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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 10, 11 and 12.
Chapter 10
This psalm tells of the wicked one’s prosperity and his boasting of it, until he says: “There is neither law nor judge. God pays no attention to the actions of mere mortals.”
1. Why, O Lord, do You stand afar, do You hide Yourself in times of distress?
2. The wicked man in his arrogance pursues the poor; they are caught by the schemes they have contrived.
3. For the wicked man glories in the desire of his heart, and the robber boasts that he has scorned the Lord.
4. The wicked one in his insolence [thinks], “He does not avenge”; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
5. His ways always succeed; Your retribution is far removed from before him; he puffs at all his foes.
6. He says in his heart, “I shall not falter; for all generations no evil will befall me.”
7. His mouth is full of oaths, deceit and malice; mischief and iniquity are under his tongue.
8. He sits in ambush near open cities; in hidden places he murders the innocent; his eyes stealthily watch for the helpless.
9. He lurks in hiding like a lion in his lair; he lurks to seize the poor, then seizes the poor when he draws his net.
10. He crouches and stoops, then the helpless fall prey to his might.
11. He says in his heart, “God has forgotten, He conceals His countenance, He will never see.”
12. Arise, O Lord! O God, lift Your hand! Do not forget the lowly.
13. Why does the wicked man scorn God? Because he says in his heart, “You do not avenge.”
14. Indeed, You do see! For You behold the mischief and vexation. To recompense is in Your power; the helpless place their trust in You; You have [always] helped the orphan.
15. Break the strength of the wicked; then search for the wickedness of the evil one and You will not find it.
16. The Lord reigns for all eternity; the nations have vanished from His land.
17. Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; direct their hearts, let Your ear listen,
18. to bring justice to the orphan and the downtrodden, so that [the wicked] shall no longer crush the frail of the earth.
Chapter 11
This psalm declares that the suffering of the righteous one is for his own benefit, to cleanse him of his sins; whereas the wicked one is granted prosperity in this world-similar to the verse, "Wealth remains with its owner, to his detriment."
1. For the Conductor, by David. I have placed my trust in the Lord; [thus] how can you say of my soul, your mountain,1 that it flees like a bird?2
2. For behold, the wicked bend the bow, they have readied their arrow upon the bowstring, to shoot in darkness at the upright of heart.
3. They destroyed the foundations; 3 what [wrong] has the righteous man done?
4. The Lord is in His holy Sanctuary, the Lord's throne is in heaven, [yet] His eyes behold, His pupils probe [the deeds of] mankind.
5. The Lord tests the righteous, but He hates the wicked and the lover of violence.
6. He will rain down upon the wicked fiery coals and brimstone; a scorching wind will be their allotted portion.
7. For the Lord is righteous, He loves [the man of] righteous deeds; the upright will behold His countenance.
Chapter 12
This psalm admonishes informers, slanderers, and flatterers.
1. For the Conductor, upon the eight-stringed instrument, a psalm by David.
2. Help us, Lord, for the pious are no more; for the faithful have vanished from among men.
3. Men speak falsehood to one another; with flattering lips, with a duplicitous heart do they speak.
4. May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that speaks boastfully-
5. those who have said, "With our tongues we shall prevail, our lips are with us, who is master over us!”
6. Because of the plundering of the poor, because of the moaning of the needy, the Lord says, "Now I will arise!" "I will grant deliverance," He says to him.
7. The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in the finest earthen crucible, purified seven times.
8. May You, O Lord, watch over them; may You forever guard them from this generation,
9. [in which] the wicked walk on every side; when they are exalted it is a disgrace to mankind.

Tehilllim Ohel Yoseph Yitzchok, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society.
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Daily Quote
"And these are the generations of Isaac the son of Abraham; Abraham fathered Isaac" (Genesis 25:19). There are children who are embarrassed of their parents, and there are parents who are embarrassed by their children. With Abraham and Isaac it wasn't like that: Isaac prided himself in that he was "Isaac the son of Abraham," and Abraham prided himself in that "Abraham fathered Isaac"
  –Midrash Tanchuma
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