OU TORAHDedicated by the Jacobs and Chill Families in Memory of Harold and Pearl Jacobs
Dora Bas Rivka Silver O'H
In this Psalm, Moses calls G-d a "G-d of vengeance," even though he uses the Name "Hashem" (Y-H-V-H), which is the Name that represents G-d's attribute of mercy. He calls upon G-d to "appear," as He did at Sinai, to judge the world and to pay the arrogant for their deeds. How long will the wicked be permitted to rejoice in their evil deeds? They are unrestrained in their malice, deceit and self-aggrandizement. They oppress G-d's people, including widows, orphans and converts, for whom G-d has decreed special protection. The wicked think that G-d isn't paying attention to the affairs of man, but they will come to see that they're wrong. Is it possible that the One Who created our senses does not see and hear? And don't we see historically, from such incidents as the flood and the destruction of Sodom, that G-d does, in fact, punish sin? He knows a person's thoughts, so imagining that He doesn't see is futile.
A person is fortunate if G-d chastises him, if it serves to correct his behavior, and if G-d permits him to learn Torah. The suffering that returns us to the proper path actually serves to save us from more severe punishment later on. The righteous may suffer now, but the wicked will get theirs later on. G-d will not forsake His people in exile; rather, G-d's justice will cause those who have strayed to return to righteousness.
Who will oppose the evildoers and the oppressors? If not for G-d, the author (Moses) says he would have been lost. When his foot slipped, G-d steadied him. When things were bleak, G-d cheered him up. How can people associate G-d with those who would wreak wanton havoc? (That's SO not Him!) Such evil rulers routinely practice destruction. They persecute the innocent and the righteous. When they do, G-d becomes a fortress of protection. He will turn their own violence back upon them and He will cut them off.
This Psalm is the Psalm of the day for Wednesday, although our practice is to append the first three verses of Psalm 95.