Chapter 90

1A prayer of Moshe, the man of Hashem. O Hashem, You have been our refuge in every generation.

אתְּפִלָּה לְמֹשֶׁה אִישׁ־הָאֱלֹהִים אֲ‍דֹנָי מָעוֹן אַתָּה הָיִיתָ לָּנוּ בְּדֹר וָדֹר׃

2Before the mountains came into being, before You brought forth the earth and the world, from eternity to eternity You are Hashem.

בבְּטֶרֶם הָרִים יֻלָּדוּ וַתְּחוֹלֵל אֶרֶץ וְתֵבֵל וּמֵעוֹלָם עַד־עוֹלָם אַתָּה אֵל׃

3You return man to dust; You decreed, “Return you mortals!”

ta-SHAYV e-NOSH ad da-KA va-TO-mer SHU-vu v'-nay a-DAM

גתָּשֵׁב אֱנוֹשׁ עַד־דַּכָּא וַתֹּאמֶר שׁוּבוּ בְנֵי־אָדָם׃

 90:3   Return you mortals

This psalm was composed by Moshe, praising God’s relationship with mankind. The simple interpretation of this verse is that Hashem is so powerful that He decides when to give life and when to take it away. The Hebrew word daka (דכא), found in the first part of the verse, means ‘that which is crushed,’ and refers to the earth. The first part of the phrase therefore means “you return man to dust [of the earth].” The Rabbis, however, offer a homiletic interpretation. God, by bringing pain and suffering, causes man to return to His righteous ways. The Hebrew word shuv (שוב), ‘return,’ appears in both halves of the verse, and the connotation of daka refers to a crushing of one’s hubris to pave the way for a return to Hashem. According to this interpretation, the end of the verse means “Return you mortals – to Hashem.”

4For in Your sight a thousand years are like yesterday that has passed, like a watch of the night.

דכִּי אֶלֶף שָׁנִים בְּעֵינֶיךָ כְּיוֹם אֶתְמוֹל כִּי יַעֲבֹר וְאַשְׁמוּרָה בַלָּיְלָה׃

5You engulf men in sleep; at daybreak they are like grass that renews itself;

הזְרַמְתָּם שֵׁנָה יִהְיוּ בַּבֹּקֶר כֶּחָצִיר יַחֲלֹף׃

6at daybreak it flourishes anew; by dusk it withers and dries up.

ובַּבֹּקֶר יָצִיץ וְחָלָף לָעֶרֶב יְמוֹלֵל וְיָבֵשׁ׃

7So we are consumed by Your anger, terror-struck by Your fury.

זכִּי־כָלִינוּ בְאַפֶּךָ וּבַחֲמָתְךָ נִבְהָלְנוּ׃

8You have set our iniquities before You, our hidden sins in the light of Your face.

חשת [שַׁתָּה] עֲוׂנֹתֵינוּ לְנֶגְדֶּךָ עֲלֻמֵנוּ לִמְאוֹר פָּנֶיךָ׃

9All our days pass away in Your wrath; we spend our years like a sigh.

טכִּי כָל־יָמֵינוּ פָּנוּ בְעֶבְרָתֶךָ כִּלִּינוּ שָׁנֵינוּ כְמוֹ־הֶגֶה׃

10The span of our life is seventy years, or, given the strength, eighty years; but the best of them are trouble and sorrow. They pass by speedily, and we are in darkness.

ייְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן כִּי־גָז חִישׁ וַנָּעֻפָה׃

11Who can know Your furious anger? Your wrath matches the fear of You.

יאמִי־יוֹדֵעַ עֹז אַפֶּךָ וּכְיִרְאָתְךָ עֶבְרָתֶךָ׃

12Teach us to count our days rightly, that we may obtain a wise heart.

יבלִמְנוֹת יָמֵינוּ כֵּן הוֹדַע וְנָבִא לְבַב חָכְמָה׃

13Turn, Hashem! How long? Show mercy to Your servants.

יגשׁוּבָה יְהֹוָה עַד־מָתָי וְהִנָּחֵם עַל־עֲבָדֶיךָ׃

14Satisfy us at daybreak with Your steadfast love that we may sing for joy all our days.

ידשַׂבְּעֵנוּ בַבֹּקֶר חַסְדֶּךָ וּנְרַנְּנָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה בְּכָל־יָמֵינוּ׃

15Give us joy for as long as You have afflicted us, for the years we have suffered misfortune.

טושַׂמְּחֵנוּ כִּימוֹת עִנִּיתָנוּ שְׁנוֹת רָאִינוּ רָעָה׃

16Let Your deeds be seen by Your servants, Your glory by their children.

טזיֵרָאֶה אֶל־עֲבָדֶיךָ פָעֳלֶךָ וַהֲדָרְךָ עַל־בְּנֵיהֶם׃

17May the favor of Hashem, our God, be upon us; let the work of our hands prosper, O prosper the work of our hands!

יזוִיהִי נֹעַם אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ עָלֵינוּ וּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵינוּ כּוֹנְנָה עָלֵינוּ וּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵינוּ כּוֹנְנֵהוּ׃