Sunday, November 9, 2014
Week 8 (Book 5): Reviewing the Fourth Week of Cheshvan - Psalms 22-24; 41:3-5; 89:9
Every person should pray in agony over the length of the exile, and our fall from prestige to lowliness. One should also take vows (for self-improvement) in his distress.
1. For the Conductor, on the ayelet hashachar, a psalm by David. 2. My G-d, my G-d, why have You forsaken me! So far from saving me, from the words of my outcry? 3. My G-d, I call out by day, and You do not answer; at night-but there is no respite for me. 4. Yet You, Holy One, are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. 5. In You our fathers trusted; they trusted and You saved them. 6. They cried to You and were rescued; they trusted in You and were not shamed. 7. And I am a worm and not a man; scorn of men, contempt of nations. 8. All who see me mock me; they open their lips, they shake their heads. 9. But one that casts [his burden] upon the Lord-He will save him; He will rescue him, for He desires him. 10. For You took me out of the womb, and made me secure on my mother's breasts. 11. I have been thrown upon You from birth; from my mother's womb You have been my G-d. 12. Be not distant from me, for trouble is near, for there is none to help. 13. Many bulls surround me, the mighty bulls of Bashan encircle me. 14. They open their mouths against me, like a lion that ravages and roars. 15. I am poured out like water, all my bones are disjointed; my heart has become like wax, melted within my innards. 16. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my palate; You set me in the dust of death. 17. For dogs surround me, a pack of evildoers enclose me; my hands and feet are like a lion's prey. 18. I count all my limbs, while they watch and gloat over me. 19. They divide my garments amongst them; they cast lots upon my clothing. 20. But You, Lord, do not be distant; my Strength, hurry to my aid! 21. Save my life from the sword, my soul from the grip of dogs. 22. Save me from the lion's mouth, as You have answered me from the horns of wild beasts. 23. I will recount [the praises of] Your Name to my brothers; I will extol You amidst the congregation. 24. You that fear the Lord, praise Him! Glorify Him, all you progeny of Jacob! Stand in awe of Him, all you progeny of Israel! 25. For He has not despised nor abhorred the entreaty of the poor, nor has He concealed His face from him; rather He heard when he cried to Him. 26. My praise comes from You, in the great congregation; I will pay my vows before those that fear Him. 27. Let the humble eat and be satisfied; let those who seek the Lord praise Him-may your hearts live forever! 28. All the ends of the earth will remember and return to the Lord; all families of nations will bow down before You. 29. For sovereignty is the Lord's, and He rules over the nations. 30. All the fat ones of the earth will eat and bow down, all who descend to the dust shall kneel before Him, but He will not revive their soul. 31. The progeny of those who serve Him will tell of the Lord to the latter generations. 32. They will come and relate His righteousness-all that He has done-to a newborn nation.
When King David was in the forest of Cheret and nearly died of starvation, G-d provided nourishment for him with a taste of the World to Come. David then composed this psalm, describing the magnitude of his trust in G-d.
1. A psalm by David. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing. 2. He lays me down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. 3. He revives my soul; He directs me in paths of righteousness for the sake of His Name. 4. Though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff-they will comfort me. 5. You will prepare a table for me before my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup is full. 6. Only goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the House of the Lord for many long years.
If the fulfillment of one's prayer would result in the sanctification of G-d's Name, he should pray that G-d act for the sake of the holiness of His Name. One should also invoke the merit of his ancestors, for we know that "the righteous are greater in death than in life"
1. By David, a psalm. The earth and all therein is the Lord's; the world and its inhabitants. 2. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers. 3. Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord, and who may stand in His holy place? 4. He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not used My Name in vain or sworn falsely. 5. He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, and kindness from G-d, his deliverer. 6. Such is the generation of those who search for Him, [the children of] Jacob who seek Your countenance forever. 7. Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, eternal doors, so the glorious King may enter. 8. Who is the glorious King? The Lord, strong and mighty; the Lord, mighty in battle. 9. Lift up your heads, O gates; lift them up, eternal doors, so the glorious King may enter. 10. Who is the glorious King? The Lord of Hosts, He is the glorious King for all eternity.
3. The Lord will guard him and keep him alive; he will be praised throughout the land; You will not deliver him to the desires of his enemies. 4. The Lord will support him on the bed of illness; You will turn him over in his bed all throughout his sickness. 5. I said, "Lord, be gracious to me! Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You!”
9. O Lord, G-d of Hosts, who is mighty like You, O G-d! Your faithfulness surrounds You.
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