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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Week 17 (Book 6): Reviewing the Fourth Week of Teveth - Psalms 49-51; 59:6-8; 89:18

PSALMS (Introductions and Translations from Chabad.org):


Chapter 49
This psalm is a strong message and inspiration for all, rich and poor alike, rebuking man for transgressions which, owing to habit, he no longer considers sinful; yet, these sins incriminate man on the Day of Judgment. The psalm speaks specifically to the wealthy, who rely not on G-d but on their wealth.

1. For the Conductor, by the sons of Korach, a psalm. 2. Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all you inhabitants of the world; 3. sons of common folk and sons of nobility, rich and poor alike. 4. My mouth speaks wisdom, and the thoughts of my heart are understanding. 5. I incline my ear to the parable; I will unravel my riddle upon the harp. 6. Why am I afraid in times of trouble? [Because] the sins I trod upon surround me. 7. There are those who rely on their wealth, who boast of their great riches. 8. Yet a man cannot redeem his brother, nor pay his ransom to G-d. 9. The redemption of their soul is too costly, and forever unattainable. 10. Can one live forever, never to see the grave? 11. Though he sees that wise men die, that the fool and the senseless both perish, leaving their wealth to others- 12. [nevertheless,] in their inner thoughts their houses will last forever, their dwellings for generation after generation; they have proclaimed their names throughout the lands. 13. But man will not repose in glory; he is likened to the silenced animals. 14. This is their way-their folly remains with them, and their descendants approve of their talk, Selah. 15. Like sheep, they are destined for the grave; death shall be their shepherd, and the upright will dominate them at morning; their form will rot in the grave, away from its abode. 16. But G-d will redeem my soul from the hands of the grave, for He will take me, Selah. 17. Do not fear when a man grows rich, when the glory of his house is increased; 18. for when he dies he will take nothing, his glory will not descend after him. 19. For he [alone] praises himself in his lifetime; but [all] will praise you if you better yourself. 20. He will come to the generation of his forefathers; they shall not see light for all eternity. 21. Man [can live] in glory but does not understand; he is likened to the silenced animals.

Chapter 50
This psalm speaks of many ethics and morals. The psalmist rebukes those who fail to repent humbly and modestly. He also admonishes those who do not practice that which they study, and merely appear to be righteous; they sin and cause others to sin.

1. A psalm by Asaph. Almighty G-d, the Lord, spoke and called to the earth, from the rising of the sun to its setting. 2. Out of Zion, the place of perfect beauty, G-d appeared. 3. Our G-d will come and not be silent; a fire will consume before Him, His surroundings are furiously turbulent. 4. He will call to the heavens above, and to the earth, to avenge His people: 5. "Gather to Me My pious ones, those who made a covenant with me over a sacrifice.” 6. Then the heavens declared His righteousness, for G-d is Judge forever. 7. Listen, my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against you-I am G-d your G-d. 8. Not for [the lack of] your sacrifices will I rebuke you, nor for [the lack of] your burnt offerings which ought to be continually before Me. 9. I do not take oxen from your house, nor goats from your pens; 10. for every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle of a thousand mountains. 11. I know every bird of the mountains, and the crawling creatures of the field are in My possession. 12. Were I hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and everything in it is mine. 13. Do I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? 14. Offer confession as a sacrifice to G-d, and fulfill your vows to the Most High, 15. and call to Me on the day of distress; I will free you, and you will honor Me. 16. But to the wicked, G-d said, "What does it help you to discuss My laws, and bear My covenant upon your lips? 17. For you hate discipline, and throw My words behind you. 18. When you see a thief you run with him, and your lot is with adulterers. 19. You sent forth your mouth for evil, and attach your tongue to deceit. 20. You sit down to talk against your brother; your mother's son you defame. 21. You have done these things and I kept silent, so you imagine that I am like you-[but] I will rebuke you and lay it clearly before your eyes. 22. Understand this now, you who forget G-d, lest I tear you apart and there be none to save you. 23. He who offers a sacrifice of confession honors Me; and to him who sets right his way, I will show the deliverance of G-d."

Chapter 51
This psalm speaks of when Nathan the prophet went to David's palace, and rebuked him for his sin with Bathsheba. David then secluded himself with G-d, offering awe-inspiring prayers and begging forgiveness. Every person should recite this psalm for his sins and transgressions.



1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David, 2. when Nathan the prophet came to him after he had gone to Bathsheba. 3. Be gracious to me, O G-d, in keeping with Your kindness; in accordance with Your abounding compassion, erase my transgressions. 4. Cleanse me thoroughly of my wrongdoing, and purify me of my sin. 5. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 6. Against You alone have I sinned, and done that which is evil in Your eyes; [forgive me] so that You will be justified in Your verdict, vindicated in Your judgment. 7. Indeed, I was begotten in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. 8. Indeed, You desire truth in the innermost parts; teach me the wisdom of concealed things. 9. Purge me with hyssop and I shall be pure; cleanse me and I shall be whiter than snow. 10. Let me hear [tidings of] joy and gladness; then the bones which You have shattered will rejoice. 11. Hide Your face from my sins, and erase all my trespasses. 12. Create in me a pure heart, O G-d, and renew within me an upright spirit. 13. Do not cast me out of Your presence, and do not take Your Spirit of Holiness away from me. 14. Restore to me the joy of Your deliverance, and uphold me with a spirit of magnanimity. 15. I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will return to You. 16. Save me from bloodguilt, O G-d, G-d of my deliverance; my tongue will sing Your righteousness. 17. My Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Your praise. 18. For You do not desire that I bring sacrifices, nor do You wish burnt offerings. 19. The offering [desirable] to G-d is a contrite spirit; a contrite and broken heart, G-d, You do not disdain. 20. In Your goodwill, bestow goodness upon Zion; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. 21. Then will You desire sacrifices [offered in] righteousness, olah and other burnt offerings; then they will offer bullocks upon Your altar. 


TIKKUN HAKLALI

Chapter 59

6. And You, Lord, G-d of Hosts, G-d of Israel, wake up to remember all the nations; do not grant favor to any of the iniquitous traitors, Selah. 7. They return toward evening, they howl like the dog and circle the city. 8. Behold, they spew with their mouths, swords are in their lips, for [they say], "Who hears?” 


PSALM 89



18. Indeed, You are the splendor of their might, and in Your goodwill our glory is exalted. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Week 18 (Book 6): Reviewing the First Week of Shevat - Psalms 52-54; 59:9-11; 89:19

PSALMS (Introductions and Translations from Chabad.org):


Chapter 52

David laments his suffering at the hands of Doeg, and speaks of Doeg's boasts about the evil he committed. David asks, "What does he think? Does he consider the doing of evil a mark of strength?" David also curses Doeg and those like him.

1. For the Conductor, a maskil by David, 2. when Doeg the Edomite came and informed Saul, saying to him, "David has come to the house of Achimelech.” 3. Why do you boast with evil, O mighty one? G-d's kindness is all day long. 4. Your tongue devises treachery; like a sharpened razor it works deceit. 5. You love evil more than good, falsehood more than speaking righteousness, Selah. 6. You love all devouring words, a deceitful tongue. 7. G-d will likewise shatter you forever; He will excise and pluck you from the tent, and uproot you from the land of the living forever. 8. The righteous will see it and be awed, and they will laugh at him: 9. "Here is the man who did not make G-d his stronghold, but trusted in his great wealth, and drew strength from his treachery.” 10. But I am like a fresh olive tree in the house of G-d; I trust in G-d's kindness forever and ever. 11. I will thank you forever for what You have done; I will hope in Your Name, for You are good to Your pious ones.

Chapter 53

This psalm speaks of when Titus pierced the curtain of the Holy of Holies with his sword, and thought he had killed "himself" (a euphemism for G-d).

1. For the Conductor, on the machalat,1 a mas-kil2 by David. 2. The fool says in his heart, "There is no G-d!" They have acted corruptly and committed abominable deeds; not one does good. 3. G-d looked down from heaven upon mankind, to see if there was any man of intelligence who searches for G-d. 4. But they all regressed together; they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. 5. Indeed, the evildoers who devour My people as they devour bread, who do not call upon G-d, will come to realize. 6. There they will be seized with fright, a fright such as never was; for G-d scatters the bones of those encamped against you. You shamed them, for G-d rejected them. 7. O that out of Zion would come Israel's deliverance! When G-d returns the captivity of His people, Jacob will exult, Israel will rejoice.

Chapter 54

A prayer to G-d asking that in His might He save all who hope for His kindness. Read, and you will discover an awe-inspiring and wondrous prayer that should be said by all in the appropriate time.

1. For the Conductor, with instrumental music, a maskil by David, 2. when the Ziphites came and said to Saul, "Behold, David is hiding among us!” 3. O G-d, deliver me by Your Name, and vindicate me by Your might. 4. G-d, hear my prayer, listen to the words of my mouth. 5. For strangers have risen against me, and ruthless men have sought my soul; they are not mindful of G-d, Selah. 6. Behold, G-d is my helper; my Lord is with those who support my soul. 7. He will repay the evil of my watchful enemies; destroy them by Your truth. 8. With a free-will offering I will sacrifice to You; I will offer thanks to Your Name, O Lord, for it is good. 9. For He has saved me from every trouble, and my eye has seen [the downfall of] my enemy. 

TIKKUN HAKLALI

Chapter 59

9. But You, Lord, You laugh at them; You mock all nations. 10. [Because of] his might, I wait for You, for G-d is my stronghold. 11. The G-d of my kindness will anticipate my [need]; G-d will show me [the downfall] of my watchful foes. 


PSALM 89

19. For our protectors turn to the Lord, and our king to the Holy One of Israel. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Week 19 (Book 6): Reviewing the Second Week of Shevat - Psalms 55-57; 59:12-14; 89:20

 





PSALMS (Introductions and Translations from Chabad.org):



Chapter 55

David composed this psalm upon escaping from Jerusalem in the face of the slanderers, Doeg and Achitofel, who had declared him deserving of death. David had considered Achitofel a friend and accorded him the utmost honor, but Achitofel betrayed him and breached their covenant. David curses all his enemies, so that all generations should "know, and sin no more."

1. For the Conductor, with instrumental music, a maskil by David. 2. Listen to my prayer, O G-d, do not hide from my pleas. 3. Pay heed to me and answer me, as I lament in my distress and moan - 4. because of the shout of the enemy and the oppression of the wicked; for they accuse me of evil and hate me passionately. 5. My heart shudders within me, and the terrors of death have descended upon me. 6. Fear and trembling penetrate me, and I am enveloped with horror. 7. And I said, "If only I had wings like the dove! I would fly off and find rest. 8. Behold, I would wander afar, and lodge in the wilderness forever. 9. I would hurry to find shelter for myself from the stormy wind, from the tempest.” 10. Consume, O Lord, confuse their tongue; for I have seen violence and strife in the city.1 11. Day and night they encircle her upon her walls, and iniquity and vice are in her midst. 12. Treachery is within her; fraud and deceit never depart from her square. 13. For it is not the enemy who taunts me-that I could bear; nor my foe who raises himself against me, that I could hide from him. 14. But it is you, a man of my equal, my guide and my intimate. 15. Together we took sweet counsel; we walked with the throng to the house of G-d. 16. May He incite death upon them, let them descend to the pit alive; for there is evil in their dwelling, within them. 17. As for me, I call to G-d, and the Lord will save me. 18. Evening, morning and noon, I lament and moan-and He hears my voice. 19. He redeemed my soul in peace from battles against me, because of the many who were with me. 20. May G-d-He who is enthroned from the days of old, Selah-hear and humble those in whom there is no change, and who do not fear G-d. 21. He extended his hands against his allies, he profaned his covenant. 22. Smoother than butter are the words of his mouth, but war is in his heart; his words are softer than oil, yet they are curses. 23. Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous man falter. 24. And You, O G-d, will bring them down to the nethermost pit; bloodthirsty and treacherous men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You.

Chapter 56

David composed this psalm while in mortal danger at the palace of Achish, brother of Goliath. In his distress David accepts vows upon himself.

1. For the Conductor, of the mute dove1 far away. By David, a michtam, 2 when the Philistines seized him in Gath. 2. Favor me, O G-d, for man longs to swallow me; the warrior oppresses me every day. 3. My watchful enemies long to swallow me every day, for many battle me, O Most High! 4. On the day I am afraid, I trust in You. 5. [I trust] in G-d and praise His word; in G-d I trust, I do not fear-what can [man of] flesh do to me? 6. Every day they make my words sorrowful; all their thoughts about me are for evil. 7. They gather and hide, they watch my steps, when they hope [to capture] my soul. 8. Should escape be theirs in reward for their iniquity? Cast down the nations in anger, O G-d! 9. You have counted my wanderings; place my tears in Your flask-are they not in Your record? 10. When my enemies will retreat on the day I cry out, with this I will know that G-d is with me. 11. When G-d deals strictly, I praise His word; when the Lord deals mercifully, I praise His word. 12. In G-d I trust, I do not fear-what can man do to me? 13. My vows to You are upon me, O G-d; I will repay with thanksgiving offerings to You. 14. For You saved my soul from death-even my feet from stumbling-to walk before G-d in the light of life.

Chapter 57

David composed this psalm while hiding from Saul in a cave, facing grave danger. Like Jacob did when confronted with Esau, David prayed that he neither be killed nor be forced to kill. In the merit of his trust in G-d, G-d wrought wonders to save him.


1. For the Conductor, a plea to be spared destruction. By David, a michtam, when he fled from Saul in the cave. 2. Favor me, O G-d, favor me, for in You my soul took refuge, and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until the disaster passes. 3. I will call to G-d the Most High; to the Almighty Who fulfills [His promise] to me. 4. He will send from heaven, and save me from the humiliation of those who long to swallow me, Selah; G-d will send forth His kindness and truth. 5. My soul is in the midst of lions, I lie among fiery men; their teeth are spears and arrows, their tongue a sharp sword. 6. Be exalted above the heavens, O G-d; let Your glory be upon all the earth. 7. They laid a trap for my steps, they bent down my soul; they dug a pit before me, [but] they themselves fell into it, Selah. 8. My heart is steadfast, O G-d, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and chant praise. 9. Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I shall awaken the dawn. 10. I will thank You among the nations, my Lord; I will praise You among the peoples. 11. For Your kindness reaches till the heavens, Your truth till the skies. 12. Be exalted above the heavens, O G-d; let Your glory be over all the earth.



TIKKUN HAKLALI

Chapter 59

12. Do not kill them, lest my nation forget; drive them about with Your might and impoverish them, O our Shield, my Master, 13. [for] the sin of their mouth, the word of their lips; let them be trapped by their arrogance. At the sight of their accursed state and deterioration, [people] will recount. 14. Consume them in wrath, consume them and they will be no more; and they will know that G-d rules in Jacob, to the ends of the earth, Selah. 


PSALM 89

20. Then You spoke in a vision to Your pious ones and said: "I have granted aid to [David] the mighty one; I have exalted the one chosen from among the people.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Week 20 (Book 6): Reviewing the Third Week of Shevat - Psalms 58-60; 59:15-17; 89:21



PSALMS (Introductions and Translations from Chabad.org):


Chapter 58

David expresses the anguish caused him by Avner and his other enemies, who justified Saul's pursuit of him.

1. For the Conductor, a plea to be spared destruction; by David, a michtam. 2. Is it true that you are mute [instead of] speaking justice? [Instead of] judging men with fairness? 3. Even with your heart you wreak injustice upon the land; you justify the violence of your hands. 4. The wicked are estranged from the womb; from birth do the speakers of falsehood stray. 5. Their venom is like the venom of a snake; like the deaf viper that closes its ear 6. so as not to hear the voice of charmers, [even] the most skillful caster of spells. 7. O G-d, smash their teeth in their mouth; shatter the fangs of the young lions, O Lord. 8. Let them melt like water and disappear; when He aims His arrows, may they crumble. 9. Like the snail that melts as it goes along, like the stillbirth of a woman-they never see the sun. 10. Before your tender shoots know [to become] hardened thorns, He will blast them away, as one [uprooting] with vigor and wrath. 11. The righteous one will rejoice when he sees revenge; he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked. 12. And man will say, "There is indeed reward for the righteous; indeed there is a G-d Who judges in the land."


Chapter 59

This psalm speaks of the great miracle David experienced when he eluded danger by escaping through a window, unnoticed by the guards at the door. The prayers, supplications, and entreaties he offered then are recorded here.

1. For the Conductor, a plea to be spared destruction, By David, a michtam, when Saul dispatched [men], and they guarded the house in order to kill him. 2. Rescue me from my enemies, my G-d; raise me above those who rise against me. 3. Rescue me from evildoers, save me from men of bloodshed. 4. For behold they lie in ambush for my soul, mighty ones gather against me-not because of my sin nor my transgression, O Lord. 5. Without iniquity [on my part,] they run and prepare-awaken towards me and see! 6. And You, Lord, G-d of Hosts, G-d of Israel, wake up to remember all the nations; do not grant favor to any of the iniquitous traitors, Selah. 7. They return toward evening, they howl like the dog and circle the city. 8. Behold, they spew with their mouths, swords are in their lips, for [they say], "Who hears?” 9. But You, Lord, You laugh at them; You mock all nations. 10. [Because of] his might, I wait for You, for G-d is my stronghold. 11. The G-d of my kindness will anticipate my [need]; G-d will show me [the downfall] of my watchful foes. 12. Do not kill them, lest my nation forget; drive them about with Your might and impoverish them, O our Shield, my Master, 13. [for] the sin of their mouth, the word of their lips; let them be trapped by their arrogance. At the sight of their accursed state and deterioration, [people] will recount. 14. Consume them in wrath, consume them and they will be no more; and they will know that G-d rules in Jacob, to the ends of the earth, Selah. 15. And they will return toward evening, they will howl like the dog and circle the city. 16. They will wander about to eat; when they will not be sated they will groan. 17. As for me, I shall sing of Your might, and sing joyously of Your kindness toward morning, for You have been a stronghold to me, a refuge on the day of my distress. 18. [You are] my strength, to You I will sing, for G-d is my stronghold, the G-d of my kindness.


Chapter 60

This psalm tells of when Joab, David's general, came to Aram Naharayim for war and was asked by the people: "Are you not from the children of Jacob? What of the pact he made with Laban?" Not knowing what to answer, Joab asked the Sanhedrin. The psalm includes David's prayer for success in this war.



1. For the Conductor, on the shushan eidut. A michtam by David, to instruct, 2. when he battled with Aram Naharayim and Aram Tzovah, and Joab returned and smote Edom in the Valley of Salt, twelve thousand [men]. 3. O G-d, You forsook us, You have breached us! You grew furious-restore us! 4. You made the earth quake, You split it apart-heal its fragments, for it totters! 5. You showed Your nation harshness, You gave us benumbing wine to drink. 6. [Now] give those who fear You a banner to raise themselves, for the sake of truth, Selah. 7. That Your beloved ones may be delivered, help with Your right hand and answer me. 8. G-d said with His Holy [Spirit] that I would exult; I would divide Shechem, and measure out the Valley of Succot. 9. Mine is Gilead, mine is Menasseh, and Ephraim is the stronghold of my head; Judah is my prince. 10. Moab is my washbasin, and upon Edom I will cast my shoe; for me, Philistia will sound a blast [of coronation]. 11. Who will bring me into the fortified city? Who will lead me unto Edom? 12. Is it not You, G-d, Who has [until now] forsaken us, and did not go forth with our legions? 13. Grant us relief from the oppressor; futile is the salvation of man. 14. With G-d we will do valiantly, and He will trample our oppressors. 



TIKKUN HAKLALI

Chapter 59

15. And they will return toward evening, they will howl like the dog and circle the city. 16. They will wander about to eat; when they will not be sated they will groan. 17. As for me, I shall sing of Your might, and sing joyously of Your kindness toward morning, for You have been a stronghold to me, a refuge on the day of my distress.


PSALM 89

21. I have found David, My servant; I have anointed him with My holy oil. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Week 21 (Book 6): G-d is our Strength - Psalms 61-63; 59:18, 77:1-3; 89:22






PSALMS (Introductions and Translations from Chabad.org):



Chapter 61
David composed this prayer while fleeing from Saul. The object of all his thoughts and his entreaty is that G-d grant him long life-not for the sake of pursuing the pleasures of the world, but rather to serve G-d in awe, all of his days.

1. For the Conductor, on the neginat, by David. 2. Hear my cry, O G-d, listen to my prayer. 3. From the end of the earth I call to You, when my heart is faint [with trouble]: Lead me upon the rock that surpasses me! 4. For You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength in the face of the enemy. 5. I will dwell in Your tent forever; I will take refuge in the shelter of Your wings, Selah. 6. For You, G-d, heard my vows; You granted the inheritance of those who fear Your Name. 7. Add days to the days of the king; may his years equal those of every generation. 8. May he sit always before G-d; appoint kindness and truth to preserve him. 9. Thus will I sing the praise of Your Name forever, as I fulfill my vows each day.

Chapter 62
David prays for the downfall of his enemies. He also exhorts his generation that their faith should not rest in riches, telling them that the accumulation of wealth is utter futility.

1. For the Conductor, on the yedutun,1 a psalm by David. 2. To G-d alone does my soul hope; my salvation is from Him. 3. He alone is my rock and salvation, my stronghold; I shall not falter greatly. 4. Until when will you plot disaster for man? May you all be killed-like a leaning wall, a toppled fence. 5. Out of their arrogance alone they scheme to topple me, they favor falsehood; with their mouths they bless, and in their hearts they curse, Selah. 6. To G-d alone does my soul hope, for my hope is from Him. 7. He alone is my rock and salvation, my stronghold; I shall not falter. 8. My salvation and honor is upon G-d; the rock of my strength-my refuge is in G-d. 9. Trust in Him at all times, O nation, pour out your hearts before Him; G-d is a refuge for us forever. 10. Men are but vanity; people [but] transients. Were they to be raised upon the scale, they would be lighter than vanity. 11. Put not your trust in exploitation, nor place futile hope in robbery. If [corrupt] wealth flourishes, pay it no heed. 12. G-d spoke one thing, from which I perceived two: That strength belongs to G-d; 13. and that Yours, my Lord, is kindness. For You repay each man according to his deeds.

Chapter 63
Hiding from Saul, and yearning to approach the place of the Holy Ark like one thirsting for water, David composed this prayer on his behalf and against his enemy.



1. A psalm by David, when he was in the Judean desert. 2. O G-d, You are my Almighty, I seek You! My soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You; [like one] in a desolate and dry land, without water, 3. so [I thirst] to see You in the Sanctuary, to behold Your might and glory. 4. For Your kindness is better than life; my lips shall praise You. 5. Thus will I bless you all my life, in Your Name I will raise my hands [in prayer]. 6. As with fat and abundance my soul is sated, when my mouth offers praise with expressions of joy. 7. Indeed, I remember You upon my bed; during the watches of the night I meditate upon You. 8. For You were a help for me; I sing in the shadow of Your wings. 9. My soul cleaved to You; Your right hand supported me. 10. But they seek desolation for my soul; they will enter the depths of the earth. 11. They will drag them by the sword; they will be the portion of foxes. 12. And the king will rejoice in G-d, and all who swear by Him will take pride, when the mouths of liars are blocked up. 



TIKKUN HAKLALI

Chapter 59

18. [You are] my strength, to You I will sing, for G-d is my stronghold, the G-d of my kindness.


Chapter 77

1. For the Conductor, on the yedutun, by Asaph, a psalm. 2. [I raise] my voice to G-d and cry out; [I raise] my voice to G-d and He will listen to me. 3. On the day of my distress, I sought the Lord; my wound oozes at night and does not abate; my soul refuses to be comforted.

PSALM 89

22. It is he whom My hand shall be prepared [to assist]; My arm, too, shall strengthen him. 
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