I remember as a child in the liberal summer camp I attended, that some people were quite vocal about their refusal to recite a specific passage in bentching (Grace after Meals) because they felt it was unjust, that it was offensive to starving people (this was during the famine in Ethiopia and/or when it was in recent memory). When everyone else sang it, they would be silent. Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks explains this verse in a very different way in The Koren-Sacks Siddur (p. 993):
נער הייתי וגם זקנתי ולא ראיתי צדיק נעזב וזרעו מבקש לחםOnce I was young, and now I am old, yet I have never watched a righteous man forsaken or his children begging for bread.The standard translation of this verse (Psalm 37:25) is "I was young and now am old and I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children searching for bread." I have translated it here according to a fine insight, author unknown, suggesting that the verb ra'iti should be understood in the sense in which it appears in the Book of Esther...
Click here to read moreI have translated it here according to a fine insight, author unknown, suggesting that the verb ra'iti should be understood in the sense in which it appears in the Book of Esther, when Esther, pleading on behalf of Jewry, says: "For how can I watch the evil that shall come unto my people? Or how can I watch the destruction ofmy kindred?" (8:6) The verb there means "stand as a passive witness to."
Taken in this sense, Psalm 37:25 should be understood as, "When the righteous was forsaken or his children forced to search for bread, I never merely stood and watched." Understood thus, it is a warning against being a mere bystander while other people suffer. It thus brings the Grace to a symmetrical close: It began by speakiug of God's goodness in feeding the hungry and ends with an injunction for us to do likewise. This too is part of "walking in God's ways."