1 O come, let us sing unto Hashem; let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
א לְכוּ נְרַנְּנָה לַיהוָה נָרִיעָה לְצוּר יִשְׁעֵנוּ.
2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout for joy unto Him with psalms.
n’-ka-d’-MA fa-NAV b’-to-DAH biz-mi-ROT na-REE-a lo
ב נְקַדְּמָה פָנָיו בְּתוֹדָה בִּזְמִרוֹת נָרִיעַ לוֹ.
95:2 Let us shout for joy unto Him with psalms
The Hebrew word used for psalms in the verse is ‘zemirot,’ the plural of ‘zemer’ (זמר). While the most common definition of this word is song, the root ז,מ,ר has another meaning as well; to remove extraneous branches or to prune. The connection is not initially obvious, but as the ‘mother of all languages,’ Hebrew words get to a thing’s very essence. A tree thrives when its heavy branches and extraneous foliage are clipped, so that it can focus its nutritional resources. Similarly, music is not the collection of randomly collected notes. We must ‘prune’ extraneous sounds to be left with a song. This same principle can be applied to our own lives as well. In order to properly transform our entire lives into a holy song, we must remove the burdensome elements of our character.
3 For Hashem is a great God, and a great King above all gods;
ג כִּי אֵל גָּדוֹל יְהוָה וּמֶלֶךְ גָּדוֹל עַל כָּל אֱלֹהִים.
4 In whose hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are His also.
ד אֲשֶׁר בְּיָדוֹ מֶחְקְרֵי אָרֶץ וְתוֹעֲפֹת הָרִים לוֹ.
5 The sea is His, and He made it; and His hands formed the dry land.
ה אֲשֶׁר לוֹ הַיָּם וְהוּא עָשָׂהוּ וְיַבֶּשֶׁת יָדָיו יָצָרוּ.
6 O come, let us bow down and bend the knee; let us kneel before Hashem our Maker;
ו בֹּאוּ נִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה וְנִכְרָעָה נִבְרְכָה לִפְנֵי יְהוָה עֹשֵׂנוּ.
7 For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the flock of His hand. To-day, if ye would but hearken to His voice!
ז כִּי הוּא אֱלֹהֵינוּ וַאֲנַחְנוּ עַם מַרְעִיתוֹ וְצֹאן יָדוֹ הַיּוֹם אִם בְּקֹלוֹ תִשְׁמָעוּ.
8 ‘Harden not your heart, as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness;
ח אַל תַּקְשׁוּ לְבַבְכֶם כִּמְרִיבָה כְּיוֹם מַסָּה בַּמִּדְבָּר.
9 When your fathers tried Me, proved Me, even though they saw My work.
ט אֲשֶׁר נִסּוּנִי אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם בְּחָנוּנִי גַּם רָאוּ פָעֳלִי.
10 For forty years was I wearied with that generation, and said: It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known My ways;
י אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה אָקוּט בְּדוֹר וָאֹמַר עַם תֹּעֵי לֵבָב הֵם וְהֵם לֹא יָדְעוּ דְרָכָי.
11 Wherefore I swore in My wrath, that they should not enter into My rest.’
יא אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי בְאַפִּי אִם יְבֹאוּן אֶל מְנוּחָתִי.