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Tehillim 119: Verses of Yud

Studying Tehillim: Chapter 119 (verses of Yud, part 1)
The series of verses beginning with the smallest of the Hebrew letters, Yud, opens with a deceptively simple assertion, that the human race has been naturally endowed and is organically poised for spiritual development, achievement and greatness. This, the Psalmist argues, is far more than a superior privilege and should be viewed in terms of singular sacred purpose and moral responsibilities.
Studying Tehillim: Chapter 119 (verses of Yud, part 2)
Following lesson one’s thesis about how humanity’s unique potential obligates us to strenuously strive to live lives imbued with higher purpose. The concluding volley of this verse seems to represent the very antithesis of this concept, as King David’s plea “Grant me understanding” appears to place the primary onus on G-d, rather than us! Tellingly, although the letter Yud is commonly associated with Chachmah (cerebral intuition, or intellectual creativity), throughout the eight verses, only Bina (comprehension or intellectual digestion and development) is mentioned.
Studying Tehillim: Chapter 119 (verses of Yud, part 3)
In emphasizing the unique privileges of our unique Divine creation, we should come to the realization of life’s true value and meaning. King David seeks to teach us how to earn the respect of the reverent and reach to become a shining example for others. Here, the Sweet Singer of Israel serenades us about the virtues of responsible spiritual leadership, developing a passion for Avodat Hashem, lucidly communicating profound truths and the power of hope in The Eternal. Because in the end, the truly virtuous will always best lead by example.
Studying Tehillim: Chapter 119 (verses of Yud, part 4)
Demonstrating intellectual clarity and rock-solid certitude in the righteousness of G-d’s judgement, King David shows us how to faithfully accept Hashem’s mysterious ways even when we’re being afflicted—experiencing emotional anguish and/or physical suffering. A remarkable royal example is lifted from the deeply distressing episode in the ruler’s personal affairs. We learn how unshakable confidence in G-d’s everlasting kindness, enables comfort despite harsh realities faced as we trace these ideas back to their original Mosaic source.
Studying Tehillim: Chapter 119 (verses of Yud, part 5)
Pleading for Divine kindness, which, in King David’s rarefied perception is a source for solace. Israel’s inspired poet then expresses hope that G-d’s compassion come his way, believing only it will lavish him with long life! Enigmatic and in need of elucidation from the get-go; the plot thickens as our Sages frame these dual aspirations in tandem. This penetrating, profound insight into the Psalm’s precise verbiage, order of appearance, and deeper meanings behind the nuanced biblical terminology provides lessons for higher living and greater fulfilment. (Psalm 119, verses 76-77)
Studying Tehillim: Chapter 119 (verses of Yud, part 6)
This rumination provides extraordinary enlightenment as to the struggles and triumphs of Israel's Sweet Singer. Unfairly maligned and deceitfully vilified by wicked people seeking to heap shame upon the monarch; King David wears his heart on his sleeve and bares his soul-struggles. “May shame rebound upon them” he intones – I will remain upbeat focused and positive. Acknowledging past mistakes, he yearns for the return of prayerful communion and Torah camaraderie. Both insightful and inspirational, it's filled with lessons we can all apply and appreciate! (Psalm 119, verses 78-79)
Studying Tehillim: Chapter 119 (verses of Yud, part 7)
This presentation concludes the verses for the letter Yud with an analysis of King David’s prayerful plea to achieve sincere wholeheartedness; thusly avoiding the very same shame experienced by the wicked individuals who unfairly maligned and deceitfully vilified him. Through the prism of two millennia of authentic Torah scholarship, you'll come to understand the true meaning of sincere Temimut, wholesomeness sought by Israel's Sweet Singer; and how specifically this form of unquestioningly faithful devotion ensures spiritual fulfillment and avoids embarrassment. (Psalm 119, verse 80)
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