In addition to the daily prayers, I find that reading Psalms helps me feel close to G‑d, and I want to start saying them every day. Is there a custom as to which Psalms I should say when?


Psalms is certainly a powerful book.

The Midrash tells us that when King David compiled the Psalms, he had in mind himself, every Jew, and every circumstance.1 No matter who you are and what the situation, the words of the Psalms speak the words of your heart and are heard on high.

The third Lubavitcher Rebbe, known as the Tzemach Tzedek, wrote that if we only knew the power of verses of Psalms and their effect in the spiritual realms, we would recite them constantly.2

In the standard books of Psalms, the 150 chapters are grouped into seven portions, so that they can be completed every week, and into thirty portions, so that they can be completed every Jewish month. Some people recite Psalms according to the weekly cycle, while others follow the monthly cycle. Most Hebrew printings of the Psalms indicate both divisions.

If you are considering starting to say Psalms daily, I'd recommend you start with the monthly cycle.3 Firstly, saying approximately 20 chapters of Psalms daily can be overwhelming. With the monthly cycle, you'll only be committing to an average of five chapters a day. Secondly, by following the monthly cycle, you'll be joining thousands of Jews who do the same.

This widespread custom was greatly encouraged by the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn. At the beginning of the Jewish year 5687 (late 1926), the Rebbe requested that in all synagogues, Psalms be recited according to monthly cycle after the morning prayers and, if there is a minyan present, mourner's Kaddish should be recited afterward.

His son-in-law and successor, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, would often tell people to recite Psalms daily according to the monthly schedule, stressing that this custom is applicable to everyone. He would suggest this as a conduit through which blessings enter into virtually all areas of life, ranging from health and wealth to spiritual wellbeing and matrimonial harmony.

You can read the daily Psalms (according to the monthly cycle) online here.

Yours truly,

Rabbi Eliezer Posner