For the week ending 13 May 2023 / 22 Iyar 5783

Perek Shira: The Song of the Lion

by Rabbi Reuven Lauffer
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The lion says: “Hashem will go out like a mighty man; like a warrior He will invoke wrath. He will trumpet and shout; His enemies He will overpower.” (Yeshayah 42:13)

The lion is the “king of wild animals.” The male lion is crowned with a majestic mane and sits lazily like a Pharaoh. Its roar silences all in earshot, just as all are quiet when a king speaks. It hunts fearlessly, consuming its prey alive, unlike other predators that first kill their prey and then commonly drag their food back to their lairs to eat in safety.

Thus, a lion is a symbol of kingship and power, and the image of a lion is engraved on the throne of the ultimate King, Hashem. With its existence, it sings of Hashem vanquishing His enemies without fear.

We should take pride in our heritage and in the Jewish majesty that runs through our veins. The Torah describes us as a nation that rises each morning like lions and shakes free of the bonds of sleep and earthliness to recite the shema each morning. For millennia we stand unchanged, unashamed of our traditions, sturdy in our faith, confident and fearless. It is we who represent Hashem’s kingship in the world, and our every fulfilment of Hashem’s will gives voice to the celestial lion etched on the Throne of Glory.

  • Sources: Rosh (Chullin 3:58); Vilna Gaon (cited in Otzar HaYedios, vol. I)

In loving memory of Harav Zeev Shlomo ben Zecharia Leib

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