Harmony of Hope

March 1, 2024

As the Friday sun sets, casting a serene glow and heralding the arrival of the Sabbath, Jews across the globe pause for some moments of deep reflection. This special time is marked by the recitation of Kabbalat Shabbat, a collection of prayers and songs that welcome the Sabbath. One of the Psalms recited during this ritual is Psalm 92, a song of gratitude and faith. In its verses, the psalmist reminds us of the importance of thanking God and singing to Him, acknowledging His kindness in the morning and His faithfulness at night:

At first glance, the contrast between morning and night in these verses might seem straightforward—day and night, light and darkness. However, there is a deeper meaning to these words. Morning represents the times in our lives when God’s presence is unmistakable, when His blessings are as clear as daylight. Night, on the other hand, symbolizes those periods of darkness and difficulty, when finding God’s hand in our lives requires a leap of faith.

It is during these “dark nights,” when despair might seem justifiable, that the true challenge of faith arises. Precisely in those times, amidst our trials, we are called on to proclaim His faithfulness. This echoes the teachings of the great sage Rabbi Akiva, who famously maintained that everything God does is for the good. 

Similarly, Rabbi Shlomo Kluger, a prominent rabbi in the early 19th century, commented on the verse, “Thank the Lord because things are good; His kindness is forever” (Psalms 118:1). He beautifully explains that “God’s kindness is forever” means that God’s eternal kindness includes even those moments when it seems most hidden from us. In times of hardship, we are urged to maintain our gratitude and faith, recognizing that His goodness is constant, even when not immediately apparent.

This principle of unwavering faith even in difficult times was poignantly illustrated by Jewish singer Avraham Fried. In 2014, he visited the home of Gilad Shaer—one of the three teenagers tragically kidnapped and killed by Hamas terrorists in 2014. In the depths of mourning, Gilad’s mother requested Fried to sing the very words from Psalm 92:2-3. Her request, born from an unimaginable loss, was a powerful testament to the strength of faith and the capacity to find God even in the most harrowing circumstances.

“It is good to praise the Lord.” Of course, we don’t wish suffering upon anyone, nor do we mean to minimize the losses that people experience. But when we do suffer, we are meant to examine our lives and our behavior to figure out ways in which we can grow and improve because of the situation. The difficulty should inspire reflection, introspection and a return to God. In this way, we find sparks of good in the suffering and challenges, and for that, we thank the Lord. Expressing this gratitude and faith, even in the face of adversity, reinforces our calling to see the good in everything, illuminating our darkest nights with the enduring light of hope and trust.

As the sun sets on Friday night and darkness begins to descend, we recite Psalm 92, reminding us to see God in every situation and express our gratitude for both the blessings of the past and the hidden kindness of the present.

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Shira Schechter

Shira Schechter is the content editor for TheIsraelBible.com and Israel365 Publications. She earned master’s degrees in both Jewish Education and Bible from Yeshiva University. She taught the Hebrew Bible at a high school in New Jersey for eight years before making Aliyah with her family in 2013. Shira joined the Israel365 staff shortly after moving to Israel and contributed significantly to the development and publication of The Israel Bible.

Shira Schechter

Shira Schechter is the content editor for TheIsraelBible.com and Israel365 Publications. She earned master’s degrees in both Jewish Education and Bible from Yeshiva University. She taught the Hebrew Bible at a high school in New Jersey for eight years before making Aliyah with her family in 2013. Shira joined the Israel365 staff shortly after moving to Israel and contributed significantly to the development and publication of The Israel Bible.

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