Kabbalistic Analysis on Psalm Chapter 37 Verse 1

This verse relates to any person whose name starts with a Lamed and ends in a Hai. The Kabbalah teaches that every verse in the Tanach speaks to every person in every generation. It also explains that when a verse from the Tanach starts with a Hebrew letter and ends with a Hebrew letter that is the same as your Name when spelled with Hebrew Letters is an indication that this verse has special significance to that person.

Psalm Chapter 37 Verse 1 In Hebrew Letters

לדוד אל-תתחר במרעים אל-תקנא בעשי עולה


LeDavid All Titchar Bamrahim All Tiknah BeOhshai Ohlah

Traditional Translation

A Psalm of David. Fret not thyself because of evil-doers, neither be thou envious against them that work unrighteousness.

A More Accurate Translation by Rabbi Avraham Sutton

By David. Do not compete with those who practice evil; do not be jealous of those who practice deceit.

In the translation there is a note and here is the note: “Do not compete with those who practice evil” – do not imitate their ways (Targum, Rashi). Alt: “Do not be frustrated by the success of those who practice evil” (Ibn Ezra). Or: “Do not be fooled into thinking that you too must be deceitful in order to attain wealth, position, power, and ease-of-life.”

Translation discussion

Is the translation accurate? Not in my opinion. The Hebrew starts "To David" or "by David". It does not say "A Psalm of David". In most Psalm there is a connection with the words to ten types of song. This is not one of them. This is why i have presented what i consider a more accurate translation.

Pshat Level of Discussion

It is important to note that there is the Name El twice in this verse and no other Name of HaShem. These 2 Names El are not being used as Names of HaShem but, in my opinion are not being directly translated at all.

On its surface the Verse is telling us to not allow our "vision" of the illusionary world to blind us to what is right to do and that is not to judge others but only judge ourselves to know what we should change within us. Jealousy is clear that a trait of jealousy needs to be eradicated from within us. Competition is a trait that has two sides . when we fall to competing with negativity we are moving away from HaShem rather than closer.

Number of Words

There are 8 words in this verse. The number 8 represents one level above the number 7 which represents our connection to the physical world. Thus the number 8 is telling us that we are connecting or need to connect to the spiritual levels of consciousness.

Number of Letters

There are 30 letters with all the letters. It is often a practice to eliminate the letters that relate to the idea of announcing the Psalm or in this case eliminate the 4 letters of LeDavid. Thus when this is done there are 26 Letters. The number 26 is the gematria of the Name HaShem. Thus when one says this verse one is connecting to HaShem. The number 30 is the gematria of the Letter Lamed. This number 30 connects to the idea of a teacher or instructor. This can be looked upon as either teaching or being taught by the words of the verse.

Kabbalistic analysis

Let us take the first letters of each word as this develops a Name or word that encapsulates the energy of the verse. Here are the first letters: לאתבאתבע. The Kabbalists teach us to permutate the letters as Rabbi Bag Bag teaches "Turn it Turn it as everything is in it". This refers to rearranging the letters to read different aspects within the verse. Here is my suggestion - although it is best if the individual does this themselves if they have a Hebrew Dictionary.

These 8 letters permute into 4 Hebrew words. Two of those words are the word Et את. Et has no translation. In Hebrew grammar rules it is taught that Et refers to a direct object as opposed to the noun of a verse. The Zohar teaches that everytime one sees the word Et it refers to the Schechinah which is the feminine aspect of HaShem. Here is my suggestion: את לב את עב. One translation of these 4 words is "Heart of the Schechinah is the Wisdom of the Schechinah. In human beings the heart and the head are separate and the spiritual work is to unify these two. In the Schechinah this energy is unified. Saying this verse will help someone unify their heart with their intellect.

Let us now take the final letters and do the same thing we did with the first letters. The final letters or last letters are: דלרםלאיה. These 8 letters break into 4 words written as is. They are "dal" = Poor; "ram" = Elevated; "lah" = Not or negative emphasis; "Yah" = The upper worlds. My interpretation of these words is as follows: Elevate Yah by not focusing on poorness.

This above discussion is not complete and will be added to by many people over time. Please check back often to see more discussion.