Will a rooster still crow at the crack of dawn if it’s not exposed to external stimuli? After many repeated attempts to play with the amount of light a rooster is exposed to, the answer is in. Even without any light, a rooster will crow.

While science explains that a rooster has an internal circadian clock to know when to crow, Chassidus has spiritual insight into the matter. A rooster has a spiritual source above—the “spiritual rooster,” a spiritual voice that arouses the angels and souls of Jews to arise and sing to G‑d.

This spiritual rooster calls out each morning “Wake up!” And as a reflection and result of that, the physical creature crows and calls, “Cock-a-doodle doo!

This spiritual rooster above knows not only the difference between darkness and light but between goodness and bad, revelation and concealment.

We could all use some of that discernment in our lives. We could use help from above to give us the ability to focus on our daily task each morning, to be able to see the truth of G‑d with our mind’s eye and have an aha! moment so powerful that we feel a passionate love of G‑d during the Shema prayer each morning.

That is why we start our prayers with the morning blessings. We start the morning in the dark, so to speak, and just like a jet-black night is illuminated with a flash of lightning, we ask G‑d to grant us Divine inspiration—to illuminate our day from being stuck in physicality to connecting to spirituality.

And that’s where the rooster comes in. When we say each morning, “Blessed are You, Hashem, our G‑d, King of the universe, Who gave the rooster the intelligence to discern between day and night,” we’re asking for our own enlightenment. We’re asking for a wake-up call so that we can feel the love of G‑d with our flesh and blood bodies.

All of the morning blessings can be understood in a similar vein. When we say, “Blessed are You, Hashem, our G‑d, King of the universe, Who opens [the eyes] of the blind,” we’re asking for our eyes to see beyond physical reality around us and be able to perceive G‑d’s hand in everything. And when we say, “Blessed are You, Hashem, our G‑d, King of the universe, Who uplifts the bent,” we ask that we should be upright like a human and not chained by our animalistic tendencies, as an animal walks on all fours facing the ground while a human stands straight and tall.

Just like we set an alarm clock to wake us physically, we set our spiritual alarm clocks each morning by asking for a spiritual rooster awakening.

We just need to make sure to listen out for its call.

Source: Likutei Torah, Hakol Kol Yaakov, Chapters 3 and 4 (as explained in Chassidut Mevueret, Avodat HaTefillah).