This English narration is intended to enhance rather than replace the Hebrew text.
King David prophesied the holy Psalms, which means the exact Hebrew words are infinitely powerful whether or not you understand them. The letters, words, cantillation, and verses are infused with HaShem’s many names and have precise numerical values. The first and last letters of some words suggest lofty ideas. Every verse is layered with multiple meanings. Saying these prescribed Hebrew words provides access to limitless opportunities for teshuva.
The problem is that the old–fashioned terminology used in most literal translations tends to seriously challenge the modern reader.
The primary objective of this narration is to help the modern English reader converse with HaShem using everyday language.
This is not a literal translation.
We intentionally eliminated words and made other minor changes to enliven the meaning and ideas of each verse and enable the reader to connect through clear simple language.
The suggested use of the narration is first to peruse the English translation without annunciating the words, to become familiar with the meaning of each verse, then to explicitly say the Hebrew words.
Rebbe Nachman encouraged his followers to pray to HaShem in their own words. In light of that instruction, we developed this user–friendly narration to facilitate a profound understanding and connection to King David’s pain and joy.
May it be HaShem’s will that this approach engages our imagination so that when our mouths recite the words our hearts understand these holy songs.
David Dombrowsky, 2020