Monday, November 28, 2016

Tehillim Chapter 3: HaShem is My Shield


יְהֹוָה מָה רַבּוּ צָרָי רַבִּים קָמִים עָלָי רַבִּים אֹמְרִים לְנַפְשִׁי אֵין יְשׁוּעָתָה לּוֹ בֵאלֹהִים סֶלָה
וְאַתָּה יְהֹוָהמָגֵן בַּעֲדִי כְּבוֹדִי וּמֵרִים רֹאשִׁי

HaShem, how many are my tormentors! The great rise up against me. The great say of my soul, "There is no deliverance for him from God, Selah.
But You, HaShem, are a shield about me, my glory and He Who raises up my head.

These possukim are not just be referring to our external “tormentors” - those individuals or experiences that may bring us pain, distress, and discomfort. They can also refer to the “tormentors” we have on the inside- all the doubts, confusion, anger, fear, anxiety, and depression.

With this in mind, there may be another way to understand these possukim:

יְהֹוָה מָה רַבּוּ צָרָי רַבִּים קָמִים עָלָי רַבִּים אֹמְרִים לְנַפְשִׁי אֵין יְשׁוּעָתָה לּוֹ בֵאלֹהִים סֶלָה

HaShem, how many are my tormentors! Many [internal voices of doubt, confusion, etc] “say” to my soul, “God is not going to help... there won't be any yeshua from this situation.”

The name “Elokim” refers to God in His Middas HaDin; He is the Ultimate “Judge.”
Elokim also refers to God’s Hashgacha over the world and the forces of nature.

It's very easy to forget that HaShem is always there, that nothing in this world can happen without HaShem willing it. The yatzer hara may also be great at convincing us that we don't deserve to be helped; hidden and even open miracles may happen to other people, but not me.

Yet a change of hashkafah on the inside, can dramatically change everything on the outside:

וְאַתָּה יְהֹוָה מָגֵן בַּעֲדִי כְּבוֹדִי וּמֵרִים רֹאשִׁי

But You are HaShem [You're not just Judge; You have infinite mercy]. You are a Shield with “my witness”...

( עֲדִי is related to the word “my witness.”

What is this “witness”? The Shema:

Even when there are yissurim and HaShem is hidden, relating to us from a place of Din, His Chesod and Rachamim, never fully leave us. The more that we are aware of this, the more Divine assistance we can receive.)

...My Glory...

כְּבוֹד is another name for the neshema (for example, see Tehillim 30:13). There is not one person without value or importance in this world, since each of us has been given a Divine neshema that HaShem continuously wills into existence. HaShem personally attends to the life of each person- whether or not we feel it.

...He Who raises up my head.

HaShem holds the keys to how much wisdom, understanding, shalom, and simcha a person is blessed with. How do we merit such blessings? Only with the sincere desire to come closer to HaShem.

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