Thoughts on the Week 10 November

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: Quoted verses are taken from the Mechon Mamre website.]

Chapter 16:

Authorship of the 16th Chapter of Psalms is attributed to King David. It is about having the humility to know our portion in Life is entirely a gift from G-d.

David begins the chapter expressing his commitment and devotion to the Almighty. He attributes any Good that has happened to him to G-d’s benevolence.

אָמַרְתְּ לַ-ה, אֲדֹ-נָי אָתָּה; טוֹבָתִי, בַּל-עָלֶיךָ. I’ve said unto the LORD: ‘You are my Lord; I have no good but in You. (Psalms 16:2)

ה, מְנָת-חֶלְקִי וְכוֹסִי– אַתָּה, תּוֹמִיךְ גּוֹרָלִי. O LORD, the portion of my inheritance and cup, You maintain my lot. (Psalms 16:5)

He blesses G-d and pledges to set the Lord before him always. In return, he asks that his soul not be abandoned in the hereafter.

שִׁוִּיתִי ה לְנֶגְדִּי תָמִיד: כִּי מִימִינִי, בַּל-אֶמּוֹט. I’ve set the LORD always before me; surely at my right hand, I shall not be moved. (Psalms 16:8)

תּוֹדִיעֵנִי, אֹרַח חַיִּים: שֹׂבַע שְׂמָחוֹת, אֶת-פָּנֶיךָ; נְעִמוֹת בִּימִינְךָ נֶצַח. You make me to know the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, in Your right hand bliss for evermore. (Psalms 16:11)

Our innate talents and the powerful forces around us are tools provided by the Almighty. What we think are the important determining factors in Life, more often than not, are illusions.

Perhaps because of its reference to those who lie in the grave, this Psalm is used in traditional funeral and stone-setting services.

Montefiore Endowment – New Dayanut Course for Rabbis

History was marked earlier this week at a Lauderdle Road reception officially launching the first Dayanut Course for Rabbis in the diaspora. The Montefiore Endowment in cooperation with Yeshivat Eretz Hemdah will be administering the 5-year programme. Based in London, it has students from Hong Kong, Australia, Amsterdam and Turkey participating online as well.

The programme was designed by Endowment Chairman Lucien Gubbay and Eretz Hemdah Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Yosef Carmel. The inaugural lecture took place on Tuesday evening 8 November with 6 of the students.  Participation is by application. Contact the Montefiore Endowment for more information.

Post Script:

Too much has been written this week about the astonishing results of the USA presidential election. We share the prayer and sentiments of religious leaders around the globe that the new President will be given wisdom, insight and grace as he faces the tasks before him, and that the Almighty will bless and bring reconciliation to the people of the United States of America.