TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
NEVI'IM
PROPHETS
KETUVIM
WRITINGS

Psalms 114

1When Yisrael went forth from Egypt, the house of Yaakov from a people of strange speech,

אבְּצֵאת יִשְׂרָאֵל מִמִּצְרָיִם בֵּית יַעֲקֹב מֵעַם לֹעֵז׃

2Yehuda became His holy one, Yisrael, His dominion.

בהָיְתָה יְהוּדָה לְקָדְשׁוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל מַמְשְׁלוֹתָיו׃

3The sea saw them and fled, Yarden ran backward,

גהַיָּם רָאָה וַיָּנֹס הַיַּרְדֵּן יִסֹּב לְאָחוֹר׃

4mountains skipped like rams, hills like sheep.

דהֶהָרִים רָקְדוּ כְאֵילִים גְּבָעוֹת כִּבְנֵי־צֹאן׃

5What alarmed you, O sea, that you fled, Yarden, that you ran backward,

המַה־לְּךָ הַיָּם כִּי תָנוּס הַיַּרְדֵּן תִּסֹּב לְאָחוֹר׃

6mountains, that you skipped like rams, hills, like sheep?

והֶהָרִים תִּרְקְדוּ כְאֵילִים גְּבָעוֹת כִּבְנֵי־צֹאן׃

7Tremble, O earth, at the presence of Hashem, at the presence of the God of Yaakov,

זמִלִּפְנֵי אָדוֹן חוּלִי אָרֶץ מִלִּפְנֵי אֱלוֹהַּ יַעֲקֹב׃

8who turned the rock into a pool of water, the flinty rock into a fountain.

ha-ho-f'-KHEE ha-TZUR a-gam MA-yim kha-la-MEESH l'-ma-y'-no MA-yim

חהַהֹפְכִי הַצּוּר אֲגַם־מָיִם חַלָּמִישׁ לְמַעְיְנוֹ־מָיִם׃

 114:8   Who turned the rock into a pool of water

This verse describes the great strength of Hashem, Who can produce water from a rock. The Hebrew word for ‘the rock,’ ha-tzur (הצור), alludes to something that is unmoving or stubborn. Yet if read backwards, the word becomes rotzeh (רוצה) which means ‘want’ or ‘willing.’ Just as a rock can be turned into water, so too, obstinacy can be turned into willingness. And no matter how far a person is from God, he or she can always come closer. Additionally, Tzur is one of the Bible’s names for the Almighty Himself. Hashem’s pro­tection and kindness are as solid and unchanging as a rock.