Elul: Psalm 27 as translated by Reb Zalman

Psalm 27


Yah! You are my light. You are my savior.
Whom need I dread?
Yah, with You as my strong protector
who can make me panic?
When hateful bullies gang up on me,
wanting to harass me,
To oppress and terrorize me,
they are the ones who stumble and fall.
Even if a gang surrounds me my heart is not weakened.
If a battle is joined around me
my trust in You is firm.
Only one thing do I ask of You, Yah:
Just this alone do I seek,
I want to be at home with you, Yah,
all the days of my life.
I want to delight in seeing You
when I come to visit You in Your temple.
You hide me in your sukkah on a foul day.
You conceal me unseen in Your tent;
You raise me beyond anyone’s reach.
And now, as You have held my head high
despite the presence of my powerful foes
I prepare to celebrate and thrill,
singing and making music to You, Yah!
Listen, Yah, to the sound of my cry,
and, being kind, answer me!
My heart has said, I seek Your face.
Your presence is what I beg for.
Don’t hide Your face from me.
Don’t just put me down.
You who have been my helper, don’t abandon me,
don’t forsake me, God my support.
Though my father and my mother have left me,
You, Yah, will hold me securely.
Please teach me Your way.
Teach me Your way and guide me on the straight path.
Discourage those who defame me
Because false witnesses stood up against me
belching out violence.
Don’t let me become the victim of my foes.
I wouldn’t have survived
If I hadn’t hoped that I would yet see
Your goodness, God, fully alive on earth.
So I tell you, my friends:
you too hope to Yah! Be sturdy!
And make strong your heart.
And most of all, keep hoping to Yah.

Translated by Reb Zalman; available in his new collection, Psalms in a Translation for Praying. Also available is the CD or mp3 collection Reb Zalman Says T’hillim in English, which includes this psalm; this single psalm is available for purchase by itself for 89 cents.