תהלים א׳ | Psalms 1, translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi

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Date: 2022-04-18

Last Updated: 2022-04-19

Categories: Tehilim Book 1 (Psalms 1–41)

Tags: devotional interpretation, interpretive translation, Psalms 1, מוסר mussar

Excerpt: Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi's translation of Psalms 1 was first published in Psalms in a Translation for Praying (Alliance for Jewish Renewal, Philadelphia: 2014), p. 1. . . .


Content:
Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)
אַ֥שְֽׁרֵי הָאִ֗ישׁ
 
אֲשֶׁ֤ר ׀ לֹ֥א הָלַךְ֮
בַּעֲצַ֢ת רְשָׁ֫עִ֥ים
 
וּבְדֶ֣רֶךְ חַ֭טָּאִים
לֹ֥א עָמָ֑ד
 
וּבְמוֹשַׁ֥ב לֵ֝צִ֗ים
לֹ֣א יָשָֽׁב׃
In bliss is the person—
 
who does not seek
the advice of the spiteful,
 
who does not stand
on the path of the wayward,
 
who does not associate
with those who disparage everything.
כִּ֤י אִ֥ם בְּתוֹרַ֥ת יְהֹוָ֗ה
 
חֶ֫פְצ֥וֹ
וּֽבְתוֹרָת֥וֹ יֶהְגֶּ֗ה יוֹמָ֥ם וָלָֽיְלָה׃
But whose longing is—
 
for the guidance of YaH,
who keeps pondering it day and night.
וְֽהָיָ֗ה
כְּעֵץ֮ שָׁת֢וּל עַֽל־פַּלְגֵ֫י־מָ֥יִם
אֲשֶׁ֤ר פִּרְי֨וֹ ׀ יִתֵּ֬ן בְּעִתּ֗וֹ
וְעָלֵ֥הוּ לֹֽא־יִבּ֑וֹל
Such a person is like
a tree at the confluence of rivers
that gives fruit in season
and whose leaves do not wilt.
וְכֹ֖ל אֲשֶׁר־יַעֲשֶׂ֣ה
יַצְלִֽיחַ׃
לֹא־כֵ֥ן הָרְשָׁעִ֑ים
כִּ֥י אִם־כַּ֝מֹּ֗ץ אֲֽשֶׁר־תִּדְּפֶ֥נּוּ רֽוּחַ׃
All that such a person does
is appropriate;
not so are the malicious ones,
who drift like chaff in the wind.
עַל־כֵּ֤ן ׀ לֹא־יָקֻ֣מוּ רְ֭שָׁעִים בַּמִּשְׁפָּ֑ט
וְ֝חַטָּאִ֗ים
בַּעֲדַ֥ת צַדִּיקִֽים׃
Therefore the wicked cannot stand justice,
nor do the wayward feel at home
when the just ones gather to bear witness.
כִּֽי־יוֹדֵ֣עַ יְ֭הֹוָה דֶּ֣רֶךְ צַדִּיקִ֑ים
וְדֶ֖רֶךְ רְשָׁעִ֣ים תֹּאבֵֽד׃
This is how YaH looks at the righteous ones,
but the way of the spiteful leads to their doom.

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi’s translation of Psalms 1 was first published in Psalms in a Translation for Praying (Alliance for Jewish Renewal, Philadelphia: 2014), p. 1. 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

 

Contributor: Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Co-authors:

Featured Image:
Eugène_Atget_-_(Guignol,_Jardin_du_Luxembourg)_-_Google_Art_Project
Title: Eugène_Atget_-_(Guignol,_Jardin_du_Luxembourg)_-_Google_Art_Project
Caption: Eugène Atget - (Guignol, Jardin du Luxembourg, 1898)