Psalms – Chapter 111

Alef-Beis

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

David starts this Psalm by saying “praise G-d,” then he proceeds to deliver the rest in the form of an alphabetic acrostic, two or three letters per line:

Alef: I will thank G-d with my whole heart Beis: in the company of upright people

Gimel: Great are G-d’s deeds, Daled: accessible to all who desire them.

Hey: Glory and splendor are His works Vav: and His righteousness lasts forever.

Zayin: A memorial He established for His wonders; Ches: Gracious and merciful is G-d.

Tes: Food He gives to His faithful; Yud: He will always remember His covenant.

Kaf: The might of His deeds He told His people Lamed: to give them an inheritance of nations.

Mem: The work of His hands is truth and justice Nun: faithful are all of His commands.

Samech: Firmly established forever, Ayin: made in truth and fairness.

Pey: Redemption He sent to His people, Tzadi: He commanded His covenant eternally; Kuf: Holy and awe-inspiring is His Name.

Resh: The beginning of wisdom is to be in awe of G-d Sin: Good sense for all who do this. Tav: His praise lasts forever!

Basically, this Psalm is about Torah and those who study it. The last verse is familiar as Reishis Chochma, the prayer recited daily after Modeh Ani.

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