Psalm 130
By Moshe Katz

On our Krav Maga T shirts we have "fightin’ words" – words of a holy Hebrew warrior. The words are "Blessed be God my rock who teaches my hands to do battle, my fingers for war." Those words were actually written by the great Hebrew warrior King David, and are the opening lines of Psalm 144.

King David was the classic warrior/scholar, he was actually also a warrior/scholar/musician, and as such is the perfect role model for IKI Krav Maga students.

David combined the warrior spirit with the devotional spirit; the fighting instinct mitigated by a religious compassion. He was a well known musician who could calm others with his playing of the harp. He was known as the "Sweet singer of Israel", and as a great warrior.

I love the Psalms – the Biblical book of Tehilim, for it contains strength and humility, brutal emotional honesty and truth. It is truly a source of strength and inspiration and very relevant to our daily lives.

Psalm 130, a song from David,

A poem of ascent, Out of the depths I have cried to thee, O Lord.

Sadly, we often only remember God when we are in a position of depths - when we are down and out, deep in depression, pain, suffering, and humiliation. Humbled, we remember that we are only human. Our human arrogance fades and we cry out in pain to our father in heaven.

When things are well we are deluded into thinking we are powerful. We become arrogant and lack compassion and tolerance. Sometimes we need to reach the depths of depression and pain to regain perspective on life, to call out and say, "I do need you".

Lord hear my voice, let thy ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.

The Aramaic reads, "Accept my prayer". My voice is weak at the moment, I don’t have the strength to shout, but please hear my voice. Hear my unique voice, hear me; understand me. I am calling you from a position of fear and weakness and I desperately need to be understood.

If thou Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?

God you know our weaknesses. If you judge us, if you ask us to answer and account for all our deeds, we cannot. The Aramaic reads, "Who shall exist?" Who can honestly survive such an inquiry?

So please, when I call out to you, don't begin with an "I told you so", for I cannot reply. If you ask for perfect logic and consistency in my behavior, I will not come out looking very good. If you keep track of every mistake I have made, I do not have a leg to stand on. So I throw myself at your mercy and readily admit my imperfections and faults. Please hear my voice and know that I am now coming to you in complete honesty and faith and I know I have been wrong.

When we try to reach reconciliation with a friend or family member, it is best not to "mark iniquities" or list every wrongdoing we think they committed. We are asking God not to keep track of our mistakes; we should give others the same benefit.

You are the one with the power of forgiveness, so that you should be feared

As a child the rabbis explained to us that the power to forgive is indeed a great power. Someone who does not forgive is just a bad person. There is nothing to be gained by trying to be nice to him because no matter what you do it won't change anything, so why even try? But if a person has the potential to forgive, then there is reason to try and talk with him, to try and make amends; there is a reason to make an effort.

Forgiveness is power. True forgiveness comes from a position of strength. No one respects an angry bully. Anger without forgiveness is weakness.

If we know someone will never forgive us, than they become irrelevant, there is nothing to fear. They have pushed themselves out of our lives. But from one who has the potential to forgive, if we truly want the relationship to work, then we fear, and we hope, and we work towards forgiveness.

God is the source of forgiveness, and from Him we learn to forgive.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and I yearn for His word, for His forgiveness

I wait, I hope, my soul yearns. Like when we eagerly wait for a reply, we want to hear those magic words, "You are forgiven, we are OK".

My soul waits for the Lord more then they who watch for the morning, more than the Watchman for the morning

The guards who wait for their shift to end at sunrise are certainly eagerly waiting. One who waits for the morning to arrive, the anticipation is great. The writer is yearning for a word from God more than he who cannot wait until morning.

Let Yisrael hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him there is great redemption

The word used in Hebrew for "steadfast love" is hesed, which is a special concept; giving without expecting a reward, giving more than is truly deserved, giving for the sake of pure loving kindness to another.

Forgiveness is Hesed, it is love, and without this we cannot exist in this world. We all require forgiveness from time to time, for no man is perfect and without wrong-doing in this life. The truest hesed comes from God, and we must learn to act like Him.

Hesed is what produces organizations that help the poor, the needy, the blind, and the ill. Hesed keeps our world sane.

And He shall redeem Yisrael from all his iniquities

Our iniquities, our failings, our shortcomings, in a sense hold us captive prisoners. In order to achieve anything in life we need to become freed from these iniquities which hold us captive. We become a product of our failures. Our failures are our lack of ability to fulfill our mission in life, our fear, our hesitation to embrace life. These hesitations, these fears, are strangling us, that is why we call out for help "from the depths". We are drowning in our failings and calling out for help. We want to become un-trapped from these iniquities which do not allow us to grow into truly becoming ourselves again; the people we were meant to be.

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