P. is out of heart surgery and now begins the recovery, some of it short and some much longer. (The sternum takes a while to heal.)
Modern medicine is amazing, when you think about it, and so is the human body. Glory be to Godde for both of them, the science and the person. And please, Congress of the United States, can we have decent health insurance for all, and soon?
Back to our sequence of Psalms, recommended for both R'fuat HaGuf (Healing of the Body) and R'fuat HaNefesh (Healing of the Spirit). Rabbi Nachman of Breslov identified these ten psalms as the Tikkun HaKlali, the Complete Remedy.
Rabbi Nachman, or Rebbe Nachman as some call him, lived from 1772 to 1810, not terribly long. People died younger in those days. He died of tuberculosis at the age of 38. He lived in the era of the French and American revolutions, deist philosophers, the days of the Terror in France, and Napoleon - and very far away from them all, both geographically and philosophically, in Czarist Russia. He was a Hasidic master and the great-grandson of the Ba'al Shem Tov, the great Jewish mystic and leader whom the editors of our book call "the progenitor of the Hasidic trend in Judaism." This movement stressed the mystical and emotional dimensions of Judaism to complement its intellectual and carefully structured dimensions. Rebbe Nachman was --among many other things-- a great believer in the power of prayer.
Today's Psalm is Psalm 59, with Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg as commentator. I'm going to be brief because I've just realized I'd better stay within Fair Use. And you really do want to buy this book. (Info at bottom of each post.) It's quite wonderful and you don't have to be Jewish to use or appreciate it. It might make you a little more Jewish, though.
Rabbi Peltz Weinberg writes:
This very personal psalm contains the cries of someone searching for help in the face of life-threatening danger, beginning with a plea in despair and ending with a song of praise and thanksgiving. It moves from terror to serenity in a three-fold structure telescoped into a mere 18 lines.
Just a few lines tonight, and then you can read the full psalm on your own.
Rescue me from enemies, my God:
***from those who rise up against me --strengthen me!
Rescue me from those who act treacherously;
from bloodthirsty people --save me!
For they lie in ambush for my soul,
***brazen ones gather against me;
***yet I have not transgressed,
*******nor sinned against them, Adonai!
But you, Adonai, You laugh at them,
***You scorn the evil among the nations.
******for Your Help I wait,
******for God is my Haven
God, my Hessed/Faithful One,
***You will go before me. ...
Rabbi Peltz Weinberg writes:
... As the enemy is named and acknowledged, so is God, source of help, strength, and support. Three words appear in the Hebrew. Each word as it is pronounced allows the suffering person to leap across a chasm of hopelessness. The words are names of an intimate reservoir of help, an answer to the cries at the height of panic. The words are personal - ozi, My Strength, misgavi, My Haven, and hasdi, My Faithful One. As we name the unseen hands that cradle us in our most bereft moments, we can allow ourselves to lay some of our heavy burden in those hands. The psalmist takes a breath. We pause. Selah.
Previous posts on the Healing Psalms are here:
From Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub, C.S.W., ed. Healing of Soul, Healing of Body: Spiritual Leaders unfold the Strength and Solace of Psalms. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 1994.