75 words for 75 years of Israel – Shevach/Praise

In honor of Israel’s 75th birthday, Israel365 is excited to launch a new series of essays that will unlock the secrets of the Hebrew Bible!

Excerpted from Rabbi Akiva Gersh’s forthcoming book, 75 Hebrew Words You Need to Understand the Bible (available now!) these essays illuminate the connection between related Hebrew words, revealing Biblical secrets only accessible through Hebrew.

Enjoy the series – and happy 75th birthday to the State of Israel!

שֶׁבַח

SHEVACH

SHEH-VACH

PRAISE

“One generation shall praise Your works to another and declare Your mighty acts.” (Psalms 145:4)

דור לדור ישבח מעשיך וגבורתיך יגידו.

“Extol God, all you nations, praise Him, all you peoples.” (Psalms 117:1)

הללו את יהוה כל גוים שבחוהו כל האמים.

Throughout the Book of Psalms, King David uses the Hebrew word shevach, “praise,” to express his love for God and his longing to draw closer to Him. Praising God is of such importance that every Jewish prayer service ends with a prayer of praise that begins with the words “It is upon us to praise the Master of all.” Praising God helps us recognize His greatness and reminds us that He provides us with life.

This is why the Jewish morning prayer service begins with a selection of Psalms referred to as “Verses of Praise.” Reciting the powerful words that King David used to praise God opens up our hearts and our souls to do the same, helping us begin each day with open eyes to see God’s wonders in the world around us and God’s providence in our lives. We are greatly indebted to King David for writing the Book of Psalms, which is most fundamentally a book of praise, so that we can always find the words we need to praise God.

“Extol God, all you nations, praise Him, all you peoples” (Psalms 117:1). King David describes a future reality in which the entire world, with its great diversity of peoples and nations, praises God. How will we achieve this ideal state? The Psalm continues: “For His love for us is great and the truth of the Lord endures forever. Hallelujah!” (Psalms 117:2). When humanity realizes how much God loves us and that God is the source of truth, conveyed to us through the Bible, all of mankind will be moved to praise Him.

The Israel Bible Team

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