According to Rav xkcd (an oft quoted authority in Bam), the universe was written in perl. Since the Torah is the blueprint of creation, it follows that it must contain a Perl Programming manual. Where is it?

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

  • 7
    "Much Perl, but intelligent Lisp is a valuable utility" (Mishlei 20:15). "Wisdom is good because of Perl; all desirable things cannot be compared to it. I, [Perl], am wisdom; I dwell cleverly, and seek out knowledge of devices" (Mishlei 8:11-12).
    – Fred
    Feb 26, 2015 at 20:22
  • 1
    There was a php vs. perl war at my workplace with all the Jews in the php camp. Based on some of the giant slabs of unreadable perl code we had to deal with, I feel justified in paskening that the only place Perl appears in the Torah is לא תקים לך מצבה אשר שנא ה אלקיך
    – Yitzchak
    Feb 26, 2015 at 22:47
  • 1
    @Fred The translation doesn't say perl, it says ruby
    – Leitz
    Feb 26, 2018 at 21:22

3 Answers 3


Other sources (alluded to in the first three panels) suggest Lisp is the language of the universe, but those must be dismissed as defaming the Creator:

How sweet are Your words to my palate,
more than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:103

No, the language of the universe is not spoken with a speech impediment nor does it require counting parentheses.

Hashem looked into the Torah and created the universe. Therefore, the language of the universe is the Tanakh.

Tanakh is an acronym of the first Hebrew letter of each of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: Torah ("Teaching", also known as the Five Books of Moses), Nevi'im ("Prophets") and Ketuvim ("Writings")—hence TaNaKh.

What are those three divisions in English?

  • Prophets
  • Writings (or Readings)
  • Law

Adding a vowel we get:


Therefore: Perl == Tanakh == the language of creation.

  • 2
    Nice, but I don't know if I can upvote an answer that disses LISP. :-) Feb 26, 2015 at 21:55
  • 2
    @MonicaCellio: Next year, if someone asks about Lisp, I'm pretty sure I can prove beyond a doubt this it is the true language behind all creation. At the very least, can we agree that the Adversary is a little schemer? Feb 27, 2015 at 20:26
  • 5
    "The language of the universe is not spoken with a speech impediment" -- au contraire! The creator chose, as his spokesman to transmit torah to the people of Israel, a man who is slow of speech, and rebuffed the argument that this disqualified the servant. Dec 22, 2015 at 17:21
  • 2
    @MonicaCellio As per Devarim Rabbah 1:1, once Moshe began to learn Torah (=Perl) his speech impediment vanished.
    – DonielF
    Mar 11, 2019 at 22:40
  • 2
    @JonEricson it wasn't "next year", but I hope you'll answer this followup question anyway. Mar 12, 2019 at 20:11

It's well accepted that Chazal were master programmers. After all, we see one complaining when others refrain from relating the Torah of others:

"Margaliyos tovah hysa biyedchem vichipasta le'abdah mimeni!" - "You had a good PERL (program) in your palm (pilot, smartphones didn't exist them), and you sought to hide it from me!"

The complaint is that they desired to compile the entire code before sharing it with their friend, thus depriving him of the joy of it's beautiful structure, efficient flow, and proper commenting.

This also explains how one may, through Sefer Yetzirah and other esotericisms, engage in a new creation - we see that Yosef's brothers and rabbanim in the Talmud would create calves to eat through the appropriate resource calls.

Alas, the margaliyah shel Torah was passed down through semicha, and was lost along with it. The hope is that if enough rabbanim get together and pool their programming abilities, they may yet be capable of rewriting the sacred PERL manual and thereby reinstitute semichah.

Others say that we must wait until moshiach comes, riding on the (Amazon) Cloud, who will fix all our bugs and code (teyhavei yashiv koding viscriptos).


One of the best sources for learning Perl is "the Camel Book". If you translate the word "camel" into Hebrew, you get "גמל" ("gamal").

And, Psalms 13:6 says:

אָשִׁ֥ירָה לַה' כִּ֖י גָמַ֣ל עָלָֽי׃


Ashira LaShem ki gamal alai.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .