Tehillim: Day 1 (Psalms 1 – 9) for 1 Tammuz 5782
“Happy is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the wicked, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the scornful.” – Psalm 1:1, JPS 1917 Tanach
“Notice that in these three are comprised all man’s position, either he walks or stands or sits.” – Radak on Psalms 1:1; sefaria.org
Where is the dividing line between the wicked and the sinful? And, can we sincerely count ourselves amongst the righteous? If the wicked sin intentionally, and the sinful are those who err by unintentional sins, because they are not careful, while travelling along the derech (path) of life, then where do we stand?
Incidentally, regarding, “nor stood in the way of sinners,” Radak further comments, that the righteous person “does not linger with, nor does he devote himself to them, neither does he remain in their company, lest he should learn of their works” (ibid.).
Moreover, the third category mentioned in the pasuk (verse), “nor sat in the seat of the scornful,” are the scorners, those who mockingly portray themselves as righteous, while degrading others.
If we can transcend all three of these negative categories, and root out any vestiges of similarities to these types of aveiros (sins), then we are “praiseworthy” in H’Shem’s eyes, even if we are not looked upon favorably by others.
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