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Daily Tehillim - Psalms

Chapters 1-9

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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 1
This psalm inspires man to study Torah and avoid sin. One who follows this path is assured of success in all his deeds, whereas the plight of the wicked is the reverse.
1. Fortunate is the man that has not walked in the counsel of the wicked, nor stood in the path of sinners, nor sat in the company of scoffers.
2. Rather, his desire is in the Torah of the Lord, and in His Torah he meditates day and night.
3. He shall be like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither; and all that he does shall prosper.
4. Not so the wicked; rather, they are like the chaff that the wind drives away.
5. Therefore the wicked will not endure in judgement, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6. For the Lord minds the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

Chapter 2
This psalm warns against trying to outwit the ways of God. It also instructs one who has reason to rejoice, to tremble—lest his sins cause his joy to be overturned.
1. Why do nations gather, and peoples speak futility?
2. The kings of the earth rise up, and rulers conspire together, against the Lord and against His anointed:
3. “Let us sever their cords, and cast their ropes from upon us!”
4. He Who sits in heaven laughs, my Master mocks them.
5. Then He speaks to them in His anger, and terrifies them in His wrath:
6. “It is I Who have anointed My king, upon Zion, My holy mountain.”
7. I am obliged to declare: The Lord said to me, “You are my son, I have this day begotten you.
1
8. Ask of Me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, and the ends of the earth your possession.
9. Smash them with a rod of iron, shatter them like a potter’s vessel.”
10. Now be wise, you kings; be disciplined, you rulers of the earth.
11. Serve the Lord with awe, and rejoice with trembling.
12. Yearn for purity—lest He become angry and your path be doomed, if his anger flares for even a moment. Fortunate are all who put their trust in Him

Footnotes
1.

The day David was crowned. (Rashi)

Chapter 3
When punishment befalls man, let him not be upset by his chastisement, for perhaps--considering his sins—he is deserving of worse, and God is in fact dealing kindly with him.
1. A psalm by David, when he fled from Absalom his son.
2. Lord, how numerous are my oppressors; many rise up against me!
3. Many say of my soul, “There is no salvation for him from God—ever!”
4. But You, Lord, are a shield for me, my glory, the One Who raises my head.
5. With my voice I call to the Lord, and He answers me from His holy mountain, Selah.
6. I lie down and sleep; I awake, for the Lord sustains me.
7. I do not fear the myriads of people that have aligned themselves all around me.
8. Arise, O Lord, deliver me, my God. For You struck all my enemies on the cheek, You smashed the teeth of the wicked.
9. Deliverance is the Lord’s; may Your blessing be upon Your people forever

Chapter 4
This psalm exhorts man not to shame his fellow, and to neither speak nor listen to gossip and slander. Envy not the prosperity of the wicked in this world, rather rejoice and say: “If it is so for those who anger Him . . . [how much better it will be for those who serve Him!”]
1. For the Conductor, with instrumental music, a psalm by David.
2. Answer me when I call, O God [Who knows] my righteousness. You have relieved me in my distress; be gracious to me and hear my prayer.
3. Sons of men, how long will you turn my honor to shame, will you love vanity, and endlessly seek falsehood?
4. Know that the Lord has set apart His devout one; the Lord will hear when I call to Him.
5. Tremble and do not sin; reflect in your hearts upon your beds, and be silent forever.
6. Offer sacrifices in righteousness, and trust in the Lord.
7. Many say: “Who will show us good?” Raise the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord.
8. You put joy in my heart, greater than [their joy] when their grain and wine abound.
9. In peace and harmony I will lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, will make me dwell alone, in security.

Chapter 5
A prayer for every individual, requesting that the wicked perish for their deeds, and the righteous rejoice for their good deeds.
1. For the Conductor, on the nechilot,1 a psalm by David.
2. Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my thoughts.
3. Listen to the voice of my cry, my King and my God, for to You I pray.
4. Lord, hear my voice in the morning; in the morning I set [my prayers] before you and hope.
5. For You are not a God Who desires wickedness; evil does not abide with You.
6. The boastful cannot stand before Your eyes; You hate all evildoers.
7. You destroy the speakers of falsehood; the Lord despises the man of blood and deceit.
8. And I, through Your abundant kindness, come into Your house; I bow toward Your holy Sanctuary, in awe of You.
9. Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness, because of my watchful enemies; straighten Your path before me.
10. For there is no sincerity in their mouths, their heart is treacherous; their throat is an open grave, [though] their tongue flatters.
11. Find them guilty, O God, let them fall by their schemes; banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against You.
12. But all who trust in You will rejoice, they will sing joyously forever; You will shelter them, and those who love Your Name will exult in You.
13. For You, Lord, will bless the righteous one; You will envelop him with favor as with a shield.

Footnotes
1.

A musical instrument that sounded like the buzzing of bees (Metzudot).

Chapter 6
This is an awe-inspiring prayer for one who is ill, to pray that God heal him, body and soul. An ailing person who offers this prayer devoutly and with a broken heart is assured that God will accept his prayer.
1. For the Conductor, with instrumental music for the eight-stringed harp, a psalm by David.
2. Lord, do not punish me in Your anger, nor chastise me in Your wrath.
3. Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I languish away; heal me, O Lord, for my bones tremble in fear.
4. My soul is panic-stricken; and You, O Lord, how long [before You help]?
5. Relent, O Lord, deliver my soul; save me for the sake of Your kindness.
6. For there is no remembrance of You in death; who will praise You in the grave?
7. I am weary from sighing; each night I drench my bed, I melt my couch with my tears.
8. My eye has grown dim from vexation, worn out by all my oppressors.
9. Depart from me, all you evildoers, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
10. The Lord has heard my supplication; the Lord accepts my prayer.
11. All my enemies will be shamed and utterly terrified; they will then repent and be shamed for a moment.
1

Footnotes
1.

Only for a moment will they be shamed, because I will forgive them and never again mention their deeds (Metzudot).

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

Footnotes
1.

This refers either to a musical instrument, or to a mistake committed by David, in recognition of which this psalm was written (Rashi).

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.

Footnotes
1.

A musical instrument crafted in Gath (Metzudot).

2.

The wonders of childbirth and nursing demonstrate God’s existence to non-believers (Metzudot).

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.

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 88, 89 and 90.
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.
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.
Chapter 90
David found this prayer in its present form-receiving a tradition attributing it to MosesThe Midrash attributes the next eleven psalms to Moses (Rashi).-and incorporated it into the Tehillim. It speaks of the brevity of human life, and inspires man to repent and avoid pride in this world.
1. A prayer by Moses, the man of God. My Lord, You have been a shelter for us in every generation.
2. Before the mountains came into being, before You created the earth and the world-for ever and ever You are Almighty God.
3. You diminish man until he is crushed, and You say, "Return, you children of man.”
4. Indeed, a thousand years are in Your eyes like yesterday that has passed, like a watch of the night.
5. The stream of their life is as but a slumber; in the morning they are like grass that sprouts anew.
6. In the morning it thrives and sprouts anew; in the evening it withers and dries.
7. For we are consumed by Your anger, and destroyed by Your wrath.
8. You have set our wrongdoings before You, our hidden sins before the light of Your countenance.
9. For all our days have vanished in Your wrath; we cause our years to pass like a fleeting sound.
10. The days of our lives number seventy years, and if in great vigor, eighty years; most of them are but travail and futility, passing quickly and flying away.
11. Who can know the intensity of Your anger? Your wrath is commensurate with one's fear of You.
12. Teach us, then, to reckon our days, that we may acquire a wise heart.
13. Relent, O Lord; how long [will Your anger last]? Have compassion upon Your servants.
14. Satiate us in the morning with Your kindness, then we shall sing and rejoice throughout our days.
15. Give us joy corresponding to the days You afflicted us, the years we have seen adversity.
16. Let Your work be revealed to Your servants, and Your splendor be upon their children.
17. May the pleasantness of the Lord our God be upon us; establish for us the work of our hands; establish the work of our hands.

Tehilllim Ohel Yoseph Yitzchok, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society.
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Daily Quote
And you shall burst forth to the west, and to the east, and to the north and to the south.
  –Genesis 28:14
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