Halleluyah! Praise transcends thanksgiving. While thanksgiving is for benefit received, praise is more selfless. The awareness that prompts praise in Psalm 135 is the wonder of creation and God’s role in Biblical history, suggesting that both are ongoing and intertwined. Psalm 135 is a collage of literary segments of Hebrew Scripture with only one verse fully quoted, “For Adonai will judge [God’s people] and upon [God’s] servants will cause comforting.” Verse 14 is taken from Moses’ farewell and describes a future time when God will fully revenge Israel’s enemies (Deuteronomy 32:36). The chosen quote reveals a poet yearning for final redemption. For our medieval sages, this Psalm was chanted with anticipation as a climatic messianic hymn.
Please join me for a close reading of Psalm 135.
Dedicated to Rabbi Harold Kravitz in celebration of his birthday.