TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
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Isaiah 35

1The arid desert shall be glad, The wilderness shall rejoice And shall blossom like a rose.

איְשֻׂשׂוּם מִדְבָּר וְצִיָּה וְתָגֵל עֲרָבָה וְתִפְרַח כַּחֲבַצָּלֶת׃

2It shall blossom abundantly, It shall also exult and shout. It shall receive the glory of Lebanon, The splendor of Carmel and Sharon. They shall behold the glory of Hashem, The splendor of our God.

בפָּרֹחַ תִּפְרַח וְתָגֵל אַף גִּילַת וְרַנֵּן כְּבוֹד הַלְּבָנוֹן נִתַּן־לָהּ הֲדַר הַכַּרְמֶל וְהַשָּׁרוֹן הֵמָּה יִרְאוּ כְבוֹד־יְהֹוָה הֲדַר אֱלֹהֵינוּ׃

3Strengthen the hands that are slack; Make firm the tottering knees!

גחַזְּקוּ יָדַיִם רָפוֹת וּבִרְכַּיִם כֹּשְׁלוֹת אַמֵּצוּ׃

4Say to the anxious of heart, “Be strong, fear not; Behold your God! Requital is coming, The recompense of Hashem— He Himself is coming to give you triumph.”

דאִמְרוּ לְנִמְהֲרֵי־לֵב חִזְקוּ אַל־תִּירָאוּ הִנֵּה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם נָקָם יָבוֹא גְּמוּל אֱלֹהִים הוּא יָבוֹא וְיֹשַׁעֲכֶם׃

5Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

האָז תִּפָּקַחְנָה עֵינֵי עִוְרִים וְאָזְנֵי חֵרְשִׁים תִּפָּתַחְנָה׃

6Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb shall shout aloud; For waters shall burst forth in the desert, Streams in the wilderness.

ואָז יְדַלֵּג כָּאַיָּל פִּסֵּחַ וְתָרֹן לְשׁוֹן אִלֵּם כִּי־נִבְקְעוּ בַמִּדְבָּר מַיִם וּנְחָלִים בָּעֲרָבָה׃

7Torrid earth shall become a pool; Parched land, fountains of water; The home of jackals, a pasture; The abode [of ostriches], reeds and rushes.

זוְהָיָה הַשָּׁרָב לַאֲגַם וְצִמָּאוֹן לְמַבּוּעֵי מָיִם בִּנְוֵה תַנִּים רִבְצָהּ חָצִיר לְקָנֶה וָגֹמֶא׃

8And a highway shall appear there, Which shall be called the Sacred Way. No one unclean shall pass along it, But it shall be for them. No traveler, not even fools, shall go astray.

חוְהָיָה־שָׁם מַסְלוּל וָדֶרֶךְ וְדֶרֶךְ הַקֹּדֶשׁ יִקָּרֵא לָהּ לֹא־יַעַבְרֶנּוּ טָמֵא וְהוּא־לָמוֹ הֹלֵךְ דֶּרֶךְ וֶאֱוִילִים לֹא יִתְעוּ׃

9No lion shall be there, No ferocious beast shall set foot on it— These shall not be found there. But the redeemed shall walk it;

טלֹא־יִהְיֶה שָׁם אַרְיֵה וּפְרִיץ חַיּוֹת בַּל־יַעֲלֶנָּה לֹא תִמָּצֵא שָׁם וְהָלְכוּ גְּאוּלִים׃

10And the ransomed of Hashem shall return, And come with shouting to Tzion, Crowned with joy everlasting. They shall attain joy and gladness, While sorrow and sighing flee.

uf-du-YAY a-do-NAI y'-shu-VUN u-VA-u tzi-YON b'-ri-NAH v'-sim-KHAT o-LAM al ro-SHAM sa-SON v'-sim-KHAH ya-SEE-gu v'-NA-su ya-GON va-a-na-KHAH

יוּפְדוּיֵי יְהֹוָה יְשֻׁבוּן וּבָאוּ צִיּוֹן בְּרִנָּה וְשִׂמְחַת עוֹלָם עַל־רֹאשָׁם שָׂשׂוֹן וְשִׂמְחָה יַשִּׂיגוּ וְנָסוּ יָגוֹן וַאֲנָחָה׃

 35:10   Crowned with joy everlasting

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (b. 1948)

The Hebrew language includes many words used to describe various forms of happiness. According to former British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the term osher (אושר) refers to a type of personal happiness that one experiences when engaging in an activity such as listening to music or observing something spectacular in nature. Simcha (שמחה), on the other hand, is a type of happiness that is created in the company of others, such as when celebrating a wedding or laughing as a family. In this verse, Yeshayahu promises that the ransomed of Hashem will return with ‘everlasting joy,’ simchat olam (שמחת עולם), upon their heads. The simcha, the shared joy of the redemption of the nation returning to Hashem and to the Holy Land, will last forever.