in Psalm 27, we say achat sh'alti . . .l'vakair b'haichalo. What is l'vakair?' I know it means 'to visit' as in bikur chilim'. But is there more than that p'shat?

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    No sources, but I've seen the interpretation that when you first visit a place you are very impressed by everything. Later on, you get used to things and don't feel the same awe. Thus, David is expressing the wish to live in g-d's halls his whole life, but still have the same impression/awe as someone who is merely visiting
    – Nic
    Aug 27, 2015 at 18:31
  • Explaining the motivation for this question would improve it greatly. Also, explaining the information you already have would help other readers of the question and potential answerers. How do you know it means "to visit"? How do you know that's what the word means in the phrase "bikur cholim"?
    – WAF
    Aug 4, 2017 at 11:06
  • It's been a while since I answered this question, but I'm re-reading your question. While, indeed, לבקר does mean "to visit", this may be a "Modern" Hebrew translation. I'd have to check its Biblical usage. Bikur cholim is used colloquially to mean "visiting the ill", however, a rav a while ago explained that in terms of the actual mitzvah it means "to investigate the ill". I.e., you're checking up on their health and status via making the visit. If you're coming merely for the purpose of saying, "Hi", you're not fulfilling the mitzvah. Just showing that your analogy may not be optimal.
    – DanF
    May 22, 2018 at 22:07

1 Answer 1


Two possible explanations, according to Rash"i's commentary (who, BTW, cites 2 others - so it's not his own idea :-):

Rashi on Psalms 27:4:1:

ולבקר בהיכלו . ליראות שם בכל בקר ובקר כך פירשו דונש , ומנחם חברו עם לא יבקר בין טוב לרע ( ויקרא כ"ו ) , אבל דונש פתר לשון בוקר :

My partial translation & expansion of Rash"i:

To be seen daily (i.e. from the word בוקר meaning "morning"). This is Dunash"s explanation. But Menachem, connected it to the term used in *Vayikra 27:(verse 33): 'He shall not inquire about it being good or bad'"

(My comment about it meaning "investigate" goes according to Menachem.)


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