RECITING PSALMS Introduction:
This brief comment is in memory of my late mother (Brainah Leah bat Moshe Aharon) and for all those who read Tehillim for the sake of others. [Note: Quotated verses are taken from the Mechon Mamre website at http://mechon-mamre.org.]
The 9th Chapter of Psalms carries the message that the success of evil is temporal while righteousness endures to the end. It opens with a song of Thanksgiving, then takes up the central theme of good overcoming evil. (In the non-Jewish bible, chapters 9 and 10 are often combined.)
גָּעַרְתָּ גוֹיִם, אִבַּדְתָּ רָשָׁע; שְׁמָם מָחִיתָ, לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד.
You rebuked the nations, destroyed the wicked; You blotted out their name for ever and ever. (Psalms 9:6)
And, it closes with the idea that G-d will punish wickedness and reward good.
וְהוּא, יִשְׁפֹּט-תֵּבֵל בְּצֶדֶק; יָדִין לְאֻמִּים, בְּמֵישָׁרִים.
And He will judge the world in righteousness, He will minister judgment to the peoples with equity. (Psalms 9:9)
Another familiar verse also appears at the end of UvaLeTsion.
וְיִבְטְחוּ בְךָ, יוֹדְעֵי שְׁמֶךָ: כִּי לֹא-עָזַבְתָּ דֹרְשֶׁיךָ ה.
And they that know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, LORD, haven’t forsaken those that seek You. (Psalms 9:11)
International Peace Day – Designated by United Nations Resolutions, International Peace Day is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 with a declaration for a day ‘commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples,’ in 2001, the resolution was augmented further so that International Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.
Earlier this week the Rabbi was invited on British Muslim TV’s Ask the Alim (Expert) – a talk show exploring religious discussions, moderated between Sheikh Atabek Shukurov Nasafi from Uzbekistan and his guest. Questions asked included; in your religion what makes for a good marriage? How should parents respond to teenage rebellion? What role does a synagogue play? Is the G-d of Judaism the same as the G-d of Islam? The show ended with a blast from the Shofar.
Afterwards, the Rabbi visited the Touchstone community in Bradford, an inter-faith project, part of the Methodist Church, where for 2-hours he spoke with a small group of church leaders free to ask anything about Judaism that was on their minds.
In Orthodox Judaism there are some who prefer an inward engagement exclusively within the Jewish community. Others find an outward view more appealing. Presenting one’s religion to a sympathetic but under-informed audience brings out nuances and new understandings that make the effort inspiring to all.