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Today is my birthday! - Psalm 22

Friday, 21 May, 2021 - 4:52 am

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Today is my birthday and I am turning 21. The day of the birthday is special, on which we are given special powers that we need to utilize correctly. One of the things we do on this day is study the new Psalm corresponding to our new age. As I am now entering the 22nd year of my life, I will start saying daily the Psalm 22. One verse of this Psalm is the main character of an interesting story.

Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, later known as the famous Baal Shem Tov, was going from community to community, encouraging and strengthening the Jews. He was asking them how they were doing, how they feel and how does their work go. The Jews would answer “Baruch Hashem”. Literally, “Blessed is the Name [of G-d]”, thanking G-d for whatever they had.

Once, the Baal Shem Tov met a rabbi that was studying. As he asked him how he was doing, the rabbi did not want to interrupt his study and ignored him. The Baal Shem Tov then asked: “Why do you deprive G-d from His sustenance?”. The rabbi got surprised. We live through the blessing that G-d sends in our work, but what does “sustenance of G-d” mean?

In the Jewish families of Eastern Europe, young couples used to “sit” at their parents for a year or more, in other words, to be supported by them. Thus, the expression to “sit by someone”, meant that this someone provides us with our sustenance.

In Psalm 22, King David says: “And You the Holy sit on the hymns of Israel”. The Baal Shem Tov explained: “G-d sits”, he is “sustained”, as it were, by the praises of the Jewish people. Thus, our thanks are very important to G-d!

Let us not “deprive” G-d from the joy that He gets from our hymns. When someone asks us how we are doing, let us answer “Good, Baruch Ηashem, thank G-d” or something similar. Let us remember thanks to Whom we have all that we have in our life, health, love, work, and pleasure and let us thank Him for that.

Shabbat Shalom,

Hanna

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