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The standard Sabbath song is:

יום זה מכובד מכל ימים

This sea is more honorable than all other seas.

Which sea does this refer to; and what exactly brings it special honor?


This question is Purim Torah and is not intended to be taken completely seriously. See the Purim Torah policy.

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The clue is in the next line:

כי בו שבת צור עולמים

For in it rests the age-old rock

So we’re looking for a sea containing a very old rock.

Now, Avot 5:6 tells us of ten things which were created towards evening on the first Friday of Creation, one of which was the well Jews drank from in the desert, known as Miriam’s Well. This ‘well’ was in fact a rock from which water miraculously flowed (see Shemot 17:6).

So the age-old rock is Miriam’s Well. If we find out which sea it rests in, we have our answer.

Unfortunately, this is the subject of a machloket. The Bavli (Shabbat 35a) implies that it is in the Mediterranean, but the Yerushalmi (Ketubot 67a) says that is in the Sea of Galilee.

So there’s your answer: the ‘Honored Sea’ is the one containing Miriam’s Well, either the Mediterranean or the Sea of Galilee.

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  • Everyone knows we follow the Yerushalmi with regard to disagreements about seas. – Dr. Shmuel Feb 14 at 19:03
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Gen 1:10 "And G-d called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas, and G-d saw that it was good."

He called seas: But is it not one sea? However, the flavor of a fish that comes up from the sea in Acre differs from the flavor of a fish that comes up from the sea in Spain." - RASHI

(Rashi explains that different parts of the one sea of the Earth are divided (into different seas) specifically according to the taste of fish available in those specific waters.)

Cape Cod was named by Bartholomew Gosnold, an English explorer who visited its shores in 1602 and took aboard a “great store of codfish.” In 1620 the Pilgrims landed at the site of Provincetown, on the hooked tip of Cape Cod, close to the Sabbath, before proceeding to Plymouth.

9 Science-Backed Benefits of Cod Liver Oil

The Hebrew word for "liver" is "Kaved". Therefore, since Cape Cod is known for a major abundance of Cod fish; and since such fish are world renowned for eating their livers for the amazing health benefits they provide, the Jews of the Mayflower, enacted to sing this zemer on their first Shabbos to commemorate the fish for Shabbos that Hashem gave them.

Therefore the answer to the OP is that the waters off Cape Cod is the sea which is most "livered" than any other sea. You can know this is the true meaning since the next verse of the zemirot says "Ki Vo Shavas Tzur Olamim" = "When we kept Shabbos there at the "ROCK" of both worlds (old world and new world). This is obviously a reference to Plymouth Rock.

And so this mystery of Jewish history is answered... :)

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