mutual love. Hashem will call for His people to delight in His garden, and His people will call for Him to delight in them.

It is possible to make the song of the Garden of Eden heard in this world as well. We should channel all of our faculties and all elements of the world towards the service of Hashem. There is nothing created by the Holy G-d that is too unholy to be sanctified. The Jewish People are pleasure-seekers who seek true pleasure — delights of the spirit, not the illusion of transitory physical lust. True pleasure can be found in Hashem's Torah and mitzvahs, and in every waking moment. The more we reveal it, the more we can experience the delight of Garden of Eden, even in this world, and echo its song to the Creator.

  • Sources: Yalkut Shimoni; Pesachim 53b; Shir HaChaim; Perek B'Shir; Li Lishua;, Rabbi Noach Weinberg

*In loving memory of Harav Zeev Shlomo ben Zecharia Leib

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