Recommended Posts

Psalms of Moshe: 91:15: Etz ha-Chaim

“He will call upon Me and I will answer him, I am with him in distress; I will release him, and I will honor him.” The Talmud (Taanit 16a) in describing the intense practices of a declared fast-day, teaches, “And why do they place wood-ashes upon the Ark? Rav Yehudah ben Pazzi said: As if to express the verse, “I will be with him in trouble.”


Resh Lakish said: As if to say, “In all their afflictions He was afflicted (Isaiah 63:9).” Rabbi Zera said: When I first saw the rabbis placing wood-ashes on the Ark my whole body shook.

The Ra’anach explains the debate between Rav Yehudah and Resh Lakish as whether we emphasize that God suffers with us, as in, “In all their afflictions He was afflicted,” or, whether we stress that God is focused on us, as in, “I will be with him.”

In our verse, God waits until we call upon Him from our distress, so that we will experience His response, “I will release him,” as God honoring us, “I will honor him.” Moshe is teaching us that when we pray to God and He responds, He is honoring us.

He waits for us to cry out to Him so that He can honor us. Etz Chaim, Rabbi Chaim Abulafia


Shabbat Pesukei d’Zimrah: We experience the relief offered by Shabbat as being honored by God.

Motzaei Shabbat: As we struggle with life during the week, we will recall the Honor we received from God through Shabbat and will recall that when He asked us to work during the six days, He was offering us an opportunity to earn His honor.

Funeral: We are in distress, and we call out to Him for the honor of His hearing and responding to our prayers. We escort the deceased with this Psalm to celebrate the opportunities for Honor that God provides through dealing with life’s challenges.

Go Back to Previous Page

  • Other visitors also read