Psalms 95
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1  Come, let us sing joyously to Hashem, raise a shout for our rock and deliverer;

א  לְכוּ נְרַנְּנָה לַיהֹוָה נָרִיעָה לְצוּר יִשְׁעֵנוּ׃

2  let us come into His presence with praise; let us raise a shout for Him in song!

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 raise a shout for Him in song

The Hebrew word for ‘song’ in the verse is zemirot, the plural form of zemer (זמר). While song is the most common definition of this word, the root ז-מ-ר has another meaning as well: to ‘prune’ a plant by removing extraneous branches. The connection between these meanings is not initially obvious, but since Hebrew words get to an object’s essence, a closer look reveals the correlation between them. A tree thrives when its heavy branches and extraneous foliage are clipped, so that it can channel its nutritional resources to its most important elements. Similarly, music is not the collection of randomly collected notes. To create a beautiful song, one must ‘prune’ extraneous sounds. 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 comments

3  For Hashem is a great Hashem, the great king of all divine beings.

ג  כִּי אֵל גָּדוֹל יְהֹוָה וּמֶלֶךְ גָּדוֹל עַל־כָּל־אֱלֹהִים׃

4  In His hand are the depths of the earth; the peaks of the mountains are His.

ד  אֲשֶׁר בְּיָדוֹ מֶחְקְרֵי־אָרֶץ וְתוֹעֲפוֹת הָרִים לוֹ׃

5  His is the sea, He made it; and the land, which His hands fashioned.

ה  אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ הַיָּם וְהוּא עָשָׂהוּ וְיַבֶּשֶׁת יָדָיו יָצָרוּ׃

6  Come, let us bow down and kneel, bend the knee before Hashem our maker,

ו  בֹּאוּ נִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה וְנִכְרָעָה נִבְרְכָה לִפְנֵי־יְהֹוָה עֹשֵׂנוּ׃

7  for He is our God, and we are the people He tends, the flock in His care. O, if you would but heed His charge this day:

ז  כִּי הוּא אֱלֹהֵינוּ וַאֲנַחְנוּ עַם מַרְעִיתוֹ וְצֹאן יָדוֹ הַיּוֹם אִם־בְּקֹלוֹ תִשְׁמָעוּ׃

8  Do not be stubborn as at Meribah, as on the day of Massah, in the wilderness,

ח  אַל־תַּקְשׁוּ לְבַבְכֶם כִּמְרִיבָה כְּיוֹם מַסָּה בַּמִּדְבָּר׃

9  when your fathers put Me to the test, tried Me, though they had seen My deeds.

ט  אֲשֶׁר נִסּוּנִי אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם בְּחָנוּנִי גַּם־רָאוּ פָעֳלִי׃

10  Forty years I was provoked by that generation; I thought, “They are a senseless people; they would not know My ways.”

י  אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה אָקוּט בְּדוֹר וָאֹמַר עַם תֹּעֵי לֵבָב הֵם וְהֵם לֹא־יָדְעוּ דְרָכָי׃

11  Concerning them I swore in anger, “They shall never come to My resting-place!”

יא  אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי בְאַפִּי אִם־יְבֹאוּן אֶל־מְנוּחָתִי׃

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Psalms 94
Psalms 96

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Psalms 95

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