(א) שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת הִנֵּה בָּרֲכוּ אֶת ה’ כָּל עַבְדֵי ה’ הָעֹמְדִים בְּבֵית ה’ בַּלֵּילוֹת:
(1) A song of the steps. And now bless Hashem all servants of Hashem, who stand in the House of Hashem in the nights.
NOTE: For a PDF of this mizmor, please click here. This will enable you to print out the entire text of the article. [Rev. 3]
Key Concepts of Mizmor 134 – Exaltation
As in the previous mizmor David visualizes a future time when the people have come up to Yerushalayim to serve Hashem in the Bais Hamikdash. At this time of supreme exaltation, David calls upon Klal Yisrael to show their gratitude for Hashem’s blessings by recognizing Him in tefillah and by doing His will.
David closes the mizmor with a tefillah that in the zechus (merit) of Klal Yisrael’s devotion to Hashem, His blessings will continue to flow to the nation and the world.
Navigating Tehillim (1). This is the fifteenth in the series of 15 mizmorim to be sung by the Leviim in the Beis HaMikdash while standing on the 15 steps leading up from the women’s courtyard to the men’s courtyard.
Navigating Tehillim (2). Mizmorim 133 and 134 complete the cycle of the 15 Shirei Hamaalos on a note of exaltation. Both of these mizmorim visualize a time when the Geulah (Redemption) is here and the people have come to Yerushalayim to serve Hashem. The two mizmorim are linked by the theme of an unending flow of blessings from Hashem. In Mizmor 133 the people demonstrate their worthiness for the Geulah by the spirit of love and goodwill in which they receive Hashem’s blessings. In Mizmor 134 the people show their gratitude to Hashem by closing the virtuous circle and giving Him their blessing in turn. They do so through their tefillos and mitzvos.
Exploring the Mizmor
THE SOURCE OF BLESSINGS.
(א) שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת הִנֵּה בָּרֲכוּ אֶת ה’ כָּל עַבְדֵי ה’ הָעֹמְדִים בְּבֵית ה’ בַּלֵּילוֹת: (ב) שְׂאוּ יְדֵכֶם קֹדֶשׁ וּבָרֲכוּ אֶת ה’: (ג) יְבָרֶכְךָ ה’ מִצִּיּוֹן עֹשֵׂה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ:
(1) A song of the steps. And now bless Hashem all servants of Hashem, who stand in the House of Hashem in the nights. (2) Raise your hands in holiness and bless Hashem. (3) May Hashem bless you from Tzion, [for He is] Maker of heaven and earth.
The three verses of this mizmor provide a guideline for understanding the source of blessing that has been described in the previous mizmor. The first verse teaches that those who are devoted servants of Hashem are the vehicle for blessings to flow to mankind, especially those who have been faithful “in the nights” of the Exile.
The second verse offers a special place to those who raise their hands in prayer. Raising one’s hands “in holiness” symbolizes that these are people whose hands are clean of cruelty and avarice towards their fellow man.
The third verse concludes with a reference to Tzion, symbolizing the Torah, since those who study Torah create the spiritual content of heaven and earth. Through their discovery of ever new insights into the Torah, they are as if creating heaven and earth anew.
Learning the Mizmor
THE SOURCE OF BLESSINGS.
(א) שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת לְדָוִד
This is the 15th song of the steps — שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת . It was composed by David — לְדָוִד .
הִנֵּה בָּרֲכוּ אֶת ה‘
And now — הִנֵּה – that Hashem has granted His blessings to you and you are uplifted with the feeling of kedushah (holiness), you should show your gratitude and bless Hashem — בָּרֲכוּ אֶת ה‘ – by doing His will. Your actions and your tefillos will have the effect of creating the blessings that flow back up to Him.
כָּל עַבְדֵי ה‘
הָעֹמְדִים בְּבֵית ה‘ בַּלֵּילוֹת:
I call upon all you servants of Hashem — כָּל עַבְדֵי ה‘ . No one should excuse himself as being unworthy or unimportant. Each of you has his own role to play and should be among those who stand together in the House of Hashem to gratefully praise Him. You have been doing so in the nights — הָעֹמְדִים בְּבֵית ה‘ בַּלֵּילוֹת – of the many years of Exile that are now past and it is in the zechus of your devotion to Him that the Geulah has come.
(ב) שְׂאוּ יְדֵכֶם קֹדֶשׁ
וּבָרֲכוּ אֶת ה‘:
As the spirit of exaltation moves you, raise your hands — שְׂאוּ יְדֵכֶם – in tefillah to Hashem in His holy place — קֹדֶשׁ – and bless Hashem — וּבָרֲכוּ אֶת ה‘ .
(ג) יְבָרֶכְךָ ה‘ מִצִּיּוֹן
עֹשֵׂה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ:
In return for your devotion to Him, may Hashem continue to bless you from Tzion — יְבָרֶכְךָ ה‘ מִצִּיּוֹן , symbolizing the Torah, which is the source of all blessing to the nation and the entire world. Hashem can be relied on to keep His promise for He is the Maker of heaven — עֹשֵׂה שָׁמַיִם , which will release its life-giving water, and He is also the Maker of the earth — וָאָרֶץ – which will release its bounty to mankind.
Living the Mizmor
Listed below are some of the thoughts you might have in mind when you say the words of the mizmor as a tefillah to Hashem.
Tehillos for Life – Public Acclaim.
[134:1] BLESSING. – הִנֵּה בָּרֲכוּ אֶת ה’ כָּל עַבְדֵי ה’ הָעֹמְדִים בְּבֵית ה’ בַּלֵּילוֹת – “And now bless Hashem all servants of Hashem, who stand in the House of Hashem in the nights.” Join your fellow Jews in publicly thanking and praising Hashem in His house. You will absorb the kedushah of all those present and this will result in a flow of blessing to Hashem, a flow that will never end.
[134:2] – שְׂאוּ יְדֵכֶם קֹדֶשׁ וּבָרֲכוּ אֶת ה’ – “Raise your hands in holiness and bless Hashem.” Raising your hands symbolizes your recognition of Hashem in tefillah.
[134:3] – יְבָרֶכְךָ ה’ מִצִּיּוֹן עֹשֵׂה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ – “May Hashem bless you from Tzion, [for He is] Maker of heaven and earth.” The blessings from Hashem originate in Tzion, representing the Torah. Through tefillah and the learning of Torah, the flow of blessing is created and enhanced.
The primary sources used in the interpretation of the verses of this mizmor are listed below.
א – רד”ק, מצודות, מלבי”ם, נר לרגלי, מזמור לתודה, אלשיך
ב – רד”ק, המאירי, מצודות, אלשיך
ג – רד”ק, מצודות, אלשיך