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תהלים י״ב | Psalms 12, a mizmor by David translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi תהלים י״ב | Psalms 12, a mizmor by David translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi 2022-04-29 17:17:58 Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi's translation of Psalms 12 was first published in <em><a href="">Psalms in a Translation for Praying</a><a href=""></a></em> (Alliance for Jewish Renewal, Philadelphia: 2014), p. 15. Text the Open Siddur Project Zalman Schachter-Shalomi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi the Masoretic Text David haMelekh ben Yishai (traditional attribution) Zalman Schachter-Shalomi Tehilim Book 1 (Psalms 1–41) interpretive translation protection למנציח Lamnatse'aḥ Al haShminit lashon hara devotional interpretation
Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)
מִזְמ֥וֹר לְדָוִֽד׃
This psalm is to be played
on the eight-string harp.
A song of David
הוֹשִׁ֣יעָה יְ֭הֹוָה
כִּֽי־גָמַ֣ר חָסִ֑יד
כִּי־פַ֥סּוּ אֱ֝מוּנִ֗ים
שָׁ֤וְא ׀ יְֽדַבְּרוּ֮ אִ֤ישׁ אֶת־רֵ֫עֵ֥הוּ שְׂפַ֥ת חֲלָק֑וֹת
וָלֵ֣ב יְדַבֵּֽרוּ׃
יַכְרֵ֣ת יְ֭הֹוָה
כׇּל־שִׂפְתֵ֣י חֲלָק֑וֹת לָ֝שׁ֗וֹן
מְדַבֶּ֥רֶת גְּדֹלֽוֹת׃
אֲשֶׁ֤ר אָמְר֨וּ ׀ לִלְשֹׁנֵ֣נוּ נַ֭גְבִּיר
שְׂפָתֵ֣ינוּ אִתָּ֑נוּ
מִ֖י אָד֣וֹן לָֽנוּ׃
מִשֹּׁ֥ד עֲנִיִּים֮
Help me, YaH!
It’s so difficult to find a kind person;
it seems that people with faith
are no longer to be found
among human beings.
Each one smooth-talks the other,
but their heart is not
with what they say with their mouth.
YaH! Have them cut out
their smooth talk,
their boastful talk.
They say, “Our words have the power;
we control language—
who can rule over us?”
[They fill themselves with what] 
they rob from the poor
and are deaf
to the weeping of the powerless.
עַתָּ֣ה אָ֭קוּם יֹאמַ֣ר יְהֹוָ֑ה
אָשִׁ֥ית בְּ֝יֵ֗שַׁע
יָפִ֥יחַֽ לֽוֹ׃
YaH! Please say that You will rise up!
That You will become active in helping us!
That You will sweep them away!
אִ֥מְר֣וֹת יְהֹוָה֮ אֲמָר֢וֹת טְהֹ֫ר֥וֹת
כֶּ֣סֶף צָ֭רוּף בַּעֲלִ֣יל לָאָ֑רֶץ
מְ֝זֻקָּ֗ק שִׁבְעָתָֽיִם׃
YaH’s words are pure words;
all can see that they are
like seven-fold refined silver.
אַתָּֽה־יְהֹוָ֥ה תִּשְׁמְרֵ֑ם
תִּצְּרֶ֓נּוּ ׀ מִן־הַדּ֖וֹר ז֣וּ לְעוֹלָֽם׃
סָבִ֗יב רְשָׁעִ֥ים יִתְהַלָּכ֑וּן
כְּרֻ֥ם זֻ֝לּ֗וּת לִבְנֵ֥י אָדָֽם׃ 
YaH, please protect the poor;
shield us from that evil generation
where villains strut proudly,
abusing human beings.

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi’s translation of Psalms 12 was first published in Psalms in a Translation for Praying (Alliance for Jewish Renewal, Philadelphia: 2014), p. 15. Reb Zalman was, in 2009, an early advocate of the Open Siddur Project and generously shared his liturgical and prayer work with the project following his vision of a common “Database Davvenen.” I have set his translation opposite the Masoretic Hebrew text of the psalm according to the phrasing he provided. –Aharon Varady




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