Perek Shira: Are You A Workaholic, What Do You Sing About?
The proud mantra of all workaholics is "Yegia Kapecha Ki Toichal Ashrecha V'Toiv Lach"; if you live off the sweat of your own hand you are fortunate and it will be good for you (Tehilim 128:2). This is often misused as an excuse for spending ones days and nights working instead of learning. Well, the Malbim has a different twist on these words. He says, Yegia Kapecha Ki Toichal" means he who works hard to earn the minimum necessary to survive. After he has enough to survive then he stops working and goes to learn. A person with this work ethic, says the Malbim, is fortunate because both his working and learning are viewed by Hashem as a mitzva. Whereas a person who works for the sake of working, all the time he spends is considered "Bitul Torah" which he will one day pay for dearly.
Maybe we can use this to explain the intent of the Perek Shira where it says the large unclean animal says "Yegia Kapecha Ki Toichal..."; the large animal is a great worker. If he prides himself on his tremendous output in the field then we know he is "Temei'a", a dirty unkosher animal. The Beheima Tehora on the other hand while also a great worker says, "Harninu Lei'Lokim Uzeinu"; the bulk of my strength is invested in singing to Hashem (Tehilim 81:2).