This psalm is recited by Jews all over the world in times of distress, as the psalmist calls out to Hashem “out of the depths” (verse 1). In times of trouble, we wait for God and His salvation even more than one who watches for the morning. The word hashomer (השומר), ‘the watchman,’ was taken as the name of the first modern Jewish security force in the Land of Israel. From 1909 until 1920, during the period known as the time of the Second Aliyah, a group of Jewish settlers formed Hashomer to protect Jewish towns from enemy incursions. After the group disbanded, its members formed the Haganah defense organization, precursor of the Israel Defense Forces. The Jewish people have been defending themselves in the land for over one hundred years, but the psalm reminds us that Hashem is the ultimate protector of Israel.
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