PSALM for DAY 7 – SHABBAT / Saturday

Day 7 – SHABBAT – Saturday

Psalm 92

A Song for Shabbat

It is good to give thanks to the Lord
to sing praises to Your Name, O Most High;
to declare Your steadfast love in the morning,
and Your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp,
to the melody of the lyre.
For You, O Lord, have made me glad by Your work;
at the work of Your hands I sing for joy.

How great are Your works, O Lord!
Your thoughts are very deep.
The stupid man cannot know;
the fool cannot understand this:
that though the wicked sprout like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they are doomed to destruction forever;
but You, O Lord are high forever.

For behold Your enemies, O Lord,
for behold Your enemies shall perish;
all evildoers shall be scattered.

But You have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
You have poured over me fresh oil.
My eyes have seen the downfall of all my enemies;
my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the House of the Lord;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green,
to declare that the Lord is upright;

He is my Rock,
and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Artwork credit: Yoram Raanan, Israel.

PSALM for DAY 6 – Yom Shishi / Friday

Day 6 – Yom Shishi – Friday

Psalm 93

The Lord reigns;
He is robed in majesty;
the Lord is robed;
He has put on strength as His belt.
Yes, the world is established;
it shall never be moved.

Your throne is established from of old;
You are from everlasting.

The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
the floods have lifted up their voice;
the floods lift up their roaring.
Mightier than the thunder of many waters,
mightier than the waves of the sea,
the Lord on high is mighty!

Your decrees are very trustworthy;
holiness befits Your house,
O Lord forevermore.

Artwork credit: Shimon Nachshon, Israel.

PSALM for Day 5 – Yom Chamishi / Thursday

Yom Chamishi – Day 5 – Thursday

Psalm 81

To Him who grants victory – by Asaph

Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob!
Raise a song; sound the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp.
Blow the shofar at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day.
For it is a statute for Israel, a judgment of the God of Jacob.
He made it a decree in Joseph when he went out over the land of Egypt.

I hear a language I had not known:
“I have removed his shoulder from the burden,
your hands were freed from the basket.
In distress you called and I delivered you;
I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah.”  Selah.

“Hear O my people, while I admonish you.
O Israel, if you would but listen to Me.
There shall be no strange god among you; you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.”

But My people would not listen to My voice,
and Israel would not submit to Me.
So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
to follow their own counsels.
Oh, that My people would listen to Me,
that Israel would walk in My ways.
I would soon subdue their enemies and turn My hand against their foes.
Those who hate the Lord would cringe toward Him,
and their fate would last forever.

But He would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.

Artwork credit: Matt Doll

 

 

 

 

 

PSALM for DAY 4 – Yom Revi’i / Wednesday

Yom Revi’i  – Day 4 – Wednesday

PSALM  94

God of retribution. Lord, God of retribution, appear!
Rise up, Judge of the earth. Repay to the arrogant what they deserve.
How long shall the wicked, Lord, how long shall the wicked triumph?
They pour out insolent words. All the evildoers are full of boasting.
They crush Your people, Lord, and oppress Your inheritance.
They kill the widow and stranger. They murder the orphaned.
They say, “The Lord does not see. The God of Jacob pays no heed.”
Take heed, you most brutish people. You fools, when will you grow wise?
Will He who implants the ear not hear? Will He who formed the eye not see?
Will He who disciplines nations – He who teaches man knowledge – not punish?

The Lord knows that the thoughts of man are a mere fleeting breath.
Happy is the man who You discipline, Lord, the one You instruct in Your Torah,
giving him tranquillity in days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked.
For the Lord will not forsake His people, nor abandon His heritage.
Judgment shall again accord with justice, and all the upright in heart will follow it.

Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will stand up for me against wrongdoers?
Had the Lord not been my help, I would soon have dwelt in death’s silence.
When I thought my foot was slipping, Your loving-kindness Lord gave me support.
When I was filled with anxiety, Your consolations soothed my soul.
Can a corrupt throne be allied with You? Can injustice be framed into law?
They join forces against the life of the righteous, and condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord is my stronghold, my God is the Rock of my refuge.
He will bring back on them their wickedness, and destroy them for their evil deeds.
The Lord our God will destroy them.

Come let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout aloud to the God of our Salvation.
Let us greet Him with songs of praise.
For the Lord is the great God, the King great above all powers.

Photo credit: Sarah Showalter

PSALM for DAY 3 – Yom Shlishi /Tuesday

Yom Shlishi – Day 3 – Tuesday

PSALM  82

A psalm of Asaph.

God stands in the Divine assembly. Among the judges He delivers judgment.
How long will you judge unjustly, showing favor to th wicked? Selah.
Do justice to the weak and the orphaned. Vindicate the poor and destitute.
Rescue the weak and needy. Save them from the hand of the wicked.
They do not know nor do they understand.
They walk about in darkness while all the earth’s foundations shake.
I once said, “You are like gods, all of you are sons of the Most High.”
But you shall die like mere men, you will fall like any prince.

Arise O Lord, judge the earth. for all the nations are Your possession.

“A judge who delivers a true judgment becomes a partner of thre Most Holy One,
blessed be He, in the work of Creation.” (Shabbat 103)

 

PSALM for DAY 2 – Yom Sheni / Monday

Yom Sheni – Day 2 – Monday

PSALM  48

A song. A psalm to the sons of Korach.

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of God, in His holy montain – beautiful in its heights,the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion on its northern side,
the City of the Great King.
In its citadels God is known as a stronghold.
See how the kings joined forces, advancing together.
They saw, they were astounded, they panicked, they fled.
There fear seized them, like the pains of a woman giving birth,
like ships of Tarshish wrecked by an eastern wind.
What we had heard, now we have seen, in the city of the God of hosts,
in the City of our God.
May God preserve it forever, Selah!

In the midst of Your Temple O God, we meditate on Your love.
As is Your Name, God, so is Your praise: it reaches to the end of the earth.
Your right hand is filled with righteousness.
Let Mount Zion rejoice, let the towns of Judah be glad, because of Your judgments.
Walk around Zion and encircle it. Count its towers, note its strong walls, view its citadels,
so that you may tell a future generation that this is God, our God, for ever and ever.
He will guide us forevermore.

Photo credit: Kenneth Berg

 

PSALM for Each Day of the Week DAY 1 – Yom Rishon / Sunday

Every day, when the Temple of God was standing in Jerusalem, the Levitical choir stood atop the platform located in the Court of the Women, where all public prayer and worship were conducted, and they sang the psalm of praise for that particular day. Every song was orchestrated by King David and had deep significance. The practice has been preserved in Judaism through the centuries and is continued to this day in private prayer and in synagogues.

It is a practice worth pursuing and a special means of helping to commit particular Psalms to memory.

DAILY PSALMS:

1. Sunday – Psalm 24
2. Monday – Psalm 48
3. Tuesday –  Psalm 82
4. Wednesday – Psalm 94
5. Thursday –  Psalm 81
6. Friday – Psalm 93
7. On Shabbat – Psalm 92, a song for the future, a perfected world “the day which is complete Shabbat tranquility,” forever.

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Yom Rishon – Day 1 – Sunday

PSALM  24 

A psalm of David.

The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the world and all who live in it.
For He founded it on the seas and established it on the streams.

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His Holy Place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who has not taken My Name in vain or sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, and just reward from the God of his salvation.
This is a generation of those who seek Him,
the descendants of Jacob who seek Your Presence, Selah

Lift up your heads O gates; be lifted, eternal doors, so that the King of glory may enter.
Who is He the King of Glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory, Selah!

Picture Credit: Shimon Nachshon – Israel

 

Tehillim – PSALMS – A Reflection

538325_3615622622958_1752433974_nArtwork –  Israeli artist Baruch Nachshon 

Since the time of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, the Psalms have been an inspiration and a source of delight and comfort, as well as a spiritual challenge, to all who read them. The great central subjects of the Book of Psalms are God, Man, Sin and Revelation.

All, however, are centred on the praises of God in His transcendence as well as His imminence. The Almighty who is seated in glorious radiance upon His heavenly throne and surrounded by angelic hosts who constantly worship and sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy!”, is the God who also dwells with the humble of spirit, is the provider of all needs, the protector of the weak, and who is faithful to answer ‘all who call upon Him in truth’ (Psalm 145:18).

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The Hebrew name for the Book of Psalms is Sefer Tehillim. Tehillah means praise, so it also can be called the Book of Praises. The Aramaic term is zimra, from which we derive the term zemirot – special songs sung on Shabbat. In the Septuagint, the term was translated into Greek as psalmos – hence, the English word psalms. Both in Hebrew and Greek the term essentially means to play instrumental music and to sing to musical accompaniment. The majority of Psalms were composed to be sung by the choir of Levites and the  assembly of worshippers in the Temple in Jerusalem. They were an important feature of Temple liturgy and specific psalms were associated with each day of the week and with each of the Festivals.

According to the subject matter, the Psalms can be categorized under three main headings:  1. Praise  2. Supplication  3. Ethics

1. PRAISE   Themes of praise predominate the Psalms, such as:

i) extolling God for His goodness and His mercy that is faithfully extended to Israel, to the nations, and to all His creatures
ii) His vindication of the righteous and of the weak and vulnerable when persecuted or taken advantage of by the wicked
iii) His majesty and might as Creator and Ruler of all the Universe and mankind
iv) His selection and annointing of David and his line to be enthroned in Israel
v) praise of Zion and Jerusalem, chosen by God as His dwelling place on earth
vi) praise of the Torah, which contains and is the foundation of His revealed will and
vii) the Messianic hope, which heralds the advent of the King of kings to judge the world and which will result in universal rejoicing when the knowledge of God fills all the earth.

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2. SUPPLICATION

Numerous psalms express both individual suffering and the suffering of Israel as a people. In accord with the concept that certain personal suffering and national calamity can be related to sin, earnest repentance and pleas for pardon are recorded. Supplications for relief from distress and easing of pain also are raised before the Throne of grace.

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3. ETHICS

More than the beautiful musical and literary compositions that they are, many psalms also are of a didactic, or instructive nature.  They address:
i) the moral and ethical way of living
ii) remaining faithful to God’s values in an ungodly culture or under oppression
iii) the doubts created in the face of the triumph of evildoers
iv) the personal struggle to gain mastery over temptation to sin and
v) victory over despair through unwavering faith in the goodness and love of God.

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The value of song and the importance and art of songwriting, which includes poetry, is central to Biblical literature and Jewish culture.
Examples in Scripture are: the Song at the Red Sea (Exodus 15), the Song of Deborah (Judges 5), David’s lament over the death of Saul and Jonathan (1 Samuel 1:19), Jude 24-25, and Revelation 11:15-18.

“Come bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, who stand by night in the House of the Lord. Lift up your hands to the Holy Place and bless the Lord!

May the Lord bless you from Zion , He who made heaven and earth.”

~Psalm 134

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“Let the Word [Torah, example, hope] of Messiah dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col. 3:16).

~Keren Hannah