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Daily Tehillim - Psalms

Chapters 83-87

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 83
A prayer regarding the wars against Israel in the days of Jehoshaphat, when the nations plotted against Israel.
1. A song, a psalm by Asaph.
2. O God, do not be silent; do not be quiet and do not be still, O God.
3. For behold, Your enemies are in uproar, and those who hate You have raised their head.
4. They plot deviously against Your nation, and conspire against those sheltered by You.
5. They say, "Come, let us sever them from nationhood, and the name of Israel will be remembered no more.”
6. For they conspire with a unanimous heart, they made a covenant against You-
7. the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites,
8. Geval and Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre.
9. Assyria, too, joined with them, and became the strength of the sons of Lot, Selah.
10. Do to them as to Midian; as to Sisera and Yavin at the brook of Kishon,
11. who were destroyed at Ein Dor, and were as dung for the earth.
12. Make their nobles like Orev and Ze'ev, all their princes like Zevach and Tzalmuna,1
13. who said, "Let us inherit the dwellings of God for ourselves.”
14. My God, make them like whirling chaff, like straw before the wind.
15. As a fire consumes the forest, and a flame sets the mountains ablaze,
16. so pursue them with Your tempest and terrify them with Your storm.
17. Fill their faces with shame, and they will seek Your Name, O Lord.
18. Let them be shamed and terrified forever; let them be disgraced and perish.
19. And they will know that You, Whose Name is the Lord, are alone, Most High over all the earth.

Footnotes
1.

These were the Midianite leaders who were captured (see Judges 7:25)

Chapter 84
In this psalm of prayers and entreaties, the psalmist mourns bitterly over the destruction of Temple from the depths of his heart, and speaks of the many blessings that will be realized upon its restoration. Fortunate is the one who trusts it will be rebuilt, and does not despair in the face of this long exile.
1. For the Conductor, on the gittit,1 a psalm by the sons of Korach.
2. How beloved are Your dwellings, O Lord of Hosts!
3. My soul yearns, indeed it pines, for the courtyards of the Lord; my heart and my flesh [long to] sing to the living God.
4. Even the bird has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she lays her young on the [ruins of] Your altars, O Lord of Hosts, my King and my God.
5. Fortunate are those who dwell in Your House; they will yet praise You forever.
6. Fortunate is the man whose strength is in You; the paths [to the Temple] are in his heart.
7. For those who pass through the Valley of Thorns, He places wellsprings; their guide will be cloaked in blessings.2
8. They go from strength to strength; they will appear before God in Zion.
9. O Lord, God of Hosts, hear my prayer; listen, O God of Jacob, forever.
10. See our shield,3 O God, and look upon the face of Your anointed one.
11. For better one day in Your courtyards than a thousand [elsewhere]. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God, than dwell [in comfort] in the tents of wickedness.
12. For the Lord, God, is a sun and a shield; the Lord bestows favor and glory; He does not withhold goodness from those who walk in innocence.
13. O Lord of Hosts! Fortunate is the man who trusts in You.

Footnotes
1.

A musical instrument crafted in Gath (Metzudot).

2.

God provides water for the pilgrims to Jerusalem, leading them to bless their guides for choosing a water-laden route (Metzudot)

3.

Remember the Temple [and rebuild it](Metzudot).

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."

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 49, 50 and 51.
Chapter 49
This psalm is a strong message and inspiration for all, rich and poor alike, rebuking man for transgressions which, owing to habit, he no longer considers sinful; yet, these sins incriminate man on the Day of Judgement. The psalm speaks specifically to the wealthy, who rely not on God but on their wealth.
1. For the Conductor, by the sons of Korach, a psalm.
2. Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all you inhabitants of the world;
3. sons of common folk and sons of nobility, rich and poor alike.
4. My mouth speaks wisdom, and the thoughts of my heart are understanding.
5. I incline my ear to the parable; I will unravel my riddle upon the harp.
6. Why am I afraid in times of trouble? [Because] the sins I trod upon surround me.
7. There are those who rely on their wealth, who boast of their great riches.
8. Yet a man cannot redeem his brother, nor pay his ransom to God.
9. The redemption of their soul is too costly, and forever unattainable.
10. Can one live forever, never to see the grave?
11. Though he sees that wise men die, that the fool and the senseless both perish, leaving their wealth to others-
12. [nevertheless,] in their inner thoughts their houses will last forever, their dwellings for generation after generation; they have proclaimed their names throughout the lands.
13. But man will not repose in glory; he is likened to the silenced animals.
14. This is their way-their folly remains with them, and their descendants approve of their talk, Selah.
15. Like sheep, they are destined for the grave; death shall be their shepherd, and the upright will dominate them at morning; their form will rot in the grave, away from its abode.
16. But God will redeem my soul from the hands of the grave, for He will take me, Selah.
17. Do not fear when a man grows rich, when the glory of his house is increased;
18. for when he dies he will take nothing, his glory will not descend after him.
19. For he [alone] praises himself in his lifetime; but [all] will praise you if you better yourself.
20. He will come to the generation of his forefathers; they shall not see light for all eternity.
21. Man [can live] in glory but does not understand; he is likened to the silenced animals.

Chapter 50
This psalm speaks of many ethics and morals. The psalmist rebukes those who fail to repent humbly and modestly. He also admonishes those who do not practice that which they study, and merely appear to be righteous; they sin and cause others to sin.
1. A psalm by Asaph. Almighty God, the Lord, spoke and called to the earth, from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2. Out of Zion, the place of perfect beauty, God appeared.
3. Our God will come and not be silent; a fire will consume before Him, His surroundings are furiously turbulent.
4. He will call to the heavens above, and to the earth, to avenge His people:
5. "Gather to Me My pious ones, those who made a covenant with me over a sacrifice.”
6. Then the heavens declared His righteousness, for God is Judge forever.
7. Listen, my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against you-I am God your God.
8. Not for [the lack of] your sacrifices will I rebuke you, nor for [the lack of] your burnt offerings which ought to be continually before Me.
9. I do not take oxen from your house, nor goats from your pens;
10. for every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle of a thousand mountains.
11. I know every bird of the mountains, and the crawling creatures of the field are in My possession.
12. Were I hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and everything in it is mine.
13. Do I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
14. Offer confession as a sacrifice to God, and fulfill your vows to the Most High,
15. and call to Me on the day of distress; I will free you, and you will honor Me.
16. But to the wicked, God said, "What does it help you to discuss My laws, and bear My covenant upon your lips?
17. For you hate discipline, and throw My words behind you.
18. When you see a thief you run with him, and your lot is with adulterers.
19. You sent forth your mouth for evil, and attach your tongue to deceit.
20. You sit down to talk against your brother; your mother's son you defame.
21. You have done these things and I kept silent, so you imagine that I am like you-[but] I will rebuke you and lay it clearly before your eyes.
22. Understand this now, you who forget God, lest I tear you apart and there be none to save you.
23. He who offers a sacrifice of confession honors Me; and to him who sets right his way, I will show the deliverance of God."

Chapter 51
This psalm speaks of when Nathan the prophet went to David's palace, and rebuked him for his sin with Bathsheba. David then secluded himself with God, offering awe-inspiring prayers and begging forgiveness. Every person should recite this psalm for his sins and transgressions.
1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David,
2. when Nathan the prophet came to him after he had gone to Bathsheba.
3. Be gracious to me, O God, in keeping with Your kindness; in accordance with Your abounding compassion, erase my transgressions.
4. Cleanse me thoroughly of my wrongdoing, and purify me of my sin.
5. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
6. Against You alone have I sinned, and done that which is evil in Your eyes; [forgive me] so that You will be justified in Your verdict, vindicated in Your judgment.
7. Indeed, I was begotten in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
8. Indeed, You desire truth in the innermost parts; teach me the wisdom of concealed things.
9. Purge me with hyssop and I shall be pure; cleanse me and I shall be whiter than snow.
10. Let me hear [tidings of] joy and gladness; then the bones which You have shattered will rejoice.
11. Hide Your face from my sins, and erase all my trespasses.
12. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew within me an upright spirit.
13. Do not cast me out of Your presence, and do not take Your Spirit of Holiness away from me.
14. Restore to me the joy of Your deliverance, and uphold me with a spirit of magnanimity.
15. I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will return to You.
16. Save me from bloodguilt, O God, God of my deliverance; my tongue will sing Your righteousness.
17. My Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Your praise.
18. For You do not desire that I bring sacrifices, nor do You wish burnt offerings.
19. The offering [desirable] to God is a contrite spirit; a contrite and broken heart, God, You do not disdain.
20. In Your goodwill, bestow goodness upon Zion; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
21. Then will You desire sacrifices [offered in] righteousness, olah and other burnt offerings; then they will offer bullocks upon Your altar.

Tehilllim Ohel Yoseph Yitzchok, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society.
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Daily Quote
The heart of a wise man is on his right side
  –Ecclesiastes 10:2
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