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Whale Song

Many animals produce various types of vocalization to communicate with each other. Only one species of animals, though, actually composes its own music. The songs are ten or fifteen minutes long, are well structured and consist of five or six distinct phrases. We are referring to the group songs of the hump-backed whale. Only the males sing, and the song was initially believed to be a mating call. However, the female whales seem indifferent to the sounds.

There are similarities between the songs of whales in different locations; however, each group has its own distinct sound. Scientists have been recording whale sounds for decades, and can use the music to pinpoint exactly how many whales belong to a particular group. However, they have as yet not ascertained the purpose of these distinctive whale vocalizations.

Our sages have also addressed this mysterious topic. They do not discuss whale songs in particular, but the general phenomenon of animal vocalization. They explain that the various calls of animals in the wild are their form of offering praise to G-d, Who created them.

The source of these sounds, like everything in creation, is in the ten utterances with which G-d created the world during the six days of creation. These utterances are still maintaining the world to this day. The songs of creatures in the wild is, in a sense, a reflection of the G-dly voice which calls them into being. These calls emanate from the essence of all creatures, as a spontaneous expression of praise and gratitude to their Creator.

The books of the Prophets in the Torah speak of nine songs that the Jews sang in praise of G-d over the course of their history. The most famous is the Song of the Sea, the praise offered after the miraculous splitting of the Reed Sea. With the coming of Moshiach, we will sing a tenth and final song.

In the final Redemption, a place of honor is accorded to the Leviathan, a whale-like creature. It is not a species of animal known today, but an ancient form with unimaginable qualities. Its flesh will be one of the delicacies served in the feast of Moshiach.

This feast has spiritual significance. The word Leviathan has a root in Hebrew of Levaya, accompaniment. At the time of Redemption we will all merit to ascend to the level of tzadikim, who are considered G-d’s accompaniment. This lofty level will find expression in the final song of the Redemption.

 

 


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