“The Psalmist teaches us that every experience offers us an opportunity to arouse another part of our soul to a new awareness of God’s goodness. Let the soul not remain insensitive and silent! Let it develop in response to the Psalmist’s final call: Let the entire soul praise YAH, Praise God!(v. 6) ( (The ArtScroll Tanach Series Tehillim Psalms/A new translation with a commentary anthologized from talmudic, midrashic and rabbinic sources)
This psalm explains the purpose of Israel’s long and arduous sojourn in exile.
While settled peacefully on its native soil, the contented nation lapsed into a spiritual slumber and neglected its Divine mission, The latent moral and spiritual energy of the Chosen People remained dormant deep within the Jewish heart.
The awesome challenges of exile activated this powerful resources. The searing pain of incessant persecution aroused the Jewish soul. The heart of Israel soared heavenward and the voice of the anguished people cried out fervently to the Almighty.
The psalmist searched through the chronicles of ancient Jewish history to demonstrate that God saved Israel even in their bleakest moments. Since the Almighty wrought miracles of salvation in the past, why does He not perform miracles in the present exile? Certainly, He remains omnipotent.
However, it is God’s wish to wring every last tear from our eyes, to squeeze every last cry of repentance from our hearts, so that we might be thoroughly worthy of the final, total redemption. May it come speedily in our times!
(The ArtScroll Tanach Series Tehillim Psalms/A new translation with a commentary anthologized from talmudic, midrashic and rabbinic sources)
This psalm, the third composition of the sons of Korach, is s memoir dedicated to their beloved country, Eretz Yisrael. They describe vividly the Divine assistance which allowed Israel to conquer the land, and they lament the Divine displeasure which caused Israel to lose it…
The sons of Korach depict the early triumphs of our people as they entered the Promised Land – invincible, and armed with Torah Laws. They mourn the bitter defeat which our people suffered when they abandoned these divine weapons. Nevertheless, these inspired singers are filled with hope, for even in the exile, the Jewish people have displayed undaunted loyalty to Torah by sacrificing their lives for the sanctification of God’s Name. Surely this merit will unlock the gates of redemption.
“This psalm was composed by the sons of Korach…During their moment of inspiration, Korach’s sons foresaw occasions in which Israel was destined to be endangered by armies and cataclysms which would threaten to tear the earth asunder… In each case, God will foil the enemy’s plots and miraculously rescue His Chosen People from danger… we are obliged to trust God’s guidance, which controls every aspect of life, although His deeds are …hidden and concealed…”
“The drama of King David’s flight from his son Absalom at the age of sixty-five, took place towards the end of his life (II Samuel 15:7; Radak; Kara ibid). Thus, the placement of this chapter at the beginning of Psalms present a problem; a puzzle which is magnified by the fact that we find psalms dealing with David’s early life near the book’s end. One solution offered by the Yalkut Shimoni does away with the problem entirely: Rabbi Eleazar said: “The portions of the Torah were purposely recorded without proper sequence, because, had they been in order, whoever read them would have had the power to revive the dead and to perform miracles. Therefore, the true order is concealed from man an d known to Hashem.” [The Torah is God’s plan and blueprint for life. Our mission and challenge is to toil over it in an effort to achieve understanding. If these vital formulae were spelled out clearly and unambiguously, then anyone could know the secret of producing life and manipulating nature. (See Overview, ArtScroll edition of Bereishis I).]