“I lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where will come my help?” This opening line of Psalm 121 is set in Hebrew to a variety of melodies (some offered below). In this second of the Psalms of ascents, our eyes are lifted upward. Unnamed are the specific mountains, but as a Psalm of pilgrimage, we may assume that our sights are on Jerusalem. The message of the Psalm is that God is the Guardian who will protect us on the way and as the Psalm concludes, “Adonai will guard your going out and your coming in, for now until evermore.” Those words are traditionally recited when kissing the mezuzah on our doors as we enter and leave.
Yom HaZikaron is Israel’s Memorial Day, which flows into Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion juxtaposed the two days to convey that national vitality is secured by a heavy price. As we study Psalm 121, we are reminded of the longing for Jerusalem in our collective identity. We pause on this day with gratitude for all those who gave of themselves to make our Jewish homeland a secure reality.
Our study of Psalm 121 is dedicated to Dr. Peter Pitzele, the initiator of Biblio-Drama.
Music of Psalm 121:
Neshama Carlebach and Sheva- https://ifyc.org/
Live at the Tower of David, Jerusalem- Joshua Aaron, “Esa Einai”- https://www.youtube.