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Daily Tehillim - Psalms

Chapters 18-22

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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 18
If one merits a public miracle, he should offer a song to God, including in his song all the miracles that have occurred since the day the world was created, as well as the good that God wrought for Israel at the giving of the Torah. And he should say: "He Who has performed these miracles, may He do with me likewise."
1. For the Conductor. By the servant of the Lord, by David, who chanted the words of this song to the Lord on the day the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.
2. He said, "I love You, Lord, my strength.
3. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my rescuer. My God is my strength in Whom I take shelter, my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
4. With praises I call upon the Lord, and I am saved from my enemies.
5. For the pangs of death surrounded me, and torrents of evil people terrified me.
6. Pangs of the grave encompassed me; snares of death confronted me.
7. In my distress I called upon the Lord, I cried out to my God; and from His Sanctuary He heard my voice, and my supplication before Him reached His ears.
8. The earth trembled and quaked; the foundations of the mountains shook-they trembled when His wrath flared.
9. Smoke rose in His nostrils, devouring fire blazed from His mouth, and burning coals flamed forth from Him.
10. He inclined the heavens and descended, a thick cloud was beneath His feet.
11. He rode on a cherub and flew; He soared on the wings of the wind.
12. He made darkness His concealment, His surroundings His shelter-of the dense clouds with their dark waters.
13. Out of the brightness before Him, His clouds passed over, with hailstones and fiery coals.
14. The Lord thundered in heaven, the Most High gave forth His voice-hailstones and fiery coals.
15. He sent forth His arrows and scattered them; many lightnings, and confounded them.
16. The channels of water became visible, the foundations of the world were exposed-at Your rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.
17. He sent from heaven and took me; He brought me out of surging waters.
18. He rescued me from my fierce enemy, and from my foes when they had become too strong for me.
19. They confronted me on the day of my misfortune, but the Lord was my support.
20. He brought me into spaciousness; He delivered me because He desires me.
21. The Lord rewar-ded me in accordance with my righteousness; He repaid me according to the cleanliness of my hands.
22. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not transgressed against my God;
23. for all His laws are before me, I have not removed His statutes from me.
24. I was perfect with Him, and have guarded myself from sin.
25. The Lord repaid me in accordance with my righteousness, according to the cleanliness of my hands before His eyes.
26. With the kindhearted You act kindly, with the upright man You act uprightly.
27. With the pure You act purely, but with the crooked You act cun- ningly.
28. For the destitute nation You save, but haughty eyes You humble.
29. Indeed, You light my lamp; the Lord, my God, illuminates my darkness.
30. For with You I run against a troop; with my God I scale a wall.
31. The way of God is perfect; the word of the Lord is pure; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
32. For who is God except the Lord, and who is a rock except our God!
33. The God Who girds me with strength, and makes my path perfect.
34. He makes my feet like deers', and stands me firmly on my high places.
35. He trains my hands for battle, my arms to bend a bow of bronze.
36. You have given me the shield of Your deliverance, Your right hand upheld me; Your humility made me great.
37. You have widened my steps beneath me, and my knees have not faltered.
38. I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back until I destroyed them.
39. I crushed them so that they were unable to rise; they are fallen beneath my feet.
40. You have girded me with strength for battle; You have subdued my adversaries beneath me.
41. You have made my enemies turn their backs to me, and my foes I cut down.
42. They cried out, but there was none to deliver them; to the Lord, but He did not answer them.
43. I ground them as the dust before the wind, I poured them out like the mud in the streets.
44. You have rescued me from the quarrelsome ones of the people, You have made me the head of nations; a nation I did not know became subservient to me.
45. As soon as they hear of me they obey me; strangers deny to me [their disloyalty].
46. Strangers wither away, they are terrified in their strongholds.
47. The Lord lives; blessed is my Rock; exalted is the God of my deliverance.
48. You are the God Who executes retribution for me, and subjugates nations under me.
49. Who rescues me from my enemies, Who exalts me above my adversaries, Who delivers me from the man of violence.
50. Therefore I will laud You, Lord, among the nations, and sing to Your Name.
51. He grants His king great salvations, and bestows kindness upon His anointed, to David and his descendants forever."

Chapter 19
To behold God's might one should look to the heavens, to the sun, and to the Torah, from which awesome miracles and wonders can be perceived--wonders that lead the creations to tell of God's glory.
1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David.
2. The heavens recount the glory of the Almighty; the sky proclaims His handiwork.
3. Day to day speech streams forth; night to night expresses knowledge.
4. There is no utterance, there are no words; their voice is inaudible.
5. Their arc extends throughout the world; their message to the end of the earth. He set in them [the heavens] a tent for the sun,
6. which is like a groom coming forth from his bridal canopy, like a strong man rejoicing to run the course.
7. Its rising is at one end of the heavens, and its orbit encompasses the other ends; nothing is hidden from its heat.
8. The Torah of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, making wise the simpleton.
9. The precepts of the Lord are just, rejoicing the heart; the command of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes.
10. The fear of the Lord is pure, abiding forever; the judgments of the Lord are true, they are all righteous together.
11. They are more desirable than gold, than much fine gold; sweeter than honey or the drippings of honeycomb.
12. Indeed, Your servant is scrupulous with them; in observing them there is abundant reward.
13. Yet who can discern inadvertent wrongs? Purge me of hidden sins.
14. Also hold back Your servant from willful sins; let them not prevail over me; then I will be unblemished and keep myself clean of gross transgression.
15. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable before You, Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer.

Chapter 20
If a loved one or relative is suffering-even in a distant place, where one is unable to help-offer this prayer on their behalf.

1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David.
2. May the Lord answer you on the day of distress; may the Name of the God of Jacob fortify you.
3. May He send your help from the Sanctuary, and support you from Zion.
4. May He remember all your offerings, and always accept favorably your sacrifices.
5. May He grant you your heart's desire, and fulfill your every counsel.
6. We will rejoice in your deliverance, and raise our banners in the name of our God; may the Lord fulfill all your wishes.
7. Now I know that the Lord has delivered His anointed one, answering him from His holy heavens with the mighty saving power of His right hand.
8. Some [rely] upon chariots and some upon horses, but we [rely upon and] invoke the Name of the Lord our God.
9. They bend and fall, but we rise and stand firm.
10. Lord, deliver us; may the King answer us on the day we call.


Chapter 21
One who is endowed with prosperity, and whose every desire is granted, ought not be ungrateful. He should praise and thank God, recognize Him as the cause of his prosperity, and trust in Him. For everything comes from the kindness of the One Above.
1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David.
2. The king rejoices in Your strength, Lord; how greatly he exults in Your deliverance!
3. You have given him his heart's desire, and You have never withheld the utterance of his lips.
4. You preceded him with blessings of good; You placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
5. He asked of You life, You gave it to him-long life, forever and ever.
6. His glory is great in Your deliverance; You have placed majesty and splendor upon him.
7. For You make him a blessing forever; You gladden him with the joy of Your countenance.
8. For the king trusts in the Lord, and in the kindness of the Most High-that he will not falter.
9. Your hand will suffice for all Your enemies; Your right hand will find those who hate You.
10. You will make them as a fiery furnace at the time of Your anger. May the Lord consume them in His wrath; let a fire devour them.
11. Destroy their offspring from the earth, their descendants from mankind.
12. For they intended evil against You, they devised evil plans which they cannot execute.
13. For You will set them as a portion apart; with Your bowstring You will aim at their faces.
14. Be exalted, O Lord, in Your strength; we will sing and chant the praise of Your might.

Chapter 22
Every person should pray in agony over the length of the exile, and our fall from prestige to lowliness. One should also take vows (for self-improvement) in his distress.
1. For the Conductor, on the ayelet hashachar, a psalm by David.
2. My God, my God, why have You forsaken me! So far from saving me, from the words of my outcry?
3. My God, I call out by day, and You do not answer; at night-but there is no respite for me.
4. Yet You, Holy One, are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
5. In You our fathers trusted; they trusted and You saved them.
6. They cried to You and were rescued; they trusted in You and were not shamed.
7. And I am a worm and not a man; scorn of men, contempt of nations.
8. All who see me mock me; they open their lips, they shake their heads.
9. But one that casts [his burden] upon the Lord-He will save him; He will rescue him, for He desires him.
10. For You took me out of the womb, and made me secure on my mother's breasts.
11. I have been thrown upon You from birth; from my mother's womb You have been my God.
12. Be not distant from me, for trouble is near, for there is none to help.
13. Many bulls surround me, the mighty bulls of Bashan encircle me.
14. They open their mouths against me, like a lion that ravages and roars.
15. I am poured out like water, all my bones are disjointed; my heart has become like wax, melted within my innards.
16. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my palate; You set me in the dust of death.
17. For dogs surround me, a pack of evildoers enclose me; my hands and feet are like a lion's prey.
18. I count all my limbs, while they watch and gloat over me.
19. They divide my garments amongst them; they cast lots upon my clothing.
20. But You, Lord, do not be distant; my Strength, hurry to my aid!
21. Save my life from the sword, my soul from the grip of dogs.
22. Save me from the lion's mouth, as You have answered me from the horns of wild beasts.
23. I will recount [the praises of] Your Name to my brothers; I will extol You amidst the congregation.
24. You that fear the Lord, praise Him! Glorify Him, all you progeny of Jacob! Stand in awe of Him, all you progeny of Israel!
25. For He has not despised nor abhorred the entreaty of the poor, nor has He concealed His face from him; rather He heard when he cried to Him.
26. My praise comes from You, in the great congregation; I will pay my vows before those that fear Him.
27. Let the humble eat and be satisfied; let those who seek the Lord praise Him-may your hearts live forever!
28. All the ends of the earth will remember and return to the Lord; all families of nations will bow down before You.
29. For sovereignty is the Lord's, and He rules over the nations.
30. All the fat ones of the earth will eat and bow down, all who descend to the dust shall kneel before Him, but He will not revive their soul.
31. The progeny of those who serve Him will tell of the Lord to the latter generations.
32. They will come and relate His righteousness-all that He has done-to a newborn nation.

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 7, 8 and 9.
Chapter 7
Do not rejoice if God causes your enemy to suffer—just as the suffering of the righteous is not pleasant. David, therefore, defends himself intensely before God, maintaining that he did not actively harm Saul. In fact, Saul precipitated his own harm, while David’s intentions were only for the good.
1. A shigayon 1 by David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Kush the Benjaminite.
2. I put my trust in You, Lord, my God; deliver me from all my pursuers and save me.
3. Lest he tear my soul like a lion, crushing me with none to rescue.
4. Lord, my God, if I have done this, if there is wrongdoing in my hands;
5. if I have rewarded my friends with evil or oppressed those who hate me without reason—
6. then let the enemy pursue and overtake my soul, let him trample my life to the ground, and lay my glory in the dust forever.
7. Arise, O Lord, in Your anger, lift Yourself up in fury against my foes. Stir me [to mete out] the retribution which You commanded.
8. When the assembly of nations surrounds You, remove Yourself from it and return to the heavens.
9. The Lord will mete out retribution upon the nations; judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and my integrity.
10. Let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous—O righteous God, Searcher of hearts and minds.
11. [I rely] on God to be my shield, He Who saves the upright of heart.
12. God is the righteous judge, and the Almighty is angered every day.
13. Because he does not repent, He sharpens His sword, bends His bow and makes it ready.
14. He has prepared instruments of death for him; His arrows will be used on the pursuers.
15. Indeed, he conceives iniquity, is pregnant with evil schemes, and gives birth to falsehood.
16. He digs a pit, digs it deep, only to fall into the trap he laid.
17. His mischief will return upon his own head, his violence will come down upon his own skull.
18. I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, and sing to the Name of the Lord Most High
Chapter 8
This psalm is a glorious praise to God for His kindness to the lowly and mortal human in giving the Torah to the inhabitants of the lower worlds, arousing the envy of the celestial angels. This idea is expressed in the Yom Kippur prayer, “Though Your mighty strength is in the angels above, You desire praise from those formed of lowly matter.”
1. For the Conductor, on the gittit,1 a psalm by David.
2. Lord, our Master, how mighty is Your Name throughout the earth, You Who has set Your majesty upon the heavens!
3. Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings You have established might, to counter Your enemies, to silence foe and avenger.2
4. When I behold Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have set in place—
5. what is man that You should remember him, son of man that You should be mindful of him?
6. Yet, You have made him but a little less than the angels, and crowned him with honor and glory.
7. You made him ruler over Your handiwork, You placed everything under his feet.
8. Sheep and cattle—all of them, also the beasts of the field;
9. the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea; all that traverses the paths of the seas.
10. Lord, our Master, how mighty is Your Name throughout the earth.
Chapter 9
One should praise God for saving him from the hand of the enemy who stands over and agonizes him, and for His judging each person according to his deeds: the righteous according to their righteousness, and the wicked according to their wickedness.
1. For the Conductor, upon the death of Labben, a psalm by David.
2. I will thank the Lord with all my heart; I will recount all Your wonders.
3. I will rejoice and exult in You; I will sing to Your Name, O Most High.
4. When my enemies retreat, they will stumble and perish from before You.
5. You have rendered my judgement and [defended] my cause; You sat on the throne, O righteous Judge.
6. You destroyed nations, doomed the wicked, erased their name for all eternity.
7. O enemy, your ruins are gone forever, and the cities you have uprooted—their very remembrance is lost.
8. But the Lord is enthroned forever, He established His throne for judgement.
9. And He will judge the world with justice, He will render judgement to the nations with righteousness.
10. The Lord will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
11. Those who know Your Name put their trust in You, for You, Lord, have not abandoned those who seek You.
12. Sing to the Lord Who dwells in Zion, recount His deeds among the nations.
13. For the Avenger of bloodshed is mindful of them; He does not forget the cry of the downtrodden.
14. Be gracious to me, O Lord; behold my affliction at the hands of my enemies, You Who raises me from the gates of death,
15. so that I may relate all Your praises in the gates of the daughter of Zion, that I may exult in Your deliverance.
16. The nations sank into the pit that they made; in the net they concealed their foot was caught.
17. The Lord became known through the judgement He executed; the wicked one is snared in the work of his own hands; reflect on this always.
18. The wicked will return to the grave, all the nations that forget God.
19. For not for eternity will the needy be forgotten, nor will the hope of the poor perish forever.
20. Arise, O Lord, let not man prevail; let the nations be judged in Your presence.
21. Set Your mastery over them, O Lord; let the nations know that they are but frail men, Selah.

Tehilllim Ohel Yoseph Yitzchok, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society.
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The mind of the sage is concealed, for it is still and tranquil
  –Zohar
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