Ashrei: Pslam 145

The internal and external structure of this carefully-crafted Psalm serves to reinforce its theme of praising God as the caring, divine ruler of all creation.

Print this page Print this page

One of the most obvious internal unifying features is the presence of the Hebrew kol--translated either as "all" or, distributively, as "every"--which threads its way through the psalm 17 times. Its virtual ubiquity highlights the unending universal chorus of praise to a God whose sovereignty and solicitude are not only eternal but everywhere.

In the medieval period, the prologue and epilogue became staples of the liturgical rendition of Psalm 145. The prologue consists of Psalms 84:6 and 144:15, whereas the epilogue consists of Psalms 115:18. The epilogue, "And as for us, we bless the Lord now and forever. Hallelujah!" (Psalms 115:18) serves a dual function. On the one hand, the opening "we" ["us" in English] reverts to the "I" of the prelude and the "all flesh" of the postlude. It also underscores the linkage with the interlude by specifying the identity of the "faithful." Read emphatically, "We" avers that whether or not all flesh join in blessing His holy name, "We will go on blessing God from now and forever."

Did you like this article?  MyJewishLearning is a not-for-profit organization.

Please consider making a donation today.

Dr. Reuven Kimelman

Reuven Kimelman is a Professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University.