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A Psalm For Shabbos

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Hashem Is Just!

We now understand the essence of the Psalm of Shabbos:

“It is good to Praise Hashem and sing to Your name – O’ Supreme One.” On Shabbos we see clearly how You are the “Supreme Administrator” and everything is under Your control.

“To relate Your kindness in the morning, and Your faith in the nights.” How did we reach this level, to assert our faith in Hashem even during the darkness of the night, when we don’t understand what is going on? Because we first started to develop our sensitivity during the day, seeing and proclaiming His kindness when the good was obvious.

“For you have gladdened me, Hashem, with Your deeds – I rejoice at the work of Your hands.” The more I study your actions and creations, the happier I become, as I become more and more aware of Your greatness.

“How great are Your deeds Hashem – Your thoughts are unfathomable.” Lest we fool ourselves by thinking that we understand everything in this world, we proclaim that we cannot possibly understand the depths of Hashem’s actions. We continue and state that the boor and the fool cannot understand why the evil people seem to prosper and flourish – but we know that it is all part of Hashem’s great plan and purpose. Ultimately we will see how it was all for the sake of destroying the evil and rewarding the righteous.

And finally we end: “To declare that Hashem is just, my Rock in whom there is no wrong.” This is the bottom line and declaration of Shabbos – Hashem is completely good!

Let us now return to the weeks of comforting. Yes, we are still in exile and must continue mourning. But we cannot stay in the past- we must start the process of rebuilding! Therefore, in order that we should not feel forsaken and that there is no hope of redemption, Hashem commands the prophet Yeshaya: “Nachamu nachamu ami – Go comfort My nation!” Tell them that I am with them in galus, and all their trials and travails are for their good, to bring them closer to the special days which will be very soon. Knowing this will help us to continue to hope and strive for the geulah and to fix the problems that prevent Moshiach from coming.

However, the true effect of this comfort can only be felt on Shabbos. For, as we explained, Shabbos is the day when we truly know and feel that Hashem is only Good. Therefore, Chazal established the main transmission of the message of these seven weeks specifically on Shabbos. And if we take time each Shabbos to discover another one of Hashem’s overwhelming kindnesses, the lesson will truly be learned.

Dovid Hamelech tells us (Tehillim 34:9) “Ta’amu ore’u ki tov Hashem – taste and you will see that Hashem is Good!” With just a little effort and contemplation you will see the truth! So, if you are enjoying the shade of a tree Shabbos afternoon, savoring the taste of a cold lemonade and a pleasant breeze gently caresses your cheek, don’t lose that opportunity! Say out loud: “Thank You Hashem for such a wonderful creation!” Discovering and internalizing this fact over and over will make it crystal clear to ourselves that Hashem has not and will not ever forsake us!

About the Author: Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus, raised and educated in Los Angeles and subsequently Yeshivas Toras Moshe in Yerushalayim, is the Rosh Kollel of the Zichron Aron Yaakov Kollel in Kiryat Sefer , Israel. He lectures for the public and is the director of the Chasdei Rivka Free Loan Gemach. He can be reached at kollel.zay@gmail.com.


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