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Chapter 129

Translation and Transliteration of 

1A song of ascents. Since my youth they have often assailed me, let Yisrael now declare,

SHIR ha-ma-a-LOT ra-BAT t'-ra-ROO-nee mi-ne-u-RAI, yo-MAR-na YIS-ra-EL.

אשִׁ֗יר הַֽמַּ֫עֲל֥וֹת רַ֭בַּת צְרָר֣וּנִי מִנְּעוּרַ֑י יֹאמַר־נָ֝֗א יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

2since my youth they have often assailed me, but they have never overcome me.

ra-BAT tze-ra-ROO-nee mi-ne-U-rai, GAM lo-yakh-LOO lee

ברַ֭בַּת צְרָר֣וּנִי מִנְּעוּרָ֑י גַּ֝֗ם לֹא־יָ֥כְלוּ לִֽי׃

3Plowmen plowed across my back; they made long furrows.

al-GA-vee khar-SHU khor-SHEEM he-e-REE-khu (le-ma-a-NO-tam) [le-ma-a-NEE-tam]

געַל־גַּ֭בִּי חָרְשׁ֣וּ חֹרְשִׁ֑ים הֶ֝אֱרִ֗יכוּ (למענותם) [לְמַעֲנִיתָֽם]׃

4Hashem, the righteous one, has snapped the cords of the wicked.

a-do-NAI tza-DEEK ki-TZEtz a-VOT r'-sha-EEM

דיְהֹוָ֥ה צַדִּ֑יק קִ֝צֵּ֗ץ עֲב֣וֹת רְשָׁעִֽים׃

5Let all who hate Tzion fall back in disgrace.

yay-VO-shu v'-yi-SO-gu a-KHOR KOL so-n'-AY tzi-YON

היֵ֭בֹשׁוּ וְיִסֹּ֣גוּ אָח֑וֹר כֹּ֝֗ל שֹׂנְאֵ֥י צִיּֽוֹן׃

129:5   All who hate Tzion

According to some commentators, this psalm was composed by the Babylonian exiles during their return to Tzion. Those who returned were met with great opposition from the inhabitants of the land. The psalmist prays that the haters of Tzion will be shamed and fall away, while those who support the return to Tzion will find blessing and life. Sefer Ezra records that only some forty-thousand Jews initially returned to Tzion after King Cyrus granted permission for them to do so. Over time, though, and especially after the building of the second Beit Hamikdash, the Jews of Babylonia started to return in larger numbers. They were the recipients of the great rewards of the return to Tzion and to the Beit Hamikdash.

6Let them be like grass on roofs that fades before it can be pulled up,

y'-hi-YU ka-cha-TZIR ga-GOT she-ka-D'-mat sha-LAF ya-VESH

ויִ֭הְיוּ כַּחֲצִ֣יר גַּגּ֑וֹת שֶׁקַּדְמַ֖ת שָׁלַ֣ף יָבֵֽשׁ׃

7that affords no handful for the reaper, no armful for the gatherer of sheaves,

she-LO me-LE kha-PO ko-TZEIR v'-khitz-NO me-a-MER

זשֶׁלֹּ֤א מִלֵּ֖א כַפּ֥וֹ קוֹצֵ֗ר וְחִצְנ֥וֹ מְעַמֵּֽר׃

8no exchange with passersby: “The blessing of Hashem be upon you.” “We bless you by the name of Hashem.”

v'-LO a-m'-RU ha-o-v'-REEM birkat a-do-NAI a-lay-KHEM, be-rakh-NU et-KHEM b'-shem a-do-NAI.

חוְלֹ֤א אָמְר֨וּ ׀ הָעֹבְרִ֗ים בִּרְכַּֽת־יְהֹוָ֥ה אֲלֵיכֶ֑ם בֵּרַ֥כְנוּ אֶ֝תְכֶ֗ם בְּשֵׁ֣ם יְהֹוָֽה׃