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News Item 323. Mizmor 119-049 (Zayin) - Time

A new pasuk has been added to the presentation of the Zayin segment of Mizmor 119 as of Wednesday June 7. The new pasuk is 119:052, which is the fourth pasuk in the Zayin segment. This addition deals with learning a lesson from the experience of past history.

Previously (Zayin 2) David spoke of finding comfort in times of suffering. He drew strength from the knowledge that the fulfillment of Hashem’s promise is just a matter of time. Now he turns to the morale uplift to be found in the experience of past history. The story of mankind may be viewed as a sequence of periods in which human behavior has angered or pleased Hashem. In each case man was brought before the Divine Court of Judgment. At such a time there is encouragement in the knowledge that Hashem has always shown that He tempers justice with mercy. Periods of harsh judgment were tempered by mercy and were ultimately followed by periods of blessing and good fortune.

So in times of suffering David remembers the lessons of the judgments of old ( מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ מֵעוֹלָם ). David refers to Hashem by His attribute of Mercy ( ה‘ ) because even in the most difficult periods, the love of Hashem has always been present and the promise of future Redemption has always been there.