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Daily Tehillim - Psalms

Chapters 72-76

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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 72
David composed this psalm for Solomon, praying that he be granted the wisdom to provide justice for the poor.
1. For Solomon. O God, impart Your justice to the king, and Your righteousness to the son of the king.
2. May he judge Your people with righteousness, Your poor with justice.
3. May the mountains bear peace to the nation, also the hills, in [reward for their] righteousness.
4. May he judge the nation's poor, save the children of the destitute, and crush the oppressor,
5. so that they will fear You as long as the sun [shines] and the moon endures, generation after generation.
6. May [his words] descend like rain upon cut grass, like raindrops that water the earth.
7. In his days may the righteous flourish, with much peace until the moon is no more.
8. And may he rule from sea to sea, and from the river until the ends of the earth.
9. May nobles kneel before him, and may his enemies lick the dust.
10. The kings of Tarshish and the islands will return tribute, the kings of Sheba and Seba will offer gifts.
11. All kings will bow to him, all nations will serve him;
12. for he rescues the needy one who cries out, the poor one who has no one to help him.
13. He pities the impoverished and needy, and saves the souls of the destitute.
14. He redeems their soul from deception and violence, and their blood is precious in his eyes.
15. He revives [the poor], and gives him of the gold of Sheba; and so [the poor] pray for him always, and bless him all day.
16. May there be abundant grain in the land, upon the mountaintops; may its fruit rustle like the [cedars of] Lebanon, and may [people] blossom from the city like the grass of the earth.
17. May his name endure forever; may his name be magnified as long as the sun [shines]. And all nations will bless themselves by him, they will praise him.
18. Blessed is the Lord God, the God of Israel, Who alone performs wonders.
19. Blessed is His glorious Name forever, and may the whole earth be filled with His glory, Amen and Amen.
20. The prayers of David, son of Jesse, are concluded
1

Footnotes
1.

David composed this psalm at the end of his lifetime.

Chapter 73
This psalm addresses the question of why the righteous suffer while the wicked prosper, and prays for an end to our long exile. Read, and you will find repose for your soul.
1. A psalm by Asaph. Truly God is good to Israel, to the pure of heart.
2. But as for me, my feet nearly strayed; in an instant my steps would have been swept aside.
3. For I envied the revelers when I saw the tranquility of the wicked.
4. For there are no bonds1 to their death, and their health is sound.
5. They have no part in the toil of men, nor are they afflicted like other mortals;
6. therefore they wear pride as a necklace; their bodies are enwrapped in violence.
7. Their eyes bulge from fat; they surpassed the fantasies of their heart.
8. They consume [others], and talk wickedly of oppression-from on high do they speak.
9. They set their mouths against Heaven, while their tongues walk upon the earth.
10. Therefore His people return here,2 and suck the full [cup of bitter] waters.
11. And they say, "How can it be that God knows? Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12. Behold these are the wicked, and they are ever tranquil, they have gained much wealth.
13. Surely in vain have I purified my heart, and washed my hands in cleanliness;
14. for I was afflicted all day, and my rebuke came each morning.
15. Were I to say, "I shall tell it like it is," behold I would turn the generation of Your children to rebels.
16. And when I pondered to understand this, it was unjust in my eyes;
17. until I came to the sanctuaries of God, and perceived their end.
18. Only on slippery places do You set them, You cast them into darkness.
19. How they have become desolate in an instant! They came to an end, they were consumed by terrors,
20. like a dream upon awakening. O my Lord, disgrace their image in the city.
21. When my heart was in ferment, and my mind was sharpened,
22. I was a boor and did not understand, like an animal was I with You.
23. Yet I was always with You; You held my right hand.
24. Guide me with Your counsel, and afterward, receive me with honor.
25. Whom do I have in heaven [besides You]? And when I am with You I desire nothing on earth.
26. My flesh and my heart yearn; God is the rock of my heart and my portion forever.
27. For behold, all those who are far from You perish, You cut down all who stray from You.
28. But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have put my trust in my Lord, God, that I may recount all Your works.

Footnotes
1.

Their death is not protracted by illness and misery(Radak).

2.

To the way of the wicked (Rashi).

Chapter 74
The psalmist mourns and weeps over all the synagogues and study halls that have been burned: the Philistines destroyed the Tabernacle of Shiloh; Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the first Temple. We have been in exile for so long, without seeing any signs of redemption! When will the redemption come? Read, and you will find lamentation and consolation.
1. A maskil1 by Asaph. Why, O God, have You abandoned us forever, does Your wrath fume against the sheep of Your pasture?
2. Remember Your congregation which You acquired long ago, the tribe of Your inheritance whom You redeemed [and brought to] Mount Zion, where You rested Your Presence.
3. Lift Your steps to inflict eternal ruin, because of all the evil done by the enemy in the Sanctuary.
4. Your foes roared in the midst of Your meeting place; they considered their omens to be [genuine] signs.
5. The axes in the thicket of trees2 were reckoned as bringing [an offering] to the Above.
6. And now, all her ornaments together are smashed by hammer and hatchet.
7. They set Your Sanctuary on fire; they desecrated the Abode of Your Name to the ground.
8. Their rulers thought together in their hearts; they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.
9. We have not seen our signs; there is no longer a prophet, and there is none among us who knows how long.
10. How long, O God, will the adversary disgrace, will the enemy blaspheme Your Name forever!
11. Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand? Cast it out from within Your bosom!
12. For God is my King from long ago, working salvations in the midst of the earth.
13. In Your might, You divided the sea; You shattered the heads of the sea-monsters on the waters.
14. You crushed the heads of the Leviathan,3 leaving him as food for the nation [wandering in] the wilderness.
15. You split [the rock, bringing forth] fountain and brook; You dried up mighty streams.
16. Yours is the day, the night is also Yours; You established the moon and the sun.
17. You set all the boundaries of the earth; summer and winter-You created them.
18. Remember this, how the enemy reviled the Lord, and the vile nation blasphemed Your Name.
19. Do not give the soul of Your turtledove to the wild beast; do not forget the life of Your poor forever.
20. Look to the covenant, for the dark places of the earth are filled with dens of violence.
21. Do not turn back the oppressed in disgrace; [then] the poor and needy will praise Your Name.
22. Arise, O God, champion Your cause; remember Your insults from the perverse all day long.
23. Forget not the voice of Your adversaries; the tumult of Your opponents ascends always.

Footnotes
1.

A psalm intended to enlighten and impart knowledge(Metzudot).

2.

Chopping wood for the construction of the Temple (Metzudot).

3.

Pharaoh and his chieftains

Chapter 75
How great is Israel! During their holidays they do not engage in frivolity, but in song and praise, and the study of the holiday's laws. Also, when they proclaimed (at the giving of the Torah), "We will do and we will hear!" they allowed the world to remain in existence. This psalm also admonishes those who indulge in worldly pleasures and attribute their prosperity to their own efforts.
1. For the Conductor, a plea not to be destroyed. A psalm by Asaph, a song.
2. We gave thanks to You, O God, we gave thanks; and Your Name was near [when] they1 told of Your wonders.
3. When I choose the appointed time, I will judge with fairness.
4. When the earth and all its inhabitants were melting, I established its pillars forever.
5. I said to the perverse, "Do not pervert [Israel]," and to the wicked, "Do not raise your pride.”
6. Do not raise your pride heavenward, nor speak with an arrogant neck
7. For not from the east or the west, nor from the desert does greatness come.
8. For God is Judge; He humbles one, and elevates the other.
9. For there is a cup [of punishment] in the hand of the Lord, with strong wine of full mixture; He pours from this, and all the wicked of the earth will drink, draining even its dregs.
10. But as for me, I will tell of it forever; I will sing to the God of Jacob.
11. I will cut off all glory of the wicked, but the glory of the righteous will be raised up.

Footnotes
1.

Our ancestors.

Chapter 76
This psalm contains the prophecy of when the vast army of Sennacherib was seized with a deep slumber that rendered the hands of the soldiers powerless to raise their weapons; thus did they all fall in battle.
1. For the Conductor, with instrumental music, a psalm by Asaph, a song.
2. God is known in Judah, His Name is great in Israel.
3. His Tabernacle was in Shalem,1 and His dwelling place in Zion.
4. There He broke the flying arrows of the bow, the shield, the sword and battle-forever.
5. You are illumination, mightier than the mountains of prey.
6. The stout-hearted were without sense, they slept their sleep, and all the warriors were unable to find their strength.
7. At Your rebuke, O God of Jacob, chariot and horse were stunned.
8. You, awesome are You! Who can stand before You once You are enraged.
9. From heaven You let the verdict be heard; the earth feared and was still,
10. when God rose to pass judgement, to save all the humble of the earth forever.
11. The anger of man will cause us to thank You;2 You will restrain the residue of wrath.
12. Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfill them; all who surround Him will bring tribute to the Awesome One.
13. He cuts down the spirit of nobles; He is awesome to the kings of the earth.

Footnotes
1.

Jerusalem.

2.

When the wicked are punished for being angry with Israel, Israel acknowledges God (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 40, 41 and 42.
Chapter 40
The psalmist speaks of the numerous wonders that God wrought for the Jewish people, asking: "Who can articulate His might? I would relate and speak of them, but they are too numerous to recount!" He created the world and split the sea for the sake of Israel, [yet] He desires no sacrifices, only that we listen to His voice.
1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David.
2. I put my hope in the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.
3. He raised me from the turbulent pit, from the slimy mud, and set my feet upon a rock, steadying my steps.
4. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn to our God; multitudes will see and fear, and will trust in the Lord.
5. Fortunate is the man who has made the Lord his trust, and did not turn to the haughty, nor to those who stray after falsehood.
6. You have done much, O You, Lord my God-Your wonders and thoughts are for us; none can compare to You; should I relate or speak of them, they are too numerous to recount!
7. You desired neither sacrifice nor meal-offering, but [obedient] ears You opened for me; You requested neither burnt-offering nor sin-offering.
8. Then I said, "Behold, I come with a Scroll of the Book written for me."1
9. I desire to fulfill Your will, my God; and Your Torah is in my innards.
10. I proclaimed [Your] righteousness in a vast congregation; behold I will not restrain my lips-O Lord, You know!
11. I did not conceal Your righteousness within my heart; I declared Your faithfulness and deliverance; I did not hide Your kindness and truth from the vast congregation.
12. May You, Lord, not withhold Your mercies from me; may Your kindness and truth constantly guard me.
13. For countless evils surround me; my sins have overtaken me and I cannot see; they outnumber the hairs of my head, and my heart has abandoned me.
14. May it please You, Lord, to save me; O Lord, hurry to my aid.
15. Let those who seek my life, to end it, be shamed and humiliated together; let those who desire my harm retreat and be disgraced.
16. Let those who say about me, "Aha! Aha!" be desolate, in return for their shaming [me].
17. Let all those who seek You exult and rejoice in You; let those who love Your deliverance always say, "Be exalted, O Lord!”
18. As for me, I am poor and needy; my Lord will think of me. You are my help and my rescuer; my God, do not delay!
Chapter 41
This psalm teaches many good character traits, and inspires one to be thoughtful and conscientious in giving charity-knowing to whom to give first. Fortunate is he who is thoughtful of the sick one, providing him with his needs.
1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David.
2. Fortunate is he who is thoughtful of the poor, [for] the Lord will save him on the day of evil.
3. The Lord will guard him and keep him alive; he will be praised throughout the land; You will not deliver him to the desires of his enemies.
4. The Lord will support him on the bed of illness; You will turn him over in his bed all throughout his sickness.
5. I said, "Lord, be gracious to me! Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You!”
6. My foes say that evil [awaits] me: "When will he die, and his name perish?”
7. And if one comes to see [me], he speaks insincerely, for his heart gathers iniquity for himself, and when he goes out he speaks of it.
8. Together they whisper against me-all my enemies; against me they devise my harm, [saying]:
9. "Let his wickedness pour into him; now that he lies down, he shall rise no more.”
10. Even my ally in whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has raised his heel over me.
11. But you, Lord, be gracious to me and raise me up, and I will repay them.
12. With this I shall know that You desire me, when my enemies will not shout gleefully over me.
13. And I, because of my integrity, You upheld me; You set me before You forever.
14. Blessed is the Lord, the God of Israel, to all eternity, Amen and Amen.
Chapter 42
This psalm awakens the hearts of the Children of Israel who do not feel the immense ruin, loss, and bad fortune in their being exiled from their Father's table. Were they wise, they would appreciate their past good fortune in coming thrice yearly, with joy and great awe, to behold God during the festivals, free of adversary and harm. May God place mercy before us from now to eternity, Amen Selah.
1. For the Conductor, a maskil1 by the sons of Korach.
2. As the deer cries longingly for brooks of water, so my soul cries longingly for You, O God!
3. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When will I come and behold the countenance of God?
4. My tears have been my bread day and night, when they say to me all day, "Where is your God?”
5. These do I recall, and pour out my soul from within me: how I traveled [to Jerusalem] in covered wagons; I would walk leisurely with them up to the House of God, amid the sound of rejoicing and thanksgiving, the celebrating multitude.
6. Why are you downcast, my soul, and why do you wail within me? Hope to God, for I will yet thank Him for the deliverances of His countenance.
7. My God! My soul is downcast upon me, because I remember You from the land of Jordan and Hermon's peaks, from Mount Mitzar.2
8. Deep calls to deep3 at the roar of Your channels; all Your breakers and waves have swept over me.
9. By day the Lord ordains His kindness, and at night His song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.
10. I say to God, my rock, "Why have You forgotten me? Why must I walk in gloom under the oppression of the enemy?”
11. Like a sword in my bones, my adversaries disgrace me, when they say to me all day, "Where is your God?”
12. Why are you downcast, my soul, and why do you wail within me? Hope to God, for I will yet thank Him; He is my deliverance, [the light of] my countenance, and my God.

Tehilllim Ohel Yoseph Yitzchok, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society.
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That which emerges from your lips, you shall keep and do
  –Deuteronomy 23:24
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