1 A Song of Ascents. Happy is every one that feareth Hashem, that walketh in His ways.
א שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת אַשְׁרֵי כָּל יְרֵא יְהוָה הַהֹלֵךְ בִּדְרָכָיו.
2 When thou eatest the labour of thy hands, happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.
ב יְגִיעַ כַּפֶּיךָ כִּי תֹאכֵל אַשְׁרֶיךָ וְטוֹב לָךְ.
3 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine, in the innermost parts of thy house; thy children like olive plants, round about thy table.
ג אֶשְׁתְּךָ כְּגֶפֶן פֹּרִיָּה בְּיַרְכְּתֵי בֵיתֶךָ בָּנֶיךָ כִּשְׁתִלֵי זֵיתִים סָבִיב לְשֻׁלְחָנֶךָ.
4 Behold, surely thus shall the man be blessed that feareth Hashem.
ד הִנֵּה כִי כֵן יְבֹרַךְ גָּבֶר יְרֵא יְהוָה.
ה יְבָרֶכְךָ יְהוָה מִצִּיּוֹן וּרְאֵה בְּטוּב יְרוּשָׁלִָם כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ.
6 And see thy children’s children. Peace be upon Yisrael!
ur-AY va-NEEM l’-va-NE-kha sha-LOM al yis-ra-AYL
ו וּרְאֵה בָנִים לְבָנֶיךָ שָׁלוֹם עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל.
128:6 Peace be upon Israel
In 1936, archaeological excavations in the city of Jericho revealed the remains of an ancient synagogue. A huge mosaic was uncovered with pictures of a menorah (candelabrum), a shofar (ram’s horn) a lulav (palm branch), and the concluding words of this psalm, ‘shalom al yisrael’ (”peace be upon Israel”). It was determined that the synagogue dates back to the Byzantine period, around the 7th century CE. In fact, hundreds of Byzantine era synagogues have been found all over Israel, most of them facing Jerusalem and containing various artifacts demonstrating that synagogues were thriving in ancient times throughout the Land. The ‘Shalom Al Yisrael Synagogue’, as it has come to be known, is now under the control of the Palestinian Authority and remains largely off limits to Jewish worshippers. It is quite fitting that Psalm 128, which praises men and women who fear God and raise children to serve God, was chosen as the inscription for this synagogue. May those who seek to pray there be blessed from Zion and merit to see generations of offspring and may we all experience ‘peace upon Israel’.