Kitzur Tefilat Amecha #26

[adapted for middle-schoolers by Rabbi Shmuel Jablon from Rav Aviner's three-volume commentary on the siddur "Tefilat Amecha"]

We have already learned that one of the things that makes Ashrei so special and important is that it’s in Alef-Bet order. But as everyone knows, none of the verses begins with the letter Nun. The Gemara in Berachot says that this is because Nun is the letter of "Nefilah" – falling - and David Ha-Melech didn’t want to begin one of his verses with this idea. Even though there are other words that start with Nun, there is this very strong connection to this idea in the next verse and David wanted to stay away from it. In the verse which begins with Samech, we say "Hashem supports all those who have fallen and strengthens those who are bent." But what did David Ha-Melech really accomplish by this self censorship?
The truth is he accomplished a lot. He wanted to say things in the nicest possible way. He didn’t want to focus on the Jewish People falling, which is negative and can cause people to give up. He wanted to focus on the fact that Hashem lifts up those who are fallen. This is a beautiful description of Hashem and gives us hope. Hashem will make everything wonderful for Klal Yisrael. David’s focus on the nicest way of saying things teaches us an important lesson that we should also always find the nicest way.