Thoughts for the Week 12 January

The week began sadly with the tragic death of 4 IDF officer cadets deliberately murdered in a terrorist attack, run down by a Palestinian lorry driver. Though the perpetrator was killed at the scene, the pitiful and senseless loss of 4 young lives intensifies our desire for peace and elicits immense sorrow and compassion for their families.

May the Almighty hear our prayers and bring comfort to the families of Yael Yekutiel, Shir Hajaj, Shira Tzur and Erez Orbach.

The Hasmonean School for Boys and for Girls has put forward a planning proposal to merge schools onto one campus for a long-overdue redevelopment. Please support the planning petition here.

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 25: The 25th Psalm is attributed to King David, presumed to be written during the later years of his life.

It can be divided into 3 sections: desiring connection with G-d, confessing sins, and pleading for the Almighty’s mercy and redemption.

הַדְרִיכֵנִי בַאֲמִתֶּךָ, וְלַמְּדֵנִי– כִּי-אַתָּה, אֱ-לֹהֵי יִשְׁעִי; אוֹתְךָ קִוִּיתִי, כָּל-הַיּוֹם. Guide me in Your truth, and teach me; for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day. (Psalms 25:5)

It is an acrostic poem in 22 verses; each verse beginning with a consecutive letter of the Aleph-Bet (with the exceptions of the letters Bet, Vav & Kof).

 ְלֹמַעַן-שִׁמְךָ ה; וְסָלַחְתָּ לַעֲו‍ֹנִי, כִּי רַב-הוּא.For Your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my iniquity, for it is great. (Psalms 25:11)

 רְאֵה-אֹיְבַי כִּי-רָבּוּ; וְשִׂנְאַת חָמָס שְׂנֵאוּנִי.Consider how many my enemies are; and the cruelty with which they hate me. (Psalms 25:19)

Commentators suggest that David wrote this Psalm for all who wish to draw close to G-d. One implied message is that those who sincerely desire to be in G-d’s world will merit Divine assistance.

פְּדֵה אֱ-לֹהִים, אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל– מִכֹּל, צָרוֹתָיו. Redeem Israel, O God, out of all its troubles. (Psalms 25:22) 

Psalm 25 appears in our liturgy as a penitential prayer, part of the daily Tahanun service.