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Key Concepts of Mizmor 119-018 (Gimel 2) – Perception
In the Gimel segment David is asking Hashem’s help in overcoming the obstacles that prevent him from fulfilling his personal mission in this world. These obstacles are inherent in man’s earthly existence. But man has been given the opportunity to overcome them with Hashem’s help.
One of the obstacles facing every person is his limited intellectual grasp. The profound depth and complexity of the world that Hashem has created are infinite. The qualities of physical existence are matched by the wonders of the Torah which served as the blueprint for Creation. Man perceives the reality of his existence through a fog which surrounds him like a mysterious veil. As an act of Hashem’s kindness, He lifts the veil at times to expand the understanding and vision of each person.
Exploring the Mizmor
(יח) גַּל עֵינַי וְאַבִּיטָה נִפְלָאוֹת מִתּוֹרָתֶךָ:
Unveil my eyes that I may perceive wonders from Your Torah.
In this pasuk David humbly declares his dependence upon Hashem for his ability to perceive the wonders of the Torah. He trusts that if he puts in the effort to learn the Torah, Hashem will grant him marvellous insights and intellectual visions by lifting the veil of perception.
The relationships between the perfect design of the physical universe and the corresponding wonders of the Torah are explored in Mizmor 019 (Seeking Perfection).
Learning the Mizmor
(יח) גַּל עֵינַי
וְאַבִּיטָה נִפְלָאוֹת מִתּוֹרָתֶךָ:
Unveil my eyes — גַּל עֵינַי that I may perceive wonders from Your Torah — וְאַבִּיטָה נִפְלָאוֹת מִתּוֹרָתֶךָ .
A series of insights illuminating this pasuk are presented here. The numbers identifying the insights refer to the listing of sources below.
(1) Examples of the hidden mysteries of the Torah are the mitzvos called Chukim and the secrets of Creation as outlined in the Book of Bereishis. Other examples are in the workings of the human mind and the ways that character traits can be perfected.
(2) The word נִפְלָאוֹת (wonders) is dervided fom the root פלא , which means separation. The mysteries and wonders of the Torah are hidden, and are thereby separated from normal awareness.
(3) How does a person gain access to the wondrous insights of the Torah? Through dedicated study and reflection. Someone who travels abroad to see the wonders of the world should stop and think of the vast possibilities of intellectual discovery and vision that are available to him within the four walls of the Bais Hamidrash.
The primary sources used for the additional insights illuminating this pasuk are listed below.
(1) – רד”ק, המאירי
(2) – המאירי
(3) – טיב התהילות