NOTE: For a PDF of this mizmor, please click here. This will enable you to print out the entire text of the article. [Rev 0]
Key Concepts of Mizmor 119-014 (Beis 6) – Joy in Mitzvos
The Testimonies (Eidos) were introduced in the second pasuk of Mizmor 119. These are the narratives and mitzvos that bear witness to the Creation of the world and the historical events of our Jewish national experience.
David now sings of the joy he has found in experiencing a Torah life founded upon faithful observance of the mitzvos that characterize the Eidos. Through the medium of the Eidos the Jew is able to relive in the present the dramatic events of the past that brought our forefathers to an intense closeness with the Creator.
We rejoice in the discovery of meaning and purpose in occurrences and ideas linked together by new insights across the vistas of time. With this awareness we are gratified to be able to bear witness to the mission of our people within the framework of universal mankind and the infinite universe.
The Eidos present a grand picture of awareness within which we are privileged to live our lives productively and creatively in service to the Creator. In this pasuk David joyfully declares that the spiritual and emotional reward we receive each day far exceeds the pleasure we might get from the material possessions that ornament our lives.
Exploring the Mizmor
In this pasuk David visualizes the Eidos as a way of living ( דֶרֶךְ ). He is thrilled to have found a way through life that has brought him joy. He finds this spiritual and intellectual joy as being at least as satisfying as the excited pleasure someone might from a newfound inheritance of material riches.
(יד) בְּדֶרֶךְ עֵדְוֹתֶיךָ שַׂשְׂתִּי כְּעַל כָּל הוֹן:
I rejoiced over the way of Your Eidos as much as in all riches.
Learning the Mizmor
(יד) בְּדֶרֶךְ עֵדְוֹתֶיךָ
שַׂשְׂתִּי כְּעַל כָּל הוֹן:
שַׂשְׂתִּי כְּעַל כָּל הוֹן:
I have experienced a life of following the way of Your Eidos — בְּדֶרֶךְ עֵדְוֹתֶיךָ , and in doing so, I rejoiced as much as in all riches — שַׂשְׂתִּי כְּעַל כָּל הוֹן .
Three insights illuminating this pasuk are presented below. The numbers identifying the insights refer to the listing of sources at the end of the segment.
(1) True joy comes from the acquisition of wisdom. The word בְּדֶרֶךְ implies gaining complete knowledge of a phenomenon, including what brought it about and what are its consequences.
(2) This pasuk demonstrates the importance of being in a joyful mood when doing mitzvos.
(3) By fulfilling any of the Eidos, a person feels ennobled and exalted in a spiritual sense. He feels more capable of meeting challenges and doing more mitzvos. This magnified potential corresponds to a sense of a power that he might gain from material treasures.
The primary sources used for the additional insights illuminating this pasuk are listed below.
(1) – היצהרי
(2) -טיב התהלות
(3) – רשר”ה