Psalms – Chapter 97

Ohr Zarua LaTzaddik

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

In the future, in Messianic times when G-d’s rule is universally acknowledged, the whole world will rejoice, down to the most remote islands. G-d’s metaphorical throne rests on righteousness and justice; He is surrounded by the clouds and darkness He will use to repay the wicked. Fire consuming G-d’s enemies will precede the era of peace. His flashes of inspiration will enlighten the world and people will be in awe of His might. Arrogant leaders, who are compared to mountains, will melt like wax before G-d, Who has real power.

When all this happens, the heavens will praise G-d and the nations wil recognize His glory. Those who worshipped idols will be ashamed and even the idols themselves will indicate that G-d is the One to serve. The Jewish people will rejoice that their oppressors have been overturned and Moshiach (the Messiah) has arrived, causing G-d to be acknowledged by all humanity.

Spiritual light is sown for the righteous and gladness for the upright. They will rejoice in G-d and praise Him whenever His Name is mentioned.

The closing section starts with a familiar phrase, ohr zarua latzaddik, light is sown for the righteous. When something is sown, a handful of seed yields a much greater quantity of produce. Similarly, what G-d has planted for the righteous will appreciate in value before they receive it, in Messianic times.

Like the previous few Psalms, this one is also part of the Friday night service.

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