TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
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WRITINGS

Psalms 118

1Praise Hashem, for He is good, His steadfast love is eternal.

אהוֹדוּ לַיהֹוָה כִּי־טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

2Let Yisrael declare, “His steadfast love is eternal.”

ביֹאמַר־נָא יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

3Let the house of Aharon declare, “His steadfast love is eternal.”

גיֹאמְרוּ־נָא בֵית־אַהֲרֹן כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

4Let those who fear Hashem declare, “His steadfast love is eternal.”

דיֹאמְרוּ־נָא יִרְאֵי יְהֹוָה כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

5In distress I called on Hashem; Hashem answered me and brought me relief.

min ha-may-TZAR ka-RA-tee YAH a-NA-nee va-mer-KHAV YAH

המִן־הַמֵּצַר קָרָאתִי יָּהּ עָנָנִי בַמֶּרְחָב יָהּ׃

 118:5   In distress I called on Hashem

Psalm 118 is recited towards the end of the Pesach seder, and uses a word that is central to the themes of Pesach: ‘Maytzar’ (מצר), meaning ‘straits’ or ‘distress.’ This word is closely related to the Hebrew word for Egypt, Mitzrayim (מצרים). On an emotional level, Egypt symbolizes the agonizing straits that constrict us. Each of us occasionally finds ourselves trapped. Sometimes this happens due to physical causes like poverty or illness, and sometimes for psychological reasons, such as depression or anxiety. Pesach is the festival of freedom and faith, teaching that the Almighty saves all from each of life’s narrow confines. As the psalmist notes, “In distress I called on Hashem; Hashem answered me and brought me relief.”

6Hashem is on my side, I have no fear; what can man do to me?

ויְהֹוָה לִי לֹא אִירָא מַה־יַּעֲשֶׂה לִי אָדָם׃

7With Hashem on my side as my helper, I will see the downfall of my foes.

זיְהֹוָה לִי בְּעֹזְרָי וַאֲנִי אֶרְאֶה בְשֹׂנְאָי׃

8It is better to take refuge in Hashem than to trust in mortals;

חטוֹב לַחֲסוֹת בַּיהֹוָה מִבְּטֹחַ בָּאָדָם׃

9it is better to take refuge in Hashem than to trust in the great.

טטוֹב לַחֲסוֹת בַּיהֹוָה מִבְּטֹחַ בִּנְדִיבִים׃

10All nations have beset me; by the name of Hashem I will surely cut them down.

יכָּל־גּוֹיִם סְבָבוּנִי בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה כִּי אֲמִילַם׃

11They beset me, they surround me; by the name of Hashem I will surely cut them down.

יאסַבּוּנִי גַם־סְבָבוּנִי בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה כִּי אֲמִילַם׃

12They have beset me like bees; they shall be extinguished like burning thorns; by the name of Hashem I will surely cut them down.

יבסַבּוּנִי כִדְבוֹרִים דֹּעֲכוּ כְּאֵשׁ קוֹצִים בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה כִּי אֲמִילַם׃

13You pressed me hard, I nearly fell; but Hashem helped me.

יגדַּחֹה דְחִיתַנִי לִנְפֹּל וַיהֹוָה עֲזָרָנִי׃

14Hashem is my strength and might; He has become my deliverance.

ידעָזִּי וְזִמְרָת יָהּ וַיְהִי־לִי לִישׁוּעָה׃

15The tents of the victorious resound with joyous shouts of deliverance, “The right hand of Hashem is triumphant!

טוקוֹל רִנָּה וִישׁוּעָה בְּאָהֳלֵי צַדִּיקִים יְמִין יְהֹוָה עֹשָׂה חָיִל׃

16The right hand of Hashem is exalted! The right hand of Hashem is triumphant!”

טזיְמִין יְהֹוָה רוֹמֵמָה יְמִין יְהֹוָה עֹשָׂה חָיִל׃

17I shall not die but live and proclaim the works of Hashem.

יזלֹא אָמוּת כִּי־אֶחְיֶה וַאֲסַפֵּר מַעֲשֵׂי יָהּ׃

18Hashem punished me severely, but did not hand me over to death.

יחיַסֹּר יִסְּרַנִּי יָּהּ וְלַמָּוֶת לֹא נְתָנָנִי׃

19Open the gates of victory for me that I may enter them and praise Hashem.

יטפִּתְחוּ־לִי שַׁעֲרֵי־צֶדֶק אָבֹא־בָם אוֹדֶה יָהּ׃

20This is the gateway to Hashem— the victorious shall enter through it.

כזֶה־הַשַּׁעַר לַיהֹוָה צַדִּיקִים יָבֹאוּ בוֹ׃

21I praise You, for You have answered me, and have become my deliverance.

כאאוֹדְךָ כִּי עֲנִיתָנִי וַתְּהִי־לִי לִישׁוּעָה׃

22The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

כבאֶבֶן מָאֲסוּ הַבּוֹנִים הָיְתָה לְרֹאשׁ פִּנָּה׃

23This is Hashem's doing; it is marvelous in our sight.

כגמֵאֵת יְהֹוָה הָיְתָה זֹּאת הִיא נִפְלָאת בְּעֵינֵינוּ׃

24This is the day that Hashem has made— let us exult and rejoice on it.

כדזֶה־הַיּוֹם עָשָׂה יְהֹוָה נָגִילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה בוֹ׃

25Hashem, deliver us! Hashem, let us prosper!

כהאָנָּא יְהֹוָה הוֹשִׁיעָה נָּא אָנָּא יְהֹוָה הַצְלִיחָה נָּא׃

26May he who enters be blessed in the name of Hashem; we bless you from the House of Hashem.

כובָּרוּךְ הַבָּא בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה בֵּרַכְנוּכֶם מִבֵּית יְהֹוָה׃

27Hashem is Hashem; He has given us light; bind the festal offering to the horns of the mizbayach with cords.

כזאֵל יְהֹוָה וַיָּאֶר לָנוּ אִסְרוּ־חַג בַּעֲבֹתִים עַד־קַרְנוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ׃

28You are my God and I will praise You; You are my God and I will extol You.

כחאֵלִי אַתָּה וְאוֹדֶךָּ אֱלֹהַי אֲרוֹמְמֶךָּ׃

29Praise Hashem for He is good, His steadfast love is eternal.

כטהוֹדוּ לַיהֹוָה כִּי־טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃