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Book 1

Book 1

Chapters 1-41

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This psalm inspires man to study Torah and avoid sin. One who follows this path is assured of success in all his deeds, whereas the plight of the wicked is the reverse.
This psalm warns against trying to outwit the ways of God. It also instructs one who has reason to rejoice, to tremble—lest his sins cause his joy to be overturned.
When punishment befalls man, let him not be upset by his chastisement, for perhaps--considering his sins—he is deserving of worse, and God is in fact dealing kindly with him.
This psalm exhorts man not to shame his fellow, and to neither speak nor listen to gossip and slander. Envy not the prosperity of the wicked in this world, rather rejoice and say: “If it is so for those who anger Him . . . [how much better it will be for those who serve Him!”]
A prayer for every individual, requesting that the wicked perish for their deeds, and the righteous rejoice for their good deeds.
This is an awe-inspiring prayer for one who is ill, to pray that God heal him, body and soul. An ailing person who offers this prayer devoutly and with a broken heart is assured that God will accept his prayer.
Do not rejoice if God causes your enemy to suffer—just as the suffering of the righteous is not pleasant. David, therefore, defends himself intensely before God, maintaining that he did not actively harm Saul. In fact, Saul precipitated his own harm, while David’s intentions were only for the good.
This psalm is a glorious praise to God for His kindness to the lowly and mortal human in giving the Torah to the inhabitants of the lower worlds, arousing the envy of the celestial angels. This idea is expressed in the Yom Kippur prayer, “Though Your mighty strength is in the angels above, You desire praise from those formed of lowly matter.”
One should praise God for saving him from the hand of the enemy who stands over and agonizes him, and for His judging each person according to his deeds: the righteous according to their righteousness, and the wicked according to their wickedness.
This psalm tells of the wicked one’s prosperity and his boasting of it, until he says: “There is neither law nor judge. God pays no attention to the actions of mere mortals.”
This psalm declares that the suffering of the righteous one is for his own benefit, to cleanse him of his sins; whereas the wicked one is granted prosperity in this world-similar to the verse, "Wealth remains with its owner, to his detriment."
This psalm admonishes informers, slanderers, and flatterers.
A prayer for an end to the long exile. One in distress should offer this prayer for his troubles and for the length of the exile.
This psalm speaks of the destruction of the two Holy Temples-the first by Nebuchadnezzar, and the second by Titus.
This psalm speaks of several virtues and attributes with which one should conduct oneself. He is then assured that his soul will rest in Gan Eden.
When one is in need, he should not implore God in his own merit, for he must leave his merits for his children.
A loftily person should not ask God to test him with some sinful matter, or other things. If one has sinned, he should see to reform himself, and to save many others from sin.
If one merits a public miracle, he should offer a song to God, including in his song all the miracles that have occurred since the day the world was created, as well as the good that God wrought for Israel at the giving of the Torah. And he should say: "He Who has performed these miracles, may He do with me likewise."
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.
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.
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