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Daily Tehillim - Psalms

Chapters 60-65

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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 60
This psalm tells of when Joab, David's general, came to Aram Naharayim for war and was asked by the people: "Are you not from the children of Jacob? What of the pact he made with Laban?" Not knowing what to answer, Joab asked the Sanhedrin. The psalm includes David's prayer for success in this war.
1. For the Conductor, on the shushan eidut. A michtam by David, to instruct,
2. when he battled with Aram Naharayim and Aram Tzovah, and Joab returned and smote Edom in the Valley of Salt, twelve thousand [men].
3. O God, You forsook us, You have breached us! You grew furious-restore us!
4. You made the earth quake, You split it apart-heal its fragments, for it totters!
5. You showed Your nation harshness, You gave us benumbing wine to drink.
6. [Now] give those who fear You a banner to raise themselves, for the sake of truth, Selah.
7. That Your beloved ones may be delivered, help with Your right hand and answer me.
8. God said with His Holy [Spirit] that I would exult; I would divide Shechem, and measure out the Valley of Succot.
9. Mine is Gilead, mine is Menasseh, and Ephraim is the stronghold of my head; Judah is my prince.
10. Moab is my washbasin, and upon Edom I will cast my shoe; for me, Philistia will sound a blast [of coronation].
11. Who will bring me into the fortified city? Who will lead me unto Edom?
12. Is it not You, God, Who has [until now] forsaken us, and did not go forth with our legions?
13. Grant us relief from the oppressor; futile is the salvation of man.
14. With God we will do valiantly, and He will trample our oppressors.

Chapter 61
David composed this prayer while fleeing from Saul. The object of all his thoughts and his entreaty is that God grant him long life-not for the sake of pursuing the pleasures of the world, but rather to serve God in awe, all of his days.
1. For the Conductor, on the neginat, by David.
2. Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer.
3. From the end of the earth I call to You, when my heart is faint [with trouble]: Lead me upon the rock that surpasses me!
4. For You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength in the face of the enemy.
5. I will dwell in Your tent forever; I will take refuge in the shelter of Your wings, Selah.
6. For You, God, heard my vows; You granted the inheritance of those who fear Your Name.
7. Add days to the days of the king; may his years equal those of every generation.
8. May he sit always before God; appoint kindness and truth to preserve him.
9. Thus will I sing the praise of Your Name forever, as I fulfill my vows each day.

Chapter 62
David prays for the downfall of his enemies. He also exhorts his generation that their faith should not rest in riches, telling them that the accumulation of wealth is utter futility.
1. For the Conductor, on the yedutun,1 a psalm by David.
2. To God alone does my soul hope; my salvation is from Him.
3. He alone is my rock and salvation, my stronghold; I shall not falter greatly.
4. Until when will you plot disaster for man? May you all be killed-like a leaning wall, a toppled fence.
5. Out of their arrogance alone they scheme to topple me, they favor falsehood; with their mouths they bless, and in their hearts they curse, Selah.
6. To God alone does my soul hope, for my hope is from Him.
7. He alone is my rock and salvation, my stronghold; I shall not falter.
8. My salvation and honor is upon God; the rock of my strength-my refuge is in God.
9. Trust in Him at all times, O nation, pour out your hearts before Him; God is a refuge for us forever.
10. Men are but vanity; people [but] transients. Were they to be raised upon the scale, they would be lighter than vanity.
11. Put not your trust in exploitation, nor place futile hope in robbery. If [corrupt] wealth flourishes, pay it no heed.
12. God spoke one thing, from which I perceived two: That strength belongs to God;
13. and that Yours, my Lord, is kindness. For You repay each man according to his deeds.

Footnotes
1.

A musical instrument (Metzudot).

Chapter 63
Hiding from Saul, and yearning to approach the place of the Holy Ark like one thirsting for water, David composed this prayer on his behalf and against his enemy.
1. A psalm by David, when he was in the Judean desert.
2. O God, You are my Almighty, I seek You! My soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You; [like one] in a desolate and dry land, without water,
3. so [I thirst] to see You in the Sanctuary, to behold Your might and glory.
4. For Your kindness is better than life; my lips shall praise You.
5. Thus will I bless you all my life, in Your Name I will raise my hands [in prayer].
6. As with fat and abundance my soul is sated, when my mouth offers praise with expressions of joy.
7. Indeed, I remember You upon my bed; during the watches of the night I meditate upon You.
8. For You were a help for me; I sing in the shadow of Your wings.
9. My soul cleaved to You; Your right hand supported me.
10. But they seek desolation for my soul; they will enter the depths of the earth.
11. They will drag them by the sword; they will be the portion of foxes.
12. And the king will rejoice in God, and all who swear by Him will take pride, when the mouths of liars are blocked up.

Chapter 64
The masters of homiletics interpret this psalm as alluding to Daniel, who was thrown into the lion's den. With divine inspiration, David foresaw the event and prayed for him. Daniel was a descendant of David, as can be inferred from God's statement to Hezekiah (himself of Davidic lineage), "And from your children, who will issue forth from you, they will take, and they (referring to, amongst others, Daniel) will be ministers in the palace of the king of Babylon."
1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David.
2. Hear my voice, O God, as I recount [my woes]; preserve my life from the terror of the enemy.
3. Shelter me from the schemes of the wicked, from the conspiracy of evildoers,
4. who have sharpened their tongue like the sword, aimed their arrow-a bitter word-
5. to shoot at the innocent from hidden places; suddenly they shoot at him, they are not afraid.
6. They encourage themselves in an evil thing, they speak of laying traps; they say: "Who will see them?”
7. They sought pretexts; [and when] they completed a diligent search, each man [kept the plot] inside, deep in the heart.
8. But God shot at them; [like] a sudden arrow were their blows.
9. Their own tongues caused them to stumble; all who see them shake their heads [derisively].
10. Then all men feared, and recounted the work of God; they perceived His deed.
11. Let the righteous one rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in Him, and let them take pride-all upright of heart.

Chapter 65
This psalm contains awe-inspiring and glorious praises to God, as well as entreaties and prayers concerning our sins. It declares it impossible to recount God's greatness, for who can recount His mighty acts? Hence, silence is His praise.
1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David, a song.
2. Silence is praise for You, O God [Who dwells in] Zion; and to You vows will be paid.
3. O Heeder of prayer, to You does all flesh come.
4. Matters of sin overwhelm me; You will pardon our transgressions.
5. Fortunate is [the nation] whom You choose and draw near, to dwell in Your courtyards; may we be sated with the goodness of Your House, with the holiness of Your Sanctuary.
6. Answer us with awesome deeds as befits Your righteousness, O God of our salvation, the security of all [who inhabit] the ends of the earth and distant seas.
7. With His strength He prepares [rain for] the mountains; He is girded with might.
8. He quiets the roar of the seas, the roar of their waves and the tumult of nations.
9. Those who inhabit the ends [of the earth] fear [You] because of Your signs; the emergences of morning and evening cause [man] to sing praise.
10. You remember the earth and water it, you enrich it abundantly [from] God's stream filled with water. You prepare their grain, for so do You prepare it.
11. You saturate its furrows, gratifying its legions; with showers You soften it and bless its growth.
12. You crown the year of Your goodness [with rain], and Your clouds drip abundance.
13. They drip on pastures of wilderness, and the hills gird themselves with joy.
14. The meadows don sheep, and the valleys cloak themselves with grain; they sound blasts, indeed they sing.

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 31, 32 and 33.
Chapter 31
Composed by a destitute and oppressed David, running from Saul while placing his trust in God, this psalm instructs man to put his trust in God alone.
1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David.
2. In You I have taken shelter, O Lord, I shall never be shamed; rescue me in Your righteousness.
3. Turn Your ear to me, save me quickly; be to me a rock of refuge, a fortress to deliver me.
4. For You are my rock and my fortress; for the sake of Your Name, direct me and lead me.
5. Remove me from the net they planted for me, for You are my stronghold.
6. I entrust my spirit into Your hand; You will redeem me, Lord, God of truth.
7. I despise those who anticipate worthless vanities; but I trust in the Lord.
8. I will rejoice and delight in Your kindness, for You have seen my affliction; You know the troubles of my soul.
9. You have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet on spacious ground.
10. Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye wastes away from vexation-my soul and my stomach.
11. For my life is spent in sorrow, my years in sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones are wasted away.
12. Because of my adversaries I have become a disgrace-exceedingly to my neighbors, and a dread to my friends; those who see me outside flee from me.
13. Like a dead man, I was forgotten from the heart; I became like a lost vessel.
14. For I have heard the slander of many, terror on every side, when they assembled together against me and plotted to take my life.
15. But I trusted in You, O Lord; I said, "You are my God.”
16. My times are in Your hand; save me from the hands of my enemies and pursuers.
17. Shine Your countenance upon Your servant; deliver me in Your kindness.
18. O Lord, let me not be ashamed, for I have called You; let the wicked be shamed, let them be silent to the grave.
19. Let the lips of falsehood-which speak insolently against the righteous, with arrogance and contempt-be struck dumb.
20. How abundant is Your good that You have hidden for those who fear You; in the presence of man, You have acted for those who take refuge in You.
21. Conceal them from the haughtiness of man, in the shelter of Your countenance; hide them in a shelter from the strife of tongues.
22. Blessed is the Lord, for He has been wondrous in His kindness to me in a besieged city.
23. I said in my panic, "I am cut off from before Your eyes!" But in truth, You heard the voice of my pleas when I cried to You.
24. Love the Lord, all His pious ones! The Lord preserves the faithful, and repays with exactness those who act haughtily.
25. Be strong and fortify your hearts, all who put their hope in the Lord!
Chapter 32
This psalm speaks of forgiveness of sin, and of the good fortune of one who repents and confesses to God wholeheartedly.
1. By David, a maskil.1Fortunate is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2. Fortunate is the man to whom the Lord does not reckon his sin, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3. When I was silent, my limbs wore away through my wailing all day long.
4. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my marrow became [dry] as the droughts of summer, Selah.
5. My sin I made known to You, my iniquity I did not cover. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," and You have forgiven the iniquity of my transgression forever.
6. For this let every pious man pray to You, at a time when You may be found; indeed, the flood of many waters will not reach him.
7. You are a refuge to me; protect me from distress; surround me with songs of deliverance forever.
8. I will enlighten you and educate you in the path you should go; I will advise you with what I have seen.
9. Be not like a horse, like a mule, senseless, that must be muzzled with bit and bridle when being adorned, so that it not come near you.
10. Many are the agonies of the wicked, but he who trusts in the Lord is surrounded by kindness.
11. Rejoice in the Lord and exult, you righteous ones! Sing joyously, all you upright of heart!
Chapter 33
This psalm teaches the righteous and upright to praise God. For the more one knows of the Torah's wisdom, the more should he praise God, for he knows and understands His greatness.
1. Sing joyously to the Lord, you righteous ones; it is fitting for the upright to offer praise.
2. Extol the Lord with a harp; sing to Him with a ten-stringed lyre.
3. Sing to Him a new song; play well with sounds of jubilation.
4. For the word of the Lord is just; all His deeds are done in faithfulness.
5. He loves righteousness and justice; the kindness of the Lord fills the earth.
6. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their hosts.
7. He gathers the waters of the sea like a mound; He places the deep waters in vaults.
8. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world tremble before Him.
9. For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it endured.
10. The Lord has annulled the counsel of nations; He has foiled the schemes of peoples.
11. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the thoughts of His heart throughout all generations.
12. Fortunate is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He chose as a heritage for Himself.
13. The Lord looks down from heaven; He beholds all mankind.
14. From His dwelling-place He looks intently upon all the inhabitants of the earth.
15. It is He Who fashions the hearts of them all, Who perceives all their actions.
16. The king is not saved by a great army, nor a warrior rescued by great might.
17. The horse is a false guarantee for victory; with all its great strength it offers no escape.
18. But the eye of the Lord is directed toward those who fear Him, toward those who hope for His kindness,
19. to save their soul from death and to sustain them during famine.
20. Our soul yearns for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.
21. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, for we have put our trust in His Holy Name.
22. May Your kindness, Lord, be upon us, as we have placed our hope in You.

Tehilllim Ohel Yoseph Yitzchok, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society.
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Daily Quote
"I will make your descendents like the dust of the earth" (Genesis 13:17). As the dust of the earth is everywhere, so, too, will the people of Israel be scattered from one end of the world to the other. As dust is treaded upon by all, so, too, will Israel be treaded upon by all. As dust erodes all metals while it itself lasts forever, so is it with Israel: all nations disintegrate, while they persist.
  –Midrash Rabbah
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