Devorah Channah

The World Through My Eyes...

[The Clouds of Glory Say:]

Even when it is clear
He thickens clouds;
He spreads out His rain clouds.
(Iyov 37:11)

During the forty years in the wilderness, Yisrael  was protected and given light by the Clouds of Glory.  The Talmud teaches that they had no need for sunlight because the holiness of the clouds gave them all the light they needed.  Also, when the earth needs rain, G-d thickens the clouds with moisture and gladdens the dry earth.
[Tanach, Rabbi Scherman, Perek Shira]

[The Thick Clouds]

He made darkness His hiding place,
His pavilion round about Him -
darkness of water, thick clouds of the skies.
(Tehillim 18:12)

Darkness of waters means an accumulation of clouds; thick clouds of the skies means clouds that cover the sky.  "He made darkness His hiding place" alludes to the profound difficulty of knowing G-d, just as it is impossible to know what is inside a dark place.  For our material aspect keeps us separated from knowing the Almighty, but never despair, because G-d is always present, even when we can't see Him.
[MeAm Lo'ez, Perek Shira]

[The Stars Say:]

You alone are HaShem; You made the heavens,
the most exalted heavens and all their legion,
the earth and all that is upon it,
the seas and all that is in them,
and You give them all life;
and the heavenly legion bows to You.
(Nechemya 9:6)

A proclamation of G-d's infinite greatness, of His total mastery of every element of the universe. Almost every day, powerful telescopes see new suns, some of them bigger than the distance from our tiny planet to our little sun.  They see galaxies that dwarf ours, a constantly expanding universe.  And it all bows to the Master of the Heavenly legions!
[Tanach, Rabbi Scherman, Perek Shira]

[The Moon Says:]

He made the moon for festivals,
the sun knows its setting.
(Tehillim 104:19)

G-d created the moon to be the basis of our calendar, the timeline of the Festivals.  The moon does not have its own light, it shines in conjunction with the sun.  But "the sun knows it setting."  Its rising and setting are fixed because it shines by its own light.  The waning and waxing of the moonlight symbolizes human life.  Until his middle years, a person continues to increase, thereafter he continues to decrease, until he reaches the appointed place of all living things.
[MeAm Lo'ez, Perek Shira]

[The Sun Says:]

The sun and moon stood still in their abodes,
[Yisrael] would travel by the light of Your arrows,
by the brightness of Your gleaming spear.
(Chavakkuk 3:11)

The sun is a symbol of respect for G-d and generosity to others.  Arrows and the spear of G-d is lightning bolts.  HaShem cast lightning bolts and hailstones upon Yisrael's enemies, who fled before the B'nei Yisrael.  Both the sun and the moon are mentioned, yet in the singular form of "stood" is stated.  In the future, the sun and moon will enjoy the same stature.  The Chazal teach that they will shine with equal brightness, just as they did at the time of their creation.
[MeAm Lo'ez, Perek Shira]

[Acacia Tree at night in south Israel; a reminder of the letter "shin" in Hebrew, the first letter of HaShem's Holy Name Sh-add-ai]

[The Night Says:]

To relate Your lovingkindness in the morning,
and Your faithfulness in the nights.
(Tehillim 92:3)

Night symbolizes faith in G-d.  The darkness of night symbolizes exile and travail, times when we  cannot see the fulfillment of G-d's promises but our faith remains.   Our ancestors, for believing in G-d, they were found worthy of having the Divine Presence rest upon them and they chanted songs.  Our ancestors experienced this joyousness in reward for having stayed faithful to G-d in this world that resembles total night.

[MeAm Lo'ez, Perek Shira]

[The Day Says]

Day to day utters speech
and night to night expresses knowledge.

(Tehillim 19:3)

The works of creation are renewed day by day.  In the evening the sun sets and in the morning it rises, which inspires men to words of praise.  It is as if by teaching man to utter songs of acclaim and thanskgiving, the days and nights themselves "utter speech."   Renewal of Creation every day makes it plain that this pattern cannot be due to chance, and every man perceives this manifestation of G-d's might.

"And night to night expresses knowledge."  Night, when nature reposes, is the time for thought and contemplation. Men ponder the things they saw and heard during the day, and arrive at knowledge of G-d.

According to Midrash, day and night are models of honesty and symbols of trust. In spring and summer months, the days are longer and borrows hours from the night. In fall and winter months the days are shorter and the day returns the borrowed hours to the night. Day and night teach that people should share what they have and be confident that G-d will not leave them.

[-MeAm Lo'ez, Rabbi Scherman, Perek Shira]

[Jordan River, Israel]

[The Streams Say:]

But singers as well as flutists (dancers),
all My wellsprings are in you (O Tziyon)
(Tehillim 87:7)

"All My wellsprings (thoughts) and providence "are in you" in Tziyon.  Also, "All My wellsprings (fountains)" of wisdom "are in you."  All the fountains of wisdom that I draw from, are found "in you" - in Tziyon.  "Therefore with joy will you draw water out of the wells of deliverance" (Yeshayahu 12:3).

Just as wellspring brings forth new waters every moment, so the people of Yisrael chant songs every moment.  Thus it says, "And singers and dancers, all my fountains are in You." Wellsprings bubble with fresh water all day and night. Yisrael, too, never ceases to praise G-d for His goodness and for giving us the privilige of serving Him. Our music is the wellspring embodied in Torah and good deeds.

[-MeAm Lo'ez, Perek Shira-

(Arugot River - Ein Gedi, Israel)

[The Rivers Say:]

Rivers will clap hands,
Mountains will rejoice in song together.
(Tehillim 98:8)
Referring to the messianic era, at that time those who dwell by the rivers will clap hands out of great happiness, thus Scripture says, "They clapped their hands, and said: 'Long live the king!'" (1Melachim 11:12)  "Let the mountains rejoice in song together"...if until now some trees were barren and only the fruit-bearing trees rejoiced in song (96:12), at the time of the Redemption all trees will bear fruit.  Even barren trees on the "mountains" will "rejoice in song together" with other trees.

Snow-capped mountians feed the rivers and in turn they flow and water the earth. Together they exult and clap their hands in joy for they are privileged to perform the mission for which they were created. Rivers symbolize the multitudes with mountains being their leaders. When people and their leaders are united in serving G-d, they clap their hands and sing for joy, for they serve the world and their Creator.

[-MeAm Lo'ez, Rabbi Scherman, Perek Shira]

[The Seas Say:]

More than the voices of many waters,
Mightier than the waves of the seas,
You are mighty on high, HaShem.
(Tehillim 93:4)

G-d dwells beyond human perception, in a lofty realm that is higher than man's comprehension.  However, due to the "voices of many waters, the mighty breakers of the sea," it is made known to everyone that HaShem on high is mighty.  G-d is overwhelmingly powerful in His realm on high. Nothing on earth is more powerful than the raging sea -tidal waves and storms can wash away everything in their path. How much more powerful is He Who made them?

This is their song: "O mortal man, always remember the only true source of power."

[-MeAm Lo'Ez, Perek Shira]

[The Waters Say:]

When His voice resounds with great masses of water in the heavens,
and He raises vapors from the ends of the earth.
(Yirmeyahu 51:16)

Daas Sofrim states that this prayer is related to the emotion aroused by Yisrael by the sight of the many bodies of water which they saw in Babylon.  Water is the symbol of life and of Torah, both give nourishment to creation and spiritual life.

[-MeAm Lo'ez, Perek Shira]

[The Fields Say:]

HaShem founded the earth with wisdom;
He established the heavens with understanding
(Mishlei 3:19)

HaShem called upon wisdom by imbuing it with the power to create heaven and earth.  By understanding "He created the heavens," for, behold, the heavenly bodies have not strayed from their paths since the day they were created.

The field is a metaphor for man. If unused, wisdom remains a capability that is wasted. Understanding is the mental exertion that processes facts and draws new knowledge from them.  Wisdom is mentioned first, for it pertains to the beginning stage, then comes understanding.  For where there is no knowledge, there is no understanding; and when there is no understanding, there is no knowledge. We should seek to nurture and grow the spark of wisdom that G-d has given.

[-MeAm Lo'ez, Rabbi Scherman, Perek Shira]

[Judean Desert]

[The Desert Says:]

The desert and the wasteland will rejoice over them;
the desert will be glad and blossom like a lily.
(Yeshayahu 35:1)
Yerushalayim and Tziyon, which were "desert and wasteland" throughout Jewish exile, shall rejoice upon Jewish Redemption - they shall blossom, prosper and flourish.

Yisrael would become exiled and its land would become a spiritual desert - like a wasteland where no one plants because nothing grows - bereft of its children, its Temple, its Divine Presence, as forseen by Yeshayahu. But, just as Torah was given in a wasteland and it gave life to a people, so too, the people would give life to the wasteland of Tziyon and Eretz Yisrael would blossom like a lily.

[-Rabbi Scherman, MeAm Lo'ez, Perek Shira]

[Gehenna Says:]

For He satisfied the yearning soul,
and filled the hungry soul with good.
(Tehillim 107:9)

The soul of man longs for infinite spirutal delights and rewards of the Olam Habah. When the days of man are over, and to be welcomed to the bliss of Gan Eden above, the blemished soul must be purged and purified in Gehenna.  Gehenna prepares the soul for the spiritual splendor that awaits it.
[-Rabbi Scherman, Perek Shira]

[Gan Eden Says:]

Awake from the north and come from the south!
Blow upon My garden. let its spices flow.
Let my beloved come to his garden and eat its precious fruit.
-Shir HaShirim 4:16
"North wind" represents the human desire for physical pleasure and gratification; the "south wind" represents the soul's longing for spiritual fulfillment. Man is suppose to elevate the earth's gardens to serve the highest spiritual calling.

Adam and Chavah were given the perfect setting for this task in Gan Eden but they failed and were banished from the Garden.

Gan Eden remains in G-d's plan, where both winds will be combined for the enjoyment of ultimate aroma and fruit of holiness.  

[-Rabbi Scherman, Perek Shira]

[The Earth Says:]

Hashem's is the earth and its fullness,
the inhabited land and those who dwell in it.
(Tehillim 24:1)

And the verse says:
From the edge of the earth we have heard songs,
"Glory for the righteous"
(Yeshayahu 24:16)

The purpose of Creation is to establish the kingship of G-d in the world.  Just as the moon is barren and empty, so too the earth would be if G-d had not filled it with all that is needed for life and populated it with people and creatures. Why?  So that its inhabitants would recoginize that we are here to make the earth beautiful and use its goodness to cede it back to the One Who put us here.

When this is done then the Earth's Song is sung and fulfills the purpose of its creation.

-[Perek Shira, MeAm Lo'ez]

[The Heavens Say:]

"The Heavens declare the glory of G-d, and the firmament proclaims His handiwork."
(Tehillim 19:2)

"Raise your eyes on high and see Who created these."
(Yeshayahu 40:26)

The glory of G-d is revealed in His world in two ways: by looking closely at the wonders of the world that He created, and through the Torah.  The performance of the heavenly bodies speaks of G-d's wisdom with greater eloquence than the spoken word.  The spheres in their periodic motions recite songs and praises with a sweet and delightful melody.

In another sense, the heavens declare the glory of G-d by bringing down rain that causes the earth to yield its produce and men to praise G-d in song.  Rain falls from the sky and we infer the existence of "a Master of the palace." At times it rains and other times it does not rain, sometimes there is little and sometimes there is much, which bears witness that the world "and its fullness" 
(24:1) are G-d's handiwork.

[Perek Shira, MeAm Lo'ez, Mesorah]

Devorah Channah

Seeking internal holiness - striving, BE"H, to prepare this vessel for that holiness.