…hodu lo, barchu sh’mo
…thank Him for the good He has done for you, and praise His Name (which represents His way of running the world to do good to us).
Ki tov Hashem l’olam chasdo, v’ad dor va’dor emunaso
For Hashem is totally good (whatever He does is good), (and) His kindness endures forever, and for all generations He faithfully keeps His promises.
In the last segment, we discussed the first part of pasuk 4. This week, we will discuss the end of this pasuk and pasuk 5, the final pasuk in Mizmor L’Sodah.
“Hodu lo barchu sh’mo” – Give thanks to Him alone. “Bless” His Name by spreading and advancing the recognition of Him wherever you can.
Many times in life, and in various areas of life, we get caught up with putting our trust and faith in Hashem’s messengers and forget that they are only messengers. Some examples of these messengers are doctors, therapists, financial “wizards,” attorneys, and wealthy donors. Sometimes we feel that if only we had the “best” doctor, therapist, financial advisor, or attorney, we would be set. If only my institution could get close to one wealthy donor who would make us his project and advocate for us.
When we engage one of these professionals and derive an outstanding result, we thank them profusely and rave to others about them. He/she is the best! You must use them; look what they achieved for me!
Hodu lo reminds us that it is all Hashem. Yes, we are certainly obligated to find a qualified, good person for what we need. However, we must remember that it is only Hashem Who produced the result. We must thank the messenger, but primarily our focus must be on profusely thanking Hashem and raving to others (“barchu sh’mo”) about Hashem’s lovingkindness.
There is a book called Raving Fans. The book is written for people in sales and service, guiding them to treat clients/patients in such a manner that the clients will rave about their experience and highly recommend them to others. We need to become “raving fans” of Hashem, spreading and advancing recognition of His love for us and His constant lovingkindness.
“Ki tov (For He is totally good)” – We thank Hashem and “spread the word” because we recognize that Hashem and only Hashem is pure good, and His lovingkindness is constant and eternal.
While others can attempt to be kind to us, they cannot know for certain that what they are doing for us will actually be in our best interest. Many times, we may think that we are doing someone a great kindness, but in reality, it turns out to be to his or her great detriment. That is true with respect to this world and, all the more so, for our eternal world. We cannot know what is truly best for anyone’s eternal world. Only Hashem knows what is best for anyone in this world and for his or her eternal world. Hashem’s kindness, therefore, is eternal, because He is giving us precisely what we need to enjoy the most blissful eternal world, even though it may feel bitter and painful now in this world.
“V’ad dor va’dor emunaso [from Praise, My Soul! by HaRav Avigdor Miller:] – and His steadfastness is for generation and generation.” Because He found our Fathers steadfast to Him (u’matzasa es l’vavo ne’eman l’fanecha – You found his heart steadfast before You” – Nechemiah 9:8), therefore, He put His love upon them and their seed after them forever; and He remains steadfast in this love for all time, even for the less-deserving generations (“v’ad dor va’dor – for generation and generation”).
(This segment is based on The Hirsch Psalms and on Praise, My Soul!)
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