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Daily Tehillim - Psalms

Chapters 140-150

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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 140
David composed this psalm against his slanderers, especially the chief conspirator Doeg. Anyone confronted by slanderers should recite this psalm.
1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David.
2. Rescue me from the evil man, protect me from the man of violence,
3. who devise evil schemes in their heart; every day they gather for wars.
4. They sharpen their tongues like a serpent; the spider's venom is forever under their lips.
5. Guard me, Lord, from the hands of the wicked, protect me from the man of violence-those who plot to cause my steps to slip.
6. Arrogant ones have hidden a snare for me, and ropes; they spread a net by my path, they set traps for me continually.
7. I said to the Lord, "You are my God!" Listen, O Lord, to the voice of my pleas.
8. God, my Lord, the strength of my deliverance, You sheltered my head on the day of armed battle.
9. Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked; fulfill not his scheme, make it unattainable forever.
10. As for the head of my besiegers, let the deceit of their own lips bury them.
11. Let burning coals fall upon them; let it cast them down into the fire, into deep pits, never to rise again.
12. Let not the slanderous man be established in the land; let the evil of the man of violence trap him until he is overthrown.
13. I know that the Lord will execute judgement for the poor, justice for the needy.
14. Indeed, the righteous will extol Your Name; the upright will dwell in Your presence.

Chapter 141
This psalm teaches an important lesson: One should pray for Divine assistance that his mouth not speak that which is not in his heart. The gatekeeper only allows the gate to be opened for a purpose; let it be the same with one's lips.
1. A psalm by David. O Lord, I have called You, hasten to me; listen to my voice when I call to You.
2. Let my prayer be set forth as incense before You, the raising of my hands as an afternoon offering.
3. O Lord, place a guard for my mouth, keep watch over the door of my lips.
4. Do not incline my heart to a bad thing-to perform deeds in wickedness, with men, doers of evil; let me not partake of their delicacies.
5. Let the righteous one strike me with kindness and let him rebuke me; like the finest oil, let my head not refuse it. For as long [as I live], my prayer is [to preserve me] from their harm.
6. For their judges have slipped because of their [hearts of] rock, though they heard my words and they were pleasant.
7. As one who chops and splinters [wood] on the ground, so have our bones been scattered to the mouth of the grave.
8. For to You, God, my Lord, are my eyes; in You I take shelter; do not pour out my soul.
9. Protect me from the hands of the snare they laid for me, and from the traps of the evildoers.
10. Let the wicked fall into their own nets together, until I pass over.

Chapter 142
David composed this psalm while hiding from Saul in a cave, at which time he had cut off the corner of Saul's garment (to prove that he was able to kill him but did not wish to do so). He declared, "Where can I turn, and where can I run? All I have is to cry out to You!"
1. A maskil1 by David, when he was in the cave, a prayer.
2. With my voice I will cry out to the Lord; with my voice I will call to the Lord in supplication.
3. I will pour out my plea before Him; I will declare my distress in His presence.
4. When my spirit is faint within me, You know my path. In the way in which I walk, they have hidden a snare for me.
5. Look to my right and see, there is none that will know me; every escape is lost to me. No man cares for my soul.
6. I cried out to You, O Lord; I said, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
7. Listen to my song of prayer, for I have been brought very low. Deliver me from my pursuers, for they are too mighty for me.
8. Release my soul from confinement, so that it may acknowledge Your Name. Because of me, the righteous will crown [You] when You will deal graciously with me.

Footnotes
1.

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

Chapter 143
1. A psalm by David. O Lord, hear my prayer, lend Your ear to my supplications. With Your faithfulness answer me, and with Your righteousness.
2. Do not enter into judgment with Your servant, for no living being would be vindicated before You.
3. For the enemy has pursued my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has set me down in dark places, like those who are eternally dead.
4. Then my spirit became faint within me; my heart was dismayed within me.
5. I remembered the days of old; I meditated on all Your deeds; I spoke of Your handiwork.
6. I spread out my hands to You; like a languishing land my soul yearns after You, Selah.
7. Answer me soon, O Lord, my spirit is spent; hide not Your face from me, lest I become like those who descend into the pit.
8. Let me hear Your kindness in the morning, for have I trusted in You. Let me know the way in which I should walk, for to You I have lifted my soul.
9. Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord. I have concealed [my troubles from all, save] You.
10. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. Let Your good spirit lead me in an even path.
11. For the sake of Your Name, O Lord, give me life; in Your righteousness, take my soul out of distress.
12. And in Your kindness, cut off my enemies and obliterate all those who oppress my soul, for I am Your servant.

Chapter 144
After triumphing in all his wars, David composed this psalm in praise of God.
1. By David. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock, Who trains my hands for battle and my fingers for war.
2. My source of kindness and my fortress, my high tower and my rescuer, my shield, in Whom I take refuge; it is He Who makes my people submit to me.
3. O Lord, what is man that You have recognized him; the son of a mortal, that You are mindful of him?
4. Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.
5. O Lord, incline Your heavens and descend; touch the mountains and they will become vapor.
6. Flash one bolt of lightning and You will scatter them; send out Your arrows and You will confound them.
7. Stretch forth Your hands from on high, rescue me and deliver me out of many waters, from the hand of strangers,
8. whose mouth speaks deceit and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
9. God, I will sing a new song to You, I will play to You upon a harp of ten strings.
10. He who gives victory to kings, He will rescue David, His servant, from the evil sword.
11. Rescue me and deliver me from the hand of strangers, whose mouth speaks deceit and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
12. For our sons are like plants, brought up to manliness in their youth; our daughters are like cornerstones, fashioned after the fashion of a palace.
13. Our storehouses are full, overflowing with all manner of food; our sheep increase by the thousands, growing by the tens of thousands in our open fields.
14. Our leaders bear the heaviest burden; there is none who break through, nor is there bad report, nor outcry in our streets.
15. Happy is the nation for whom this is so. Happy is that nation whose God is the Lord.

Chapter 145
One who recites this psalm three times daily with absolute concentration is guaranteed a portion in the World to Come. Because of its prominence, this psalm was composed in alphabetical sequence.
1. A psalm of praise by David: I will exalt You, my God the King, and bless Your Name forever.
2. Every day I will bless You, and extol Your Name forever.
3. The Lord is great and exceedingly exalted; there is no limit to His greatness.
4. One generation to another will laud Your works, and tell of Your mighty acts.
5. I will speak of the splendor of Your glorious majesty and of Your wondrous deeds.
6. They will proclaim the might of Your awesome acts, and I will recount Your greatness.
7. They will express the remembrance of Your abounding goodness, and sing of Your righteousness.
8. The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and of great kindness.
9. The Lord is good to all, and His mercies extend over all His works.
10. Lord, all Your works will give thanks to You, and Your pious ones will bless You.
11. They will declare the glory of Your kingdom, and tell of Your strength,
12. to make known to men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of His kingdom.
13. Your kingship is a kingship over all worlds, and Your dominion is throughout all generations.
14. The Lord supports all who fall, and straightens all who are bent.
15. The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food at the proper time.
16. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17. The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and benevolent in all His deeds.
18. The Lord is close to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.
19. He fulfills the desire of those who fear Him, hears their cry and delivers them.
20. The Lord watches over all who love Him, and will destroy all the wicked.
21. My mouth will utter the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless His holy Name forever.

Chapter 146
This psalm inspires man to repent and perform good deeds while still alive. Let him not rely on mortals who are unable to help themselves, and who may suddenly pass on. Rather, one should put his trust in God, Who is capable of carrying out all He desires.
1. Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul.
2. I will sing to the Lord with my soul; I will chant praises to my God while I yet exist.
3. Do not place your trust in nobles, nor in mortal man who has not the ability to bring deliverance.
4. When his spirit departs, he returns to his earth; on that very day, his plans come to naught.
5. Fortunate is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope rests upon the Lord his God.
6. He makes the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them; He keeps His promise faithfully forever.
7. He renders justice to the oppressed; He gives food to the hungry; the Lord releases those who are bound.
8. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; the Lord straightens those who are bowed; the Lord loves the righteous.
9. The Lord watches over the strangers; He gives strength to orphan and widow; He thwarts the way of the wicked.
10. The Lord shall reign forever, your God, O Zion, throughout all generations. Praise the Lord!

Chapter 147
This psalm recounts God's greatness, and His kindness and goodness to His creations.
1. Praise the Lord! Sing to our God for He is good; praise befits Him for He is pleasant.
2. The Lord is the rebuilder of Jerusalem; He will gather the banished of Israel.
3. He heals the broken-hearted, and bandages their wounds.
4. He counts the number of the stars; He gives a name to each of them.
5. Great is our Master and abounding in might; His understanding is beyond reckoning.
6. The Lord strengthens the humble; He casts the wicked to the ground.
7. Lift your voices to the Lord in gratitude; sing to our God with the harp.
8. He covers the heaven with clouds; He prepares rain for the earth, and makes grass grow upon the mountains.
9. He gives the animal its food, to the young ravens which cry to Him.
10. He does not desire [those who place their trust in] the strength of the horse, nor does He want those who rely upon the thighs [swiftness] of man.
11. He desires those who fear Him, those who long for His kindness.
12. Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; Zion, extol your God.
13. For He has strengthened the bolts of your gates; He has blessed your children in your midst.
14. He has made peace within your borders; He satiates you with the finest of wheat.
15. He issues His command to the earth; swiftly does His word run.
16. He dispenses snow like fleece; He scatters frost like ashes.
17. He hurls His ice like morsels; who can withstand His cold?
18. He sends forth His word and melts them; He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow.
19. He tells His words [Torah] to Jacob, His statutes and ordinances to Israel.
20. He has not done so for other nations, and they do not know [His] ordinances. Praise the Lord!

Chapter 148
The psalmist inspires one to praise God for His creations-above and below-all of which exist by God's might alone.
1. Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise Him in the celestial heights.
2. Praise Him, all His angels; praise Him, all His hosts.
3. Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all the shining stars.
4. Praise Him, hea-ven of heavens, and the waters that are above the heavens.
5. Let them praise the Name of the Lord, for He comman-ded and they were created.
6. He has established them forever, for all time; He issued a decree, and it shall not be transgressed.
7. Praise the Lord from the earth, sea-monsters and all [that dwell in] the depths;
8. fire and hail, snow and vapor, stormy wind carrying out His command;
9. the mountains and all hills, fruit-bearing trees and all cedars;
10. the beasts and all cattle, creeping things and winged fowl;
11. kings of the earth and all nations, rulers and all judges of the land;
12. young men as well as maidens, elders with young lads.
13. Let them praise the Name of the Lord, for His Name is sublime, to Himself; its radiance [alone] is upon earth and heaven.
14. He shall raise the glory of His people, [increase] the praise of all His pious ones, the Children of Israel, the people close to Him. Praise the Lord!

Chapter 149
1. Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, [recount] His praise in the assembly of the pious.
2. Israel will rejoice in its Maker; the children of Zion will delight in their King.
3. They will praise His Name with dancing; they will sing to Him with the drum and harp.
4. For the Lord desires His people; He will adorn the humble with salvation.
5. The pious will exult in glory; they will sing upon their beds.
6. The exaltation of God is in their throat, and a double-edged sword in their hand,
7. to bring retribution upon the nations, punishment upon the peoples;
8. to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with iron fetters;
9. to execute upon them the prescribed judgment; it shall be a glory for all His pious ones. Praise the Lord!

Chapter 150
This psalm contains thirteen praises, alluding to the Thirteen Attributes (of Mercy) with which God conducts the world.
1. Praise the Lord! Praise God in His holiness; praise Him in the firmament of His strength.
2. Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to His abundant greatness.
3. Praise Him with the call of the shofar; praise Him with harp and lyre.
4. Praise Him with timbrel and dance; praise Him with stringed instruments and flute.
5. Praise Him with resounding cymbals; praise Him with clanging cymbals.
6. Let every soul praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!

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 85, 86 and 87.
Chapter 85
In this prayer, lamenting the long and bitter exile, the psalmist asks why this exile is longer than the previous ones, and implores God to quickly fulfill His promise to redeem us. Every individual should offer this psalm when in distress.
1. For the Conductor, a psalm by the sons of Korach.
2. O Lord, You favored Your land; You returned the captives of Jacob.
3. You forgave the iniquity of Your people, and covered all their sin forever.
4. You withdrew all Your fury, and retreated from Your fierce anger.
5. Return us, O God of our salvation, and annul Your anger toward us.
6. Will You forever be angry with us? Will You draw out Your anger over all generations?
7. Is it not true that You will revive us again, and Your people will rejoice in You?
8. Show us Your kindness, O Lord, and grant us Your deliverance.
9. I hear what the Almighty Lord will say; for He speaks peace to His nation and to His pious ones, and they will not return to folly.
10. Indeed, His deliverance is near those who fear Him, that [His] glory may dwell in the land.
11. Kindness and truth have met; righteousness and peace have kissed.
12. Truth will sprout from the earth, and righteousness will peer from heaven.
13. The Lord, too, will bestow goodness, and our land will yield its produce.
14. Righteousness shall walk before him, and he shall set his footsteps in [its] path.
Chapter 86
This psalm contains many prayers regarding David's troubles, and his enemies Doeg and Achitophel. It also includes many descriptions of God's praise. Every individual can offer this psalm when in distress.
1. A prayer by David. Lord, turn Your ear, answer me, for I am poor and needy.
2. Guard my soul, for I am pious; You, my God, deliver Your servant who trusts in You.
3. Be gracious to me, my Lord, for to You I call all day.
4. Bring joy to the soul of Your servant, for to You, my Lord, I lift my soul.
5. For You, my Lord, are good and forgiving, and exceedingly kind to all who call upon You.
6. Lord, hear my prayer and listen to the voice of my supplications.
7. On the day of my distress I call upon You, for You will answer me.
8. There is none like You among the supernal beings, my Lord, and there are no deeds like Yours.
9. All the nations that You have made will come and bow down before You, my Lord, and give honor to Your Name,
10. for You are great and perform wonders, You alone, O God.
11. Lord, teach me Your way that I may walk in Your truth; unify my heart to fear Your Name.
12. I will praise You, my Lord, my God, with all my heart, and give honor to Your Name forever.
13. For Your kindness to me has been great; You have saved my soul from the depth of the grave.
14. O God, malicious men have risen against me; a band of ruthless men has sought my soul; they are not mindful of You.
15. But You, my Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in kindness and truth.
16. Turn to me and be gracious to me; grant Your strength to Your servant, and deliver the son of Your maidservant.
17. Show me a sign of favor, that my foes may see and be shamed, because You, Lord, have given me aid and consoled me.
Chapter 87
Composed to be sung in the Holy Temple, this psalm praises the glory of Jerusalem, a city that produces many great scholars, eminent personalities, and persons of good deeds. It also speaks of the good that will occur in the Messianic era.
1. By the sons of Korach, a psalm, a song devoted to the holy mountains [of Zion and Jerusalem].
2. The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.
3. Glorious things are spoken of you, eternal city of God.
4. I will remind Rahav Egypt and Babylon concerning My beloved; Philistia and Tyre as well as Ethiopia, "This one was born there.”
5. And to Zion will be said, "This person and that was born there"; and He, the Most High, will establish it.
6. The Lord will count in the register of people, "This one was born there," Selah.
7. Singers as well as dancers [will sing your praise and say], "All my inner thoughts are of you."

Tehilllim Ohel Yoseph Yitzchok, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society.
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Daily Quote
Old age is a virtue and a blessing...It is true that a 20-year-old can dance the night away while his grandmother tires after a few minutes. But man was not created to dance for hours on end. Man was created to make life on earth purer, brighter and holier than it was before he came on the scene... In this regard, a person's value and productivity only increases with age... The instition of "retirement", which pushes millions of men and women to the sidelines of society each year, is a tragic waste of human life and resources.
  –The Lubavitcher Rebbe
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