Daily Tehillim - Psalms

Chapters 29-34

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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 29
The Name of God appears eighteen times in this psalm, corresponding to which our Sages established eighteen blessings-the Amidah. The entire psalm can be interpreted as referring to the giving of the Torah and the ingathering of the exiles.
1. A psalm by David. Render to the Lord, children of the mighty, render to the Lord honor and strength.
2. Render to the Lord the honor due to His Name; bow down to the Lord in resplendent holiness.
3. The voice of the Lord is over the waters, the God of glory thunders; the Lord is over mighty waters.
4. The voice of the Lord resounds with might; the voice of the Lord resounds with majesty.
5. The voice of the Lord breaks cedars; the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
6. He makes them leap like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox.
7. The voice of the Lord strikes flames of fire.
8. The voice of the Lord makes the desert tremble; the Lord causes the desert of Kadesh to tremble.
9. The voice of the Lord causes the does to calve, and strips the forests bare; and in His Sanctuary all proclaim His glory.
10. The Lord sat [as King] at the Flood; the Lord will sit as King forever.
11. The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.

Chapter 30
This psalm teaches one not to be distressed if God visits suffering upon him in this world, for only through suffering can one enter the World to Come. Even one of great spiritual stature should realize that his stability is not guaranteed, but that all is in the hands of God.
1. A psalm, a song of dedication of the House, by David.
2. I exalt You, Lord, for You have uplifted me, and did not allow my enemies to rejoice over me.
3. Lord, my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me.
4. Lord, You have brought up my soul from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not descend to the pit.
5. Sing to the Lord, you His pious ones, and praise His holy Name.
6. For His wrath endures but for a moment, when He is conciliated there is [long] life; when one retires at night weeping, joy will come in the morning.
7. In my security I thought, "I shall never falter.”
8. Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; when You concealed Your countenance I was alarmed.
9. I called to You, O Lord, and I made supplication to my Lord:
10. What profit is there in my death, in my going down to the grave? Can dust praise You? Can it proclaim Your truth
11. Lord, hear and be gracious to me; Lord, be a help to me.
12. You have turned my mourning into dancing; You have undone my sackcloth and girded me with joy.
13. Therefore my soul shall sing to You, and not be silent; Lord my God, I will praise You forever.

Chapter 31
Composed by a destitute and oppressed David, running from Saul while placing his trust in God, this psalm instructs man to put his trust in God alone.
1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David.
2. In You I have taken shelter, O Lord, I shall never be shamed; rescue me in Your righteousness.
3. Turn Your ear to me, save me quickly; be to me a rock of refuge, a fortress to deliver me.
4. For You are my rock and my fortress; for the sake of Your Name, direct me and lead me.
5. Remove me from the net they planted for me, for You are my stronghold.
6. I entrust my spirit into Your hand; You will redeem me, Lord, God of truth.
7. I despise those who anticipate worthless vanities; but I trust in the Lord.
8. I will rejoice and delight in Your kindness, for You have seen my affliction; You know the troubles of my soul.
9. You have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet on spacious ground.
10. Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye wastes away from vexation-my soul and my stomach.
11. For my life is spent in sorrow, my years in sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones are wasted away.
12. Because of my adversaries I have become a disgrace-exceedingly to my neighbors, and a dread to my friends; those who see me outside flee from me.
13. Like a dead man, I was forgotten from the heart; I became like a lost vessel.
14. For I have heard the slander of many, terror on every side, when they assembled together against me and plotted to take my life.
15. But I trusted in You, O Lord; I said, "You are my God.”
16. My times are in Your hand; save me from the hands of my enemies and pursuers.
17. Shine Your countenance upon Your servant; deliver me in Your kindness.
18. O Lord, let me not be ashamed, for I have called You; let the wicked be shamed, let them be silent to the grave.
19. Let the lips of falsehood-which speak insolently against the righteous, with arrogance and contempt-be struck dumb.
20. How abundant is Your good that You have hidden for those who fear You; in the presence of man, You have acted for those who take refuge in You.
21. Conceal them from the haughtiness of man, in the shelter of Your countenance; hide them in a shelter from the strife of tongues.
22. Blessed is the Lord, for He has been wondrous in His kindness to me in a besieged city.
23. I said in my panic, "I am cut off from before Your eyes!" But in truth, You heard the voice of my pleas when I cried to You.
24. Love the Lord, all His pious ones! The Lord preserves the faithful, and repays with exactness those who act haughtily.
25. Be strong and fortify your hearts, all who put their hope in the Lord!

Chapter 32
This psalm speaks of forgiveness of sin, and of the good fortune of one who repents and confesses to God wholeheartedly.
1. By David, a maskil.1Fortunate is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2. Fortunate is the man to whom the Lord does not reckon his sin, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3. When I was silent, my limbs wore away through my wailing all day long.
4. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my marrow became [dry] as the droughts of summer, Selah.
5. My sin I made known to You, my iniquity I did not cover. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," and You have forgiven the iniquity of my transgression forever.
6. For this let every pious man pray to You, at a time when You may be found; indeed, the flood of many waters will not reach him.
7. You are a refuge to me; protect me from distress; surround me with songs of deliverance forever.
8. I will enlighten you and educate you in the path you should go; I will advise you with what I have seen.
9. Be not like a horse, like a mule, senseless, that must be muzzled with bit and bridle when being adorned, so that it not come near you.
10. Many are the agonies of the wicked, but he who trusts in the Lord is surrounded by kindness.
11. Rejoice in the Lord and exult, you righteous ones! Sing joyously, all you upright of heart!

Footnotes
1.

A psalm intended to enlighten and impart knowledge(Metzudot).

Chapter 33
This psalm teaches the righteous and upright to praise God. For the more one knows of the Torah's wisdom, the more should he praise God, for he knows and understands His greatness.
1. Sing joyously to the Lord, you righteous ones; it is fitting for the upright to offer praise.
2. Extol the Lord with a harp; sing to Him with a ten-stringed lyre.
3. Sing to Him a new song; play well with sounds of jubilation.
4. For the word of the Lord is just; all His deeds are done in faithfulness.
5. He loves righteousness and justice; the kindness of the Lord fills the earth.
6. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their hosts.
7. He gathers the waters of the sea like a mound; He places the deep waters in vaults.
8. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world tremble before Him.
9. For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it endured.
10. The Lord has annulled the counsel of nations; He has foiled the schemes of peoples.
11. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the thoughts of His heart throughout all generations.
12. Fortunate is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He chose as a heritage for Himself.
13. The Lord looks down from heaven; He beholds all mankind.
14. From His dwelling-place He looks intently upon all the inhabitants of the earth.
15. It is He Who fashions the hearts of them all, Who perceives all their actions.
16. The king is not saved by a great army, nor a warrior rescued by great might.
17. The horse is a false guarantee for victory; with all its great strength it offers no escape.
18. But the eye of the Lord is directed toward those who fear Him, toward those who hope for His kindness,
19. to save their soul from death and to sustain them during famine.
20. Our soul yearns for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.
21. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, for we have put our trust in His Holy Name.
22. May Your kindness, Lord, be upon us, as we have placed our hope in You.

Chapter 34
This psalm tells of when David was in grave danger while at the palace of Achish, brother of Goliath. David acted like a madman, letting spittle run down his beard, and writing on the doors: "Achish, king of Gath, owes me one hundred thousand gold coins," leading Achish to eject him from the palace. In his joy, David composed this psalm in alphabetical sequence.
1. By David, when he feigned insanity before Avimelech,1 who then drove him away, and he left.
2. I bless the Lord at all times; His praise is always in my mouth.
3. My soul glories in the Lord; let the humble hear it and rejoice.
4. Exalt the Lord with me, and let us extol His Name together.
5. I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.
6. Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never humiliated.
7. This poor man called, and the Lord heard; He delivered him from all his tribulations.
8. The angel of the Lord camps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.
9. Taste and see that the Lord is good; fortunate is the man who trusts in Him.
10. Fear the Lord, you His holy ones, for those who fear Him suffer no want.
11. Young lions may want and hunger, but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.
12. Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
13. Who is the man who desires life, who loves long life wherein to see goodness?
14. Guard your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.
15. Turn away from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it.
16. The eyes of the Lord are directed toward the righteous, and His ears toward their cry.
17. The wrath of the Lord is upon the evildoers, to excise their memory from the earth.
18. But when they [repent and] cry out, the Lord hears, and saves them from all their troubles.
19. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted, and saves those with a crushed spirit.
20. Many are the afflictions of a righteous person, but the Lord rescues him from them all.
21. He protects all his bones; not one of them is broken.
22. Evil brings death upon the wicked, and the enemies of the righteous are condemned.
23. The Lord redeems the soul of His servants; all who take shelter in Him are not condemned.

Footnotes
1.

All Philistine kings are referred to by the name Avimelech (Rashi).

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 100, 101 and 102.
Chapter 100
This psalm inspires the hearts of those who suffer in this world. Let them, nevertheless, serve God with joy, for all is for their good, as in the verse: "He whom God loves does He chastise." The psalm also refers to the thanksgiving sacrifice-the only sacrifice to be offered in the Messianic era.
1. A psalm of thanksgiving. Let all the earth sing in jubilation to the Lord.
2. Serve the Lord with joy; come before Him with exultation.
3. Know that the Lord is God; He has made us and we are His, His people and the sheep of His pasture.
4. Enter His gates with gratitude, His courtyards with praise; give thanks to Him, bless His Name.
5. For the Lord is good; His kindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness is for all generations.
Chapter 101
This psalm speaks of David's secluding himself from others, and of his virtuous conduct even in his own home.
1. By David, a psalm. I will sing of [Your] kindness and justice; to You, O Lord, will I chant praise!
2. I will pay heed to the path of integrity-O when will it come to me? I shall walk with the innocence of my heart [even] within my house.
3. I shall not place an evil thing before my eyes; I despise the doing of wayward deeds, it does not cling to me.
4. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I shall not know evil.
5. He who slanders his fellow in secret, him will I cut down; one with haughty eyes and a lustful heart, him I cannot suffer.
6. My eyes are upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in the path of integrity, he shall minister to me.
7. He that practices deceit shall not dwell within my house; the speaker of lies shall have no place before my eyes.
8. Every morning I will cut down all the wicked of the land, to excise all evildoers from the city of the Lord.
Chapter 102
An awe-inspiring prayer for the exiled, and an appropriate prayer for anyone in distress.
1. A prayer of the poor man when he is faint [with affliction], and pours out his tale of woe before the Lord.
2. O Lord, hear my prayer, let my cry reach You!
3. Hide not Your face from me on the day of my distress; turn Your ear to me; on the day that I call, answer me quickly.
4. For my days have vanished with the smoke; my bones are dried up as a hearth.
5. Smitten like grass and withered is my heart, for I have forgotten to eat my bread.
6. From the voice of my sigh, my bone cleaves to my flesh.
7. I am like the bird of the wilderness; like the owl of the wasteland have I become.
8. In haste I fled; I was like a bird, alone on a roof.
9. All day my enemies disgrace me; those who ridicule me curse using my name.1
10. For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mixed my drink with tears,
11. because of Your anger and Your wrath-for You have raised me up, then cast me down.
12. My days are like the fleeting shadow; I wither away like the grass.
13. But You, Lord, will be enthroned forever, and Your remembrance is for all generations.
14. You will arise and have mercy on Zion, for it is time to be gracious to her; the appointed time has come.
15. For Your servants cherish her stones, and love her dust.
16. Then the nations will fear the Name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth Your glory,
17. when [they see that] the Lord has built Zion, He has appeared in His glory.
18. He turned to the entreaty of the prayerful, and did not despise their prayer.
19. Let this be written for the last generation, so that the newborn nation will praise the Lord.
20. For He looked down from His holy heights; from heaven, the Lord gazed upon the earth,
21. to hear the cry of the bound, to untie those who are doomed to die,
22. so that the Name of the Lord be declared in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem,
23. when nations and kingdoms will gather together to serve the Lord.
24. He weakened my strength on the way; He shortened my days.
25. I would say: "My God, do not remove me in the midst of my days! You Whose years endure through all generations.”
26. In the beginning You laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.
27. They will perish, but You will endure; all of them will wear out like a garment; You will exchange them like a robe, and they will vanish.
28. But You remain the same; Your years will not end.
29. The children of Your servants will abide; their seed shall be established before You.

Tehilllim Ohel Yoseph Yitzchok, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society.
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Daily Quote
"Although a fire descended from heaven upon the Altar, it is a mitzvah to add to it a humanly produced fire" (Talmud, Eruvin 63a, as per Leviticus 6). This rule applies to all areas of life: the gifts of life are bestowed upon us from Above, yet it is G-d's desire that we add to them the product of our own initiative
  –The Chassidic Masters
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