Chapter 128

1A song of ascents. Happy are all who fear Hashem, who follow His ways.

אשִׁיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת אַשְׁרֵי כָּל־יְרֵא יְהֹוָה הַהֹלֵךְ בִּדְרָכָיו׃

2You shall enjoy the fruit of your labors; you shall be happy and you shall prosper.

ביְגִיעַ כַּפֶּיךָ כִּי תֹאכֵל אַשְׁרֶיךָ וְטוֹב לָךְ׃

3Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons, like olive saplings around your table.

גאֶשְׁתְּךָ כְּגֶפֶן פֹּרִיָּה בְּיַרְכְּתֵי בֵיתֶךָ בָּנֶיךָ כִּשְׁתִלֵי זֵיתִים סָבִיב לְשֻׁלְחָנֶךָ׃

4So shall the man who fears Hashem be blessed.

דהִנֵּה כִי־כֵן יְבֹרַךְ גָּבֶר יְרֵא יְהֹוָה׃

5May Hashem bless you from Tzion; may you share the prosperity of Yerushalayim all the days of your life,

היְבָרֶכְךָ יְהֹוָה מִצִּיּוֹן וּרְאֵה בְּטוּב יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ׃

6and live to see your children's children. May all be well with Yisrael!

ur-AY va-NEEM l'-va-NE-kha sha-LOM al yis-ra-AYL

ווּרְאֵה־בָנִים לְבָנֶיךָ שָׁלוֹם עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

 128:6   May all be well with Yisrael

Mosaic at the Shalom al Yisrael synagogue in Yericho

In 1936, archaeological excavations in the city of Yericho revealed the remains of an ancient synagogue. A huge mosaic was uncovered with pictures of a menorah (candelabrum), a shofar (ram’s horn) a lulav (palm branch), and the concluding words of this psalm, shalom al Yisrael (‘May all be well with Yisrael’ or more literally, ‘peace be upon Yisrael’.) The synagogue was dated to around the seventh century CE, during the Byzantine period. In fact, hundreds of Byzantine-era synagogues have been discovered all over Israel, most of them facing Yerushalayim and containing various artifacts demonstrating that synagogues were thriving in ancient times throughout the land. Unfortunately, the “Shalom Al Yisrael Synagogue,” as it has come to be known, which is now under the control of the Palestinian Authority, remains largely off-limits to Jewish worshippers.