Psalms 114
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  When Yisrael went forth from Egypt, the house of Yaakov from a people of strange speech,

א  בְּצֵאת יִשְׂרָאֵל מִמִּצְרָיִם בֵּית יַעֲקֹב מֵעַם לֹעֵז׃

2  Yehuda became His holy one, Yisrael, His dominion.

ב  הָיְתָה יְהוּדָה לְקָדְשׁוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל מַמְשְׁלוֹתָיו׃

3  The sea saw them and fled, Yarden ran backward,

ג  הַיָּם רָאָה וַיָּנֹס הַיַּרְדֵּן יִסֹּב לְאָחוֹר׃

4  mountains skipped like rams, hills like sheep.

ד  הֶהָרִים רָקְדוּ כְאֵילִים גְּבָעוֹת כִּבְנֵי־צֹאן׃

5  What alarmed you, O sea, that you fled, Yarden, that you ran backward,

ה  מַה־לְּךָ הַיָּם כִּי תָנוּס הַיַּרְדֵּן תִּסֹּב לְאָחוֹר׃

6  mountains, that you skipped like rams, hills, like sheep?

ו  הֶהָרִים תִּרְקְדוּ כְאֵילִים גְּבָעוֹת כִּבְנֵי־צֹאן׃

7  Tremble, O earth, at the presence of Hashem, at the presence of the God of Yaakov,

ז  מִלִּפְנֵי אָדוֹן חוּלִי אָרֶץ מִלִּפְנֵי אֱלוֹהַּ יַעֲקֹב׃

8  who turned the rock into a pool of water, the flinty rock into a fountain.

ha-ho-f’-KHEE ha-TZUR a-gam MA-yim kha-la-MEESH l’-ma-y’-no MA-yim

ח  הַהֹפְכִי הַצּוּר אֲגַם־מָיִם חַלָּמִישׁ לְמַעְיְנוֹ־מָיִם׃

114:8   Who turned the rock into a pool of water

This verse describes the great strength of Hashem, Who can produce water from a rock. The Hebrew word for ‘the rock,’ ha-tzur (הצור), alludes to something that is unmoving or stubborn. Yet if read backwards, the word becomes rotzeh (רוצה) which means ‘want’ or ‘willing.’ Just as a rock can be turned into water, so too, obstinacy can be turned into willingness. And no matter how far a person is from God, he or she can always come closer. Additionally, Tzur is one of the Bible’s names for the Almighty Himself. God’s protection and kindness are as solid and unchanging as a rock.1 comment

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Psalms 113
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Psalms 114

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