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Daily Tehillim - Psalms

Chapters 66-68

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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 66
This psalm describes the praises and awe-inspiring prayers that we will offer God upon the ingathering of the exiles.
1. For the Conductor, a song, a psalm. Raise your voices in jubilation to God, all the earth!
2. Sing the glory of His Name; make glorious His praise.
3. Say to God, "How awesome are Your deeds!" Because of Your great strength, Your enemies will [admit] their treachery to You.
4. All the earth will bow to You, and sing to You; they will sing praise to Your Name forever!
5. Go and see the works of God, awesome in His deeds toward mankind.
6. He turned the sea into dry land, and they passed through the river on foot; we rejoiced in Him there.
7. He rules the world with His might, and His eyes watch the nations; let the rebellious not exalt themselves, Selah.
8. Bless our God, O nations, and let the voice of His praise be heard.
9. He has kept us alive, and did not allow our feet to falter.
10. For You tested us, O God; You refined us as one refining silver.
11. You brought us into prison; You placed a chain upon our loins.
12. You mounted men over our head; we went through fire and water, and You brought us out to abundance.
13. I will enter Your House with burnt-offerings, I will pay to You my vows,
14. which my lips uttered and my mouth spoke in my distress.
15. I will offer up to You burnt-offerings of fat animals, with the smoke of rams; I will prepare cattle with he-goats, Selah.
16. Come listen, all you who fear God, and I will relate what He has done for my soul.
17. I called to Him with my mouth, with exaltation beneath my tongue.
18. Had I seen iniquity in my heart, my Lord would not have listened.
19. But in truth, God heard; He gave ear to the voice of my prayer.
20. Blessed is God Who has not turned away my prayer or His kindness from me.

Chapter 67
This psalm is known as an especially revered prayer. It, too, speaks of the era of the ingathering of the exiles, and the wars of Gog and Magog, a time when "the Lord will be One."
1. For the Conductor, a song with instrumental music, a psalm.
2. May God be gracious to us and bless us; may He make His countenance shine upon us forever,
3. that Your way be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.
4. The nations will extol You, O God; all the nations will extol You.
5. The nations will rejoice and sing for joy, for You will judge the peoples justly and guide the nations on earth forever.
6. The peoples will extol You, O God; all the peoples will extol You,
7. for the earth will have yielded its produce, and God, our God, will bless us.
8. God will bless us; and all, from the farthest corners of the earth, shall fear Him.

Chapter 68
An awe-inspiring and wondrous prayer, David composed this psalm referring to a future event, when Sennacherib would surround Jerusalem on Passover, during the reign of Hezekiah. He also prophesies about the good we will enjoy during the Messianic era.
1. For the Conductor; by David, a psalm, a song.
2. Let God rise, let His enemies be scattered, and let His enemies flee before Him.
3. As smoke is driven away, drive them away; as wax melts before fire, let the wicked perish before God.
4. And the righteous will rejoice, they will exult before God and delight with joy.
5. Sing to God, chant praises to His Name; extol Him Who rides upon the heavens with His Name, Yah, and exult before Him.
6. A father of orphans and judge of widows is God, in the abode of His holiness.
7. God settles the solitary into a home, and frees those bound in shackles; but the rebellious [are left to] dwell in an arid land.
8. O God, when You went out before Your nation, when You marched through the wilderness, Selah,
9. the earth trembled, even the heavens dripped before the presence of God; this mountain of Sinai [trembled] before the presence of God, the God of Israel.
10. You poured generous rain, O God; when Your heritage was weary, You secured it.
11. Your flock settled there; in Your goodness, O God, You prepare for the poor.
12. My Lord will fulfill the word of the heralds to a great legion:
13. Kings of armies will flee, they will flee; and she who inhabits the home will divide the loot.
14. Even if you lie upon the hearth,1 [you will be like] wings of a dove covered with silver, her pinions with brilliant gold.
15. When the Almighty scatters kings in her midst, those in the shadow of darkness will be made snow-white.
16. The mountain of God is a fertile mountain, the mountain of majestic peaks is a fertile mountain.
17. Why do you prance, O mountains of peaks? This is the mountain God has desired as His dwelling; the Lord will even dwell there forever.
18. The chariots of God are twice ten thousand, [with] thousands of angels; my Lord is in their midst, at Sinai, in holiness.
19. You ascended on high and took a captive,2 you seized gifts for man; and [now] even rebels dwell with Yah, God.
20. Blessed is my Lord, Who each day loads us [with beneficence], the God Who is our deliverance forever.
21. The Lord is a God of deliverances for us; and to God, my Lord, are the many avenues of death.
22. God alone crushes the heads of His enemies, the hairy skull of him who goes about in his guilt.
23. My Lord said, "I will bring back from Bashan,3 I will bring back from the depths of the sea,
24. that your foot may wade through [the enemy's] blood; that the tongue of your dogs may have its portion from your enemies.”
25. They saw Your ways, O God, the ways of my God, my King, in holiness.
26. The singers began, then the musicians, in the midst of the maidens playing timbrels.
27. In assemblies bless God; [bless] my Lord, O you who stem from Israel.
28. There Benjamin, the youngest, rules them; the princes of Judah stone them, [as do] the princes of Zebulun, and the princes of Naphtali.
29. Your God has decreed your strength. Show Your strength, O God, Who has wrought this for our sake.
30. Because of [the glory of] Your Sanctuary upon Jerusalem, kings will bring You tribute.
31. Rebuke the wild beast of the reeds, the assembly of mighty bulls among the calves of nations, [until] each submits himself with pieces of silver. Scatter the nations that desire wars.
32. Nobles will come from Egypt; Kush will hasten [to raise] its hands to God.
33. Kingdoms of the earth, sing to God; sing praise to my Lord forever!
34. To the One Who rides upon the loftiest of ancient heavens-behold He gives forth His voice, a voice of might.
35. Ascribe power to God; His majesty is over Israel, and His might is in the skies.
36. God, You are feared from Your Sanctuary; it is the God of Israel Who grants strength and power to His people; blessed is God.

Footnotes
1.

And dirty yourself in exile (Metzudot).

2.

Israel ascended on high and seized the Torah from the Angels (Metzudot).

3.

From amongst the nations who are compared to “bulls of Bashan” (Metzudot).

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 34, 35 and 36.
Chapter 34
This psalm tells of when David was in grave danger while at the palace of Achish, brother of Goliath. David acted like a madman, letting spittle run down his beard, and writing on the doors: "Achish, king of Gath, owes me one hundred thousand gold coins," leading Achish to eject him from the palace. In his joy, David composed this psalm in alphabetical sequence.
1. By David, when he feigned insanity before Avimelech,1 who then drove him away, and he left.
2. I bless the Lord at all times; His praise is always in my mouth.
3. My soul glories in the Lord; let the humble hear it and rejoice.
4. Exalt the Lord with me, and let us extol His Name together.
5. I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.
6. Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never humiliated.
7. This poor man called, and the Lord heard; He delivered him from all his tribulations.
8. The angel of the Lord camps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.
9. Taste and see that the Lord is good; fortunate is the man who trusts in Him.
10. Fear the Lord, you His holy ones, for those who fear Him suffer no want.
11. Young lions may want and hunger, but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.
12. Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
13. Who is the man who desires life, who loves long life wherein to see goodness?
14. Guard your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.
15. Turn away from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it.
16. The eyes of the Lord are directed toward the righteous, and His ears toward their cry.
17. The wrath of the Lord is upon the evildoers, to excise their memory from the earth.
18. But when they [repent and] cry out, the Lord hears, and saves them from all their troubles.
19. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted, and saves those with a crushed spirit.
20. Many are the afflictions of a righteous person, but the Lord rescues him from them all.
21. He protects all his bones; not one of them is broken.
22. Evil brings death upon the wicked, and the enemies of the righteous are condemned.
23. The Lord redeems the soul of His servants; all who take shelter in Him are not condemned.
Chapter 35
This psalm is an awe-inspiring and wondrous prayer about David's enemies-that they be as chaff before the wind, chased by the angel of God. It also declares that everything comes about through God's help.
1. By David. Fight my antagonists, O Lord, battle those who battle against me.
2. Take hold of shield and armor and arise to help me.
3. Draw a spear, and bar the way before my pursuers; say to my soul, "I am your deliverance.”
4. Let those who seek my life be shamed and disgraced; let those who devise my harm retreat and be humiliated.
5. Let them be as chaff before the wind; let the angel of the Lord thrust them away.
6. Let their path be dark and slippery; let them be chased by the angel of the Lord.
7. For without cause have they laid their nets in the pit for me; without cause have they dug [pits] for my soul.
8. Let darkness come upon him unawares; let the very snare that he hid trap him, in darkness he will fall in it.
9. And my soul shall exult in the Lord, rejoice in His deliverance.
10. My entire being shall declare: Lord, who is like You? Who saves the poor from one stronger than he, the poor and the destitute from one who would rob him.
11. Corrupt witnesses rise up [against me], they demand of me things of which I do not know.
12. They repay me evil for good, death for my soul.
13. But I wore sackcloth when they were ill; I afflicted my soul with fasting. Let my prayer return upon my own bosom.
14. As if it were my friend, my brother, I went about; like a mother in mourning, I was bent over in gloom.
15. But when I limped, they rejoiced and gathered; the lowly gathered against me-even those whom I do not know; they laugh and cannot be quiet.
16. With flattery and scorn, for the sake of a meal,1 they gnash their teeth at me.
17. My Lord, how long will You look on? Restore my life from their darkness; from young lions, my soul.
18. I will thank You in a great congregation, amidst a mighty nation I will praise You.
19. Let not those who hate me without cause rejoice over me; [let not] those who despise me without reason wink their eye.
20. For they speak not of peace, rather they scheme deceitful matters against the broken of the land.
21. They opened their mouths wide against me, they said, "Aha! Aha! Our eyes have seen [his misfortune].”
22. You saw, Lord, be not silent; my Lord, be not distant from me.
23. Rouse and awaken Yourself to my judgement, to my cause, my God and my Lord.
24. Judge me according to your righteousness, Lord my God; let them not rejoice over me.
25. Let them not say in their hearts, "Aha! We have our desire!" Let them not say, "We have swallowed him!”
26. Let them be shamed and disgraced together, those who rejoice at my trouble; let them be clothed in shame and humiliation, those who raise themselves arrogantly over me.
27. Let those who desire my vindication sing joyously and be glad; let them say always, "Let the Lord be exalted, Who desires the peace of His servant.”
28. My tongue will speak of Your righteousness, Your praise, all day long.
Chapter 36
This psalm is a message to those who follow their evil inclination, that tells them, "Do not place the fear of God before you," and brings them to sin by beautifying evil deeds in their eyes. For so is his way: "He descends (to earth) and corrupts, then goes up (to the Heavenly Court) and prosecutes."
1. For the Conductor, by the servant of the Lord, by David.
2. [I think] in my heart: Sin says to the wicked, "There is none [who need place] the fear of God before his eyes.”
3. For Sin makes itself appealing to him, until his iniquity be found and he is hated.
4. The speech of his mouth is evil and deceit; he fails to reason, to improve.
5. On his bed he contemplates evil, he stands in a path that is not good; he does not despise evil.
6. O Lord, Your kindness is in the heavens; Your faithfulness is till the skies.
7. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, Your judgements extend to the great deep; man and beast You deliver, O Lord.
8. How precious is Your kindness, O God; man takes shelter in the shadow of Your wings.
9. They will be filled by the abundance of Your house; from the stream of Your Eden, You will give them to drink.
10. For the source of life is with You; in Your Light do we see light.
11. Extend Your kindness to those who know You, and Your righteousness to the upright of heart.
12. Let not the foot of the arrogant overtake me; let not the hand of the wicked drive me away.
13. There1 the doers of evil fell, thrust down, unable to rise.

Tehilllim Ohel Yoseph Yitzchok, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society.
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Daily Quote
A Jew never desires -- nor is he able -- to tear himself away from G-d
  –Rabbi schneur Zalman of Liadi (founder of Chabad Chassidism, 1745-1812)
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