28 Kislev 5782 / Thursday, December 02, 2021 | Torah Reading: Mikeitz
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King David and the Frog    

King David and the Frog

King David was so happy when he finished composing the Book of Psalms. He asked Hashem, “Is there any creature that praises You more than I do?” Suddenly came a frog...


Translation by Rabbi Lazer Brody with illustrations by Rebecca Shapiro

Perek Shira for children, Part 1
Rebbe (Yehuda Hanassi) said, "Anyone who engrosses himself in Pereq Shira in this world merits to learn and to teach, to observe and to fulfill and to perform (Torah and mitzvoth), and his learning succeeds, and he is delivered from the Evil Inclination and from all harm, and from castigation of the grave and from the verdict of Gehennom, and from the birth pangs of Moshiach, and enjoys longevity of days, and merits life in the World-to-Come.
It is taught that Rabbi Eliezer said: Anyone who occupies himself with Pereq Shira in this world merits to recite it in the World to Come, for it is written, "Then, Moses shall sing" – it doesn't say "sang", but "shall sing" in the World to Come.
It is taught that Rabbi Eliezer the Great said: "Anyone who engrosses himself in Pereq Shira every day - I bear witness that he is destined for the World-to-Come, and is delivered from calamity, and from the Evil Inclination, and from severe judgment, and from the Satan, and from all types of evil and destruction. Commit with all your heart and with all your soul to know My ways, and to guard the gates of My holy shrine and to observe My laws and commandments. Hold My Torah in your heart and may the awe of Me be before your eyes. Guard your mouth and your tongue from all transgression and guilt, and I shall be with you wherever you go, and I shall teach you wisdom and knowledge from everything. Know full well that everything The Holy One Blessed Be He created was created for His own glory, as it is said (Isaiah 43:7),'Anything that carries My name was created in My honor – I created it, I produced it, I made it!'"
Our sages of blessed memory said that when King David completed the Book of Psalms, he had a feeling of self-satisfaction. He said before The Holy One Blessed Be He, "Is there any creation in Your world that says songs and praises more than I do?"
That same hour, a frog appeared to him, and said to him: "David! Don't be complacent, for I say songs and praises more than you do. Not only that, but three thousand parables are said about every sonnet that I recite, for it is said (Kings I 5:12), "And he spoke three thousand parables and his songs were one-thousand and five." Not only that, but I involve myself in a great mitzvah, and this is the mitzvah that I involve myself with: There's a specie on the beach whose sustenance comes exclusively from (creatures that live) in the water, and when it's hungry, it takes me and eats me. I therefore fulfill the mitzvah of that what is said (Proverbs 25:21-22), "If your adversary is hungry, feed him; if he's thirsty, give him water to drink, for you shall heap hot coals on his head and Hashem shall reward you. Rather than reading "shall reward you", read "shall make you complete."
To be continued.

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