Perek Shira: The Song of the Hen
by Rabbi Shmuel Kraines
The hen says: “He provides sustenance for all flesh, for His kindness is forever.” (Tehillim 136:25)
Every day, the hen lays eggs, each one being compacted with nutrients, similar to how Hashem provides abundant sustenance for His countless creatures on a daily basis. It also expresses this idea in that it is a large, almost flightless bird that is conveniently bred for food. In addition, its unrestrained fruitfulness expresses faith that Hashem will provide for its hatchlings. As a result, it sings with its existence: “He gives food to all flesh, for His kindness is forever.”
Hashem created the world in order to deal with kindness with His creatures. At times, Hashem has to maintain law and order in His world by disciplining us and withholding His bounty and His kindness is hidden. Nevertheless, one act of kindness remains unquestionable at all times: His provision of food for all His creatures, each according to its need and desire, every day. This casts light on other, less obvious, kindnesses. When we thank Hashem for satiating us, and also practice similar benevolence, we too sing this song of His everlasting kindness.
- Sources: Kenaf Renanah, quoted in Nachalei Devash
*In loving memory of Harav Zeev Shlomo ben Zecharia Leib