This week’s Tehillim is for a Refuah Shalemah for Rabbi Aharon Yehuda Leib ben Gitel Feiga Shteinman
Psalm 30 is one of the most famous Psalms in the entire book of Tehillim. Recited every morning prior to ‘Baruch She’amar,’ these famous words bridge the gap between the ‘morning brachot’ and ‘Pesukei D’zimra,’ the verses of praise. Over the years, it became an exceedingly popular cantorial piece, sung on Shabbat Chanukah at the end of Mussaph service. The jolly opening words make it easy to understand why. This Psalm is related to the ‘Chanukat HaMizbeiach,’ the dedication of The Temple because it celebrates how King David eventually defeated all his enemies.
When King Solomon inaugurated the Temple, it was a vindication of his father’s greatness, in winning battles, against evil people and his Yetzer Harah too. King Solomon would never have been granted the privilege of building the Bet Hamikdash if his father had been a sinner.
King David wrote this as he had already died, showing how one can suffer the purgatory of Gehinnom even whilst alive! He describes how Hashem raised him up ‘from the lower world,’ and he sings praise to G-d for this. Our Rabbis tell us that the flames of frustration in life from all manner of sorrows, bad events anguish and anger can all count as little bits of Gehinnom in our lifetime.
King David says the famous words ‘what gain is there in my death, in my descent to the pit, will the dust acknowledge you’ he asks? Only if Hashem hears him and favours him then his lament can be ‘transformed into dancing,’ and his ‘sackcloth undone’ and changed for simcha.
By reciting these sobering words each morning, it sets us up perfectly for the long day ahead, full of its usual challenges as we always remember our goal in life. By focusing on what is important, we will be steered toward the correct path in life, ultimately ending in the rebuilding of our Temple once more, Amen.
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