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Daily Tehillim - Psalms

Chapters 23-28

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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 23
Psalm 23, written by King David, is a timeless testament to the rock-solid faith of the Jewish people in knowing that G‑d is always with us, protecting and guiding our path.
1. A psalm by David. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing.
2. He lays me down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters.
3. He revives my soul; He directs me in paths of righteousness for the sake of His Name.
4. Though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff-they will comfort me.
5. You will prepare a table for me before my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup is full.
6. Only goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the House of the Lord for many long years.

Chapter 24
If the fulfillment of one's prayer would result in the sanctification of God's Name, he should pray that God act for the sake of the holiness of His Name. One should also invoke the merit of his ancestors, for we know that "the righteous are greater in death than in life"
1. By David, a psalm. The earth and all therein is the Lord's; the world and its inhabitants.
2. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers.
3. Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord, and who may stand in His holy place?
4. He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not used My Name in vain or sworn falsely.
5. He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, and kindness from God, his deliverer.
6. Such is the generation of those who search for Him, [the children of] Jacob who seek Your countenance forever.
7. Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, eternal doors, so the glorious King may enter.
8. Who is the glorious King? The Lord, strong and mighty; the Lord, mighty in battle.
9. Lift up your heads, O gates; lift them up, eternal doors, so the glorious King may enter.
10. Who is the glorious King? The Lord of Hosts, He is the glorious King for all eternity.

Chapter 25
The verses in this psalm are arranged according to the alphabet, excluding the letters Bet, Vav, and Kuf, which together equal the numerical value of Gehenom (purgatory). One who recites this psalm daily will not see the face of purgatory.
1. By David. To You, Lord, I lift my soul.
2. My God, I have put my trust in You. May I not be put to shame; may my enemies not gloat over me.
3. Indeed, may all who hope in You not be put to shame; let those who act treacherously without reason be shamed.
4. O Lord, make Your ways known to me; teach me Your paths.
5. Train me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; I yearn for You all day.
6. O Lord, remember Your mercies and Your kindnesses, for they have existed for all time.
7. Do not recall the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; remember me in accordance with Your kindness, because of Your goodness, O Lord.
8. Good and upright is the Lord, therefore He directs sinners along the way.
9. He guides the humble with justice, and teaches the humble His way.
10. All the paths of the Lord are kindness and truth for those who observe His covenant and testimonies.
11. For the sake of Your Name, O Lord, pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
12. Whoever is a God-fearing man, him will He teach the path that he should choose.
13. His soul will abide in well-being, and his descendants will inherit the earth.
14. The secret of the Lord is to those who fear Him; He makes His covenant known to them.
15. My eyes are always turned to the Lord, for He releases my feet from the snare.
16. Turn to me and be compassionate to me, for I am alone and afflicted.
17. The sufferings of my heart have increased; deliver me from my hardships.
18. Behold my affliction and suffering, and forgive all my sins.
19. See how numerous my enemies have become; they hate me with a violent hatred.
20. Guard my soul and deliver me; may I not be put to shame, for I place my trust in You.
21. Let integrity and uprightness guard me, for my hope is in You.
22. Redeem Israel, O God, from all its afflictions.

Chapter 26
In this psalm King David inundates God with prayers and acts of piety, because he envies those who are his spiritual superiors, saying, "If only I were on their level of piety and virtue!"
1. By David. Judge me, O Lord, for in my innocence I have walked, and in the Lord I have trusted-I shall not falter.
2. Try me, O Lord, and test me; refine my mind and heart.
3. For Your kindness is before my eyes, and I have walked constantly in Your truth.
4. I did not sit with men of falsehood, and with hypocrites I will not mingle.
5. I detested the company of evildoers, and with the wicked I will not sit.
6. I wash my hands in purity, and circle Your altar, O Lord,
7. to give voice to thanks, and to recount all Your wonders.
8. I love the shelter of Your House, O Lord, and the place where Your glory resides.
9. Gather not in my soul with sinners, nor my life with men of bloodshed,
10. In whose hands are schemes, and whose right hand is filled with bribes.
11. But I walk in my innocence; redeem me and show me favor.
12. My foot stands on level ground; in assemblies I will bless the Lord.

Chapter 27
King David acknowledges and praises God, placing his trust in Him because of his victories in war. "Nevertheless, it is not wars that I desire, for I cannot gain perfection with them. Only one thing do I ask: to abide day and night in the study hall studying Torah, to gain perfection so that my soul may merit the life of the World to Come."
1. By David. The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life-whom shall I dread?
2. When evildoers approached me to devour my flesh, my oppressors and my foes, they stumbled and fell.
3. If an army were to beleaguer me, my heart would not fear; if war were to arise against me, in this I trust
1
4. One thing I have asked of the Lord, this I seek: that I may dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the pleasantness of the Lord, and to visit His Sanctuary.
5. For He will hide me in His tabernacle on a day of adversity; He will conceal me in the hidden places of His tent; He will lift me upon a rock.
6. And then my head will be raised above my enemies around me, and I will offer in His tabernacle sacrifices of jubilation; I will sing and chant to the Lord.
7. Lord, hear my voice as I call; be gracious to me and answer me.
8. In Your behalf my heart says, "Seek My countenance"; Your countenance, Lord, I seek.
9. Do not conceal Your countenance from me; do not cast aside Your servant in wrath. You have been my help; do not abandon me nor forsake me, God of my deliverance.
10. Though my father and mother have forsaken me, the Lord has taken me in.
11. Lord, teach me Your way and lead me in the path of righteousness, because of my watchful enemies.
12. Do not give me over to the will of my oppressors, for there have risen against me false witnesses, and they speak evil.
13. [They would have crushed me] had I not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
14. Hope in the Lord, be strong and let your heart be valiant, and hope in the Lord.

Footnotes
1.

I trust that “the lord is my light and salvation” etc. (Rashi)

Chapter 28
A prayer for every individual, entreating God to assist him in walking the good path, to prevent him from walking with the wicked doers of evil, and that He repay the wicked for their wickedness and the righteous for their righteousness.
1. By David. I call to You, O Lord; my Strength, do not be deaf to me; for should You be silent to me, I will be like those who descend to the pit.
2. Hear the sound of my pleas when I cry out to You, when I raise my hands toward Your holy Sanctuary.
3. Do not draw me along with the wicked, with evildoers who speak of peace with their companions, though evil is in their heart.
4. Give them according to their deeds, and the evil of their endeavors; give them according to their handiwork, render to them their just desserts.
5. For they pay no heed to the acts of the Lord, nor to the work of His hands; may He destroy them and not rebuild them.
6. Blessed is the Lord, for He has heard the voice of my pleas.
7. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusted and I was helped; my heart exulted, and with my song I praised Him.
8. The Lord is a strength to them; He is a stronghold of deliverance to His anointed.
9. Grant salvation to Your people and bless Your heritage; tend them and exalt them forever.

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 97, 98 and 99.
Chapter 97
1. When the Lord will reveal His kingship, the earth will exult; the multitudes of islands will rejoice.
2. Clouds and dense darkness will surround Him; justice and mercy will be the foundation of His throne.
3. Fire will go before Him and consume His foes all around.
4. His lightnings will illuminate the world; the earth will see and tremble.
5. The mountains will melt like wax before the Lord, before the Master of all the earth.
6. The heavens will declare His justice, and all the nations will behold His glory.
7. All who worship graven images, who take pride in idols, will be ashamed; all idol worshippers will prostrate themselves before Him.
8. Zion will hear and rejoice, the towns of Judah will exult, because of Your judgments, O Lord.
9. For You, Lord, transcend all the earth; You are exceedingly exalted above all the supernal beings.
10. You who love the Lord, hate evil; He watches over the souls of His pious ones, He saves them from the hand of the wicked.
11. Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.
12. Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, and extol His holy Name.
Chapter 98
This psalm describes how Israel will praise God for the Redemption.
1. A psalm. Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has performed wonders; His right hand and holy arm have wrought deliverance for Him.
2. The Lord has made known His salvation; He has revealed His justice before the eyes of the nations.
3. He has remembered His kindness and faithfulness to the House of Israel; all, from the farthest corners of the earth, witnessed the deliverance by our God.
4. Raise your voices in jubilation to the Lord, all the earth; burst into joyous song and chanting.
5. Sing to the Lord with a harp, with a harp and the sound of song.
6. With trumpets and the sound of the shofar, jubilate before the King, the Lord.
7. The sea and its fullness will roar in joy, the earth and its inhabitants.
8. The rivers will clap their hands, the mountains will sing together.
9. [They will rejoice] before the Lord, for He has come to judge the earth; He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with righteousness.
Chapter 99
This psalm refers to the wars of Gog and Magog, which will precede the Redemption.
1. When the Lord will reveal His kingship, the nations will tremble; the earth will quake before Him Who is enthroned upon the cherubim,
2. [before] the Lord Who is in Zion, Who is great and exalted above all the peoples.
3. They will extol Your Name which is great, awesome and holy.
4. And [they will praise] the might of the King Who loves justice. You have established uprightness; You have made [the laws of] justice and righteousness in Jacob.
5. Exalt the Lord our God, and bow down at His footstool; He is holy.
6. Moses and Aaron among His priests, and Samuel among those who invoke His Name, would call upon the Lord and He would answer them.
7. He would speak to them from a pillar of cloud; they observed His testimonies and the decrees which He gave them.
8. Lord our God, You have answered them; You were a forgiving God for their sake, yet bringing retribution for their own misdeeds.
9. Exalt the Lord our God, and bow down at His holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy.

Tehilllim Ohel Yoseph Yitzchok, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society.
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Daily Quote
If there is no Torah, there is no common decency; if there is no common decency, there is no Torah. If there is no wisdom, there is no fear of G-d; if there is no fear of G-d, there is no wisdom. If there is no applied knowledge, there is no analytical knowledge; if there is no analytical knowledge, there is no applied knowledge. If there is no flour, there is no Torah; if there is no Torah, there is no flour.
  –Ethics of the Fathers 3:17
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