With every bit of prayer and tzedakah you are replenishing the G-d-power for good in this world. May you receive the holy rewards of ‘V’atah yigdal na koach Adonai.’
His Hebrew name is HaRav Meshullam Zalman Hiyya HaKohen ben Hayyah Gittel
Listen to Reb Zalman teaching over Shavuot:
Psalm 139 ❦
Conductor—David’s prayer set to music.
YaH! You have scanned me and discerned me;
You know when I am relaxed or agitated.
From afar, You comprehend my fantasies.
You design my conduct and my repose;
You direct my paths so I can manage.
Before my mouth opens,
You know what I am about to say;
You have shaped my past and my future,
Your hand, gently on my shoulder.
All this awes my awareness;
It is beyond my skills to fathom.
Whereto can I withdraw from Your spirit?
Flee from facing You?
If I would mount up to Heaven—
there are You.
If I make my bed in Hell—
You are there, too.
Soaring on the wings of the dawn
to find shelter in the setting sun,
it would be Your hand that would carry me,
Your right hand, holding me safe.
If I want to find oblivion in darkness,
trading light for darkness—
to You, it would still not be dark.
Night is as bright as day for You;
Dark and light—the same in Your sight.
You have designed my innards,
shaped me in the my mother’s womb.
I am overcome with thanks
at Your awesome wonders,
Your astonishing works,
of which my soul is aware.
My essence is not hidden from You
Who have made me in concealment,
Who has knitted me beneath the surface;
Your eyes have seen me as embryo.
My days are all inscribed in Your ledger;
Days not yet shaped—
each one of them is counted.
How precious are Your stirrings in me, O God!
How powerful their impact!
I can’t number them—beyond all sand grains.
When I emerge from my reflection,
I am still with You.
If You, God, would only rid us from our evil!
If only the cruelty would disappear!
And defiance of You vanish,
Forgiveness overtaking enmity!
I detest hatred of You, YaH!
Quarrelsomeness repels me;
I loathe hostility to the utmost.
God! I open myself to Your scrutiny;
know what is in my heart.
Examine and know my longings;
see and remove any defiance from me
and guide me in the way
that serves Your intent for our Earth.
Reprinted by permission from Reb Zalman’s forthcoming Psalms in a Translation for Praying,
published by ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal ©Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi 2014. All rights reserved.