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Tehillim Tools: Psalm 39: A Person of Kindness

“He loves righteousness and justice, the kindliness of God fills the earth.” (33:5) It was remarkable to sing this verse after having recently delivered a lecture on the 11th and 12th blessings of the daily prayer. The 11th prayer discusses the establishment of justice. The 12th blessing is our prayer for the destruction of evil. The 12th blessing is the only one of the 19 blessings of the prayer that begins with the word, “and.” This is understood to mean that it will only be through the establishment of righteousness and justice that God will destroy evil.

The Sages in the Talmud insist that only a person of tremendous kindness can pray with integrity for the destruction of evil.   Such a prayer must be based in kindness, not violence or anger.

The Zohar, volume 2 page 114B, describes “the person of kindness” as one who does kindness with God. This is to say, the person of kindness is the one who serves God because it gives pleasure to God, not for any reward.

This then is the meaning of our verse; “He loves righteousness and justice,” meaning God fills the world with his righteousness and justice, and then, only then, can we say, “the kindliness of God fills the earth,” meaning our actions reflect God’s kindliness, as explained by the Zohar, we act with kindness to God.

This verse is reminding us that in order to pray with integrity for the destruction of evil we must perceive the righteousness and justice of the earth, and then act as a person of kindness towards God. We must serve God as an expression of kindness and love for him. Not for reward. Not for protection. As an expression of kindness, as in, “the kindliness of God fills the earth.”

Concentrate on becoming a Person of Kindness before praying the 12th blessing for the destruction of evil.
Use in Shabbat Morrning Pesukei D’zimrah.

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