Ashrei

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    • Michal 3 months ago

      Rabbi Elazar said that Rabbi Avina said: Anyone who recites: “A Psalm of David” (Psalms 145 ,aka Ashrei) three times every day is assured of being a Ben Olam Habba.

      אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר, אָמַר רַבִּי אֲבִינָא: כָּל הָאוֹמֵר ״תְּהִלָּה לְדָוִד״ בְּכָל יוֹם שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים — מוּבְטָח לוֹ שֶׁהוּא בֶּן הָעוֹלָם הַבָּא. 

      Rabeinu Bachya comments on this concept in his commentary on Parshas Tzav:[1]

      “One surely should not say Chazal’s intention is for a person to just merely recite the verses of this psalm as “bare words” and then attain the status of being a “ben olam habbah”. Certainly it is necessary to reflect and gain understanding of the meanings, the allusions and lessons contained in the verses in this Psalm, and then the reader (student) will emerge with a recognition and  clarity to the wonders of Hashem and upright wisdom which will strengthen his belief in God. This will trigger his serving G’d with greater intensity than before he had studied this Psalm. This in turn will result in that person earning or retaining his share in the world to come.”

      When reading this concept, I was inspired and thought that I ought to follow Rabbeinu Bachyas direction and try to understand  what Dovid Hamelech, our master and teacher is teaching us Biezras Hashem in these verses and thought I would try to explore the meanings, bit by bit.

      תְּהִלָּ֗ה לְדָ֫וִ֥ד אֲרוֹמִמְךָ֣ אֱלוֹהַ֣י הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ וַאֲבָרְכָ֥ה שִׁ֝מְךָ֗ לְעוֹלָ֥ם וָעֶֽד

      A song of praise. Of David. I will extol You, my Lord and King,and bless Your name forever and ever.

      Questions:

      Q: What inspires this particular Psalm for Dovid Hamelech?

      Q: What form of praise is a  תְּהִלָּ֗ה?

      Q: Why is this verse in future tense?

      Q: How does Dovid Hamelech know what he is going to do?

      Q: Why does the verse say he will extol Hashem and then leads to blessing Hashem eternally?

      Q: Why not first bless Him and the blessing by definition becomes a way to elevate Hashem’s name?

      The Ibn Ezra says that what makes this psalm into a תְּהִלָּ֗ה is through his speech and “emunas halev” trust in Hashem..  Meaning when he uses his words and speech to elevate Hashem, and he is relying on Hashem and it is from the heart.

      He then says something I find to be so telling.  He says that the foundation of this whole Psalm is the fact that Hashem is The True King!  Perhaps he is teaching us that in order to have this true ability to use words to elevate Hashem and to have Emunas Halev means one needs to accepts the sovereignty of Hashem, and make Him one’s True King.  Once one relates to Him as his or her True King, one can say these words of praise to Him and rely on Him.

      The Ibn Ezra says the blessing he then gives is an increased expression of elevation of Hashem. It is reasonable therefore to understand this as Dovid Hamelech teaching us a formula for blessing Hashem eternally.

      Three steps of a Tehilah:

      Step 1:  Envision my purpose in my words I am about to say.  For Dovid Hamelech it is a “Tehilah”

      Step 2: To express a Tehilah, my words must be words that elevate Hashem, and I can only do that when I recognize Him as the source of all my power, and My True King- אֲרוֹמִמְךָ֣ אֱלוֹהַ֣י הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ.  It is then that I trust and rely on Him, so much so that my words extol Him.

      Step 3: Once I am living with this awareness of Hashem as my True King, and I am relying on Him for everything, and I use my words therefore to lift Him, it becomes a bracha, like a fountain that keeps on flowing eternally.  וַאֲבָרְכָ֥ה שִׁ֝מְךָ֗ לְעוֹלָ֥ם וָעֶֽד

       

      May we all be Zoche to use our words to bless Hashem eternally biezras Hashem Who is The True King.

       

       

       

      [1] הכוונה כי מתוך שיתבונן במה שיורו הפסוקים ואל מה שירמזו, אז יכיר ויבחין נפלאות תמים דעים ויתחזק לבו באמונת הש”י ועבודתו, ובזה יירש חיי העולם הבא. (Rabeinu Bachya, Vayikra -7:37)

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