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Shabbat, 25 Elul 5774 / September 20, 2014
Today

Daily Tehillim - Psalms

Daily Tehillim - Psalms

Chapter 119, Verses 1-96

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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.
Verses 1-96
David composed this prominent psalm in alphabetical sequence-eight verses for each letter. Every verse contains one of the following words (referring to different aspects of Torah): Way; Torah; Testimony; Precept; Commandment; Statement (translated here as Word or Promise); Word; Judgement (or Laws); Righteousness; Statute. Replete with morals and prayers, this psalm should be recited daily, as a powerful preparation for the service of God. (In verses beginning with one of the letters of the mnemonic PeReTZ BeN DaMaH, the word "עדותיך" is pronounced "eidvotecha.")
1. Fortunate are those whose way is artless, who walk with the Torah of the Lord. 2. Fortunate are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with all their hearts. 3. Indeed, they have not done iniquity; they walk in His ways. 4. You have commanded Your precepts to be observed diligently. 5. My wish is that my ways be directed to keep Your statutes. 6. Then I will not be ashamed, when I behold all Your commandments. 7. I will give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgments. 8. I will keep Your statutes; do not utterly forsake me 9. How can a young man keep his way pure? By observing Your word. 10. With all my heart I have sought You; do not let me stray from Your commandments. 11. I have harbored Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You. 12. Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me Your statutes. 13. With my lips I have declared all the judgments of Your mouth. 14. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as I would with all riches. 15. I will speak of Your precepts, and gaze upon Your ways. 16. I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. 17. Deal kindly with Your servant, that I may live to keep Your word. 18. Unveil my eyes, that I may behold wonders from Your Torah. 19. I am a sojourner on earth; do not hide Your commandments from me. 20. My soul is crushed with a longing for Your judgments every moment. 21. You have rebuked the accursed scoffers, those who stray from Your commandments. 22. Remove insult and contempt from me, for I have kept Your testimonies. 23. Though princes sat and spoke against me, Your servant speaks of Your statutes. 24. Indeed, Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counsellors. 25. My soul cleaves to the dust; revive me in accordance with Your word. 26. I have spoken of my ways, and You answered me; teach me Your statutes. 27. Make me understand the way of Your precepts, and I will speak of Your wonders. 28. My soul drips away out of grief; sustain me according to Your word. 29. Remove from me the way of falsehood, and graciously endow me with Your Torah. 30. I have chosen the way of faith; Your judgments have I laid before me. 31. I held fast to Your testimonies, O Lord; put me not to shame. 32. I will run on the path of Your commandments, for You will broaden my heart. 33. Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I will keep it to the last. 34. Grant me understanding and I will keep Your Torah; I will observe it with all my heart. 35. Direct me in the path of Your commandments, for that is my desire. 36. Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to greed. 37. Avert my eyes from seeing vanity; by Your ways give me life. 38. Fulfill for Your servant Your promise, which brings to the fear of You. 39. Remove my shame which I fear, for Your judgments are good. 40. Behold, I have longed for Your precepts; give me life in Your righteousness. 41. And let Your kindness come to fruition for me, O Lord, Your salvation as You promised. 42. I will offer a retort to those who taunt me, for I trust in Your word. 43. Do not at all remove the word of truth from my mouth, for I hope [to fulfill] Your judgments. 44. I will keep Your Torah continually, for ever and ever. 45. And I will walk in spacious paths, for I seek Your precepts. 46. I will speak of Your testimonies before kings, and I will not be ashamed. 47. And I will delight in Your commandments, which I love. 48. I will lift up my hands to Your commandments, which I love, and I will speak of Your statutes. 49. Remember the word [promised] to Your servant, by which You gave me hope. 50. This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life. 51. [Though] the wicked ridicule me severely, I have not strayed from Your Torah. 52. When I remember Your judgments of old, O Lord, I take comfort. 53. Trembling seized me because of the wicked, those who forsake Your Torah. 54. Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my wanderings. 55. At night I remembered Your Name, O Lord, and I kept Your Torah. 56. All this came to me because I kept Your precepts. 57. The Lord is my portion; I pledged to keep Your words. 58. I pleaded before You with all my heart: have compassion upon me according to Your word. 59. I contemplated my ways, and returned my feet to Your testimonies. 60. I hurried and did not delay to keep Your commandments. 61. Bands of wicked men plundered me, [but] I did not forget Your Torah. 62. At midnight, I rise to thank You for Your righteous judgments. 63. I am a friend to all who fear You, and to those who keep Your precepts. 64. Your kindness, O Lord, fills the earth; teach me Your statutes. 65. You have dealt goodness to Your servant, O Lord, in accord with Your promise. 66. Teach me the goodness and wisdom of the [Torah's] reasons, for I believe in Your commandments. 67. Before I afflicted myself, I would blunder; but now I observe Your word. 68. You are good and benevolent; teach me Your statutes. 69. The wicked have smeared me with lies, [when in truth] I keep Your precepts with all my heart. 70. Their hearts grew thick as fat; but as for me, Your Torah is my delight. 71. It is for my good that I was afflicted, so that I might learn Your statutes. 72. The Torah of Your mouth is better for me than thousands in gold and silver. 73. Your hands have made me and prepared me; grant me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments. 74. Those who fear You will see me and rejoice, because I hoped in Your word. 75. I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are just; righteously have You afflicted me. 76. Let Your kindness be my comfort, as You promised to Your servant. 77. Let Your mercies come upon me, that I may live, for Your Torah is my delight. 78. Let the scoffers be shamed, for they have maligned me with falsehood; but I will meditate upon Your precepts. 79. May those who fear You return to me, and those who know Your testimonies. 80. May my heart be perfect in Your statutes, so that I not be shamed. 81. My soul longs for Your salvation; I hope for Your word. 82. My eyes long for Your promise, saying, "When will You comfort me?” 83. Though I became [dried out] like a wineskin in smoke, I did not forget Your statutes. 84. How many are the days of Your servant? When will You execute judgment upon my pursuers? 85. The wicked have dug pits for me, in violation of Your Torah. 86. All Your commandments teach truth, [yet] they pursue me with lies, help me! 87. They nearly consumed me upon the earth, but I did not forsake Your precepts. 88. As befits Your kindness, grant me life, and I will keep the testimony of Your mouth. 89. Forever, O Lord, Your word stands firm in the heavens. 90. Your faithfulness persists for all generations; You established the earth, and it stands. 91. They stand ready today [to execute] Your judgments, for all are Your servants. 92. Had Your Torah not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. 93. Never will I forget Your precepts, for through them You have sustained me. 94. I am Yours; save me, for I have sought Your precepts. 95. The wicked hope to destroy me, but I meditate upon Your testimonies. 96. To every goal I have seen a limit, but Your commandment is immensely broad.
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 73, 74 and 75.
Chapter 73
This psalm addresses the question of why the righteous suffer while the wicked prosper, and prays for an end to our long exile. Read, and you will find repose for your soul.
1. A psalm by Asaph. Truly God is good to Israel, to the pure of heart. 2. But as for me, my feet nearly strayed; in an instant my steps would have been swept aside. 3. For I envied the revelers when I saw the tranquility of the wicked. 4. For there are no bonds1 to their death, and their health is sound. 5. They have no part in the toil of men, nor are they afflicted like other mortals; 6. therefore they wear pride as a necklace; their bodies are enwrapped in violence. 7. Their eyes bulge from fat; they surpassed the fantasies of their heart. 8. They consume [others], and talk wickedly of oppression-from on high do they speak. 9. They set their mouths against Heaven, while their tongues walk upon the earth. 10. Therefore His people return here,2 and suck the full [cup of bitter] waters. 11. And they say, "How can it be that God knows? Is there knowledge in the Most High?” 12. Behold these are the wicked, and they are ever tranquil, they have gained much wealth. 13. Surely in vain have I purified my heart, and washed my hands in cleanliness; 14. for I was afflicted all day, and my rebuke came each morning. 15. Were I to say, "I shall tell it like it is," behold I would turn the generation of Your children to rebels. 16. And when I pondered to understand this, it was unjust in my eyes; 17. until I came to the sanctuaries of God, and perceived their end. 18. Only on slippery places do You set them, You cast them into darkness. 19. How they have become desolate in an instant! They came to an end, they were consumed by terrors, 20. like a dream upon awakening. O my Lord, disgrace their image in the city. 21. When my heart was in ferment, and my mind was sharpened, 22. I was a boor and did not understand, like an animal was I with You. 23. Yet I was always with You; You held my right hand. 24. Guide me with Your counsel, and afterward, receive me with honor. 25. Whom do I have in heaven [besides You]? And when I am with You I desire nothing on earth. 26. My flesh and my heart yearn; God is the rock of my heart and my portion forever. 27. For behold, all those who are far from You perish, You cut down all who stray from You. 28. But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have put my trust in my Lord, God, that I may recount all Your works.
Chapter 74
The psalmist mourns and weeps over all the synagogues and study halls that have been burned: the Philistines destroyed the Tabernacle of Shiloh; Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the first Temple. We have been in exile for so long, without seeing any signs of redemption! When will the redemption come? Read, and you will find lamentation and consolation.
1. A maskil1 by Asaph. Why, O God, have You abandoned us forever, does Your wrath fume against the sheep of Your pasture? 2. Remember Your congregation which You acquired long ago, the tribe of Your inheritance whom You redeemed [and brought to] Mount Zion, where You rested Your Presence. 3. Lift Your steps to inflict eternal ruin, because of all the evil done by the enemy in the Sanctuary. 4. Your foes roared in the midst of Your meeting place; they considered their omens to be [genuine] signs. 5. The axes in the thicket of trees2 were reckoned as bringing [an offering] to the Above. 6. And now, all her ornaments together are smashed by hammer and hatchet. 7. They set Your Sanctuary on fire; they desecrated the Abode of Your Name to the ground. 8. Their rulers thought together in their hearts; they burned all the meeting places of God in the land. 9. We have not seen our signs; there is no longer a prophet, and there is none among us who knows how long. 10. How long, O God, will the adversary disgrace, will the enemy blaspheme Your Name forever! 11. Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand? Cast it out from within Your bosom! 12. For God is my King from long ago, working salvations in the midst of the earth. 13. In Your might, You divided the sea; You shattered the heads of the sea-monsters on the waters. 14. You crushed the heads of the Leviathan,3 leaving him as food for the nation [wandering in] the wilderness. 15. You split [the rock, bringing forth] fountain and brook; You dried up mighty streams. 16. Yours is the day, the night is also Yours; You established the moon and the sun. 17. You set all the boundaries of the earth; summer and winter-You created them. 18. Remember this, how the enemy reviled the Lord, and the vile nation blasphemed Your Name. 19. Do not give the soul of Your turtledove to the wild beast; do not forget the life of Your poor forever. 20. Look to the covenant, for the dark places of the earth are filled with dens of violence. 21. Do not turn back the oppressed in disgrace; [then] the poor and needy will praise Your Name. 22. Arise, O God, champion Your cause; remember Your insults from the perverse all day long. 23. Forget not the voice of Your adversaries; the tumult of Your opponents ascends always.
Chapter 75
How great is Israel! During their holidays they do not engage in frivolity, but in song and praise, and the study of the holiday's laws. Also, when they proclaimed (at the giving of the Torah), "We will do and we will hear!" they allowed the world to remain in existence. This psalm also admonishes those who indulge in worldly pleasures and attribute their prosperity to their own efforts.
1. For the Conductor, a plea not to be destroyed. A psalm by Asaph, a song. 2. We gave thanks to You, O God, we gave thanks; and Your Name was near [when] they1 told of Your wonders. 3. When I choose the appointed time, I will judge with fairness. 4. When the earth and all its inhabitants were melting, I established its pillars forever. 5. I said to the perverse, "Do not pervert [Israel]," and to the wicked, "Do not raise your pride.” 6. Do not raise your pride heavenward, nor speak with an arrogant neck 7. For not from the east or the west, nor from the desert does greatness come. 8. For God is Judge; He humbles one, and elevates the other. 9. For there is a cup [of punishment] in the hand of the Lord, with strong wine of full mixture; He pours from this, and all the wicked of the earth will drink, draining even its dregs. 10. But as for me, I will tell of it forever; I will sing to the God of Jacob. 11. I will cut off all glory of the wicked, but the glory of the righteous will be raised up.

Tehilllim Ohel Yoseph Yitzchok, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society.
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