|Source (Hebrew)||Translation (English)|
This psalm is to be played
on the eight-string harp.
A song of David
שָׁ֤וְא ׀ יְֽדַבְּרוּ֮ אִ֤ישׁ אֶת־רֵ֫עֵ֥הוּ שְׂפַ֥ת חֲלָק֑וֹת
כׇּל־שִׂפְתֵ֣י חֲלָק֑וֹת לָ֝שׁ֗וֹן
אֲשֶׁ֤ר אָמְר֨וּ ׀ לִלְשֹׁנֵ֣נוּ נַ֭גְבִּיר
מִ֖י אָד֣וֹן לָֽנוּ׃
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
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
YaH’s words are pure words;
all can see that they are
like seven-fold refined silver.
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
“תהלים י״ב | Psalms 12, a mizmor by David translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi” is shared by the living contributor(s) with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International copyleft license.