Thoughts on the Week 11 August 2016


This brief comment is in memory of my late mother (l’Ilui nishmat Brainah Leah bat Moshe Aharon) and for all those who read Tehillim for the sake of others. May your efforts always be blessed.

While the world’s attention is focused on the incredible physical strength and mental determination of those top athletes competing in the 2016 Brazil Olympics, around us an ideological battle continues.

Are we believers in a world view that sees G-d’s direct involvement in history and in our personal lives or do we underplay and ignore G-d’s presence in the everyday and think all is mundane. This was David’s dilemma in Psalms Chapter 3.

Chapter 3:

The 3rd Chapter of Psalms is about overcoming personal challenge & difficulty and gaining salvation through recognising the active presence of G-d in the world (known as Hashgaha Pratit or Individual Divine Providence).

How often do we find others trying to convince us G-d is absent from our troubles?

ג  רַבִּים, אֹמְרִים לְנַפְשִׁי:  אֵין יְשׁוּעָתָה לּוֹ בֵאלֹהִים סֶלָה Many say of my soul: ‘There’s no salvation for him in God.’ Selah (Psalms 3:3)

But this Psalm begins with the familial-political troubles David faced, concluding with his personal thanksgiving to God, who answered the prayer of his afflicted soul when he was forced to flee Abshalom his son.

David, deserted by his people and mocked by his advisors, was hunted by a ruthlessly ungracious son trying to usurp his thrown. Turning to God in desperation, he confessed his faith in the Almighty and found solace and comfort in knowing this too was part of a Divine plan.

ט  לַיהוָה הַיְשׁוּעָה;  עַל-עַמְּךָ בִרְכָתֶךָ סֶּלָה Salvation belongs to the LORD; blessings be on Your people. Selah (Psalms 3:9)

In times of hardship, we may feel helpless and alone. But unfailingly, when acknowledging and seeking Divine assistance, our re-framed perspective is enhanced for the better.