psalm 127

A poem with regard to Shlomo (Solomon)

Unless God, the Almighty, builds the house, they who build it labor in vain. 

What is a house? Is it just bricks and stones? What is a family? Is it just people related by blood or legal bonds? What is a business? Is it just documents and transactions? 

Is there not something more? 

Yes, there is. It is the spirit of the builders. What is their intention? What is their desire and focus? What is in their hearts? Is it just the paycheck or do they really want to build a beautiful home?

If the business is only about making money then what will it lead to? There will be no soul; there will be no genuine care for the customer. Without honest spirit and caring there can be no blessings. It will just be a soul-less corporation devoid of spirit. The soul, the caring, the love; that is God operating within us. And if God does not this house with you; then you have labored in vain, you have wasted your time.

Unless God watches and keeps the city, the Watchman stays awake in vain.

Who succeeds more in battle? A hired mercenary or a firm believer and a true patriot? Without God in us we are incapable of providing proper protection. Without belief, without true conviction for our cause our Watchman has stayed awake in vain. He will not really be paying attention. He will just be waiting for his shift to be over.

To achieve Gods' blessing for our family, our business, our Krav Maga association, we must be pure in our dealings, we must be pure in our intentions. We can't just pretend to want to help people; we must really sincerely want to help people. If God does not bless our organization then we have labored in vain. 

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of toil; for truly to his beloved he gives tranquility.

Our rabbis say you should rise up in the morning like a lion, overcoming your lazy instincts. But how? If you have spirit, goals, passion, then you can do it. But if you are empty inside, void of spirit, then "It is vain".

Similarly, staying up late at night, for what purpose? There must be a spiritual component in your work. Peace, tranquility, true inner peace, is a result of spiritual awareness. 

The reward of God are the sons, proper sons. The reward is the fruit of the womb.

The message here is that what really matters in life is not the wealth or fame that one accumulates, all that is false. What really matters is what leaves behind, his heritage, his legacy, be it biological children, adopted children, students or disciples, these are the true rewards of a good life, a Godly led life.

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior, so are the children born to a man in his youth.

Here again the rabbis stress that children refer to students and disciples as much as biological children. The message is train the next generation while the great life force is still within you. Use your best years to educate the next generation. 

Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be put to shame, but they shall contend with their enemies in the gate. 

Your students are your arrows. You will not be put to shame by your students, and happy is the man who has many disciples. They will be able to handle any situation, any opponent. 

Psalm 127, with personal interpretation by Moshe D. Katz, son of Rabbi Paul M. Katz of blessed memory, my father, my teacher.