Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Tour through Ps. 119: Tsadhe

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi
The next letter is Tsadhe ...which looks a lot like a script Y; with a higher fork and swirlier tail than Ayin.  And I'm not really sure how it's pronounced. But it starts off each verse from Ps. 137 - 144 in the Hebrew; and translated as follows in the NIV 84:

Righteous are you, O  LORD, and your laws are right.
The statutes you have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy.
My zeal wears me out, for my enemies ignore your words.
Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them.
Though I am lowly and despised, I do not forget your precepts.
Your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true.
Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight.
Your statutes are forever right; give me understanding that I may live.

I got exactly that far about two and a half weeks ago and all blogging pretty much shut down as we cranked out what needed to be cranked out to be able to head out of town for a week.  We had a great visit with family...but now I'm struggling to get back in the groove.

So, with a deep breath, I'm going to go dictionary diving in hopes of getting the post up before I forget how to do it. ;-)
Righteous are you, Yahweh, and upright are your judgements
Your divine judgements that you have appointed are righteous and exceedingly steadfast.
My zealous ardor has consumed me, for my oppressors have ceased to care about your words.
Your word is tried exceedingly and proven true; therefore your servant loves it.
I am despised and insignificant, [but] I [will never] forget your precepts.
Your righteousness is justice that continues on forever, and your law is true.
Distress and anguish have taken hold of me, yet your commandments are my delights.
The righteousness of your testimonies endures forever; give me understanding and I shall have life.

God's word is proven to be righteous and true; it endures forever and, despite what troubles come or what others may think, that righteous truth brings life and joy and hope.  Why would anyone abandon it?


  1. the letter is pronounced Tza-dee, with the stress on the first syllable..

    as for your translation..the word yashar comes from the root that means straight and carries the connotation of honesty in Hebrew..

    For verse 138 - the word that begins the verse means commanded - the word Mitzvah comes from the same root "God commanded true/just decrees.

    In verse 141..the first word of the verse means young/youth inexperienced.

    Hebrew does not have rhymes...that joy of repetition is created with alliteration. These verses that go though the alphabet do a couple of the grouping of initial letters alphabetically makes these psalms easier to remember by heart - there is also a famous midrash that by touching on all of the letters of the alphabet ...even if our human words are insufficient then the Divine will put together out words in a pleasing way.

    Verses like these with a structure of parallelism were meant to be recited responsively...In Hebrew the rhythm works.. Not so much in translation.

    I once heard rabbi Arthur Green say in a lecture that Christianity is filled with icons with visuals to illustrate various aspects of spirituality...We Jews use words instead- the images are within the words..these images of the Divine whip past as you recite these looking at a landscape through a fast moving car window.

    1. Wow...thanks for your insight, Sarah. I'm just barely scratching the surface of learning how to dig into this. I know I'm stretching, just trying to get a different perspective. This is one of my absolute favorite passages in the Bible; something I would like to be able to recite, just for the joy of saying it. But then, I've always preferred words to imaginative pictures...which never look quite right. Maybe they worked for what was a basically illiterate society in centuries past?

      Anyway, I'm honored that you took the time to comment! Thanks so much!