Psalms – Chapter 147

Frost and The Snow, Man

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

This is the second in our series of “Hallelujah” Psalms. David says that it is appropriate for us to praise G-d, Who builds up Jerusalem and Who will return the Jews from the lands of their exile. He heals all those who are broken-hearted over the destruction and exile, and He will bind the wounds of their tragedies. Only G-d can count and name all the stars. (In Genesis chapter 15, G-d demonstrated to Abraham that counting all the stars is beyond man’s ability.)

G-d is not only infinitely powerful, He is also infinitely wise. He reinforces those who have been beaten down, while He lowers those who have oppressed them. Therefore, it is appropriate to sing songs of praise to Him. He covers the world with clouds, which appears ominous, but then the rain makes the grass grow, which is a blessing. G-d feeds the animals and the birds, though He has no “need” of either horse or rider, who are too impressed with their own prowess. G-d pays special attention to those who place their trust in Him, rather than in the imagined might of man.

Jerusalem, the Holy City, has additional reasons to praise G-d, for the salvation He has promised there. He has promised to strengthen the city and to bless its inhabitants. They will know peace and prosperity. Even the snow will insulate the ground in the winter, like a warm blanket; the morning dew will freeze into frost as fine as ash. But if He chooses to use the cold to punish mankind, as through hail, no one would be able to endure it. G-d can just “say the word” and melt the ice into streams of water.

At Sinai, G-d gave His Torah to the Jewish people and provided them with the means to get closer to Him. They are the only nation with this particular gift, so for that, praise G-d!

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