Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:
1Happy is the man who has not followed the counsel of the wicked, or taken the path of sinners, or joined the company of the insolent;
ash-ray ha-EESH a-SHER LO ha-LAKH ba-a-TZAT r'-sha-EEM uv-DE-rekh KHA-ta-eem LO a-MAD uv-mo-SHAV lay-TZEEM LO ya-SHAV
אאַשְׁרֵי־הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר לֹא הָלַךְ בַּעֲצַת רְשָׁעִים וּבְדֶרֶךְ חַטָּאִים לֹא עָמָד וּבְמוֹשַׁב לֵצִים לֹא יָשָׁב׃
1:1 Happy is the man who has not followed the counsel of the wicked
King David begins Sefer Tehillim, a collection of songs of praise for the Lord, by focusing on man. His first action is to walk, in Hebrew halakh (הלך), and immediately upon setting out on his journey he is forced to decide which path he should take: righteous or wicked, fruitful or barren. This ‘walking’ reminds us of God’s first words to Avraham directing him to travel to the Land of Israel, lech lecha (לך לך), ‘Go forth’ (Genesis 12:1), and more significantly, kum hithalekh ba’aretz (קום התהלך בארץ), ‘Arise, walk about the land’ (Genesis 13:17). David may have been reminding us that while praising God transcends time and place, Sefer Tehillim was written in the Land of Israel, the ancient walking grounds of our forefathers.
2rather, the teaching of Hashem is his delight, and he studies that teaching day and night.
בכִּי אִם בְּתוֹרַת יְהֹוָה חֶפְצוֹ וּבְתוֹרָתוֹ יֶהְגֶּה יוֹמָם וָלָיְלָה׃
3He is like a tree planted beside streams of water, which yields its fruit in season, whose foliage never fades, and whatever it produces thrives.
גוְהָיָה כְּעֵץ שָׁתוּל עַל־פַּלְגֵי מָיִם אֲשֶׁר פִּרְיוֹ יִתֵּן בְּעִתּוֹ וְעָלֵהוּ לֹא־יִבּוֹל וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר־יַעֲשֶׂה יַצְלִיחַ׃
4Not so the wicked; rather, they are like chaff that wind blows away.
דלֹא־כֵן הָרְשָׁעִים כִּי אִם־כַּמֹּץ אֲשֶׁר־תִּדְּפֶנּוּ רוּחַ׃
5Therefore the wicked will not survive judgment, nor will sinners, in the assembly of the righteous.
העַל־כֵּן לֹא־יָקֻמוּ רְשָׁעִים בַּמִּשְׁפָּט וְחַטָּאִים בַּעֲדַת צַדִּיקִים׃
6For Hashem cherishes the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked is doomed.
וכִּי־יוֹדֵעַ יְהֹוָה דֶּרֶךְ צַדִּיקִים וְדֶרֶךְ רְשָׁעִים תֹּאבֵד׃