The Song of the Sea

For years now, marine biologists have observed the “songs” of whales — seemingly musical compositions thought to communicate positions for migration or to attract mates.  Now, however, researchers have discovered that sperm whales sing simply for the pleasure of singing.

It’s difficult to hear such reports without thinking of Perek Shira, the ode dating back, perhaps, as far as the great kings David and Solomon, that describes how the myriad creatures and creations that fill the universe sing the praises of the Almighty, each with its own unique voice.

Typically, we understand the “songs” of Perek Shira to mean that the variety and complexity of creation testifies to the handiwork of the Creator.  But perhaps we are meant to understand a more literal meaning as well.

The sea giants say:  Praise HaShem from the earth; sea giants and all [denizens of] the watery depths (Tehillim 148:7).

Growing to dimensions far beyond any inhabitants of the land, surviving depths that would crush human beings in an instant, these magnificent creatures awe and inspire us.  But now we know that they do something more than that:

They sing.

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