Shabchi Yerushalayim es Hashem, halleli Elokayich tziyon. Ki chizak b’richei sh’arayich, beirach banayich b’kirbeich.
Praise Hashem, O Jerusalem; laud your G-d, O Zion. For He has strengthened the bars of your gates, and blessed your children in your midst.
These two p’sukim are a continuation of the theme expressed in the previous p’sukim and, in particular, the pasuk directly preceding these p’sukim. Hashem “desires” those who have a keen awareness of Him and who hope for His kindness, recognizing that He is the “Gomel chasadim tovim” – the bestower of kindness that is pure good, for only He knows what is truly good for us. Those with a keen awareness of Hashem anxiously await His chesed and do not look to anyone or anything else for their needs.
“Shabchi Yerushalayim (Yerushalayim, extol Hashem), “halleli Elokayich Tziyon (Zion, praise your G-d).” The word “shevach” here means to relate and elaborate that all good is derived only from Hashem. “Halleli” in the next clause means “outcry of happiness, to be enthusiastic solely over His kindness, but never to open wide the mouth in excitement over any seemingly beneficial cause in the world.” [Praise, My Soul! by HaRav Avigdor Miller zt”l]
The Malbim notes the contrast of the Name “Hashem” in the first clause and “Elokayich” in the latter clause. “Hashem” means “Master of all” in a more general and global sense. “Elokayich” means Hashem’s involvement with us in our lives, and the suffix here connotes an even more personal “your G-d.”
Zion refers to the Jewish people, for Hashem’s Presence dwells among them everywhere. [Praise, My Soul!]
We continue to be reminded that Hashem is involved in every aspect of our lives, and that we should at all times recognize that all comes only from Hashem. We should enthusiastically praise and thank Hashem continuously for His kindness. At times, we become enamored by Hashem’s messengers and heap praise on them. We must certainly thank all of Hashem’s kind messengers in this world who carry out His plan. However, we must also be very cautious not to heap praise and thanks on them for the results, because that causes us to forget Who was really behind what we received. We should thank and praise them for their efforts but not the results.
While this may all sound repetitive, as we had discussed this in Hallelukah 2 – #1 and 2, it is imperative to note that because it is easily lost upon us, the p’sukim themselves keep driving the point home more and more deeply.
If we get tired of hearing the same theme, let us ask ourselves: Am I living this way? Have I been thanking and praising people exclusively for their efforts, and have I stopped praising them for results? Have I been thanking Hashem enthusiastically for all results before thanking His messengers for their efforts? Have I stopped hearing and reading how others are responsible for this or that and why this happened and that didn’t happen?
If you are like me and still revert back to old habits, then we need to continue to focus on these p’sukim and drive them more deeply inside of us when we recite them. Our tefilah presents us with great opportunities to bolster and strengthen our emunah and bitachon.
The second pasuk again reminds us of this idea. For it is Hashem – and only Hashem – Who strengthened the bars of our gates protecting us, and it is only He Who blesses our children in our midst. We won’t need to travel to earn our livelihood. Hashem will take care of us in Yerushalayim.
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