Psalm 1:4 Not so the wicked; rather, they are like chaff that wind blows away.
Devorah reflects on the Psalmist’s comparison of rootless chaff and wickedness. In a world where falseness, lies and cheating are pervasive, how do we distinguish between ungodly behavior and downright godlessness?
Original musical compilation by Elizabeth and Devorah.
A Tzadik Travels the World
The Hebrew צַדִּיקִֽ or Tzadik from the root ṣ-d-q (צדק) for charity
means righteousness or a righteous person in English
"one who elevates everyone he/she meets"
while translated in other languages as
"To have a straight heart"
in the Native American language of Highland Puebla Nahuatl
or in Eastern Huasteca Nahuatl “the result of heart-straightening”
bringing in a sense of the results of action not just a way of being
in Navajo “to do just so”
North Alaskan Inupiatun “having sin taken away”
In the Eastern Highland Otomi of Mexico
“entirely good” when referring to God
and “do good” when referring to people
again the difference between be a certain way to actions
Mezquital Otomi throws into the mix "to have truth"
Carib of Central America translates Tzadik as “level”
a meaning that is carried in peace in other languages
a level playing field or one who helps others reach a higher level
Across the sea in Asian Indonesian
"Tzadik" means “people who are true”
In the Oceanic language of Papua New Guinea
Guhu-Samane translate righteous as "pobi"
“right” contains a sense
of "legal, straightness and correction"
"south, possession, pertinence"
as well as "kingdom and fame
in information and speech"
The relationship between these words are described
"As one faces the morning sun,
south lies to the right hand
then at one’s right hand are his possessions
and whatever pertains to him
thus, a rich man’s many possessions
and scope of power and influence is his kingdom
so, the rich and other important people encounter fame
and all of this spreads as information
and forms most of the framework of the people’s speech"
(Source: Ernest Richert in Notes on Translation 1964, p. 11ff).
Tzadik is translated "to be straight"
in the African language Bambara
East African Anuak language “to do as it should be”
in Mossi “to have a white stomach”
perhaps nothing to hid or be ashamed of
Another African language Nuer
translates righteousness “way of right”
and assigns gender
right indicates masculine
strong, good, and moral
We can take in all of these meanings
set them free of gender, color, curvature or direction
and simply recognize the good in people everywhere
Psalm 1:4 לֹא־כֵ֥ן הָרְשָׁעִ֑ים כִּ֥י אִם־כַּ֝מֹּ֗ץ אֲֽשֶׁר־תִּדְּפֶ֥נּוּ רֽוּחַ׃
Not so the wicked; rather, they are like chaff that wind blows away.
Psalm 1:5 עַל־כֵּ֤ן ׀ לֹא־יָקֻ֣מוּ רְ֭שָׁעִים בַּמִּשְׁפָּ֑ט וְ֝חַטָּאִ֗ים בַּעֲדַ֥ת צַדִּיקִֽים׃
Therefore the wicked will not survive judgment, nor will sinners, in the assembly of the righteous.
Psalm 1:6 כִּֽי־יוֹדֵ֣עַ יְ֭הוָה דֶּ֣רֶךְ צַדִּיקִ֑ים וְדֶ֖רֶךְ רְשָׁעִ֣ים תֹּאבֵֽד׃
For the LORD cherishes the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked is doomed.
Blow Away (Psalm 1:4)
Blow Away, Blow Away
Lo Chen ha-Reshaim,
Blow Away Blow Away
Ki Eem Kamotz,
Blow Away Blow Away.
Asher Tidfenu Ruach.
Blow Away, Blow Away;
Like Chaff that Wind Blows Away,
Original Lyrics and Music by Rabbi Elizabeth Goldstein and Devorah Tucker-Fick.
Psalm 1:4 Not so the wicked; rather, they are like chaff that wind blows away. [Sefaria]
Hineni.Space posts brief daily offerings (Elul meditations, reflections, poetry, and melodies). There is a tradition to hear the shofar every day of the month of Elul and to recite the verses of Psalm 27.