Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When Ashkenazim say Tachanun, they say the text of Psalm 6 without the first verse introduction “To the conductor with melodies on the sheminith, a song of David.”

In the text, we say, “I am weary from my sighing; every night I sully my bed; I wet my couch with my tears.” But I don't wet my couch with my tears.

Would it not have been better to introduce the Psalm with the first verse so that it would be clear that we are quoting and not saying something that may not be true?

share|improve this question
I don't think it is inappropriate to view the cited verses as metaphor. – Double AA Oct 30 '13 at 15:37
@DoubleAA ... or hyperbole or aspirational association on the part of the person praying with the emotions of the author. I agree that the particular objection in the second and third paragraphs of this question is not terribly strong, but the omission described in the first paragraph, on its own, seems deserving of explanation. – Isaac Moses Oct 30 '13 at 17:43
Maybe you should wet your pillow with your tears... Meaning, perhaps the Psalm is prescriptive and not descriptive. – Adam Mosheh Nov 6 '13 at 15:45
@AdamMosheh Yes, possibly. You have skillfully turned the question into its own answer. – Avrohom Yitzchok Nov 6 '13 at 17:55

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.