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Chapter 53

Translation and Transliteration of 

1For the leader; on mahalath. A maskil of David.

la-menatse-akh al-ma-kha-LAT mas-KIL le-da-VID

אלַמְנַצֵּ֥חַ עַֽל־מָחֲלַ֗ת מַשְׂכִּ֥יל לְדָוִֽד׃

2The benighted man thinks, “Hashem does not care.” Man's wrongdoing is corrupt and loathsome; no one does good.

a-MAR na-VAL b'-li-VO, AYN e-lo-HEEM, hi-SHE-khee-TO v'-hit-a-EE-vu a-VAYL, AYN o-SEH-TOV

באָ֘מַ֤ר נָבָ֣ל בְּ֭לִבּוֹ אֵ֣ין אֱלֹהִ֑ים הִֽ֝שְׁחִ֗יתוּ וְהִֽתְעִ֥יבוּ עָ֝֗וֶל אֵ֣ין עֹֽשֵׂה־טֽוֹב׃

3Hashem looks down from heaven on mankind to find a man of understanding, a man mindful of Hashem.

e-lo-HIM mi-sha-MA-yim hi-sh-KIF al b'-NAY a-DAM li-r'-OT ha-YESH mas-KIL do-RAYSH et e-lo-HIM

גאֱֽלֹהִ֗ים מִשָּׁמַיִם֮ הִשְׁקִ֢יף עַֽל־בְּנֵי־אָ֫דָ֥ם לִ֭רְאוֹת הֲיֵ֣שׁ מַשְׂכִּ֑יל דֹּ֝רֵ֗שׁ אֶת־אֱלֹהִֽים׃

4Everyone is dross, altogether foul; there is none who does good, not even one.

KU-lo SAG ya-KHA-dav ne-e-LA-khu AYN o-SEH-TOV AYN gam-e-KHAD.

דכֻּלּ֥וֹ סָג֮ יַחְדָּ֢ו נֶ֫אֱלָ֥חוּ אֵ֤ין עֹֽשֵׂה־ט֑וֹב אֵ֝֗ין גַּם־אֶחָֽד׃

5Are they so witless, those evildoers, who devour my people as they devour food, and do not invoke Hashem?

ha-LO ya-d'-U po-a-LAY a-VEN o-kh'-LAY a-MEE a-kh'-LU le-KHEM e-lo-HEEM lo ka-RA-u

ההֲלֹ֥א יָדְעוּ֮ פֹּ֤עֲלֵ֫י־אָ֥וֶן אֹכְלֵ֣י עַ֭מִּי אָ֣כְלוּ לֶ֑חֶם אֱ֝לֹהִ֗ים לֹ֣א קָרָֽאוּ׃

6There they will be seized with fright —never was there such a fright— for Hashem has scattered the bones of your besiegers; you have put them to shame, for Hashem has rejected them.

SHAM pa-KHA-du fa-KHAD lo-ha-YA-fa-KHAD KI e-lo-HEEM pi-ZAR atz-MOT kho-NAKH he-vi-SHO-ta KI e-lo-HEEM me-a-SAM

ושָׁ֤ם ׀ פָּ֥חֲדוּ פַחַד֮ לֹא־הָ֢יָה֫־פָ֥חַד כִּֽי־אֱלֹהִ֗ים פִּ֭זַּר עַצְמ֣וֹת חֹנָ֑ךְ הֱ֝בִשֹׁ֗תָה כִּֽי־אֱלֹהִ֥ים מְאָסָֽם׃

7O that the deliverance of Yisrael might come from Tzion! When Hashem restores the fortunes of His people, Yaakov will exult, Yisrael will rejoice.

MEE yi-TAYN mi-tzi-YON y'-shu-OT yis-ra-AYL b'-SHUV e-lo-HEEM sh'-VUT a-MO ya-GAYL ya-a-KOV yis-MAKH yis-ra-AYL

זמִ֥י יִתֵּ֣ן מִצִּיּוֹן֮ יְשֻׁע֢וֹת יִשְׂרָ֫אֵ֥ל בְּשׁ֣וּב אֱ֭לֹהִים שְׁב֣וּת עַמּ֑וֹ יָגֵ֥ל יַ֝עֲקֹ֗ב יִשְׂמַ֥ח יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

 53:7   The fortunes of His people

In the first years after Israel’s independence, close to seven-hundred thousand Jews moved to the country, including many survivors of the Holocaust looking to build a new life in God’s Promised Land. Under the leadership of future Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, the Jewish Agency built absorption settlements throughout the country to accommodate the staggering numbers. One was appropriately named Sh’vut Am (שבות עם), ‘the return of the people,’ taken from Psalm 53. Though translated here as “the fortunes of His people,” the words sh’vut amo (שבות עמו) in this verse also mean ‘the return of His people.’ Over the course of a few years, over one-hundred thousand new immigrants lived in Sh’vut Am, and from there went on to build Israel’s future. Indeed, when salvation came to Israel with the return of the captivity, Israel did rejoice.

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol (1895-1969)

A Jew of Ethiopian descend prays overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem. The immigration of the Ethiopian Jewish community to Israel is a realization of the ingathering of the exiles.