the Shorashim Study of Psalms

Moshe Kempinski

psalm 128

A song of ascents. Praiseworthy is every man who fears Hashem, who walks in His ways.

2If you eat the toil of your hands, you are praiseworthy, and it is good for you.

3Your wife will be as a fruitful vine in the innermost parts of your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. :

4Behold that so will a man who fears Hashem be blessed.

5May Hashem bless you from Zion, and see the good of Jerusalem all the days of your life.

6And may you see children [born] to your children, [and see] peace upon Israel.

THE PSALM is a psalm that imparts understanding to the reader of how one can achieve purpose and joy in one’s life.

When we begin to explore this psalm we clearly see a critical theme that appears in so many psalms .That concept/theme is a critical focus on the “Fear of G-d”

To understand that we can firstly peruse through some ( 6) of the psalms that reinforce that same concept.

“Praise Hashem !How blessed is the man who fears Hashem, The resThe Who greatly delights in His commandments.(Psalm 112:1)”

“He will bless those who fear Hashem,The small together with the great.(Psalm 115:13)”

“Behold, the eye of Hashem is on those who fear Him,On those who hope for His lovingkindness,To deliver their soul from death And to keep them alive in famine.(Psalm 33:18-1”

“The angel of Hashem encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.(Psalm 34:7)”

“Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land.(Psalm 85:9)”

“He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them. (Psalm 145:19)”

The result or consequence of that Fear( Yirah) is overwhelming and powerful. How, then,  does one approach that powerful attribute and on the other hand what are the obstacles in developing that attribute in our lives.

The first verse lays down the groundwork.

A song of ascents. Praiseworthy( ASHREI) is every man who fears Hashem, who walks in His ways( Psalm 128:1).

That word” Praiseworthy( ASHREI)” is an important key. That is in fact the first word in the book of Psalms

“Praiseworthy is the man that did not follow the counsel of the wicked, neither did he stand in the way of sinners nor sit in the company of scorners.”( Psalm 1:1)

Hashem through the words of King David makes a comforting declaration.

What is being made clear is that in the Heavens it is an accepted fact that belief and faithfulness are not to be taken for granted.

The world is a maze of clouds and mirrors and as a result the individual who ventures into that maze and walks out of it with faith and a commitment to walk in life out of that faith is an individual deserving of much praise.

“Praiseworthy( ASHREI) is every man who fears Hashem, who walks in His ways.

Yet the word ASHREI also translates as “Happy”. Happy are those who understand that there is meaning and purpose in our lives.

“Praise Hashem !How blessed is the man who fears Hashem, Who greatly delights in His commandments.(Psalm 112:1)”

The Psalmist presents the fact that walking in awe of Hashem is both a challenge and a reward. That in itself is a powerful thought and concept in our lives as we approach Rosh Hashana in this Covid infested world

In this study series we will continue to explore the path, the obstacles and the consequences presented in this psalm.

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