Tehillim 119:29

Thursday, February 22, 2018 · Posted in , , , , , , ,

Tehillim 119:29
דֶּרֶךְ-שֶׁקֶר הָסֵר מִמֶּנִּי וְתוֹרָתְךָ חָנֵּנִי
dereh sheker haser mimeni vetoratcha chaneni
Remove from me the way of falsehood; and favor me with the grace of Your Torah.

Standing in opposition to this system of “Emet,” (Truth) is the system of “sheker,” (falsehood) run by the yetzer hara and his forces—“the sitra achra” (literally, the “other side”). Their sole objective is to mislead mankind away from the Torah’s path of “Emet”to the path of “sheker” opposing the laws and precepts of the Torah. To this end, David Hamelech prays.

Remove from me the way of “sheker” and graciously endow me with Your Torah. For only by adhering to the Torah of “Emet” is it possible to overcome the deceptions and lies of the yetzer hara. In the words of the Gemara:

Thus has HKB”H said to Yisrael: “My son, I have created the yetzer hara and I have created the Torah as its antidote; if you occupy yourselves with the Torah, you will not be delivered into its hand.” (Kiddushin 30b)

A person cannot have knowledge of the Torah so long as he cleaves to "the way of falsehood" - he wastes his time in futile activities. Accordingly, David Hamelech entreats, "Remove from me the way of falsehood; and favor me with the grace of Your Torah."

"Remove from me the way of falsehood" - the empty pursuits of this world - so that I may conduct myself according to the way of the Torah.  Let me eat bread with salt, drink water from the cup, and may You "favor me with the grace of Your Torah." Then I will merit to possess the Torah and become refined through her.

David Hamelech pleads further that G-d "remove from me the way of falsehood." Liberate me from the path of arrogance and deception, and "favor me with the grace of Your Torah." Let my study be solely for the sake of attaining Torah truth.

A man will toil in the study of Torah, and come to realize that his earlier views were mistaken. That is his way to possession of truth. But David Hamelech asks for immediate knowledge of the truth. "Remove from me the way of falsehood; and favor me with the grace of Torah" truth, at once.


- Me'am Lo'ez; Chazal

Tehillim 119:28

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 · Posted in , ,

Tehillim 119:28
 דָּלְפָה נַפְשִׁי מִתּוּגָה קַיְּמֵנִי כִּדְבָרֶךָ
dalfa nafshi mituga kaimeni kidvarecha
My soul melts away in grief; sustain me according to Your word.


"My soul" dissolves in tears and "melts away in grief" and anguish due to my illness and pain. So I implore You to "sustain me according to Your word." For as You said, "I would, and I heal" (Devarim 32:39)

Some say that David asks to be granted the kingship that G-d promised him at the hand of the prophet Shmuel. "My soul melts away in grief" at all my many troubles. "Sustain me" in my kingship "according to Your word."

David Hamelech speaks appropriately of his soul "melting away," for that is how the soul departs from the body. As Chazal teach, "Today a handbreadth, tomorrow a handbreadth, until it makes the effort and departs."

Similarly, the Midrash says, "My soul melts away in grief" as a result of the calamities that beset me. There is no year without some calamity, no month without an evil tiding, no day without some trouble. Every moment, evil tiding follows evil tiding. So, "Sustain me according to your word."

What is "Your word"? It is what Moshe said, "Hashem will establish you a holy people to Himself" (Devarim 28:9).

The Hebrew term דלפה (dalfa - melts, drips) connotes a trickling flow, a leak drop by drop, become less by less. A corresponding interpretation says that David Hamelech refers to his troubles as coming upon him one after another: drip by drip without interruption. Unable to bear this constant flow of afflictions, he pleads for help.

Throughout his entire life, David Hamelech never had a good dream. As Chazal declare concerning this matter, "His melancholy helped him endure." That is what he says here, "My soul melts away in grief," so "sustain me according to Your word."

- Me'am Lo'ez, Midrash, Chazal

Tehillim 119:27

Tehillim 119:27
דֶּרֶךְ-פִּקּוּדֶיךָ הֲבִינֵנִי וְאָשִׂיחָה בְּנִפְלְאוֹתֶיךָ
derech-pikudeicha havineni veasichah benifleoteicha
Make me understand the way of Your commands, that I may talk of Your wondrous works.

David Hamelech pleads for understanding of "the way of Your commands," so "that I may talk of Your wondrous works." When I will understand, my conversation will then be about the mitzvot.

The Midrash says: "Make me understand the way of Your commands." What does "make me understand" here mean? David Hamelech said to the Holy One, "Do not say to me, 'Here they are all before you. Look well into them on your own.' For if You do not make me understand, I know nothing."

- Me'am Lo'ez

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