This tehillim is for the shloshim of Maran Hagaon Harav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman ZT’L
King David was a righteous individual, who was shamefully treated like a villain by many of his contemporaries.
He subsequently appeals to Hashem to help him against his traitors. “Riva Hashem et yurivi, lcham et lochamoi- Hashem – fight my adversaries, battle those who do battle with me.”
Our king asks G-d to “shame and humiliate those who seek my life.” In Judaism, there is a clear concept of G-d taking vengeance. Some shuls say the prayer Av Harachamim each Shabbat, some only a few times each year. In this prayer, recited prior to returning the Torah scrolls to the Ark, or during Yizkhor, we plead for revenge against “the blood of your servants that was spilled.” In other memorial prayers, we ask for similar things, and indeed in the Torah itself, Hashem is described as a “G-d of vengeance.”
King David then asks Hashem for “those who plot my harm to be disgraced.” There is nothing wrong with asking for wicked people to be disgraced, and indeed we believe that in Gehinom, that is exactly their punishment; embarrassment and disgrace at their wicked deeds. He asks for G-d to make their path “dark, and exceedingly slippery,” so that they cannot find their way again. Judaism always encourages repentance, however when a person goes too far and becomes too wicked, like Pharaoh in this week’s sedra, Hashem takes away their potential for Teshuva to further compound their eventual punishment.
We come across the word “Shoa,” meaning disaster; a word which has unfortunately become pretty well known to all of us today. A well-known phrase from the Shabbat morning prayer “Nishmat” is then introduced; “Kol atzmotai tomarna Hashem- mi Kasmocha – all my limbs will say – who is like you Hashem?” It is a great merit to be able to serve G-d with all our limbs.
We use our mouths in prayer, our heads to think words of Torah, our hands and arms to shake lulav, our feet to carry us to places of Worship and many other such examples. May we all merit to continuously use as much as our faculties as possible to serve Hashem, just like the most righteous of our great nation used to.
To sponsor a Tehillim for £54 call 0203 906 8488 or email