Chapter 143

Translation and Transliteration of 

1A psalm of David. Hashem, hear my prayer; give ear to my plea, as You are faithful; answer me, as You are beneficent.

MIZ-mor l'-DA-vid, a-do-NAI, sh'-MA t'-fi-LA-tee, ha-a-ZI-nah el ta-cha-NU-na-ee, b'-e-mu-na-te-KHA a-NE-ni, b'-tzid-ka-TE-kha.

אמִזְמ֗וֹר לְדָ֫וִ֥ד יְהֹוָ֤ה ׀ שְׁמַ֬ע תְּפִלָּתִ֗י הַאֲזִ֥ינָה אֶל־תַּחֲנוּנַ֑י בֶּאֱמֻנָֽתְךָ֥ עֲ֝נֵ֗נִי בְּצִדְקָתֶֽךָ׃

2Do not enter into judgment with Your servant, for before You no creature is in the right.

v'-al ta-VO b'-mish-PAT et a-v'-DE-kha, KEE lo yitz-DAK l'-fa-NE-kha kol-KHAI

בוְאַל־תָּב֣וֹא בְ֭מִשְׁפָּט אֶת־עַבְדֶּ֑ךָ כִּ֤י לֹֽא־יִצְדַּ֖ק לְפָנֶ֣יךָ כׇל־חָֽי׃

3My foe hounded me; he crushed me to the ground; he made me dwell in darkness like those long dead.

ki ra-DAF o-YEV naf-SHEE di-KA la-A-RETZ kha-YA-tee ho-shi-VA-nee b'-ma-kha-SHA-KEEM k'-m'-tay o-LAM

גכִּ֥י רָ֘דַ֤ף אוֹיֵ֨ב ׀ נַפְשִׁ֗י דִּכָּ֣א לָ֭אָרֶץ חַיָּתִ֑י הוֹשִׁבַ֥נִי בְ֝מַחֲשַׁכִּ֗ים כְּמֵתֵ֥י עוֹלָֽם׃

4My spirit failed within me; my mind was numbed with horror.

va-tit-a-TEF a-LAI ru-KHEE b'-to-KHEE yish-TO-mem li-BEE

דוַתִּתְעַטֵּ֣ף עָלַ֣י רוּחִ֑י בְּ֝תוֹכִ֗י יִשְׁתּוֹמֵ֥ם לִבִּֽי׃

5Then I thought of the days of old; I rehearsed all Your deeds, recounted the work of Your hands.

za-KHAR-tee ya-MEEM mi-KE-dem ha-GEE-tee v-khol pa-a-LE-kha b'-ma-a-SAY ya-DE-kha a-so-KHAY-akh

הזָ֘כַ֤רְתִּי יָמִ֨ים ׀ מִקֶּ֗דֶם הָגִ֥יתִי בְכׇל־פׇּעֳלֶ֑ךָ בְּֽמַעֲשֵׂ֖ה יָדֶ֣יךָ אֲשׂוֹחֵֽחַ׃

 143:5   Then I thought of the days of old

Once again, David is in a perilous state. Enemies from close and far depress him and make him feel lost and alone. In this psalm, he invokes a different technique to lift himself out of the morass: Memory. Isolating one’s consciousness to the here and now can be lonesome and disheartening. Remembering that one is part of something greater than the present, however, can be uplifting. A number of biblical laws are related to past events and the idea of remembering, such as Shabbat, which is intended to remind us of both the creation of the world (Exodus 31:17) and the exodus from Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:15). In 1948, the framers of Israel’s Declaration of Independence knew precisely how to begin their journey towards nationhood, by recalling the past. They began the declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel as follows: “The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.”

Israel’s declaration of independence

PM David Ben Gurion reading the declaration of independence

6I stretched out my hands to You, longing for You like thirsty earth. Selah.

pe-RAS-ti ya-DAI e-LE-kha naf-SHEE ke-E-retz a-YE-fa le-KHA se-LAH

ופֵּרַ֣שְׂתִּי יָדַ֣י אֵלֶ֑יךָ נַפְשִׁ֓י ׀ כְּאֶרֶץ־עֲיֵפָ֖ה לְךָ֣ סֶֽלָה׃

7Answer me quickly, Hashem; my spirit can endure no more. Do not hide Your face from me, or I shall become like those who descend into the Pit.

ma-HER a-NE-ni a-do-NAI, kol-TAH ru-KHEE, al-tas-TE-ra pa-NE-kha mi-ME-ni, v'-nim-shal-TEE im-yor-DAY bor

זמַ֘הֵ֤ר עֲנֵ֨נִי ׀ יְהֹוָה֮ כָּלְתָ֢ה ר֫וּחִ֥י אַל־תַּסְתֵּ֣ר פָּנֶ֣יךָ מִמֶּ֑נִּי וְ֝נִמְשַׁ֗לְתִּי עִם־יֹ֥רְדֵי בֽוֹר׃

8Let me learn of Your faithfulness by daybreak, for in You I trust; let me know the road I must take, for on You I have set my hope.

ha-sh'-MEE-e-nee va-BO-ker khas-DE-kha, kee-VE-kha va-takh-T'-tee, ho-dee-E-nee DE-rekh-ZU e-LEKH, kee-E-le-KHA na-sa-TEE naf-SHEE.

חהַשְׁמִ֘יעֵ֤נִי בַבֹּ֨קֶר ׀ חַסְדֶּךָ֮ כִּֽי־בְךָ֢ בָ֫טָ֥חְתִּי הוֹדִיעֵ֗נִי דֶּֽרֶךְ־ז֥וּ אֵלֵ֑ךְ כִּי־אֵ֝לֶ֗יךָ נָשָׂ֥אתִי נַפְשִֽׁי׃

9Save me from my foes, Hashem; to You I look for cover.

ha-TZI-le-ni me-o-y'-VAI a-do-NAI e-LE-kha ki-SI-ti

טהַצִּילֵ֖נִי מֵאֹיְבַ֥י ׀ יְהֹוָ֗ה אֵלֶ֥יךָ כִסִּֽתִי׃

10Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. Let Your gracious spirit lead me on level ground.

la-m'-DEE-nee la-a-SOT r'-zo-NE-kha, kee a-TAH e-lo-HAI, ru-KHA-kha to-VAH, tan-KHE-nee b'-E-rets mi-SHOHR

ילַמְּדֵ֤נִי ׀ לַ֥עֲשׂ֣וֹת רְצוֹנֶךָ֮ כִּֽי־אַתָּ֢ה אֱל֫וֹהָ֥י רוּחֲךָ֥ טוֹבָ֑ה תַּ֝נְחֵ֗נִי בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִישֽׁוֹר׃

11For the sake of Your name, Hashem, preserve me; as You are beneficent, free me from distress.

l'-ma-an SHIM-kha a-do-NAI t'-cha-YE-ni b'-tzi-d'-KA-t'-kha to-TZI-a mi-tza-RAH naf-SHEE

יאלְמַעַן־שִׁמְךָ֣ יְהֹוָ֣ה תְּחַיֵּ֑נִי בְּצִדְקָתְךָ֓ ׀ תּוֹצִ֖יא מִצָּרָ֣ה נַפְשִֽׁי׃

12As You are faithful, put an end to my foes; destroy all my mortal enemies, for I am Your servant.

u-v'-khas-DE-kha tatz-MEET oy-vai v'-ha-a-va-D'-ta kol-tzo-r'-RAY naf-SHEE, kee a-NEE av-DE-kha.

יבוּֽבְחַסְדְּךָ֮ תַּצְמִ֢ית אֹ֫יְבָ֥י וְֽ֭הַאֲבַדְתָּ כׇּל־צֹרְרֵ֣י נַפְשִׁ֑י כִּ֝֗י אֲנִ֣י עַבְדֶּֽךָ׃