Chapter 11

1For the leader. Of David. In Hashem I take refuge; how can you say to me, “Take to the hills like a bird!

אלַמְנַצֵּחַ לְדָוִד בַּיהֹוָה חָסִיתִי אֵיךְ תֹּאמְרוּ לְנַפְשִׁי נודו [נוּדִי] הַרְכֶם צִפּוֹר׃

2For see, the wicked bend the bow, they set their arrow on the string to shoot from the shadows at the upright.

בכִּי הִנֵּה הָרְשָׁעִים יִדְרְכוּן קֶשֶׁת כּוֹנְנוּ חִצָּם עַל־יֶתֶר לִירוֹת בְּמוֹ־אֹפֶל לְיִשְׁרֵי־לֵב׃

3When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous man do?”

גכִּי הַשָּׁתוֹת יֵהָרֵסוּן צַדִּיק מַה־פָּעָל׃

4Hashem is in His holy palace; Hashem—His throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His gaze searches mankind.

דיְהֹוָה בְּהֵיכַל קָדְשׁוֹ יְהֹוָה בַּשָּׁמַיִם כִּסְאוֹ עֵינָיו יֶחֱזוּ עַפְעַפָּיו יִבְחֲנוּ בְּנֵי אָדָם׃

5Hashem seeks out the righteous man, but loathes the wicked one who loves injustice.

היְהֹוָה צַדִּיק יִבְחָן וְרָשָׁע וְאֹהֵב חָמָס שָׂנְאָה נַפְשׁוֹ׃

6He will rain down upon the wicked blazing coals and sulfur; a scorching wind shall be their lot.

yam-TAYR al r'-sha-EEM pa-KHEEM AYSH v'-gof-REET v'-RU-akh zil-a-FOT m'-NAT ko-SAM

ויַמְטֵר עַל־רְשָׁעִים פַּחִים אֵשׁ וְגָפְרִית וְרוּחַ זִלְעָפוֹת מְנָת כּוֹסָם׃

 11:6   Blazing coals and sulfur

Dead Sea Works factory

The words aish v’gofreet (אש וגפרית), ‘blazing coals and sulfur,’ remind us of when the Lord rained down burning sulfuric coals on Sodom and Gomorrah in order to destroy them, as described in Sefer Bereishit (19:24) .  There, the Torah uses the expression gofreet va-aish (גפרית ואש), ‘sulfurous fire.’ In the Bible, Hashem sends down from the heavens rain to sustain, manna to nourish, and burning fires to eradicate evil from the land. While in Sefer Bereishit sulfuric fire is associated with death and destruction, in the modern State of Israel it represents life, rejuvenation and prosperity. In 1911, Moshe Novomeysky, a European industrialist, visited the Dead Sea for the first time and understood its potential as a treasure trove for minerals, phosphates, sulfurs and potash. He created the Palestine Potash Company which would later turn into Dead Sea Works, one of Israel’s most important export companies and one of the world’s largest producers of potash products.

7For Hashem is righteous; He loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold His face.

זכִּי־צַדִּיק יְהֹוָה צְדָקוֹת אָהֵב יָשָׁר יֶחֱזוּ פָנֵימוֹ׃