Day 37: Wednesday, 17 April
122 (Shir HaMa’alot, [Song of Ascents] of Dovid). I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the Bais Hashem.
2 Our feet shall stand within thy she’arim, O Yerushalayim.
3 Yerushalayim is built as an Ir bound firmly together;
4 That is where the Shevatim (tribes) go up, the Shivtei Hashem, according to the edut l’Yisroel (the statute to Yisroel), to give thanks unto the Shem of Hashem.
5 For there are set kise’ot l’mishpat (thrones of judgment), the kise’ot of the Bais Dovid.
6 Sha’alu shalom Yerushalayim (pray for the peace of Jerusalem); they shall prosper that love thee.
7 Shalom be within thy wall, and security within thy citadels.
8 L’ma’an (for the sake of) my achim and companions, I will now say, Shalom be within thee.
9 L’ma’an the Bais Hashem Eloheinu I will seek thy tov.
Orthodox Jewish Bible
This is an English language version that employs Yiddish and Hasidic cultural expressions. Most of the words I suspect you can figure out. If not, open up your Bible to Psalm 122 and compare.
Come, on, let’s go up to Jerusalem! One translation I have loved for many years doesn’t quite hit the mark on this psalm: I was glad for the suggestion of going to Jerusalem. Whether you go down to London, or up to it, it’s always up to Jerusalem.
This is more than a daytrip to Freeport, or a day out in London with a show thrown in. This is a pilgrimage to a festival. People coming to Jerusalem for its various festivals could be taking a week or two out of their lives to travel there, to stay for the festival, and to travel back home. Remember that it took a few days before Mary and Joseph actually missed young Jesus as they journeyed home after a festival.
This journey will end in Jerusalem, within the gates, upon the hill of Zion, in the Temple. Jerusalem is a city at unity in itself – if only that were true today. When we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we may be praying more for peace between the different religious groups that inhabit the city, rather than peace for Jerusalem and Israel in the wider world setting. However, we can still love the city, and I suggest we do, for they shall prosper that love Jerusalem. Pray for peace for all those who live there, and, by extension of the microcosm, who share lives and space in Israel/Palestine.
Peace, Jerusalem, be within your walls.
What is the nearest we do to a pilgrim journey?
Father God, I pray for Jerusalem, shalom Yerushalayim. I pray for peace among people of differing faiths, and that those who carry the name of Jesus may stand for his light and truth in this dark world. Amen.
pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved. OrthodoxJewishBible.org