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Daily Tehillim - Psalms

Chapters 135-139

Classes on Tehillim - Psalms
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Chapter 135
1. Praise the Lord! Praise the Name of the Lord; offer praise, you servants of the Lord-
2. who stand in the House of the Lord, in the courtyards of the House of our God.
3. Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing to His Name, for He is pleasant.
4. For God has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel as His beloved treasure.
5. For I know that the Lord is great, our Master is greater than all supernal beings.
6. All that the Lord desired He has done, in the heavens and on earth, in the seas and the depths.
7. He causes mists to rise from the ends of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain; He brings forth the wind from His vaults.
8. It was He who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, of man and beast.
9. He sent signs and wonders into the midst of Egypt, on Pharaoh and on all his servants.
10. It was He who struck down many nations, and slew mighty kings:
11. Sichon, king of the Amorites; Og, king of Bashan; and all the kingdoms of Canaan.
12. And He gave their lands as a heritage, a heritage to His people Israel.
13. Lord, Your Name is forever; Lord, Your remembrance is throughout all generations.
14. Indeed, the Lord will judge on behalf of His people, and have compassion on His servants.
15. The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the product of human hands.
16. They have a mouth, but cannot speak; they have eyes, but cannot see;
17. they have ears, but cannot hear; nor is there breath in their mouth.
18. Like them will their makers become-all who trust in them.
19. House of Israel, bless the Lord; House of Aaron, bless the Lord;
20. House of Levi, bless the Lord; you who fear the Lord, bless the Lord.
21. Blessed is the Lord from Zion, who dwells in Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!

Chapter 136
This psalm contains twenty-six verses, corresponding to the twenty-six generations between the creation of the world and the giving of the Torah.
1. Praise the Lord for He is good, for His kindness is forever.
2. Praise the God of the supernal beings, for His kindness is forever.
3. Praise the Master of the heavenly hosts, for His kindness is forever.
4. Who alone performs great wonders, for His kindness is forever.
5. Who makes the heavens with understanding, for His kindness is forever.
6. Who spreads forth the earth above the waters, for His kindness is forever.
7. Who makes the great lights, for His kindness is forever.
8. The sun to rule by day, for His kindness is forever.
9. The moon and stars to rule by night, for His kindness is forever.
10. Who struck Egypt through its firstborn, for His kindness is forever.
11. And brought Israel out of their midst, for His kindness is forever.
12. With a strong hand and with an outstretched arm, for His kindness is forever.
13. Who split the Sea of Reeds into sections, for His kindness is forever.
14. And brought Israel across it, for His kindness is forever.
15. And cast Pharaoh and his army into the Sea of Reeds, for His kindness is forever.
16. Who led His people through the desert, for His kindness is forever;
17. Who struck down great kings, for His kindness is forever.
18. And slew mighty kings, for His kindness is forever.
19. Sichon, king of the Amorites, for His kindness is forever.
20. And Og, king of Bashan, for His kindness is forever.
21. And gave their land as a heritage, for His kindness is forever.
22. A heritage to Israel His servant, for His kindness is forever.
23. Who remembered us in our humiliation, for His kindness is forever.
24. And redeemed us from our oppressors, for His kindness is forever.
25. Who gives food to all flesh, for His kindness is forever.
26. Praise the God of heaven, for His kindness is forever.

Chapter 137
Referring to the time of the destruction of the Temple, this psalm tells of when Nebuchadnezzar would ask the Levites to sing in captivity as they had in the Temple, to which they would reply, "How can we sing the song of God upon alien soil?" They were then comforted by Divine inspiration.
1. By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat and wept as we remembered Zion.
2. There, upon the willows, we hung our harps.
3. For there our captors demanded of us songs, and those who scorned us-rejoicing, [saying,] "Sing to us of the songs of Zion.”
4. How can we sing the song of the Lord on alien soil?
5. If I forget you, Jerusalem, let my right hand forget [its dexterity].
6. Let my tongue cleave to my palate if I will not remember you, if I will not bring to mind Jerusalem during my greatest joy!
7. Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites the day of [the destruction of] Jerusalem, when they said, "Raze it, raze it to its very foundation!”
8. O Babylon, who is destined to be laid waste, happy is he who will repay you in retribution for what you have inflicted on us.
9. Happy is he who will seize and crush your infants against the rock!

Chapter 138
David offers awesome praises to God for His kindness to him, and for fulfilling His promise to grant him kingship.
1. By David. I will thank You with all my heart, in the presence of princes I shall praise You.
2. I will bow toward Your Holy Sanctuary, and praise Your Name for Your kindness and for Your truth; for You have exalted Your word above all Your Names.
3. On the day that I called out You answered me, You emboldened me, [You put] strength in my soul.
4. Lord, all the kings of the land will give thanks to You when they hear the words of Your mouth.
5. And they will sing of the Lord's ways, for the glory of the Lord is great.
6. For though the Lord is exalted, He sees the lowly; the High One castigates from afar.
7. If I walk in the midst of distress, keep me alive; against the wrath of my enemies stretch out Your hand, and let Your right hand deliver me.
8. Lord, complete [Your kindness] on my behalf. Lord, Your kindness is forever, do not forsake the work of Your hands.

Chapter 139
A most prominent psalm that guides man in the ways of God as no other in all of the five books of Tehillim. Fortunate is he who recites it daily.
1. For the Conductor, by David, a psalm. O Lord, You have probed me, and You know.
2. You know my sitting down and my standing up; You perceive my thought from afar.
3. You encircle my going about and my lying down; You are familiar with all my paths.
4. For there was not yet a word on my tongue-and behold, Lord, You knew it all.
5. You have besieged me front and back, You have laid Your hand upon me.
6. Knowledge [to escape You] is beyond me; it is exalted, I cannot know it.
7. Where can I go [to escape] Your spirit? And where can I flee from Your presence?
8. If I ascend to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the grave, behold, You are there.
9. Were I to take up wings as the dawn and dwell in the furthest part of the sea,
10. there, too, Your hand would guide me; Your right hand would hold me.
11. Were I to say, "Surely the darkness will shadow me," then the night would be as light around me.
12. Even the darkness obscures nothing from You; and the night shines like the day-the darkness is as light.
13. For You created my mind; You covered me in my mother's womb.
14. I will thank You, for I was formed in an awesome and wondrous way; unfathomable are Your works, though my soul perceives much.
15. My essence was not hidden from You even while I was born in concealment, formed in the depths of the earth.
16. Your eyes beheld my raw form; all [happenings] are inscribed in Your book, even those to be formed in future days-to Him they are the same.
17. How precious are Your thoughts to me, O God! How overwhelming, [even] their beginnings!
18. Were I to count them, they would outnumber the sand, even if I were to remain awake and always with You.
19. O that You would slay the wicked, O God, and men of blood [to whom I say], "Depart from me!”
20. They exalt You for wicked schemes, Your enemies raise [You] for falsehood.
21. Indeed, I hate those who hate You, Lord; I contend with those who rise up against You.
22. I hate them with the utmost hatred; I regard them as my own enemies.
23. Search me, Lord, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts.
24. See if there is a vexing way in me, then lead me in the way of the world.

Tehillim Ohel Yoseph Yitzchok, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society.
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Daily Quote
How were the Ten Commandments given? Five on one tablet and five on a second tablet. This means that "Do not murder" corresponds to "I am G-d your G-d." What is this analogous to? To a king of flesh and blood who entered a country and put up portraits of himself, and made statues of himself, and minted coins with his image. After a while, the people of the country overturned his portraits, broke his statues and invalidated his coins, thereby reducing the image of the king. So, too, one who sheds blood reduces the image of the King, as it is written (Genesis 9:6): "One who spills a man's blood... for in the image of G-d He made man."
  –Midrash Mechilta
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