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. Hashem’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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