1 A song of ascents. Of David. I rejoiced when they said to me, “We are going to the House of Hashem.”
א שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת לְדָוִד שָׂמַחְתִּי בְּאֹמְרִים לִי בֵּית יְהֹוָה נֵלֵךְ׃
2 Our feet stood inside your gates, O Yerushalayim,
ב עֹמְדוֹת הָיוּ רַגְלֵינוּ בִּשְׁעָרַיִךְ יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם׃
3 Yerushalayim built up, a city knit together,
ג יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם הַבְּנוּיָה כְּעִיר שֶׁחֻבְּרָה־לָּהּ יַחְדָּו׃
4 to which tribes would make pilgrimage, the tribes of Hashem, —as was enjoined upon Yisrael— to praise the name of Hashem.
5 There the thrones of judgment stood, thrones of the house of David.
ה כִּי שָׁמָּה יָשְׁבוּ כִסְאוֹת לְמִשְׁפָּט כִּסְאוֹת לְבֵית דָּוִיד׃
6 Pray for the well-being of Yerushalayim; “May those who love you be at peace.
sha-a-LU sh’-LOM y’-ru-sha-LA-im yish-LA-yu o-ha-VA-yikh
ו שַׁאֲלוּ שְׁלוֹם יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם יִשְׁלָיוּ אֹהֲבָיִךְ׃
122:6 Pray for the well-being of Yerushalayim
This psalm starts with the words sha’alu sh’lom Yerushalayim, ‘Pray for the well-being of Yerushalayim.’ Shalom (שלום), translated here as ‘well-being,’ is the first Hebrew word many people learn. It actually has three meanings: ‘hello,’ ‘goodbye’ and ‘peace.’ It is the word with which friends greet one another, but shalom is more than a greeting; it is also a blessing. Peace is the most important gift we can ask from Hashem, on an individual level, as families, and between nations. It is therefore of utmost significance that the world’s holiest city, Yerushalayim (ירושלים), has the word shalom at its core, because it is meant to be the source of all peace on earth. King David exhorts “Pray for the well-being of Yerushalayim,” for when Yerushalayim is confronted with conflict, the whole world suffers. Conversely, though, when Yerushalayim is at peace, the entire world enjoys serenity.8 comments
7 May there be well-being within your ramparts, peace in your citadels.”
ז יְהִי־שָׁלוֹם בְּחֵילֵךְ שַׁלְוָה בְּאַרְמְנוֹתָיִךְ׃
8 For the sake of my kin and friends, I pray for your well-being;
ח לְמַעַן אַחַי וְרֵעָי אֲדַבְּרָה־נָּא שָׁלוֹם בָּךְ׃
9 for the sake of the house of Hashem our God, I seek your good.
ט לְמַעַן בֵּית־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ אֲבַקְשָׁה טוֹב לָךְ׃