TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
NEVI'IM
PROPHETS
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WRITINGS

Psalms 81

1For the leader; on the gittith. Of Asaf.

lam-na-TZAY-akh al ha-gi-TEET l'-a-SAF

אלַמְנַצֵּחַ עַל־הַגִּתִּית לְאָסָף׃

 81:1   On the gittith

Ancient wine press in Shivta, Israel

According to some, the gittith, upon which this psalm is uttered, refers to a gat (גת), ‘wine press.’ This psalm, which presents Hashem’s response to the previous psalm, opts for a much slower, methodical process of salvation. As opposed to the metaphor of a vine being lifted up whole and then planted again in the land, the nation is not yet ready for, or deserving of, immediate salvation. Rather, like the procedure for producing wine from grapes, salvation will take time. The process requires several stages, and it requires a passage of time until the final product is ready. The message of this psalm is that redemption does not occur instantaneously. Just as winemaking requires a process involving various stages such as laborious harvesting, crushing, selecting, fermenting and ultimately waiting, before producing the finished product, so does redemption. But just as with fine wine, it is well worth the wait.

2Sing joyously to Hashem, our strength; raise a shout for the God of Yaakov.

בהַרְנִינוּ לֵאלֹהִים עוּזֵּנוּ הָרִיעוּ לֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב׃

3Take up the song, sound the timbrel, the melodious lyre and harp.

גשְׂאוּ־זִמְרָה וּתְנוּ־תֹף כִּנּוֹר נָעִים עִם־נָבֶל׃

4Blow the shofar on the new moon, on the full moon for our feast day.

דתִּקְעוּ בַחֹדֶשׁ שׁוֹפָר בַּכֵּסֶה לְיוֹם חַגֵּנוּ׃

5For it is a law for Yisrael, a ruling of the God of Yaakov;

הכִּי חֹק לְיִשְׂרָאֵל הוּא מִשְׁפָּט לֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב׃

6He imposed it as a decree upon Yosef when he went forth from the land of Egypt; I heard a language that I knew not.

ועֵדוּת בִּיהוֹסֵף שָׂמוֹ בְּצֵאתוֹ עַל־אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם שְׂפַת לֹא־יָדַעְתִּי אֶשְׁמָע׃

7I relieved his shoulder of the burden, his hands were freed from the basket.

זהֲסִירוֹתִי מִסֵּבֶל שִׁכְמוֹ כַּפָּיו מִדּוּד תַּעֲבֹרְנָה׃

8In distress you called and I rescued you; I answered you from the secret place of thunder I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah.

חבַּצָּרָה קָרָאתָ וָאֲחַלְּצֶךָּ אֶעֶנְךָ בְּסֵתֶר רַעַם אֶבְחָנְךָ עַל־מֵי מְרִיבָה סֶלָה׃

9Hear, My people, and I will admonish you; Yisrael, if you would but listen to Me!

טשְׁמַע עַמִּי וְאָעִידָה בָּךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל אִם־תִּשְׁמַע־לִי׃

10You shall have no foreign god, you shall not bow to an alien god.

ילֹא־יִהְיֶה בְךָ אֵל זָר וְלֹא תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לְאֵל נֵכָר׃

11I Hashem am your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

יאאָנֹכִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ הַמַּעַלְךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם הַרְחֶב־פִּיךָ וַאֲמַלְאֵהוּ׃

12But My people would not listen to Me, Yisrael would not obey Me.

יבוְלֹא־שָׁמַע עַמִּי לְקוֹלִי וְיִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא־אָבָה לִי׃

13So I let them go after their willful heart that they might follow their own devices.

יגוָאֲשַׁלְּחֵהוּ בִּשְׁרִירוּת לִבָּם יֵלְכוּ בְּמוֹעֲצוֹתֵיהֶם׃

14If only My people would listen to Me, if Yisrael would follow My paths,

ידלוּ עַמִּי שֹׁמֵעַ לִי יִשְׂרָאֵל בִּדְרָכַי יְהַלֵּכוּ׃

15then would I subdue their enemies at once, strike their foes again and again.

טוכִּמְעַט אוֹיְבֵיהֶם אַכְנִיעַ וְעַל צָרֵיהֶם אָשִׁיב יָדִי׃

16Those who hate Hashem shall cower before Him; their doom shall be eternal.

טזמְשַׂנְאֵי יְהֹוָה יְכַחֲשׁוּ־לוֹ וִיהִי עִתָּם לְעוֹלָם׃

17He fed them the finest wheat; I sated you with honey from the rock.

יזוַיַּאֲכִילֵהוּ מֵחֵלֶב חִטָּה וּמִצּוּר דְּבַשׁ אַשְׂבִּיעֶךָ׃