First Blast: Text
חֲזַק וְיַאֲמֵץ לִבֶּךָ וְקַוֵּה אֶל-ה'
Be strong and let your heart take courage, and hope for the Lord.
Second Blast: Commentary
This psalm ends with the same admonition that God gives to Joshua as the people stand to enter the land of Israel: “Be strong and courageous, for you shall apportion to this people the land that I swore to their ancestors to assign to them. But you must be very strong and courageous to observe faithfully all of the Torah that My servant Moses enjoined upon you” (Joshua 1:6-7). Like the people, we now stand on the precipice of a new journey this upcoming year represents, and we wish for ourselves and our communities all of the strength and courage necessary for growth and success.
Third Blast: Practice
Many Ashkenazi communities have a custom, when completing the end of the liturgical reading of one of the books of the Torah, to shout out: חֲזַק חֲזַק וְנִתְחַזֵּק (hazak hazak v’nithazeik), which means “be strong, be strong and let us be strengthened.” As our month-long study of Psalm 27 draws to a close, say this phrase aloud to wish yourself and your community the strength you will need for the coming year.