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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 137

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 137

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 137

1. By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat, we also wept when we remembered Zion.   א. עַל נַהֲרוֹת | בָּבֶל שָׁם יָשַׁבְנוּ גַּם בָּכִינוּ בְּזָכְרֵנוּ אֶת צִיּוֹן:
By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat: when we went down into exile, and Nebuchadnezzar asked them to sing for him as they used to sing on the stage.  
2. On willows in its midst we hung our harps.   ב. עַל עֲרָבִים בְּתוֹכָהּ תָּלִינוּ כִּנֹּרוֹתֵינוּ:
On willows: Willows of the brook.  
3. For there our captors asked us for words of song and our tormentors [asked of us] mirth, "Sing for us of the song of Zion."   ג. כִּי שָׁם שְׁאֵלוּנוּ שׁוֹבֵינוּ דִּבְרֵי שִׁיר וְתוֹלָלֵינוּ שִׂמְחָה שִׁירוּ לָנוּ מִשִּׁיר צִיּוֹן:
and our tormentors mirth: Heb. ותוללינו, kinds of musical instruments that they hang up. This is how Menachem interpreted it (p. 184): וְתוֹלָלֵינוּ שמחה, and our musical instruments of joy. וְתוֹלָלֵינוּ can also be interpreted as: our enemies who would scorn and mock and joke with us, an expression of (102:9): “those who scorn me (מהוללי) swear by me.”  
4. "How shall we sing the song of the Lord on foreign soil?"   ד. אֵיךְ נָשִׁיר אֶת שִׁיר יְהֹוָה עַל אַדְמַת נֵכָר:
5. If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget [its skill].   ה. אִם אֶשְׁכָּחֵךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָם תִּשְׁכַּח יְמִינִי:
If I forget you, O Jerusalem: The congregation of Israel says this.  
6. May my tongue cling to my palate, if I do not remember you, if I do not bring up Jerusalem at the beginning of my joy.   ו. תִּדְבַּק לְשׁוֹנִי | לְחִכִּי אִם לֹא אֶזְכְּרֵכִי אִם לֹא אַעֲלֶה אֶת יְרוּשָׁלִַם עַל רֹאשׁ שִׂמְחָתִי:
If I do not bring up Jerusalem: The remembrance of the mourning of its destruction I shall bring up to mention at the head of every joyous occasion of mine.  
7. Remember, O Lord, for the sons of Edom, the day of Jerusalem, those who say, "Raze it, raze it, down to its foundation!"   ז. זְכֹר יְהֹוָה | לִבְנֵי אֱדוֹם אֵת יוֹם יְרוּשָׁלִָם הָאֹמְרִים עָרוּ | עָרוּ עַד הַיְסוֹד בָּהּ:
Raze it: Heb. עָרוּ is an expression of destruction, and so (Jer. 51:58): “The broad walls of Babylon shall be overthrown (תתערער) ,” and so (Hab. 3:13): “baring (ערות) the foundation.” It is used only for something whose roots are uprooted from the ground.  
8. O Daughter of Babylon, who is destined to be plundered, praiseworthy is he who repays you your recompense that you have done to us.   ח. בַּת בָּבֶל הַשְּׁדוּדָה אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיְשַׁלֶּם לָךְ אֶת גְּמוּלֵךְ שֶׁגָּמַלְתְּ לָנוּ:
9. Praiseworthy is he who will take and dash your infants against the rock.   ט. אַשְׁרֵי | שֶׁיֹּאחֵז וְנִפֵּץ אֶת עֹלָלַיִךְ אֶל הַסָּלַע:
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