G-d said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. G-d saw that the light was good, and G-d separated the light from the darkness…
Psalm 90: Moshe Rabbeinu’s Personal Message of Carpe Diem – Part 2
This series of posts will discuss how to make the most of each יום (yom, day) by closely examining Psalm 90.
יום (yom, day)
The word יום means day, and also refers to the light defined as Day.
G-d said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. G-d saw that the light was good, and G-d separated the light from the darkness. G-d called the light Day and called the darkness Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day (Genesis 1:3–5).
Day and light are the same; the route to finding the light of Hashem requires daily effort.
The word yom/day appears in five verses in Psalm 90:
V 4. For in Your sight a thousand years are like yesterday that has passed, like a watch of the night.
V 9. For all our days have passed because of Your fury; we have consumed our years like a [fleeting] thought.
V 10. The days of our years—among them are seventy years, and if with strength, eighty years—their proudest success is but toil and pain, for it passes quickly and we fly away.
V 12. So teach us to count our days; then we shall gain a heart of wisdom.
V 15. Cause us to rejoice according to the days that You afflicted us, the years that we saw evil.
These verses are direct and understandable.
G-d called the light Day and called the darkness Night…
In the Psalm, Moshe Rabbeinu laments the shortness of man’s life, our inadequate time for proper redemption and divine support. Hope is offered. Live each day to its fullest. Seek G-d, study His Torah, pray with vigour, and perform many good deeds.
Rashi comments: Like a single day of the Holy One, blessed is He (v. 4). His fury quickly turns away (v. 9). The sins of our youth impact our longevity. Our grandeur and prestige amount to nothing at the end of our lives, which end quickly, and we are gone (v. 10).
Moshe Rabbeinu prays that man’s lifetime be extended, as in days of old, to give us adequate time to return to the correct path (v. 12). Rashi concludes with the brachah, “Gladden us with the era of Mashiach in compensation for the days of our exile” (v. 15).