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Psalm 50

Psalm 50 is prophetic. This is our first Psalm by Asaph, who will be the most recorded Psalmist except for King David. Asaph is identified in the Book of Chronicles as a lead singer among the Levites. Usually we think of clerics as aligned with power and playing it safe; not Asaph. Here he speaks to those in power about hypocrisy. His intended audience is unclear. Some commentators say that he is speaking to fellow servers of the Temple, the Levites and Cohanim of his day. Others see a broader audience: anyone who would think that performing rituals alone pleases God. Asaph, like so many of the Israelite prophets- such as Isaiah in the Haftorah selected for Yom Kippur- emphasize that God demands justice and kindness as the essential foundation of a relationship with God.