Psalms Chapter 144
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The Almighty is Our Warrior and Source of Strength
A Psalm of David.
144:1 Blessed be the LORD my Rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle
God is our strength and enabler. HE gives us power and strength. He teaches us to fight and puts within the instincts to react as we should when faced with danger and antagonism.
When we learn and train ourselves as individuals or as members of the Israeli Defence Forces or whatever force we might belong to it is God who inspires our leaders how to prepare us.
Violence is usually to be avoided but sometimes necessary.
We may learn from the above verse that not only was warfare sometimes needed but also training for it.
It is good for young men (or young in spirit) and women to learn some form of self-defence though not everybody is suited for it and other means of guarding oneself may be more effective.
Different types of martial art exist. There are also several Jewish disciplines of self-defence which are mostly Asiatic forms with some modifications.
I heard from a
instructor that such training may help even a relatively weak person who is
attacked through the element of surprise and the attacker not expecting any
My friend, Rabbi Pesach Davis opined from his studying the matter that speed and strength will usually win through except at the higher levels.
Rabbi Avraham Feld who was once associated with Brit-Am is an expert in martial arts. He told me that studies prove Greek wrestling or judo and ju-jutsu to be the best but they take time to master. He recommended a combination of Siamese Boxing (Muai Thai) and wrestling and by wrestling he includes Judo and Ju-Jutsu. This seems to be the consensus of other experts as well.
I myself tried different Japanese and Korean disciplines and did not get far. They seem to be designed along similar lines as ballet dancing and require elastic bodies with high coordination. I then turned to Thai Boxing and discovered an aptitude for it. Thai Boxing is quite basic and effective. In many ways it seems to be more western than the other practices. All sports however are dangerous and care should be taken.
More on Martial Arts and Self-Defence in Case of Attack, Rape, etc.
Rabbi Avraham Feld relates that studies show Holocaust survivors to often suffer from their traumatic experiences. Some resisted or attempted to resist their oppressors. Others were passive and did not do anything or could not do anything . In both groups most suffered almost equally but those who resisted recovered quicker. They did not incriminate themselves or suffer from feeling of debasement etc. Their powers of resilience were greater.
The Bible indicates that a woman who is attacked sexually should at the least cry for help.
22: 23 “If a young woman who is a virgin is betrothed to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her,
22::24 then you shall bring
them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with
stones, the young woman because she did not cry out in the city, and the man
because he humbled his neighbor’s wife; so you shall put away the evil from
22:25 “But if a man finds a betrothed young woman in the countryside, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die.
22:26 But you shall do nothing to the young woman; there is in the young woman no sin deserving of death, for just as when a man rises against his neighbor and kills him, even so is this matter.
22::27 For he found her in the countryside, and the betrothed young woman cried out, but there was no one to save her.
Often just calling out is enough to deter the assailant. It also makes clear to all what is happening and what happens. This clarification is important both for the person attacked and the attacker and whoever else may be involved later.
If an attack occurs help should be sought immediately both from the police and from the special crisis centers found in most western countries for such situations.
The verse (Psalm 144:1) says:
Psalm 144:1 # Blessed be the LORD my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle #
I learnt Muay Thai mainly from Benny Cogan in Jerusalem. Benny has trained Israeli and European Champions.
Benny qualified as an engineer from the Technion in Haifa. He then went onto learn the higher points of Muay Thai at academies in France and was qualified as an instructor by the Wingate Institute in Israel.
Benny also wrote a warm recommendation for us when Maariv wrote about us:
#16. Yair Davidiy A Serious Professional Researcher
# I know Yair and I have read his book. From my personal acquaintance with the man (not in connection to the present subject) I can tell you that he is a serious person and his work is true research.
Benny Cogan, Jerusalem #
I also learnt from Oscar Walter who would say that training for Muay Thai involves three main activities: Shadow Boxing, Bag Punching, Sparring.
When one trains for a long period and reaches a reasonable level then the realization seeps in that much of it is psychological. The physical training prepares your body and mind for the fight. Even the preparation of the body itself however also has a psychological aspect. Theoretically someone on a high spiritual level could jump to championship level without the training.
This may be a quality that King David himself had and that he instilled in his followers.
2 My lovingkindness and my fortress,
My high tower and my deliverer,
My shield and the One in whom I take refuge,
Who subdues my people[a] under me.
#My lovingkindness#. God is not only a source of lovingkindness towards us. HE also gives us the ability if we so aspire to show lovingkindness to others.
The Almighty is a source of strength. HE is a refuge for us. We can run to HIM not only from the outside world and other people but also from ourselves. It happends that a person lets themselves be overcome and act and speak in ways that are not propitious. This sets up a dynamism and habit of reaction that may be difficult to break loose from. By running to the Almighty we can start anew and know what to do.
#Who subdues my peoples [Hebrew: amim, "Peoples" in the plural] under me.#
David ruled over all the Israelite People and several other nations round about. His descendants, the Future Messiah, will rule over all the world. The Israelite Nations through their Ten Tribes section have also ruled over other nations. In fact in some way or other most peoples of the world have been ruled by them at one time or another.
David, as we have repeated several times in this Commentary, wrote his Psalm from his own personal perspective while projecting the emotions aroused on the future destinies of Judah and Israel.
Even today, in my opinion the ideal would be for the Israelite Nations to turn to the Almighty, unite together and rule over all other peoples. We would be better of and so would the others.
3 LORD, what is man, that You take knowledge of him?
Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him?
God created us for HIS own purposes. We are nothing in ourselves. This should gladden us for it shows that despite what we are the Almighty has plans for us and wants our good.
4 Man is like a breath;
His days are like a passing shadow.
Our days on this earth are short. We should all endeavor to do what good we can in the short time we have. None of us know how long we have so we should all do the best we can according to the Bible while we can.
5 Bow down Your heavens, O LORD, and come down;
Touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
Radak points out that in Scripture the term "mountains" is sometimes used to represent different nations.
6 Flash forth lightning and scatter them;
Shoot out Your arrows and destroy them.
David asks the Almighty to punish the wicked heathen.
7 Stretch out Your hand from above;
Rescue me and deliver me out of great waters,
From the hand of foreigners,
All the world is against the Jewish State of Israel. They are also (though to a lesser degree) against Britain and the USA and after that against Israelite Nations of the Western World in general.
8 Whose mouth speaks lying words,
And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
They spread false propaganda. They themselves know they are lieing. So too, Conspiracy Theories spread lies about others and about the State of Israel, Zionism, the USA, UK, etc.
Their motivations often appear to be sheer maliciousness.
9 I will sing a new song to You, O God;
On a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You,
David will compose a new song to praise the Almighty. He will set it to music. Music and poetry were used by the Ancient Hebrews as instruments to serve God and to elevate themselves spiritually.
10 The One who gives salvation to kings,
Who delivers David His servant
From the deadly sword.
The Almighty will save David.
God will save the future Messiah who in turn will save all Israel.
11 Rescue me and deliver me from the hand of foreigners,
Whose mouth speaks lying words,
And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood
12 That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth;
That our daughters may be as pillars,
Sculptured in palace style;
We all want children and we want our children to grow up well. We see from here that fine-looking daughters are something to be proud of and to strive for.
13 That our barns may be full,
Supplying all kinds of produce;
That our sheep may bring forth thousands
And ten thousands in our fields;
The Almighty can bless our endeavors and grant us material bounty. There is nothing wrong with being wealthy and having much. On the contrary the Bible tells us that this is to striven for and accepted as a blessing from God.
14 That our oxen may be well laden;
That there be no breaking in or going out;
That there be no outcry in our streets.
We ask God not only to bless us but also to protect us from scandal and crime. We do not want ourselves or any of our family to do wrong or be associated with wrong-doing. We also do not want to be the victims of wrong-doers.
15 Happy are the people who are in such a state;
Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!
We are told here that if we go in the right track all that we prayed for and that was mentioned above and much more besides will be granted unto us.
Psalms Chapter 144
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