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Daily Tehillim - Psalms

Chapters 35-38

Classes on Tehillim - Psalms
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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 35
This psalm is an awe-inspiring and wondrous prayer about David's enemies-that they be as chaff before the wind, chased by the angel of God. It also declares that everything comes about through God's help.
1. By David. Fight my antagonists, O Lord, battle those who battle against me.
2. Take hold of shield and armor and arise to help me.
3. Draw a spear, and bar the way before my pursuers; say to my soul, "I am your deliverance.”
4. Let those who seek my life be shamed and disgraced; let those who devise my harm retreat and be humiliated.
5. Let them be as chaff before the wind; let the angel of the Lord thrust them away.
6. Let their path be dark and slippery; let them be chased by the angel of the Lord.
7. For without cause have they laid their nets in the pit for me; without cause have they dug [pits] for my soul.
8. Let darkness come upon him unawares; let the very snare that he hid trap him, in darkness he will fall in it.
9. And my soul shall exult in the Lord, rejoice in His deliverance.
10. My entire being shall declare: Lord, who is like You? Who saves the poor from one stronger than he, the poor and the destitute from one who would rob him.
11. Corrupt witnesses rise up [against me], they demand of me things of which I do not know.
12. They repay me evil for good, death for my soul.
13. But I wore sackcloth when they were ill; I afflicted my soul with fasting. Let my prayer return upon my own bosom.
14. As if it were my friend, my brother, I went about; like a mother in mourning, I was bent over in gloom.
15. But when I limped, they rejoiced and gathered; the lowly gathered against me-even those whom I do not know; they laugh and cannot be quiet.
16. With flattery and scorn, for the sake of a meal,1 they gnash their teeth at me.
17. My Lord, how long will You look on? Restore my life from their darkness; from young lions, my soul.
18. I will thank You in a great congregation, amidst a mighty nation I will praise You.
19. Let not those who hate me without cause rejoice over me; [let not] those who despise me without reason wink their eye.
20. For they speak not of peace, rather they scheme deceitful matters against the broken of the land.
21. They opened their mouths wide against me, they said, "Aha! Aha! Our eyes have seen [his misfortune].”
22. You saw, Lord, be not silent; my Lord, be not distant from me.
23. Rouse and awaken Yourself to my judgement, to my cause, my God and my Lord.
24. Judge me according to your righteousness, Lord my God; let them not rejoice over me.
25. Let them not say in their hearts, "Aha! We have our desire!" Let them not say, "We have swallowed him!”
26. Let them be shamed and disgraced together, those who rejoice at my trouble; let them be clothed in shame and humiliation, those who raise themselves arrogantly over me.
27. Let those who desire my vindication sing joyously and be glad; let them say always, "Let the Lord be exalted, Who desires the peace of His servant.”
28. My tongue will speak of Your righteousness, Your praise, all day long.


These men flatter Saul in order to obtain free meals (Rashi).

Chapter 36
This psalm is a message to those who follow their evil inclination, that tells them, "Do not place the fear of God before you," and brings them to sin by beautifying evil deeds in their eyes. For so is his way: "He descends (to earth) and corrupts, then goes up (to the Heavenly Court) and prosecutes."
1. For the Conductor, by the servant of the Lord, by David.
2. [I think] in my heart: Sin says to the wicked, "There is none [who need place] the fear of God before his eyes.”
3. For Sin makes itself appealing to him, until his iniquity be found and he is hated.
4. The speech of his mouth is evil and deceit; he fails to reason, to improve.
5. On his bed he contemplates evil, he stands in a path that is not good; he does not despise evil.
6. O Lord, Your kindness is in the heavens; Your faithfulness is till the skies.
7. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, Your judgements extend to the great deep; man and beast You deliver, O Lord.
8. How precious is Your kindness, O God; man takes shelter in the shadow of Your wings.
9. They will be filled by the abundance of Your house; from the stream of Your Eden, You will give them to drink.
10. For the source of life is with You; in Your Light do we see light.
11. Extend Your kindness to those who know You, and Your righteousness to the upright of heart.
12. Let not the foot of the arrogant overtake me; let not the hand of the wicked drive me away.
13. There1 the doers of evil fell, thrust down, unable to rise.


In the very place they intended to persecute me (Metzudot).

Chapter 37
King David exhorts his generation not to be jealous of the prosperity of the wicked, for it may lead to falling into their ways. Rather, put your trust in God, conduct yourselves with integrity, and God will take care of everything.
1. By David. Do not compete with the wicked; do not envy doers of injustice.
2. For like grass they will be swiftly cut down; like green vegetation they will wither.
3. Trust in the Lord and do good; then will you abide in the land and be nourished by faith.
4. Delight in the Lord, and He will grant you the desires of your heart.
5. Cast your needs upon the Lord; rely on Him, and He will take care.
6. He will reveal your righteousness like the light, your justness like the high noon.
7. Depend on the Lord and hope in Him. Compete not with the prosperous, with the man who invents evil schemes.
8. Let go of anger, abandon rage; do not compete with [one who intends] only to harm.
9. For the evildoers will be cut down; but those who hope in the Lord, they will inherit the earth.
10. For soon the wicked one will not be; you will gaze at his place and he will be gone.
11. But the humble shall inherit the earth, and delight in abundant peace.
12. The wicked one plots against the righteous, and gnashes his teeth at him.
13. My Lord laughs at him, for He sees that his day will come.
14. The wicked have drawn a sword and bent their bow to fell the poor and destitute, to slaughter those of upright ways.
15. But their sword shall enter their own hearts, and their bows shall break.
16. Better the little of the righteous, than the abundant wealth of the wicked.
17. For the strength of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord supports the righteous.
18. The Lord appreciates the days of the innocent; their inheritance will last forever.
19. They will not be shamed in times of calamity, and in days of famine they will be satisfied.
20. For the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord are as fattened sheep: consumed, consumed in smoke.
21. The wicked man borrows and does not repay; but the righteous man is gracious and gives.
22. For those blessed by Him will inherit the earth, and those cursed by Him will be cut off.
23. The steps of man are directed by God; He desires his way.
24. When he totters he shall not be thrown down, for the Lord supports his hand.
25. I have been a youth, I have also aged; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his offspring begging bread.
26. All day he is kind and lends; his offspring are a blessing.
27. Turn away from evil and do good, and you will dwell [in peace] forever.
28. For the Lord loves justice, he will not abandon his pious ones-they are protected forever; but the offspring of the wicked are cut off.
29. The righteous shall inherit the earth and dwell upon it forever.
30. The mouth of the righteous one utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.
31. The Torah of his God is in his heart; his steps shall not falter.
32. The wicked one watches for the righteous man, and seeks to kill him.
33. But the Lord will not abandon him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.
34. Hope in the Lord and keep His way; then He will raise you high to inherit the earth. When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.
35. I saw a powerful wicked man, well-rooted like a vibrant, native tree.
36. Yet he vanished, behold he was gone; I searched for him, but he could not be found.
37. Watch the innocent, and observe the upright, for the future of such a man is peace.
38. But sinners shall be destroyed together; the future of the wicked is cut off.
39. The deliverance of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in time of distress.
40. The Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they have put their trust in Him.

Chapter 38
A prayer for every individual, bewailing the length of the exile. One who is in distress should recite this psalm, hence its introduction, "A psalm... to remind" (to remind us to recite it in times of distress). One can also derive many lessons from it.
1. A psalm by David, to remind.
2. O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger, nor chastise me in Your wrath.
3. For Your arrows have landed in me, Your hand descended upon me.
4. There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your rage, no peace in my bones because of my sin.
5. For my iniquities have flooded over my head; like a heavy load, they are too heavy for me.
6. My wounds are rotted; they reek because of my foolishness.
7. I am bent and extremely bowed; all day I go about in gloom.
8. My sides are inflamed; there is no soundness in my flesh.
9. I am weakened and extremely depressed; I howl from the moaning of my heart.
10. My Lord, all that I desire is before You; my sighing is not hidden from You.
11. My heart is engulfed, my strength has left me; the light of my eyes they, too, are not with me.
12. My friends and companions stand aloof from my affliction; my intimates stand afar.
13. The seekers of my life have laid traps; those who seek my harm speak destructiveness; they utter deceits all day long.
14. But I am like a deaf man, I do not hear; like a mute that does not open his mouth.
15. I was like a man that does not perceive, and in whose mouth there are no rebuttals.
16. Because for You, O Lord, I wait; You will answer, my Lord, my God.
17. For I said, "Lest they rejoice over me; when my foot falters they will gloat over me.”
18. For I am accustomed to limping, and my pain is constantly before me.
19. For I admit my iniquity; I worry because of my sin.
20. But my enemies abound with life; those who hate me without cause flourish.
21. Those who repay evil for good resent me for my pursuit of good.
22. Do not forsake me, O Lord; do not be distant from me, my God.
23. Hurry to my aid, O my Lord, my Salvation.

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 103, 104 and 105.
Chapter 103
David's prayer when he was ill, this psalm is an appropriate prayer on behalf of the sick, especially when offered by the sick person himself while his soul is yet in his body. He can then bless God from his depths, body and soul. Read, and find repose for your soul.
1. By David. Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all my being, His holy Name.
2. My soul, bless the Lord; forget not all His favors:
3. Who forgives all your sins, Who heals all your illnesses;
4. Who redeems your life from the grave, Who crowns you with kindness and mercy;
5. Who satisfies your mouth with goodness; like the eagle, your youth is renewed.
6. The Lord executes righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
7. He made His ways known to Moses, His deeds to the Children of Israel.
8. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and of great kindness.
9. He will not contend for eternity, nor harbor ill will forever.
10. He has not dealt with us according to our transgressions, nor requited us according to our sins.
11. For as high as heaven is above the earth, so has His kindness been mighty over those who fear Him.
12. As far as the east is from the west, so has He distanced our transgressions from us.
13. As a father has compassion on his children, so has the Lord had compassion on those who fear Him.
14. For He knows our nature; He is mindful that we are but dust.
15. As for man, his days are like grass; like a flower of the field, so he sprouts.
16. When a wind passes over him, he is gone; his place recognizes him no more.
17. But the kindness of the Lord is forever and ever upon those who fear Him, and His righteousness is [secured] for children's children,
18. to those who keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commands to do them.
19. The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingship has dominion over all.
20. Bless the Lord, you His angels who are mighty in strength, who do His bidding to obey the voice of His speech.
21. Bless the Lord, all His hosts, His servants who do His will.
22. Bless the Lord, all His works, in all the places of His dominion. My soul, bless the Lord!

Chapter 104
This psalm tells of the beauty of creation, describing that which was created on each of the six days of creation. It proclaims the awesomeness of God Who sustains it all-from the horns of the wild ox to the eggs of the louse.
1. My soul, bless the Lord! Lord my God, You are greatly exalted; You have garbed Yourself with majesty and splendor.
2. You enwrap [Yourself] with light as with a garment; You spread the heavens as a curtain.
3. He roofs His heavens with water; He makes the clouds His chariot, He moves [them] on the wings of the wind.
4. He makes the winds His messengers, the blazing fire His servants.
5. He established the earth on its foundations, that it shall never falter.
6. The depths covered it as a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.
7. At Your exhortation they fled; at the sound of Your thunder they rushed away.
8. They ascended mountains, they flowed down valleys, to the place which You have assigned for them.
9. You set a boundary which they may not cross, so that they should not return to engulf the earth.
10. He sends forth springs into streams; they flow between the mountains.
11. They give drink to all the beasts of the field; the wild animals quench their thirst.
12. The birds of the heavens dwell beside them; they raise their voice from among the foliage.
13. He irrigates the mountains from His clouds above; the earth is satiated from the fruit of Your works.
14. He makes grass grow for the cattle, and vegetation requiring the labor of man to bring forth food from the earth;
15. and wine that gladdens man's heart, oil that makes the face shine, and bread that sustains man's heart.
16. The trees of the Lord drink their fill, the cedars of Lebanon which He planted,
17. wherein birds build their nests; the stork has her home in the cypress.
18. The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the rabbits.
19. He made the moon to calculate the festivals; the sun knows its time of setting.
20. You bring on darkness and it is night, when all the beasts of the forest creep forth.
21. The young lions roar for prey, and seek their food from God.
22. When the sun rises, they return and lie down in their dens.
23. Then man goes out to his work, to his labor until evening.
24. How manifold are Your works, O Lord! You have made them all with wisdom; the earth is full of Your possessions.
25. This sea, vast and wide, where there are countless creeping creatures, living things small and great;
26. there ships travel, there is the Leviathan that You created to frolic therein.
27. They all look expectantly to You to give them their food at the proper time.
28. When You give it to them, they gather it; when You open Your hand, they are satiated with goodness.
29. When You conceal Your countenance, they are terrified; when You take back their spirit, they perish and return to their dust.
30. When You will send forth Your spirit they will be created anew, and You will renew the face of the earth.
31. May the glory of the Lord be forever; may the Lord find delight in His works.
32. He looks at the earth, and it trembles; He touches the mountains, and they smoke.
33. I will sing to the Lord with my soul; I will chant praise to my God with my [entire] being.
34. May my prayer be pleasant to Him; I will rejoice in the Lord.
35. May sinners cease from the earth, and the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord!

Chapter 105
When David brought the Holy Ark up to the City of David, he composed this psalm and sang it before the Ark. He recounts all the miracles that God performed for the Jews in Egypt: sending before them Joseph, who was imprisoned, only to be liberated by God, eventually attaining the status of one who could imprison the princes of Egypt without consulting Pharaoh.
1. Offer praise to the Lord, proclaim His Name; make His deeds known among the nations.
2. Sing to Him, chant praises to Him, speak of all His wonders.
3. Glory in His holy Name; may the heart of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
4. Search for the Lord and His might; seek His countenance always.
5. Remember the wonders that He has wrought, His miracles, and the judgements of His mouth.
6. O descendants of Abraham His servant, children of Jacob, His chosen ones:
7. He is the Lord our God; His judgements extend over the entire earth.
8. He remembers His covenant forever, the word which He has commanded to a thousand generations;
9. the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac.
10. He established it for Jacob as a statute, for Israel as an everlasting covenant,
11. stating, "To you I shall give the land of Canaan"-the portion of your inheritance,
12. when they were but few, very few, and strangers in it.
13. They wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people.
14. He permitted no one to wrong them, and admonished kings for their sake:
15. "Do not touch My anointed ones, and do not harm My prophets.”
16. He called for a famine upon the land; He broke every source of bread.
17. He sent a man before them; Joseph was sold as a slave.
18. They afflicted his foot with chains, his soul was put into iron;
19. until the time that His words came, the decree of the Lord purified him.
20. The king sent [word] and released him, the ruler of nations set him free.
21. He appointed him master of his house and ruler of all his possessions,
22. to imprison his princes at will, and to enlighten his elders.
23. Thus Israel came to Egypt, and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham (Egypt).
24. He multiplied His nation greatly, and made it mightier than its adversaries.
25. He turned their hearts to hate His nation, to conspire against His servants.
26. He sent Moses, His servant; Aaron, whom He had chosen.
27. They placed among them the words of His signs, miracles in the land of Ham.
28. He sent darkness and made it dark, and they did not defy His word.
29. He transformed their waters to blood, and killed their fish.
30. Their land swarmed with frogs in the chambers of their kings.
31. He spoke, and hordes of wild beasts came, and lice throughout their borders.
32. He turned their rains to hail, flaming fire in their land;
33. it struck their vine and fig tree, it broke the trees of their borders.
34. He spoke, and grasshoppers came, locusts without number;
35. and it consumed all grass in their land, it ate the fruit of their soil.
36. Then He smote every firstborn in their land, the first of all their potency.
37. And He took them out with silver and gold, and none among His tribes stumbled.
38. Egypt rejoiced at their leaving, for the fear [of Israel] had fallen upon them.
39. He spread out a cloud for shelter, and a fire to illuminate the night.
40. [Israel] asked, and He brought quail, and with the bread of heaven He satisfied them.
41. He opened a rock and waters flowed; they streamed through dry places like a river,
42. for He remembered His holy word to Abraham His servant.
43. And He brought out His nation with joy, His chosen ones with song.
44. He gave them the lands of nations, they inherited the toil of peoples,
45. so that they might keep His statutes and observe His laws. Praise the Lord!

Tehilllim Ohel Yoseph Yitzchok, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society.
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Daily Quote
The Torah is aquired through: ...close association with colleagues, sharp discussions with students, a good heart, being loved, loving G-d, loving His creatures, bearing the burden with one's fellow, judging him favorably, establishing him in the path of truth...
  –Ethics of the Fathers 6:6
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