Wednesday, September 17, 2003

A Psalm with comforting lines

On the Jewish calendar we are now in the month of Elul, a time when we engage in introspection in preparation for the Holy Days (Rosh Hashanah - the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur - the Day of Atonement) which begin on Friday night, September 26th at sundown. During Elul, we read/recite Psalm 27 every day. In recent years I have found this psalm to be very powerful - for it speaks of the pain of parents hurting their children. Here is the text as translated by the Jewish Publication Society. Perhaps you too will find it helpful.

Psalm 27
1 Of David. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; from whom shall I be frightened? 2 When evildoers draw near to me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and my enemies against me-they stumbled and fell. 3 If a camp encamps against me, my heart shall not fear; if a war should rise up against me, in this I trust. 4 One [thing] I ask of the Lord, that I seek-that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to see the pleasantness of the Lord and to visit His Temple every morning. 5 That He will hide me in His tabernacle on the day of calamity; He will conceal me in the secrecy of His tent; He will lift me up on a rock. 6 And now, my head will be raised over my enemies around me, and I will sacrifice in His tent sacrifices with joyous song; I will sing and chant praise to the Lord. 7 Hearken, O Lord, to my voice [which] I call out, and be gracious to me and answer me. 8 On Your behalf, my heart says, "Seek My presence." Your presence, O Lord, I will seek. 9 Do not hide Your presence from me; do not turn Your servant away with anger. You were my help; do not forsake me and do not abandon me, O God of my salvation. 10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord gathers me in. 11 Instruct me, O Lord, in Your way, and lead me in the straight path because of those who lie in wait for me. 12 Do not deliver me to the desires of my adversaries, for false witnesses and speakers of evil have risen against me. 13 Had I not believed in seeing the good of the Lord in the land of the living! 14 Hope for the Lord, be strong and He will give your heart courage, and hope for the Lord.

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