Psalm 91: She who Finds Peace in the Hideaway of the Most High

Ashley Stern

 

Strong Translation with Analysis

 

1.  She who finds peace in the hideaway of the Most High will feel most safe in the warm love of the Almighty.

 

2.  I shall say of the Lord [that G-d is] my core and my family, my G-d in Whom I Trust.

3.  For G-d will save you from the rapists who stalk young girls and from the murderers who thirst for innocent blood.

4.  With G-d’s arms G-d will cuddle you close, and in G-d’s embrace you will find serenity; G-d’s faithfulness is the most wonderful and stress relieving hug you will ever experience.

 

5.  You will not fear the vengeful doll in the dark, the mass murderer by day;

6.  Demons that watch you sleep through the windows, inescapable fires in the day.

7.  A thousand will be stationed at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not approach you.

8.  You will but gaze with your eyes, and you will see the annihilation of the wicked.

9.  For you [said], "The Lord is my refuge"; the Most High you made your dwelling.

10.  No one will come after you, nor will evil beings enter your home.

11.  For G-d will command His angels on your behalf to guard you in all your ways.

12.  On [their] hands they will lift you up, lest your foot stumble on a stone.

13.  On a lion and a cobra you will tread; you will trample the mighty lion and the serpent.

 

14.  For she loves and yearns for Me, I shall protect her; I shall guard and keep her because she knows My name and is committed to the covenant.

15.  She will call Me and I shall answer her; I am with her in times of distress; I shall rescue her and I shall honor her.

16.  With length of days I shall satiate her, and I shall show her My salvation.

 

Structure:

Indentation 1: Psalmist speaking about G-d as the main subject

Indentation 2: Psalmist speaking to the audience as the main subject Indentation 3: Voice of G-d

 

Emotions:

Green: Commitment to the covenant by the psalmist

Red: Commitment to the covenant by G-d

Purple: Assuring the audience about G-d’s commitment to the covenant

Orange: Assuring the audience without mention of G-d/heavenly beings

Bold: Imagery of protection

Italics: Imagery of danger

Underline: Verbs that indicate protection

 

Interpretive Commentary

 

With G-d’s arms G-d will cuddle you close, and in G-d’s embrace you will find serenity;

G-d’s faithfulness is the most wonderful and stress relieving hug you will ever experience.

 

HaShem, please, please, hear me calling out to You! It is me, Brachah Rivka bat Chaya. I am very sick, and I’m afraid that I might die soon. I don’t want to fear death because I will be with You, but I’m so frightened!! Will I go to heaven? Is there a heaven?? I have always tried to be a woman of G-d, to study Torah as much as the men will allow me to and to follow Your commandments. I know I deviated from the derech by going against the men who have the authority, but I only did this because I felt oppressed by them! They dictate everything and deny women the same rights that they claim for themselves, and I hate it!!! I always have hated it!

Please, understand, and if I was wrong in going against them, forgive me now!! HaShem, please show me Your love. Your love is the only thing that can calm me and soothe my fears. I just want a hug, I want to know You are there watching over me and protecting me. Please G-d, wipe my tears and cuddle me close, save me from the demon that eats me from within and show me that everything will be alright!!

 

No one will come after you, nor will evil beings enter your home.

 

HaShem, this disease is eating at my flesh!!! I can feel it inside my body. I’m scared that there are demons inside me, shutting everything down. What if they shut down my heart?? What if I am not able to feel Your love??? What if they shut down my soul, my ability to feel and praise and repent… No, I cannot think about it... But I can’t not think about it because I can’t think about anything else!! This disease, this demon, it’s after me, they’re all after me! They want my soul to disappear into nothingness, my body to rot and decay in the pits of hell. They want me to lose my faith in You, they want to get the best of me. They want to destroy me, Your child!!

HaShem, hear my calling out to You!!! I’m scared, but I’ve never lost my faith in You. Be with me now, save me from the demons waging this war against my body! Be with me now, so that they leave me and do not chase me down. Be with me now, make my body a sanctuary, make my home a safe haven where no evil lurks in the dark shadows of what I cannot see. Eradicate this disease, force it to leave my body, shield me from all evil!!!

 


She who finds peace in the hideaway of the Most High will feel most safe in the warm love of the Almighty.

 

I am not an open book; My secrets are infinite. I am everywhere, I am high up -- so high up that, as far up as you go, you will never really reach Me. But for those who actually seek My presence, for those who actually search for Me and do good, they will be able to experience Me enough so that they can feel My love and be comforted. They fear Me, rightfully so, but I have so much love to give. I want to give people that love. I want them to love Me too!! Plus, I also love giving hugs...

 

...Listen! Someone has called for Me.

 

For she loves and yearns for Me, I shall protect her; I shall guard and keep her because she knows My name and is committed to the covenant.

 

A family has cast up a Mi Shebeirach… What was the name? Brachah Rivka bat Chaya. Oh, yes, she is ill… very ill. I heard her prayer earlier, and I will admit that I wept. People question Me all the time about why bad things happen to good people. Everyone must die, for I am the one G-d and a jealous G-d, and no one can live for as long as I. And sometimes this is how people will go… But her family is in such anguish!! Look how they gather around her... Look at the tears streaming down their faces!! Her father never cries… I’ve seen him through thick and thin and he has cried perhaps four times in the last twenty years! Even he is crying!! Brachah Rivka has always been a righteous woman. She has always devoted herself to Torah study and shows her love for Me every day of her life. Even now, while she is sick, she prays to Me from her siddur. She begs for My help, and she is a good young woman… I cannot abandon her!!! I must keep my end of the covenant. I must help her!

 

I am with her in times of distress; I shall rescue her and I shall honor her.

 

I am the all-powerful G-d. Everyone and everything, both good and bad, worship Me alone, because I alone created them. The creatures of horror by night and the murderers by day bow down to Me. The demons fear My power; the fires go out in a pit of smoke in My presence. For she has kept Me in her heart even when she is frightened, for she has called out for My protection against her deepest fears and has acknowledged My power and salvation, I will honor her with My faithfulness. She will not be alone; she has her family and she has Me. I will heal her illness in good time, for she is good and honors Me every day through her love and commitment to Me and My Torah. Her tears make My heart hurt, so I will send her a sign that everything is going to be okay. I will watch over her so that her illness does not send her soul up to Me just yet. It is not time for her soul to depart from her body. Rather, I will watch over her, revive her health, and sustain her health for a long life. She has kept her end of the covenant, and I will keep Mine.