When former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid), former Tnuva chairman businessman Meir Shamir, businessman David Hager and others recently visited the newly opened Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, and they were so moved by an exhibit about Jerusalem, that they publicly sang Psalm 23. The psalm, arguably the most famous of all of King David’s writings, attests to the unwavering belief that God protects us, is always with us and guides our way.
“Psalm 23 has been sung and chanted throughout both troubling and joyful times,” explained Roni Segal, academic adviser for The Israel Institute of Biblical Studies, a company which teaches Hebrew language and Biblical studies online, to Breaking Israel News. “Seeing the video clip of known Israeli personalities singing this Psalm is really moving.”
The group toured the eight-story, $500 million cutting-edge museum, which was funded and founded by evangelicals, as part of their participation in the Saban Forum. The Saban Forum encourages dialogue between American and Israeli leaders from across the political and social spectrum and is organized by the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.
“Though the Museum of the Bible was funded by non-Jews, it devotes more space to the Hebrew Bible than to the New Testament,” noted Segal. “It also has on permanent exhibition Israeli antiquities and pipes in the sound of people praying in Hebrew through its speakers.”
Orthodox Rabbi Eliezer Adam, an Israeli/American, was hired to publicly write a Torah scroll in Hebrew. Rabbi Adam shared that nearly 11,000 visitors a day view his work as a scribe on a large screen projecting his writing in real time.
“The Museum of the Bible is fulfilling a great service in today’s world,” continued Segal. “Everything started with the Hebrew Bible. This museum is encouraging people from all religions and walks of life to unite in their connection to God’s word as well as the Hebrew language.”
Perhaps that fact was the catalyst for inspiring the impromptu chorus of Psalm 23 from Israel’s VIPs. After all, Hebrew is their native language.
Adonai ro’ee lochsar.
Binot desheh yarbitzeini,
al mei menuchot yenahaleini.
yancheini bemagalei tzedek lema’an shemo.
Gam ki eileich be’gei tzalmavet, lo ira ra
ki atah imadi,
shivtecha u’mishantecha heimah yenachamuni.
Ta’aroch lefanai shulchan neged tzoriraye
dishanta vashemen roshi, kosi rivayah.
Ach tov va’chesed yirdifuni kol yemei chayaye
ve’shavti be’veit Adonai l’orech yamim.
ה׳ רֹעִי לֹא אֶחְסָר.
בִּנְאוֹת דֶשֶׁא יֵרְבִּיצֵנִי,
נַפְשִׁי יְשׁוֹבֵב, יַנְחֵנִי
גַם כִּי-אֵלֵךְ בְּגֵיא
צַלְמָוֶת לֹא-אִירָא רָע
כִּי-אַתָּה עִמָדִי, שִׁבְטְךָ
שֻׁלְחָן נֶגֶד צֹרְרָי,
רֹאשִי כּוֹסִי רְוָיָה.
אַךְ, טוֹב וָחֶסֶד
יִרְדְפוּנִי כָּל-יְמֵי חַיָי,
|Translation:A Psalm of David. God is my shepherd; I shall not want.
God lays me down in green pastures:
Leads me beside still waters.
The Eternal restores my soul:
The Divine leads me in the paths of righteousness for the sake of the Eternal name.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Death,
I will fear no evil: for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies:
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Eternal for ever.
To learn more about Biblical Hebrew, please visit here.