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Tuesday, 7 Elul 5774 / September 2, 2014
Today

Daily Tehillim - Psalms

Daily Tehillim - Psalms

Chapters 39-43

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Special Custom for the Month of Elul and High Holidays
The Baal Shem Tov instituted a custom of reciting three additional chapters of Psalms each day, from the 1st of Elul until Yom Kippur (on Yom Kippur the remaining 36 chapters are recited, thereby completing the entire book of Psalms).
See below for today's additional chapters.
Chapter 39
David's prayer bewailing his suffering. But it is not suffering itself that pains him, rather he is saddened by its disturbing his Torah study. For man's days are few, "and if not now, when (will he study)?" for he may die, today or tomorrow. He therefore requests that his suffering be removed, to enable him to study Torah and acquire a place in the World to Come.
1. For the Conductor, for yedutun,1 a psalm by David. 2. I said that I would guard my ways from sinning with my tongue; I would guard my mouth with a muzzle, [even] while the wicked one is before me. 3. I became mute with stillness, I was silent [even] from the good, though my pain was crippling. 4. My heart grew hot within me, a fire blazed in my utterance, as I spoke with my tongue. 5. O Lord, let me know my end and what is the measure of my days, that I may know when I will cease. 6. Behold, like handbreadths You set my days; my lifetime is as naught before You. But all is futility, all mankind's existence, Selah. 7. Only in darkness does man walk, seeking only futility; he amasses riches and knows not who will reap them. 8. And now, what is my hope, my Lord? My longing is to You. 9. Rescue me from all my transgressions; do not make me the scorn of the degenerate. 10. I am mute, I do not open my mouth, for You have caused [my suffering]. 11. Remove Your affliction from me; I am devastated by the attack of Your hand. 12. In reproach for sin You chastened man; like a moth, You wore away that which is precious to him. All mankind is nothing but futility, forever. 13. Hear my prayer, O Lord, listen to my cry; do not be silent to my tears, for I am a stranger with You, a sojourner like all my forefathers. 14. Turn from me, that I may recover my strength, before I depart and I am no more.
Chapter 40
The psalmist speaks of the numerous wonders that God wrought for the Jewish people, asking: "Who can articulate His might? I would relate and speak of them, but they are too numerous to recount!" He created the world and split the sea for the sake of Israel, [yet] He desires no sacrifices, only that we listen to His voice.
1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David. 2. I put my hope in the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. 3. He raised me from the turbulent pit, from the slimy mud, and set my feet upon a rock, steadying my steps. 4. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn to our God; multitudes will see and fear, and will trust in the Lord. 5. Fortunate is the man who has made the Lord his trust, and did not turn to the haughty, nor to those who stray after falsehood. 6. You have done much, O You, Lord my God-Your wonders and thoughts are for us; none can compare to You; should I relate or speak of them, they are too numerous to recount! 7. You desired neither sacrifice nor meal-offering, but [obedient] ears You opened for me; You requested neither burnt-offering nor sin-offering. 8. Then I said, "Behold, I come with a Scroll of the Book written for me."1 9. I desire to fulfill Your will, my God; and Your Torah is in my innards. 10. I proclaimed [Your] righteousness in a vast congregation; behold I will not restrain my lips-O Lord, You know! 11. I did not conceal Your righteousness within my heart; I declared Your faithfulness and deliverance; I did not hide Your kindness and truth from the vast congregation. 12. May You, Lord, not withhold Your mercies from me; may Your kindness and truth constantly guard me. 13. For countless evils surround me; my sins have overtaken me and I cannot see; they outnumber the hairs of my head, and my heart has abandoned me. 14. May it please You, Lord, to save me; O Lord, hurry to my aid. 15. Let those who seek my life, to end it, be shamed and humiliated together; let those who desire my harm retreat and be disgraced. 16. Let those who say about me, "Aha! Aha!" be desolate, in return for their shaming [me]. 17. Let all those who seek You exult and rejoice in You; let those who love Your deliverance always say, "Be exalted, O Lord!” 18. As for me, I am poor and needy; my Lord will think of me. You are my help and my rescuer; my God, do not delay!
Chapter 41
This psalm teaches many good character traits, and inspires one to be thoughtful and conscientious in giving charity-knowing to whom to give first. Fortunate is he who is thoughtful of the sick one, providing him with his needs.
1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David. 2. Fortunate is he who is thoughtful of the poor, [for] the Lord will save him on the day of evil. 3. The Lord will guard him and keep him alive; he will be praised throughout the land; You will not deliver him to the desires of his enemies. 4. The Lord will support him on the bed of illness; You will turn him over in his bed all throughout his sickness. 5. I said, "Lord, be gracious to me! Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You!” 6. My foes say that evil [awaits] me: "When will he die, and his name perish?” 7. And if one comes to see [me], he speaks insincerely, for his heart gathers iniquity for himself, and when he goes out he speaks of it. 8. Together they whisper against me-all my enemies; against me they devise my harm, [saying]: 9. "Let his wickedness pour into him; now that he lies down, he shall rise no more.” 10. Even my ally in whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has raised his heel over me. 11. But you, Lord, be gracious to me and raise me up, and I will repay them. 12. With this I shall know that You desire me, when my enemies will not shout gleefully over me. 13. And I, because of my integrity, You upheld me; You set me before You forever. 14. Blessed is the Lord, the God of Israel, to all eternity, Amen and Amen.
Chapter 42
This psalm awakens the hearts of the Children of Israel who do not feel the immense ruin, loss, and bad fortune in their being exiled from their Father's table. Were they wise, they would appreciate their past good fortune in coming thrice yearly, with joy and great awe, to behold God during the festivals, free of adversary and harm. May God place mercy before us from now to eternity, Amen Selah.
1. For the Conductor, a maskil1 by the sons of Korach. 2. As the deer cries longingly for brooks of water, so my soul cries longingly for You, O God! 3. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When will I come and behold the countenance of God? 4. My tears have been my bread day and night, when they say to me all day, "Where is your God?” 5. These do I recall, and pour out my soul from within me: how I traveled [to Jerusalem] in covered wagons; I would walk leisurely with them up to the House of God, amid the sound of rejoicing and thanksgiving, the celebrating multitude. 6. Why are you downcast, my soul, and why do you wail within me? Hope to God, for I will yet thank Him for the deliverances of His countenance. 7. My God! My soul is downcast upon me, because I remember You from the land of Jordan and Hermon's peaks, from Mount Mitzar.2 8. Deep calls to deep3 at the roar of Your channels; all Your breakers and waves have swept over me. 9. By day the Lord ordains His kindness, and at night His song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. 10. I say to God, my rock, "Why have You forgotten me? Why must I walk in gloom under the oppression of the enemy?” 11. Like a sword in my bones, my adversaries disgrace me, when they say to me all day, "Where is your God?” 12. Why are you downcast, my soul, and why do you wail within me? Hope to God, for I will yet thank Him; He is my deliverance, [the light of] my countenance, and my God.
Chapter 43
A significant prayer concerning the magnitude of the troubles we have suffered at the hands of the impious nations. May it be God's will to send Moshiach and Elijah the Prophet, who will lead us to the Holy Temple to offer sacrifices as in days of old.
1. Avenge me, O God, and champion my cause against an impious nation; rescue me from the man of deceit and iniquity. 2. For You are the God of my strength; why have You abandoned me? Why must I walk in gloom under the oppression of the enemy? 3. Send Your light and Your truth, they will guide me; they will bring me to Your holy mountain and to your sanctuaries. 4. Then I will come to the altar of God-to God, the joy of my delight-and praise You on the lyre, O God, my God. 5. Why are you downcast, my soul, and why do you wail within me? Hope to God, for I will yet thank Him; He is my deliverance, [the light of] my countenance, and my God.
Additional Three Chapters
The Baal Shem Tov instituted a custom of reciting three additional chapters of Psalms each day, from the 1st of Elul until Yom Kippur (on Yom Kippur the remaining 36 chapters are recited, thereby completing the entire book of Psalms).
Today's Chapters are 19, 20 and 21.
Chapter 19
To behold God's might one should look to the heavens, to the sun, and to the Torah, from which awesome miracles and wonders can be perceived--wonders that lead the creations to tell of God's glory.
1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David. 2. The heavens recount the glory of the Almighty; the sky proclaims His handiwork. 3. Day to day speech streams forth; night to night expresses knowledge. 4. There is no utterance, there are no words; their voice is inaudible. 5. Their arc extends throughout the world; their message to the end of the earth. He set in them [the heavens] a tent for the sun, 6. which is like a groom coming forth from his bridal canopy, like a strong man rejoicing to run the course. 7. Its rising is at one end of the heavens, and its orbit encompasses the other ends; nothing is hidden from its heat. 8. The Torah of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, making wise the simpleton. 9. The precepts of the Lord are just, rejoicing the heart; the command of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes. 10. The fear of the Lord is pure, abiding forever; the judgments of the Lord are true, they are all righteous together. 11. They are more desirable than gold, than much fine gold; sweeter than honey or the drippings of honeycomb. 12. Indeed, Your servant is scrupulous with them; in observing them there is abundant reward. 13. Yet who can discern inadvertent wrongs? Purge me of hidden sins. 14. Also hold back Your servant from willful sins; let them not prevail over me; then I will be unblemished and keep myself clean of gross transgression. 15. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable before You, Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer.
Chapter 20
If a loved one or relative is suffering-even in a distant place, where one is unable to help-offer this prayer on their behalf.

1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David. 2. May the Lord answer you on the day of distress; may the Name of the God of Jacob fortify you. 3. May He send your help from the Sanctuary, and support you from Zion. 4. May He remember all your offerings, and always accept favorably your sacrifices. 5. May He grant you your heart's desire, and fulfill your every counsel. 6. We will rejoice in your deliverance, and raise our banners in the name of our God; may the Lord fulfill all your wishes. 7. Now I know that the Lord has delivered His anointed one, answering him from His holy heavens with the mighty saving power of His right hand. 8. Some [rely] upon chariots and some upon horses, but we [rely upon and] invoke the Name of the Lord our God. 9. They bend and fall, but we rise and stand firm. 10. Lord, deliver us; may the King answer us on the day we call.


Chapter 21
One who is endowed with prosperity, and whose every desire is granted, ought not be ungrateful. He should praise and thank God, recognize Him as the cause of his prosperity, and trust in Him. For everything comes from the kindness of the One Above.
1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David. 2. The king rejoices in Your strength, Lord; how greatly he exults in Your deliverance! 3. You have given him his heart's desire, and You have never withheld the utterance of his lips. 4. You preceded him with blessings of good; You placed a crown of pure gold on his head. 5. He asked of You life, You gave it to him-long life, forever and ever. 6. His glory is great in Your deliverance; You have placed majesty and splendor upon him. 7. For You make him a blessing forever; You gladden him with the joy of Your countenance. 8. For the king trusts in the Lord, and in the kindness of the Most High-that he will not falter. 9. Your hand will suffice for all Your enemies; Your right hand will find those who hate You. 10. You will make them as a fiery furnace at the time of Your anger. May the Lord consume them in His wrath; let a fire devour them. 11. Destroy their offspring from the earth, their descendants from mankind. 12. For they intended evil against You, they devised evil plans which they cannot execute. 13. For You will set them as a portion apart; with Your bowstring You will aim at their faces. 14. Be exalted, O Lord, in Your strength; we will sing and chant the praise of Your might.

Tehilllim Ohel Yoseph Yitzchok, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society.
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  –Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak of Lubavitch
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