From Netherworld to Dancing

A continuation of Psalm 30 Psalm 30, Introductory post with full translation Psalm 30 is recited daily by observant Jews around the world in the morning prayers, right before Baruch She’amar. Ashkenazim say the complete psalm, whereas Sephardim do not say the first line, the line that speaks of dedication: “A Psalm; a Song at […]

A Bucket of Recovery

In my previous post on Psalm 30, I introduced this Psalm of Recovery. Much of the language of this Psalm is about someone who has gone through a terrible experience and is now healed. The narrator notes early arrogance: “I thought, ‘I shall never be shaken’”. But breaking this belief of invulnerability comes misfortune. Once […]

A Psalm of Recovery

Instead of trying to write all I have learned about Psalm 30 in one post, I will start out with a few questions: What is this Psalm about? Is it about recovery from illness? Or community dedication? When is this Psalm read in prayers? Does it differ for Ashkenazim and Sephardim? What does the modern […]

On the word ‘Psalm’

In his introduction to On the Book of Psalms: Exploring the Prayers of Ancient Israel, Dr. Nahum Sarna, z”l, writes: In the Law and the Prophets, God reaches out to man…In the Psalms, human beings reach out to God. The initiative is human. The language is human. Later, he tells us the source of the […]

A Comforting Psalm

מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד: יְהוָה רֹעִי, לֹא אֶחְסָר. בִּנְאוֹת דֶּשֶׁא, יַרְבִּיצֵנִי; עַל-מֵי מְנֻחוֹת יְנַהֲלֵנִי. נַפְשִׁי יְשׁוֹבֵב; יַנְחֵנִי בְמַעְגְּלֵי-צֶדֶק, לְמַעַן שְׁמוֹ. גַּם כִּי-אֵלֵךְ בְּגֵיא צַלְמָוֶת, לֹא-אִירָא רָע– כִּי-אַתָּה עִמָּדִי; שִׁבְטְךָ וּמִשְׁעַנְתֶּךָ, הֵמָּה יְנַחֲמֻנִי תַּעֲרֹךְ לְפָנַי, שֻׁלְחָן– נֶגֶד צֹרְרָי; דִּשַּׁנְתָּ בַשֶּׁמֶן רֹאשִׁי, כּוֹסִי רְוָיָה. אַךְ, טוֹב וָחֶסֶד יִרְדְּפוּנִי– כָּל-יְמֵי חַיָּי; וְשַׁבְתִּי בְּבֵית-יְהוָה, לְאֹרֶךְ יָמִים A Psalm of David. The […]