Perek Shira translated into english

Introductory text of the Perek Shira

Rabbi Eliezer said: Anyone who involves himself with Perek Shirah in this world, merits saying it in the World-to-Come, as it says, “Then Moshe will sing”; it does not say “sang,” but “will sing” in the World-to-Come.

And Rebbi said: Anyone who involves himself with Perek Shirah in this world — I testify that he is destined for the World-to-Come, and he is saved from the evil inclination, and from harsh judgment, and from the destroying Satan, and from all types of enemies, and from the birth pangs of Mashiaḥ, and from the judgment of Gehennom; and he merits to learn and to teach, to observe and to fulfill and to perform [the Torah], and his studies are established in him, and his days are lengthened, and he merits life in the World-to-Come.

The Sages said concerning King David that when he completed the book of Psalms, he became proud. He said before the blessed Holy One, “Is there any creature you have created in your world that says more songs and praises than I?” At that moment a frog happened across his path, and it said to him: “David! Do not become proud, for I recite more songs and praises than you. Furthermore, every song I say contains three thousand parables, as it says, ‘And he spoke three thousand parables, and his songs were one thousand five hundred.' And furthermore, I am busy with a great mitsvah, and this is the mitsvah with which I am busy: there is a certain type of creature by the edge of the sea whose sustenance is entirely from [creatures living in] the water, and when it is hungry, it takes me and eats me, such that I fulfill that which it says, ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for you shall heap coals of fire on his head, and YHVH shall reward you'; do not read ‘shall reward you’ but instead ‘shall make him complete you.’”

Chapter 1

The Heavens are saying

The Heavens are saying: “The heavens speak of El’s kavod, and the skies tell of his handiwork.”

The Earth is saying

The Earth is saying: “The earth and every thing in it are YHVH’s; the inhabited area and all that dwell within it.”

And it is saying: “From the wings of the land we have heard song, glory to the righteous.”

The Garden of Eden is saying

The Garden of Eden is saying: “Arouse yourself, O north [wind], and come, O south! Blow upon my garden, let its spices flow out; let my Beloved come to his garden and eat of its precious fruit.”

Gehinnom is saying

Gehinnom is saying: “For he has satisfied the longing soul, and has filled the hungry soul with good.”

The Wilderness is saying

The Wilderness is saying: “The wilderness and the desert shall rejoice, and the arid region shall exult, and blossom like the rose.”

The Fields are saying:

The Fields are saying: "God founded the land with wisdom; He established the heavens with understanding." (Proverbs 3:19)

The Waters are saying

The Waters are saying: “When his voice resounds with a great mass of water in the heavens, and he raises vapors from the ends of the Earth; when he makes lightning amongst the rain, and he brings out the wind from its storehouses.”

The Seas are saying

The Seas are saying: “More than the voices of many waters, than the mighty waves of the sea, YHVH on high is mighty.”

The Rivers are saying

The Rivers are saying: “Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing for joy together!”

The Wellsprings are saying

The Wellsprings are saying: “And as singers who are like dancers are all those who study you.”

Chapter 2

The Day is saying

The Day is saying: “Day to day utters speech, and night to night relates knowledge.”

The Night is saying

The Night is saying: “To speak of his kindness in the morning, and of his faithfulness by nights.”

The Sun is saying

The Sun is saying: “The sun, [when covered by] the moon, stood in its abode; they speed at the light of your arrows, and at the shining of your glittering spear.”

The Moon is saying

The Moon is saying: “He made the Moon for the festivals; the Sun knows the time of its coming.”

The Stars are saying

The Stars are saying, “You, only you, are YHVH; You made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host; the earth, and everything that is in it; the seas, and everything that is in them; and you preserve them all; and the host of heaven prostrate themselves to you.”

The Thick Clouds are saying

The Thick Clouds are saying, “He made darkness his secret place; His pavilion around him was dark with waters and thick clouds of the skies.”

The Light Clouds are saying

The Light Clouds are saying, “Also he burdens the thick cloud with an overflow; the cloud scatters its light.”

The Wind is saying

The Wind is saying, “I will say to the north, ‘Give up’; and to the south, ‘Do not withhold; bring My sons from far, and My daughters from the ends of the earth.’”

The Lightning Bolts are saying

The Lightning Bolts are saying, “…He makes lightning for the rain; He brings forth the wind from his storehouses.”

The Dew is saying

The Dew is saying: “I shall be as the dew to Yisra’el, he shall blossom as a rose, he shall spread forth his roots as the Lebanon.”

Other texts add: “Arouse yourself O north [wind], and come, O south! Blow upon my garden, let its spices flow out; let my Beloved come to his garden and eat of its precious fruit.”

The Rains are saying

The Rains are saying, “You, Elohim, poured a generous rain, to strengthen your heritage when it languished.”

Chapter 3

The Wild Trees are saying

The Wild Trees are saying, “Then shall the trees of the forest sing out at the presence of YHVH, because he comes to judge the earth.”

The Vine is saying

The Vine is saying, “So says YHVH: As the wine is found in the cluster, and one says: ‘Do not destroy it, for a blessing is in it’ – so shall I do for the sake of my servants, so as not to destroy everything.”

The Fig is saying

The Fig is saying: “The one who guards the fig shall eat of her fruits”

The Pomegranate is saying

The Pomegranate is saying, “Your brow is like a piece of a pomegranate behind your braids.”

The Palm is saying

The Palm is saying, “The righteous flourish like the palm tree; they grow like a cedar in Lebanon.”

The Apricot is saying

The Apricot is saying, “Like the apricot tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among young men. I sat down under his shadow with delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.”

The Sheaves of Wheat are saying

The Sheaves of Wheat are saying, “A song of ascents: Out of the depths have I cried to you, YHVH.”

The Sheaves of Barley are saying

The Sheaves of Barley are saying, “A prayer of the pauper, when he swoons, and pours out his speech before YHVH.”

The Other Sheaves are saying

The Other Sheaves are saying, “The meadows are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with grain; they shout for joy, they also sing.”

The Vegetables of the Field are saying

The Vegetables of the Field are saying, “You water its furrows abundantly; you settle its ridges; you make it soft with showers; You bless its growth.”

The Grasses are saying

The Grasses are saying, “May the kavod of YHVH endure forever; may YHVH rejoice in his works.”

Chapter 4

The Rooster is saying

The Rooster is saying, “When the blessed Holy One comes to the righteous in the Garden of Eden, all the trees in the Garden of Eden scatter their spices, and they rejoice and praise, and then He, too, is aroused and praises.”

In its first call it says, “Such is the generation of them that seek after thon, that seek your face, even Ya’akov. Selah! Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O everlasting doors! And the King of kavod shall come in. Who is this King of kavod? YHVH strong and mighty, YHVH mighty in battle!”

In its second call, it says, “Lift up your heads, O gates! Lift them up, O everlasting doors! And the King of kavod shall come in. Who is He, this King of kavod? YHVH Tseva’ot, he is the King of kavod, Selah!”

In its third call it says, “Stand, O righteous ones, and busy yourselves with Torah, so that your reward shall be double in Olam Haba.”

In its fourth call it says, “I have hoped for your salvation, YHVH.”

In its fifth call, it is saying, “How long will you sleep, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?”

In its sixth call, it is saying, “Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you shall be satisfied with bread.”

In its seventh call, it is saying, “It is time to act for YHVH; for they have made void your Torah.”

The Hen is saying

The Hen is saying, “He gives bread to all flesh, for his lovingkindness endures in the cosmos.”

The Dove is saying

The Dove is saying, “Like a swift or crane, so do I chatter; I moan like a dove; my eyes fail with looking upward; my Master, I am oppressed by my senility.”

The Dove says before the blessed Holy One: “Master of the World! May my sustenance be as bitter as an olive in your Hand, rather than it being sweet as honey through flesh and blood.”

The Vulture is saying

The Vulture is saying, “And you, YHVH Elohim Tseva’ot, elo’ah of Yisra’el, awake to punish all the nations; do not be gracious to any wicked traitors, Selah!”

The Crane is saying

The Crane is saying, “Give thanks to YHVH with the lyre, make music for him with the ten-stringed harp.”

The Songbird is saying

The Songbird is saying, “The songbird has also found her home, and the sparrow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young – Your altars, YHVH Tseva’ot, my King and my elo’ah.”

The Swallow is saying

The Swallow is saying, “So that my soul shall praise you, and shall not be silent, YHVH my elo’ah, I shall give thanks to you forever.”

The Swift is saying

The Swift is saying: “My help is from YHVH, Maker of Heaven and earth.”

The Stormy Petrel is saying

The Stormy Petrel is saying: “Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the straight-hearted.”

The Laughing Dove is saying

The Laughing Dove is saying: “Comfort My people, comfort them, says your elo’ah.”

The Stork is saying

The Stork is saying: “Speak to the heart of Yerushalayim, and call to her, for her time has arrived, for her sins have been pardoned, for she has taken double from YHVH’s hand for all her sins.”

The Raven is saying

The Raven is saying, “Who prepares food for the raven, when his young ones cry out to El?”

The Starling is saying

The Starling is saying, “Their seed shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which YHVH has blessed.”

The Domestic Goose is saying

The Domestic Goose is saying, “Give thanks to YHVH, call upon his Name, make his works known amongst the peoples, sing to Him, make music for Him, speak of all his wonders.”

The Wild Goose

The Wild Goose flying in the wilderness, when it sees Yisra’el busy with Torah, is saying, “A voice cries, Prepare in the wilderness the way of YHVH, make straight in the desert a path for our elo’ah.”

And upon finding its food in the wilderness, it says, “Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings…”[60] Blessed is the man who trusts in YHVH, and YHVH shall be his assurance.”

The Ducks are saying

The Ducks are saying, “Trust in YHVH forever and ever, for YHVH Yah, is the strength of worlds.”

The Bee-Eater is saying

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

The Grasshopper is saying

The Grasshopper is saying: “I lift my eyes up to the mountains, wherefrom shall my help come?”

The Locust is saying

The Locust is saying, “YHVH, you are my elo’ah; I will exalt you, I will praise your Name; for you have done wondrous things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.”

The Spider is saying

The Spider is saying, “Praise him with sounding cymbals! Praise him with loud clashing cymbals!”

The Fly

The Fly, when Yisra’el is not busying itself with Torah, is saying, “The voice said, ‘Call out.’ And he said, ‘What shall I call out?’ ‘All flesh is grass, and all its grace is as the flower of the field.’ ‘…The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our elo’ah shall endure forever.’” ‘“I will create a new expression of the lips; Peace, peace for him who is far off and for him who is near, says YHVH; and I will heal him.’”

The Sea Monsters are saying

The Sea Monsters are saying: “Praise YHVH from the land, the sea monsters and all the depths.”

The Leviathan is saying

The Leviathan is saying, “Give thanks to YHVH for he is good, for his lovingkindness endures in the cosmos.”

The Fishes are saying

The Fishes are saying, “The voice of YHVH is upon the waters, the El of kavod thunders, YHVH is upon many waters.”

The Frog is saying

The Frog is saying, “Blessed is the Name of his resplendent Majesty in the Cosmos forever.”

Chapter 5

The Sheep is saying

The Sheep is saying: “Who is like you among the mighty ones, YHVH? Who is like you, mighty in holiness, awesome in praise, worker of wonders.”

The Cow is saying

The Cow is saying: “Rejoice to Elohim over our strength, trumpet to the elo’ah of Yaakov!”

The Pig is saying

The Pig is saying: “YHVH is good to the good, and to those committed at heart.”

The Working Animal is saying

The Working Animal is saying: “When you eat the fruit of your labors, happy are you and good is your lot.”

The Camel is saying

The Camel is saying: “…YHVH shall roar from upon high and cause his voice to sound forth from his holy place, his shout echoes profoundly over his dwelling place….”

The Horse is saying

The Horse is saying: “Behold, as the eyes of the servants to the hand of their master, as the eyes of the maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so are our eyes to YHVH our elo’ah until he will favor us.”

The Mule is saying

The Mule is saying, “All the kings of the earth shall acknowledge you, YHVH, for they have heard the sayings of your mouth.”

The Donkey is saying

The Donkey is saying: “Yours, YHVH, is the greatness, and the might, and the splendor, and the victory, and the glory, for everything in the Heavens and earth [is yours]; Yours, YHVH, is the kingship, and the exaltation over all.”

The Ox is saying

The Ox is saying, “Then Moshe and the Children of Yisra’el sang this song to YHVH, and they said, ‘I shall sing to YHVH, for he has triumphed; He has thrown the horse and its rider into the sea.’”

The Wild Animals are saying

The Wild Animals are saying, “Blessed is the One Who is good and bestows good.”

The Gazelle is saying

The Gazelle is saying: “And I shall sing of your strength, I shall rejoice of your kindness in the morning, for you were a refuge to me, and a hiding place on the day of my oppression.”

The Elephant is saying

The Elephant is saying: “How great are your works, YHVH; Your thoughts are tremendously deep.”

The Lion is saying

The Lion is saying: “YHVH shall go out as a mighty man, he shall arouse zeal; He shall say, even roar, he shall prevail over his enemies.”

The Bear is saying

The Bear is saying: “Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voice, the village that Kedar inhabits; let the inhabitants of the rocks sing, let them shout from the peaks of the mountains. Let them give kavod to YHVH, and tell of his praise in the islands.”

The Wolf is saying

The Wolf is saying: “For every matter of iniquity, for the ox, the donkey, the lamb, the garment, for every lost item about which he says, ‘This is it,’ the matter of both of them shall come before the judge; he who the judge finds guilty shall pay double to the other.”

The Fox is saying

The Fox is saying: “Woe to him that builds his house without justice, and his chambers without lawfulness; that uses his friend’s service without wages, and does not give him for his hire.”

The Hound is saying

The Hound is saying, “Let the righteous rejoice in YHVH, praise is befitting to the upright.”

The Cat is saying

The Cat is saying, “I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them, and I did not return until they were destroyed.”

Chapter 6

The Creeping Creatures are saying

The Creeping Creatures are saying, “Let Yisra’el rejoice in He Who made him; let the children of Tsiyon be joyful in their King.”[95]. another version: “May the kavod of YHVH endure forever; may YHVH rejoice in his works.”

The Prolific Creeping Creatures are saying

The Prolific Creeping Creatures are saying, “Your wife shall be like a fruittful vine in the recesses of your house; your children like olive shoots around your table.”

The Snake is saying

The Snake is saying: “YHVH supports all the fallen, and straightens all the bent.”

The Scorpion is saying

The Scorpion is saying, “Yah is good to all, and his mercy is upon all of his handiwork.”

The Snail is saying

The Snail is saying, “Like the snail that melts away, the stillborn of a mole that does not see the sun.”

The Ant is saying

The Ant is saying, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.”

The Mouse says

The Mouse says, “You are just for all that comes upon me, for you have acted truthfully, and I have been wicked.”

The Rat is saying

The Rat is saying: “Let every soul praise Yah, Hallelu-Yah!”

The Dogs are saying

The Dogs are saying, “Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before YHVH our Maker.”

Prayer after the recitation of Perek Shira

Rabbi Yeshayah, student of Rabbi Ḥanina ben Dosa, fasted eighty-five fasts. He said, “Dogs, about which it is written, ‘the dogs are brazen of spirit; they do not know satisfaction' - shall they merit saying a song?” An angel answered him from Heaven and said to him, “Yeshayah, until when will you fast over this? It is an oath from the blessed Holy One; from the day that he revealed his secret to Havakuk the prophet, he has not revealed this matter to anyone in the world. But because you are the student of a great man, I have been sent from Heaven to assist you. They said that dogs have written about them, ‘No dog sharpened its tongue against any of the children of Yisra’el'. Furthermore, they merited that hides are tanned with their excrement, on which Tefillin, Mezuzot, and Torah scrolls are written. For this reason they merited saying a song. And regarding what you asked, take back your word and do not continue in this way, as it is written, ‘He that guards his mouth and tongue, guards from afflictions of his soul.’” Blessed is YHVH forever, Amen and Amen.

Master of all the Worlds, may it be Your will, O HaShem, my G-d and the G-d of my forefathers, that in the merit of Perek Shirah that I have recited and in which I involved myself, which is the song of mineral, vegetable, and animal, and the holy angels that are appointed over them by HaShem, Blessed is He, and [which is the song] of the connection of the Divine Presence with all the worlds, and the connection of the lower worlds with the higher worlds, and the recitation of which is like an offering upon the Altar - that this time should be a time of mercy, a time of attentiveness, a time of giving ear, when we call upon You and You answer us, [a time] when we beseech You and You respond to us. May our recitation and involvement in Perek Shira rise up before You as if we have comprehended all the mysteries, wonders, and awesomeness that are sealed within it, in its every manifestation. Bring us back in complete repentance before You, and may we merit [to reach] the place from which the life-forces, spirits, and souls are hewn, as if we had performed everything that we are called upon to comprehend, whether in this transmigration [of the soul] or in other transmigrations. And may we be among those who ascend to and merit the World to Come, among the other righteous and devout people. And may You fulfill all the requests of our heart for good (**at this point one may express one's personal requests**) and may You be with our heart and the utterances of our mouth at the times of our thoughts, and with our hands at the times when we act. And may You send blessing and success and relief in all our handiwork. May You let us stand up from amid our suffering and may You raise us up from the trash heaps of poverty. Through the strength of this song may all the powerful [judgments] be sweetened and may blessing be spread out in all the worlds. May we merit to sing in the Time to Come and may You return the Divine Presence to Your Holy City speedily, in our days, Amen.

This prayer was composed by HaGaon Rabbi Mordechai Gross, shlita, Raavad of Merkaz Beni Brak.