Chapter 17

1A prayer of David. Hear, Hashem, what is just; heed my cry, give ear to my prayer, uttered without guile.

אתְּפִלָּה לְדָוִד שִׁמְעָה יְהֹוָה צֶדֶק הַקְשִׁיבָה רִנָּתִי הַאֲזִינָה תְפִלָּתִי בְּלֹא שִׂפְתֵי מִרְמָה׃

2My vindication will come from You; Your eyes will behold what is right.

במִלְּפָנֶיךָ מִשְׁפָּטִי יֵצֵא עֵינֶיךָ תֶּחֱזֶינָה מֵישָׁרִים׃

3You have visited me at night, probed my mind, You have tested me and found nothing amiss; I determined that my mouth should not transgress.

גבָּחַנְתָּ לִבִּי פָּקַדְתָּ לַּיְלָה צְרַפְתַּנִי בַל־תִּמְצָא זַמֹּתִי בַּל־יַעֲבָר־פִּי׃

4As for man's dealings, in accord with the command of Your lips, I have kept in view the fate of the lawless.

דלִפְעֻלּוֹת אָדָם בִּדְבַר שְׂפָתֶיךָ אֲנִי שָׁמַרְתִּי אָרְחוֹת פָּרִיץ׃

5My feet have held to Your paths; my legs have not given way.

התָּמֹךְ אֲשֻׁרַי בְּמַעְגְּלוֹתֶיךָ בַּל־נָמוֹטּוּ פְעָמָי׃

6I call on You; You will answer me, Hashem; turn Your ear to me, hear what I say.

ואֲנִי־קְרָאתִיךָ כִי־תַעֲנֵנִי אֵל הַט־אָזְנְךָ לִי שְׁמַע אִמְרָתִי׃

7Display Your faithfulness in wondrous deeds, You who deliver with Your right hand those who seek refuge from assailants.

זהַפְלֵה חֲסָדֶיךָ מוֹשִׁיעַ חוֹסִים מִמִּתְקוֹמְמִים בִּימִינֶךָ׃

8Guard me like the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings

shom-RAY-nee k'-ee-SHON bat A-yin b'-TZAYL k'-na-FE-kha tas-tee-RAY-nee

חשָׁמְרֵנִי כְּאִישׁוֹן בַּת־עָיִן בְּצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ תַּסְתִּירֵנִי׃

 17:8   The apple of Your eye 

Ariel view of Bat Ayin

The term eeshon bat ayin (אישון בת-עין), ‘the apple of the eye’, refers to the pupil , and is used by the psalmist to reflect the divine protection he seeks: “Guard me like the apple of Your eye”. The eye is the most sensitive part of the body, and therefore the most protected part of the face. There are eyelids and eyelashes to protect the eyes from foreign intrusion, eyebrows to protect from sweat, and the forehead and nose to protect them from impact. The psalmist asks that Hashem protect him fully like the eye that is surrounded on all sides. A more profound interpretation of this expression recognizes that the eye is also the window to the soul. By asking the Lord to protect his eyes, the psalmist is thus asking God to guard his soul. In 1989, a group of settlers created a new community in Gush Etzion under the guidance of Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg. The residents of the community, called Bat Ayin, are mostly Jews with Hassidic tendencies, who place great emphasis on spirituality and the soul and aim to recognize and spread the light of Hashem in this world. Today, close to 200 families live in Bat Ayin, representing Jews of all walks of life, from rabbis and teachers, to artists and musicians, builders, farmers, doctors and writers.

9from the wicked who despoil me, my mortal enemies who encircle me.

טמִפְּנֵי רְשָׁעִים זוּ שַׁדּוּנִי אֹיְבַי בְּנֶפֶשׁ יַקִּיפוּ עָלָי׃

10Their hearts are closed to pity; they mouth arrogance;

יחֶלְבָּמוֹ סָּגְרוּ פִּימוֹ דִּבְּרוּ בְגֵאוּת׃

11now they hem in our feet on every side; they set their eyes roaming over the land.

יאאַשֻּׁרֵינוּ עַתָּה סבבוני [סְבָבוּנוּ] עֵינֵיהֶם יָשִׁיתוּ לִנְטוֹת בָּאָרֶץ׃

12He is like a lion eager for prey, a king of beasts lying in wait.

יבדִּמְיֹנוֹ כְּאַרְיֵה יִכְסוֹף לִטְרוֹף וְכִכְפִיר יֹשֵׁב בְּמִסְתָּרִים׃

13Rise, Hashem! Go forth to meet him. Bring him down; rescue me from the wicked with Your sword,

יגקוּמָה יְהֹוָה קַדְּמָה פָנָיו הַכְרִיעֵהוּ פַּלְּטָה נַפְשִׁי מֵרָשָׁע חַרְבֶּךָ׃

14from men, Hashem, with Your hand, from men whose share in life is fleeting. But as to Your treasured ones, fill their bellies. Their sons too shall be satisfied, and have something to leave over for their young.

ידמִמְתִים יָדְךָ יְהֹוָה מִמְתִים מֵחֶלֶד חֶלְקָם בַּחַיִּים וצפינך [וּצְפוּנְךָ] תְּמַלֵּא בִטְנָם יִשְׂבְּעוּ בָנִים וְהִנִּיחוּ יִתְרָם לְעוֹלְלֵיהֶם׃

15Then I, justified, will behold Your face; awake, I am filled with the vision of You.

טואֲנִי בְּצֶדֶק אֶחֱזֶה פָנֶיךָ אֶשְׂבְּעָה בְהָקִיץ תְּמוּנָתֶךָ׃