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Daily Tehillim - Psalms

Chapters 88-89

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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 88
The psalmist weeps and laments bitterly over the maladies and suffering Israel endures in exile, which he describes in detail.
1. A song, a psalm by the sons of Korach, for the Conductor, upon the machalat le'anot; 1 a maskil2 for Heiman the Ezrachite.
2. O Lord, God of my deliverance, by day I cried out [to You], by night I [offer my prayer] before You.
3. Let my prayer come before You; turn Your ear to my supplication.
4. For my soul is sated with affliction, and my life has reached the grave.
5. I was reckoned with those who go down to the pit, I was like a man without strength.
6. [I am regarded] among the dead who are free, like corpses lying in the grave, of whom You are not yet mindful, who are yet cut off by Your hand.
7. You have put me into the lowest pit, into the darkest places, into the depths.
8. Your wrath has weighed heavily upon me, and all the waves [of Your fury] have constantly afflicted me.
9. You have estranged my friends from me, You have made me abhorrent to them; I am imprisoned and unable to leave.
10. My eye is afflicted because of distress; I call to You, O Lord, every day; I have stretched out my hands [in prayer] to You.
11. Do You perform wonders for the deceased? Do the dead stand to offer You praise? Selah.
12. Is Your kindness recounted in the grave, your faithfulness in the place of perdition?
13. Are Your wondrous deeds known in the darkness [of the grave], or Your righteousness in the land of oblivion?
14. But, I, to You, O Lord, I cry; each morning my prayer comes before You.
15. Why, O Lord, do You forsake my soul? Why do You conceal Your countenance from Me?
16. From my youth I have been afflicted and approaching death, yet I have borne the fear of You which is firmly established within me.
17. Your furies have passed over me; Your terrors have cut me down.
18. They have engulfed me like water all day long, they all together surrounded me.
19. You have estranged from me beloved and friend; I have been rejected by my intimates.

Footnotes
1.

A musical instrument(Metzudot).

2.

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

Chapter 89
This psalm speaks of the kingship of the House of David, the psalmist lamenting its fall from power for many years, and God's abandonment and spurning of us.
1. A maskil1 by Eitan the Ezrachite.
2. I will sing of the Lord's kindness forever; to all generations I will make known Your faithfulness with my mouth.
3. For I have said, "The world is built with kindness; there in the heavens You establish Your faithfulness.”
4. I have made a covenant with My chosen one; I have sworn to David, My servant:
5. "I will establish Your descendants forever; I will build your throne for all generations," Selah.
6. Then the heavens will extol Your wonders, O Lord; Your faithfulness, too, in the congregation of the holy ones.
7. Indeed, who in heaven can be compared to the Lord, who among the supernal beings can be likened to the Lord!
8. The Almighty is revered in the great assembly of the holy ones, awe-inspiring to all who surround Him.
9. O Lord, God of Hosts, who is mighty like You, O God! Your faithfulness surrounds You.
10. You rule the vastness of the sea; when its waves surge, You still them.
11. You crushed Rahav (Egypt) like a corpse; with Your powerful arm You scattered Your enemies.
12. Yours are the heavens, the earth is also Yours; the world and all therein-You established them.
13. The north and the south-You created them; Tabor and Hermon sing of [the greatness] of Your Name.
14. Yours is the arm which has the might; strengthen Your hand, raise high Your right hand.
15. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; kindness and truth go before Your countenance.
16. Fortunate is the people who know the sound of the shofar; Lord, they walk in the light of Your countenance.
17. They rejoice in Your Name all day, and they are exalted through Your righteousness.
18. Indeed, You are the splendor of their might, and in Your goodwill our glory is exalted.
19. For our protectors turn to the Lord, and our king to the Holy One of Israel.
20. Then You spoke in a vision to Your pious ones and said: "I have granted aid to [David] the mighty one; I have exalted the one chosen from among the people.
21. I have found David, My servant; I have anointed him with My holy oil.
22. It is he whom My hand shall be prepared [to assist]; My arm, too, shall strengthen him.
23. The enemy shall not prevail over him, nor shall the iniquitous person afflict him.
24. And I will crush his adversaries before him, and will strike down those who hate him.
25. Indeed, My faithfulness and My kindness shall be with him, and through My Name his glory shall be exalted.
26. I will set his hand upon the sea, his right hand upon the rivers.
27. He will call out to Me, 'You are my Father, my God, the strength of my deliverance.’
28. I will also make him [My] firstborn, supreme over the kings of the earth.
29. I will maintain My kindness for him forever; My covenant shall remain true to him.
30. And I will bestow [kingship] upon his seed forever, and his throne will endure as long as the heavens last.
31. If his children forsake My Torah and do not walk in My ordinances;
32. if they profane My statutes and do not observe My commandments,
33. then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their misdeeds with plagues.
34. Yet I shall not take away My kindness from him, nor betray My faithfulness.
35. I will not abrogate My covenant, nor change that which has issued from My lips.
36. One thing I have sworn by My holiness-I will not cause disappointment to David.
37. His seed will endure forever and his throne will be [resplendent] as the sun before Me.
38. Like the moon, it shall be established forever; [the moon] is a faithful witness in the sky for all time.”
39. Yet You have forsaken and abhorred; You became enraged at Your anointed.
40. You annulled the covenant with Your servant; You have profaned his crown [by casting it] to the ground.
41. You shattered all his fences; You turned all his strongholds into ruin.
42. All wayfarers despoiled him; he has become a disgrace to his neighbors.
43. You have uplifted the right hand of his adversaries; You have made all his enemies rejoice.
44. You also turned back the blade of his sword, and did not sustain him in battle.
45. You put an end to his splendor, and toppled his throne to the ground.
46. You have cut short the days of his youth; You have enclothed him with long-lasting shame.
47. How long, O Lord, will You conceal Yourself-forever? [How long] will Your fury blaze like fire?
48. O remember how short is my life span! Why have You created all children of man for naught?
49. What man can live and not see death, can save his soul forever from the grave?
50. Where are Your former deeds of kindness, my Lord, which You swore to David in Your faithfulness?
51. Remember, my Lord, the disgrace of Your servants, that I bear in my bosom from all the many nations;
52. that Your enemies have disgraced, O Lord, that they have disgraced the footsteps of Your anointed.
53. Blessed is the Lord forever, Amen and Amen.

Footnotes
1.

A psalm intended to enlighten and impart knowledge(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 52, 53 and 54.
Chapter 52
David laments his suffering at the hands of Doeg, and speaks of Doeg's boasts about the evil he committed. David asks, "What does he think? Does he consider the doing of evil a mark of strength?" David also curses Doeg and those like him.
1. For the Conductor, a maskil by David,
2. when Doeg the Edomite came and informed Saul, saying to him, "David has come to the house of Achimelech.”
3. Why do you boast with evil, O mighty one? God's kindness is all day long.
4. Your tongue devises treachery; like a sharpened razor it works deceit.
5. You love evil more than good, falsehood more than speaking righteousness, Selah.
6. You love all devouring words, a deceitful tongue.
7. God will likewise shatter you forever; He will excise and pluck you from the tent, and uproot you from the land of the living forever.
8. The righteous will see it and be awed, and they will laugh at him:
9. "Here is the man who did not make God his stronghold, but trusted in his great wealth, and drew strength from his treachery.”
10. But I am like a fresh olive tree in the house of God; I trust in God's kindness forever and ever.
11. I will thank you forever for what You have done; I will hope in Your Name, for You are good to Your pious ones.
Chapter 53
This psalm speaks of when Titus pierced the curtain of the Holy of Holies with his sword, and thought he had killed "himself" (a euphemism for God).
1. For the Conductor, on the machalat,1 a mas-kil2 by David.
2. The fool says in his heart, "There is no God!" They have acted corruptly and committed abominable deeds; not one does good.
3. God looked down from heaven upon mankind, to see if there was any man of intelligence who searches for God.
4. But they all regressed together; they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
5. Indeed, the evildoers who devour My people as they devour bread, who do not call upon God, will come to realize.
6. There they will be seized with fright, a fright such as never was; for God scatters the bones of those encamped against you. You shamed them, for God rejected them.
7. O that out of Zion would come Israel's deliverance! When God returns the captivity of His people, Jacob will exult, Israel will rejoice.
Chapter 54
A prayer to God asking that in His might He save all who hope for His kindness. Read, and you will discover an awe-inspiring and wondrous prayer that should be said by all in the appropriate time.
1. For the Conductor, with instrumental music, a maskil by David,
2. when the Ziphites came and said to Saul, "Behold, David is hiding among us!”
3. O God, deliver me by Your Name, and vindicate me by Your might.
4. God, hear my prayer, listen to the words of my mouth.
5. For strangers have risen against me, and ruthless men have sought my soul; they are not mindful of God, Selah.
6. Behold, God is my helper; my Lord is with those who support my soul.
7. He will repay the evil of my watchful enemies; destroy them by Your truth.
8. With a free-will offering I will sacrifice to You; I will offer thanks to Your Name, O Lord, for it is good.
9. For He has saved me from every trouble, and my eye has seen [the downfall of] my enemy.

Tehilllim Ohel Yoseph Yitzchok, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society.
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Daily Quote
As in water face answers to face, so is the heart of a man to a man
  –Proverbs 27:19
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