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פרק שירה | Perek Shirah (Chapter of Song), a hymn of creation

6 comments to פרק שירה | Perek Shirah (Chapter of Song), a hymn of creation

  • That is SO awesome. Thank you for brightening our Vernal Equinox transition! — Rabbi Karpov (USA)

  • Great work!

    Found a typo:

    The Bee-Eater is saying: “I will whistle to them and gather them, for I have redeemed them, and they shall increase as they HARE before increased.”

  • chaya rifka peltz

    rabbi yeshiah was greatly puzzled as to why the dogs are honored to be included in perek shirah; the answer is indicated very clearly in chumash. the thing that is puzzling to me is why the snake is honored; the original cause of all our suffering? thank you in advance for your input.

    • Now there are snakes and there is the character in Bereishit, perek bet, referred to as the Naḥash. (Naḥash like beings also appear in the stories of other peoples — the most similar in my reading are the Nagas in ancient Persian and Indian mythology.) The question of what or who the Naḥash represents is a question of ancient interest and varied explanation. There is certainly cause to question what exactly was “that cause” of the first transgression. Was it the keen desire of human beings to know more than they were ready to know? Was it their naïvité and innocence that led them to yield to the urging of Naḥash despite the warning of Hashem? Was it their unfamiliarity with the experience of transgression itself? I am unconvinced that the transgression of consuming the fruit of knowledge was the “original cause of all of our suffering” even so. Certainly according to Bereishit there were multiple causes of suffering, and this was but the first. But I do think it is an error to heap upon it the cause of all of our suffering. There is so much suffering due to the predation invited into Nature itself by the Dor Hamabul (the generation of the Flood). The folklorist, Raphael Patai, notes that far from being conceived as creatures of harm, are shown in other places in the Torah to be creatures worthy of reverence. The neḥushtan is only one example. Conceptions of the snake as being representatives of wickedness, etc., seem to be a current that is exclusive to strands of the Christological imagination, rather than the Jewish one.

  • […] about man and animal in the Kabbalah, in Hasidic lore, and a book (which both address) called the “Chapter of Song.”   Although there are many disputes over the origins of the Chapter of Song, there is agreement on […]

  • […] The Cat is saying, “If you rise up like a vulture, and place your nest among the stars, from there I shall bring you down, says God.”88 […]

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