תהלים ק״כ | Psalms 120, translated by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

The psalm is included in Isaac Mayer’s Psalms for Fast Days according to his order for yearly psalms and cantillation systems for Psalms and Job. He offers Psalms 120 with Psalms 121:1-2 for Tsom Gedalyah.

Several parts, marked in blue, are meant to be read in Job cantillation, inspired by the system of switching to Lamentations cantillation during the Shabbat Ḥazon haftarah (Isaiah 1:1-27).

Note: “The CAUSE” is used to translate the Divine Name YHVH, based on the philosophical idea of God as the Prime Mover and on the interpretation of the Name as a causative form of the copula – “causes to be.”

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

הַיּוֹם יוֹם צוֹם גְּדַלְיָהוּ הוּא צוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי וּבוֹ יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים׃ תהלים קכ, קכא:א-ב
Today is the fast day of Gedalyah, the fast of the seventh month, and on it some say: Psalms 120, Psalms 121:1-2

שִׁ֗יר הַֽמַּ֫עֲל֥וֹת
A song of the stairs.

אֶל־יְ֭הֹוָה בַּצָּרָ֣תָה לִּ֑י
קָ֝רָ֗אתִי וַֽיַּעֲנֵֽנִי׃
To the CAUSE in the strife I faced,
I called and the One answered.

יְֽהֹוָ֗ה הַצִּ֣ילָה נַ֭פְשִׁי מִשְּׂפַת־שֶׁ֑קֶר
מִלָּשׁ֥וֹן רְמִיָּֽה׃
מַה־יִּתֵּ֣ן לְ֭ךָ וּמַה־יֹּסִ֥יף לָ֗ךְ
לָשׁ֥וֹן רְמִיָּֽה׃
חִצֵּ֣י גִבּ֣וֹר שְׁנוּנִ֑ים
עִ֗֝ם גַּחֲלֵ֥י רְתָמִֽים׃
CAUSE, redeem my being from lying lips,
from slippery tongue!
What can you get, what can you gain,
o slippery tongue?
Warrior’s arrows, sharpened,
hot coals of bramble.

אֽוֹיָה־לִ֭י כִּי־גַ֣רְתִּי מֶ֑שֶׁךְ
שָׁ֝כַ֗נְתִּי עִֽם־אׇהֳלֵ֥י קֵדָֽר׃
רַ֭בַּת שָֽׁכְנָה־לָּ֣הּ נַפְשִׁ֑י
עִ֗֝ם שׂוֹנֵ֥א שָׁלֽוֹם׃
אֲֽנִי־שָׁ֭לוֹם וְכִ֣י אֲדַבֵּ֑ר
הֵ֗֝מָּה לַמִּלְחָמָֽה׃
Woe is me, for I dwell in Meshekh,
that I live with the nomads’ tents!
So long I myself have lived here,
with those who hate peace.
I am “Peace!” but as I speak,
they are for war.

שִׁ֗יר לַֽמַּ֫עֲל֥וֹת
A song for the stairs.

אֶשָּׂ֣א עֵ֭ינַי אֶל־הֶהָרִ֑ים
מֵ֝אַ֗יִן יָבֹ֥א עֶזְרִֽי׃
עֶ֭זְרִי מֵעִ֣ם יְהֹוָ֑ה
עֹ֝שֵׂ֗ה שָׁמַ֥יִם וָאָֽרֶץ׃
I lift my eyes to the mountains,
from where will my help come?
My help will be from the CAUSE,
who makes heaven and earth.

Comments, Corrections, and Queries


בסיעתא דארעא