Psalms – Chapter 112

Also Alef-Beis (Just Not For Us)

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Like the previous Psalm, this one is also an alphabetic acrostic. (Unlike the previous Psalm, we are not going to break it down letter by letter, preferring instead to freely translate as we usually do.)

Again David begins with the exhortation to praise G-d. He declares fortunate the person who is in proper awe of G-d and desires to perform His will. Such a person will merit the same respect that people give to those in positions of authority; the children of the righteous will benefit from this same respect. They will be a positive example to others. Their fortunes will be secure and the merit of the charity they gave will last forever. (Compare this with the story of King Munbaz, who gave the contents of his royal treasury to charity, preferring the spiritual reward to the temporal wealth – Baba Basra 11a.) Even in darkness, the righteous have a light (G-d Himself, as per Micah 7:8). G-d is kind, merciful and righteous.

You know who’s a good person? One who lends to those who need it and conducts his business carefully. Such a person will never slip; he will be fondly remembered after he passes on. He need not fear disaster because he trusts in G-d. His heart is steady, so he doesn’t worry, even though he hasn’t seen his enemies punished (yet).

This righteous person distributed money generously to the needy, so the merit of that action lasts forever. He will enjoy that much greater a reward in the Next World. The evil people, who acted greedily and refused to assist others, will see the reward of the righteous and resent it. He will storm in vain against the righteous and be disheartened. The wicked and their desires will be destroyed.

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