This week, we are presenting the flow of each pasuk as it fits into the overall theme of this mizmor. We will, b’ezras Hashem, continue next week to complete the p’sukim we have presented up to now, and then conclude the mizmor, b’ezras Hashem.

The broad theme of this mizmor is to encourage and strengthen B’nei Yisrael, who have endured such a long and bitter exile since the destruction of the Second Beis HaMikdash. One can become despondent and lose hope that if we haven’t been redeemed in over 2,000 years, what chance do we have of redemption in our generation now?

Pasuk 1:

Hallelukah! Ki tov zamrah Elokeinu, ki na’im navah s’hilah.

Hallelukah! For it is good to make music to our G-d, for praise is pleasant and befitting.

Praise and even sing to Hashem, our G-d, with emotion, for all He does is pure good. Sing even for that which feels like judgment, and certainly for that which feels sweet.

Pasuk 2:

Bonei Yerushalayim Hashem, nidchei Yisrael y’chaneis.

The Builder of Jerusalem is Hashem, the outcast of Israel He will gather in.

Hashem is currently rebuilding Yerushalayim with every mitzvah, prayer, and good deed, and will gather in all dispersed Jews.

Pasuk 3:

Ha’Rofei lishvurei leiv, u’m’chabeish l’atzvosam.

He is the Healer of the broken-hearted, and the One Who binds up their wounds (or sorrows).

He will heal the broken-hearted (we who have endured such a long galus) and bandage our trauma when He shows us how everything we experienced as painful was truly for our benefit, and how the pain actually brought about our redemption.

Pasuk 4:

Moneh mispar la’kochavim, l’chulam sheimos yikra.

He counts the number of the stars, to all of them He assigns names.

By making us aware that Hashem knows the count and “names” (meaning purposes) of each of the trillions-plus stars, regardless of how many trillions of miles away they are, we (who are compared to the stars) are strengthened in our emunah that Hashem can and is indeed building Yerushalayim, will indeed gather all the outcasts – regardless of how far away (spiritually and physically) they are – and will bandage our trauma when we see how the pain brought about our redemption. This is an uplifting and encouraging message to us all.

Pasuk 5:

Gadol Adoneinu v’rav koach, lisvunaso ein mispar.

Great is our Lord and abundant in strength, His understanding is beyond calculation.

As a further statement of Hashem’s limitless power and His direct involvement in our lives, this pasuk speaks about our Master, His abundant power and kindness (gadol often means kindness), and that His hashgachah (Divine Providence) is beyond our understanding. He weaves together unlimited pieces of the puzzle of our national survival and of our individual lives to form a fabric that is most beneficial to us.

[This summary is based mostly on the commentary known as “Siach Yitzchak,” appearing in the Siddur HaGra.]


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