Psalm 23, which begins with the words “Mizmor leDavid” (“A song of David”), is arguably the most famous of all the Psalms. David composed this psalm while on the run from King Saul, who was intent on murdering him. Hiding in the dry Judean forest, and on the brink of death without food or drink, he was miraculously saved by G‑d, who nourished him with a taste of the World to Come. David gratefully burst out in song, describing the magnitude of his trust in G‑d.
Throughout the ages, in times of both sorrow and joy, millions of Jews gathered strength from these heartfelt words—words that comforted and uplifted them, and strengthened them.
A song of David. The L‑rd is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He causes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Even as I walk in 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 set a table before me in the presence of my adversaries; You anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.
May only goodness and kindness pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the L‑rd for length of days.
מִזְמור לְדָוִד ה׳ רֹעִי לֹא אֶחְסָר
בִּנְאוֹת דֶשֶׁא יֵרְבִּיצֵנִי, עַל-מֵי מְנֻחוֹת יְנַהֲלֵנִי
נַפְשִׁי יְשׁוֹבֵב, יַנְחֵנִי בְמַעְגְלֵי-צֶדֶק לְמֵעֵן שְׁמו
גַם כִּי-אֵלֵךְ בְּגֵיא צַלְמָוֶת לֹא-אִירָא רָע כִּי-אַתָּה עִמָדִי, שִׁבְטְךָ וּמִשְׁעַנְתֶּךָ הֵמָה יְנַחֲמֻנִי
תַּעֲרֹךְ לְפָנַי שֻׁלְחָן נֶגֶד צֹרְרָי, דִשַנְתָּ בַשֶמֶן רֹאשִי כּוֹסִי רְוָיָה
אַךְ, טוֹב וָחֶסֶד יִרְדְפוּנִי כָּל-יְמֵי חַיָי, וְשַׁבְתִּי בְּבֵית-ה׳ לְאֹרֶךְ יָמִים