The Song of the World


Hi Rabbi, I came across a reference to something in Judaism called “Perek Shira.” I looked up the translation and saw it means “Chapter of Song.” This sounds intriguing and I would appreciate your telling me more about its significance. Thanks!



  1. Judaism teaches that every element of the natural world sings to its Creator. Some sing of the Creator’s grandeur, some of His salvation, some of His greatness, some of His awesomeness, some of His supremacy — and all sing of His kindness. In addition to telling of His glory, the beings also teach of His virtuous ways that we are to emulate. The Sages teach that if the Torah would not have been given to us as a guide, we would have learned modesty from the cat, avoidance of theft from the industrious ant, and marital loyalty from the dove. The same is true about each of His magnificent creatures.

    The universe’s songs were compiled by Kings David and Solomon into a collection called “Perek Shira.” Even though animals and inanimate creatures have no mouths with which to sing, their natures and functions are expressions of Divine praise.

    However, the full manifestation of these songs is only when we — as intelligent Mankind — comprehend them and voice them. Our praise is one of the primary reasons for the universe’s creation, as the Midrash relates: God fashioned man with a mouth, saying, “If not for the praises and songs that the Jewish nation say before Me every day, I would not have created the heavens and the earth.” Moreover, the Kabbalists teach that each creature — even every blade of grass — has its own angel in Heaven, and only when we recite the world’s songs is each angel empowered to sing in harmony. The beings themselves are sustained only in the merit of these songs.

    Therefore, when one recites Perek Shira it is as if he is conducting an unfathomably powerful orchestra of cosmic proportions, creating Divine music too beautiful for the human ear to hear. Understandably, the Sages speak at length of the immense reward for its recital. Many have a custom to recite it every morning at the same time that the world awakens and begins its song anew.

    Perek Shira opens up a new way to look at the world. You will perceive that birds chirp not only to mark their territory. They are singing sweetly to the Creator, incessantly reminding us that every day is filled with goodness and pleasantness. Perek Shira will also illuminate your view of other people, and of yourself. You will obtain the tools to contemplate how each person has his or her own unique purpose and an immutable song in God’s universe. A person sings not only through specific life-accomplishments, but even with day-to-day life, with all of its ups and downs, like the rising and falling of a beautiful melody. This Song of Existence has been playing since the dawn of time, adding layer upon layer of meaning, converging steadily towards its climatic culmination, with the coming Redemption.

    Best wishes from the Team