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תהלים צ״א | Psalms 91, a song against evil spirits translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi תהלים צ״א | Psalms 91, a song against evil spirits translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi 2022-03-19 17:51:13 A paraliturgical translation of Psalms 91 in English, set side-by-side with the Masoretic Hebrew. Text the Open Siddur Project Zalman Schachter-Shalomi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi Mosheh ben Amram (traditional attribution) the Masoretic Text Zalman Schachter-Shalomi Tehilim Book 4 (Psalms 90–106) protection 21st century C.E. 58th century A.M. apotropaic prayers of protection devotional interpretation Psalms 91 interpretive translation
Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)
יֹ֭שֵׁב בְּסֵ֣תֶר
בְּצֵ֥ל שַׁ֝דַּ֗י יִתְלוֹנָֽן׃
In concealment You dwell,
Most High, Almighty,
You linger in the shadow.
אֹמַ֗ר לַ֭יהֹוָה
אֱ֝לֹהַ֗י אֶבְטַח־בּֽוֹ׃
כִּ֤י ה֣וּא יַ֭צִּילְךָ מִפַּ֥ח יָק֗וּשׁ
מִדֶּ֥בֶר הַוּֽוֹת׃
בְּאֶבְרָת֨וֹ ׀ יָ֣סֶךְ לָ֭ךְ
וְתַחַת־כְּנָפָ֣יו תֶּחְסֶ֑ה
צִנָּ֖ה וְסֹחֵרָ֣ה אֲמִתּֽוֹ׃
I say to You YHVH
You are both my safe haven,
My bastion holding me.
I must trust You my God.
You save me from entrapment,
from putrid scourge.
You cover me under Your shelter.
You keep me safe under Your wings.
I am protected by Your truth.
(I am assured by You.)
מִפַּ֣חַד לָ֑יְלָה
מֵ֝חֵ֗ץ יָע֥וּף יוֹמָֽם׃
מִ֭דֶּבֶר בָּאֹ֣פֶל יַהֲלֹ֑ךְ
מִ֝קֶּ֗טֶב יָשׁ֥וּד צׇהֳרָֽיִם׃
Do not panic
facing night’s terror,
a bullet shot in broad daylight,
a blight creeping in the murky dark,
a wasting plague at high noon.
יִפֹּ֤ל מִצִּדְּךָ֨ ׀ אֶ֗לֶף
וּרְבָבָ֥ה מִימִינֶ֑ךָ
אֵ֝לֶ֗יךָ לֹ֣א יִגָּֽשׁ׃
You will not be harmed
though a thousand fall near you,
a myriad at your right hand.
רַ֭ק בְּעֵינֶ֣יךָ תַבִּ֑יט
You just look steadfastly ahead
and you will see
how malice will
get its rebuke.
כִּֽי־אַתָּ֣ה יְהֹוָ֣ה מַחְסִ֑י
שַׂ֣מְתָּ מְעוֹנֶֽךָ׃
Yes, You, YHVH are my defense.
I am at home with You,
high beyond reach.
(You assure me.)
לֹא־תְאֻנֶּ֣ה אֵלֶ֣יךָ רָעָ֑ה
וְ֝נֶ֗גַע לֹא־יִקְרַ֥ב בְּאׇהֳלֶֽךָ׃
No mishap will befall you.
Your tent will be safe from harm.
כִּ֣י מַ֭לְאָכָיו יְצַוֶּה־לָּ֑ךְ
Angels are appointed to care
and watch over you
wherever you are.
פֶּן־תִּגֹּ֖ף בָּאֶ֣בֶן
They will bear you high
on their hands.
You will not strike your foot
against a stone.
עַל־שַׁ֣חַל וָפֶ֣תֶן
כְּפִ֣יר וְתַנִּֽין׃
Snakes and wildcats
will avoid you.
Lions and serpents
will get out of your way.
(You assure me.)
כִּ֤י בִ֣י חָ֭שַׁק
כִּֽי־יָדַ֥ע שְׁמִֽי׃
Because you long for Me
I will rescue you.
I will raise you up
because you know My Name.
יִקְרָאֵ֨נִי ׀
עִמּֽוֹ־אָנֹכִ֥י בְצָרָ֑ה
אֲ֝חַלְּצֵ֗הוּ וַאֲכַבְּדֵֽהוּ׃
When you call Me
I will answer you.
I will free you and esteem you.
אֹ֣רֶךְ יָ֭מִים
I will make you content
with your life span
and I will have you witness
how I bring deliverance.

This paraliturgical translation of Psalms 91 (“A Song Against Evil Spirits”) by Reb Zalman can be found in print as published in his All Breathing Life: At the Interface Between Poetry and Prayer: translations and compositions of Jewish sacred literature (ed. Michael Kagan, 2011: Gaon Books), pp.197-198. The version there appears to be missing a full translation of the verse, Psalms 91:15. Perhaps Reb Zalman left this verse untranslated so that it may be completed by one through one’s own devotional translation. (If you have seen a translation of this final verse by Reb Zalman, please leave a comment or contact us.)


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