One of the books that make up the "Kesuvim" (or "Writings). Composed mostly by King David, but includes chapters by Adam, Avraham, King Shlomo (Solomon) and others.

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Nun in Ashrei- Psalm 145

The prayer Ashrei, which we recite three times a day, is an acrostic consisting of all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet except for nun (נ). Why is the nun omitted?
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7answers
329 views

“I never saw a tzaddik be abandoned…” - how do we understand this?

At the end of bentching we say that "I was young, and I also became old, and I never saw a righteous person be abandoned, and his children asking for bread". How do we reconcile that with the ...
12
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2answers
251 views

Why is Yitzchak spelled with a “sin” in Tehillim 105:9?

I just came across this strange variant spelling this morning. I've been in the habit of reciting Tikkun HaKlali recently and saw this in Artscroll's Tehillim this past Shabbat. Thinking it was a ...
12
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3answers
317 views

Understanding of Ps. 137 before the exile

Psalm 137 starts (in my own translation) On Babylon's rivers, there, we sat, also cried, in our remembering Zion. and continues to describe the scene. Ibn Ezra cites some who hold that David ...
11
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1answer
267 views

Why do Sifrei Emes use different taamim?

I know that the Sifrei Emes (Tehillim, Mishlei, Iyov) use a different system of taamim. Why is this? What is it about these books that makes it that they cannot — or should not — use the ...
11
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2answers
193 views

How sick does someone have to be to be put on “the cholim list”?

By putting someone on a cholim list you are asking the tzibur to daven/ say tehillim on their behalf. How sick does someone need to be for it to be appropriate to put them on such a list?
10
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2answers
125 views

Tehilim divided into five sections?

According to Wikipedia, Jewish tradition divides the book of Tehilim into five sections (1-41, 42-72, 73-89, 90-106, 107-150). This is unsourced there; the references at the bottom of the page ...
10
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2answers
217 views

Should we say Al Naharos Bavel?

Tehillim 137 is printed in several bentchers before birkas hamazon, but from what I have seen most people do not say it. What is the correct thing to do: say or omit? Are there different minhagim?
10
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1answer
164 views

Selah ~ Does it mean 'forever' 'certainly' 'basket' 'pause', 'yahoo', a kabbalistic meditative device, or none of the above?

Does anyone know a Jewish interpretation of "selah" in the psalms? Literally it seems to mean something about basket or hanging, but I don't know how this works into psalms. Jewish sites say it may ...
8
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3answers
282 views

Who is the author of Tehilim 137?

Who is the accepted author of Psalm 137, and if it was David Hamelech, then is it accepted as a prophecy?
8
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2answers
124 views

How do we translate חַטָּאִים?

Isaiah 1 (28): And destruction shall come over rebels and sinners together, and those who forsake the Lord shall perish. כח. וְשֶׁבֶר פֹּשְׁעִים וְחַטָּאִים יַחְדָּו וְעֹזְבֵי יְהֹוָה ...
8
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1answer
191 views

Is it appropriately Jewish to use Psalms as a form of talisman?

While wandering around Israel, I noticed a group of youths asking the public to recite a psalm for the soldiers. Ok, I recited a Psalm. I assumed these prayers were fulfilling what I saw as the ...
7
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4answers
1k views

What ancient sources discuss the meaning of Psalm 22?

Many Christians believe Psalm 22 refers to Jesus of Nazareth. How have Jews historically understood Psalm 22 and interpreted it?
7
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2answers
195 views

Stress of הושיעה and הצליחה in Hallel

Why is הושיעה Mileel (penultimately stressed) whereas הצליחה is Milra (ultimately stressed) in Psalms 118:25?
7
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3answers
217 views

Sitting for “Ashre”?

I have seen people seemingly careful to sit down when beginning the paragraph of prayers that starts "Ashre yosh've vesecha" (Ps. 84:5). One such person told me that he was, in fact, careful to do so, ...
7
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1answer
83 views

(Psalms 69 (14)) How do we understand אלקים ברב חסדך, rather than ה׳ ברב חסדך

I am used to the idea that the name אלקים connotes judgement and ה׳ mercy. So how is it in Psalms 69 (14) , the Psalmist says “אלקים ברב חסדך”?
7
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2answers
199 views

The order of Tehillim

Sefer Tehillim (Psalms) consists of 150 mizmorim, most likely compiled (and perhaps even entirely written) by King David. The mizmorim are not in chronological order following the events that inspired ...
7
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0answers
307 views

Can one read Tehillim or Tanach at night? [duplicate]

I remember hearing people quote sources that say it is better not to reading Tehillim or Tanach at night. Does anyone know the source to this, and to why it should not be read at night? Does one ...
7
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0answers
130 views

Why is there a custom to join “Hashem” and “Elokenu” together in the line Al Taazvenu in Shema Kolenu in Selichot

In Shema Kolenu, based on the Posuk in Psalms 38:22 we say the phrase: Al Taazvenu Hashem Elokenu Al tirchak mimenu | Don't leave us Hashem Our God Don't distance yourself from us. The ...
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6answers
630 views

Why do the Sifrei Eme"s (i.e. Job, Proverbs, Psalms) have cantillation marks?

Why do the Sifrei Eme"s (i.e. Job, Proverbs, Psalms) have cantillation marks? Are they read to a tune or is it just punctuation for personal usage? Have they ever been read publicly with the tune? ...
6
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4answers
1k views

The power of saying tehillim

When I was starting to become observant, at the end of shacharis one day, someone asked me "are you finished with tehillim?". I told them I don't know what that is. They told me "if we knew what was ...
6
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2answers
842 views

Why do people stand for Psalm 100?

Partway through the P'sukei d'Zimra section of the morning service is Psalm 100 (Mizmor l'Todah). Many, but not all, people stand for the recitation of this particular psalm. Prayer books vary, ...
6
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2answers
831 views

Psalm 14 and 53 are similar?

Psalm 14 and Psalm 53 are almost identical with little differences. Why is the same psalm repeated? Are these psalms composed by the same author? (EDIT: I already asked this same question in ...
6
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2answers
222 views

When do we start reciting Psalm 27?

Yesterday being the 30th of Av (and Rosh Chodesh Elul), prompted a question at shul: exactly when do we start saying Psalm 27—on the first day of Elul or the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul? Most ...
6
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2answers
62 views

What is the valley of deep darkness (or shadow of death) in Psalm 23?

In Tehillim 23, David says "Even when I walk in the valley of darkness, I will fear no evil for You are with me". Someone asked me if this "valley of darkness" is metaphorical or physical and, either ...
6
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2answers
87 views

Is there a commentary on tehillim that maps perakim to episodes in David's life?

Sometimes it's fairly easy to tell when David is writing about a particular event such as לדוד בשנותו את טעמו לפני אבימלך At other times it's less obvious, but you get a 'lightbulb moment' when ...
6
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2answers
267 views

Where do Ashrei's intro sentences in the liturgy before Psalm 145 (Ashrei) come from?

The sentences "Joyful are the inhabitants of Your House, constantly praising You. Joyful are the people for whom this is so" preface Ashrei. They aren't in the psalm that David wrote, 145, but a ...
6
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1answer
335 views

Who divided the Tehillim into days?

Who divided the Sefer Tehillim into daily sections (both day of week and day of month)?
6
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2answers
166 views

Pirkei Avos on shabbos during mincha?

It seems clear from the Rama, MB, and other sources (as well as from most printed siddurim) that Pirkei Avos is said in the synagogue at Shabbos Mincha as part of the tefillah in the summer months, ...
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1answer
120 views

Psalm 145: Which Person?

Psalm 145 makes up the bulk of the oft recited prayer known as Ashrei. It is an alphabetic acrostic (missing the letter nun) about the greatness of God. The verses beginning with Alef, Bet, Dalet, ...
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2answers
129 views

Why is ויהי נועם said after הנני מוכןs?

Most (but not all) Siddurim have the פסוק of ויהי נועם at the end of הנני מוכןs (such as before ספירת העומר, before the ארבע כוסות, or before בדיקת חמץ). Where does this practice come from and why is ...
6
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2answers
629 views

Tehilim HaChida - in the order of the Aleph Bais

I recently came across the Tehilim HaChida which is the entire Tehilim with the Pesukim rearranged in the order of the Aleph Bais by first letter. From the introduction it seems like it is a special ...
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504 views

Mizmor l'David (Psalms 23) at Shalosh Suedos

There is a common minhag (custom) to sing Mizmor l'David at Seudah Shlishis, the third Sabbath meal. It is common to sing this song three times in a row and I was asked this Shabbos by a friend why ...
5
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3answers
182 views

Which tehillim are best to say for the welfare of soldiers at war?

At least one Israel Defense Forces soldier fighting in Gaza is the son of dear friends of my family. I want to focus my tefilla on his welfare, by name, although I certainly pray for the well-being ...
5
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1answer
160 views

How do Jews understand this idiom in Psalm 40:7

Inspired by http://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/1294/hebrew-ot-translation-to-greek-nt, I wonder what Jews interpret this idiom, "אָזְנַיִם כָּרִיתָ לִּי," to mean. The English Standard ...
5
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3answers
198 views

Why aren't Job or Psalms 90 in the Pentateuch?

In the Tanakh, the Jewish Biblical Canon, there are three categories of works: the Torah of Moses, and what are know as the 'Prophets' and 'Writings'. This categorization is outlined and mentioned in ...
5
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1answer
47 views

Why repeat the last verse of “Yoshev b'Seter Elyon”

In Nusach ashkenaz, as well as in "V'hi Noam" of Nusach haAri, the last pasuk of "Yoshev B'seter Elyon" (Psalm 91) is repeated. Why is that?
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2answers
167 views

Did God destroy Amalek in King David's time, like Rashi seems to say?

I've always understood that the war with Amalek is an ongoing concern (and that the mitzvah to blot out Amalek's memory is ongoing), but I saw some puzzling Rashi today that seems to contradict that. ...
5
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1answer
79 views

Why is Hashem's name attached to only some of His accomplishments in Tehillim 146?

Psalms 146:6ff lists twelve of Hashem's deeds: עֹשֶׂה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ אֶת הַיָּם וְאֶת כָּל אֲשֶׁר בָּם הַשֹּׁמֵר אֱמֶת לְעוֹלָם עֹשֶׂה מִשְׁפָּט לָעֲשׁוּקִים נֹתֵן לֶחֶם לָרְעֵבִים ה' ...
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Hallel and Pseukei DZimra

According to the Talmud one who recites Hallel every day is a heretic. Then, why is OK to recite similar tehillim (146-150) as part of pseukei d'zimra? How are these different from Hallel? Is the ...
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62 views

Why don't we say the first verse of Psalm 6 in Tachanun?

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 ...
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2answers
114 views

Bais Vov & Kof in Tehilim 25; why are they missing?

In Tehilim ch. 25 it goes through the entire alphabet and skips the letter "Bais" "Vav" & "Kof"; why so?
4
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1answer
171 views

Is it OK to say Tehillim whenever the inspiration strikes?

Barring a situation where prayer would be forbidden like an unclean area, is it OK to say Tehillim anywhere, at any time, even repeating the same chapter multiple times in succession?
4
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2answers
111 views

Laining Tehillim

I would just like to know - is there a mesorah for Tehillim trop for Ashkenazim? I know that there is a Sefaradi one (I have heard them) but I would like to know if there is any Askenazi one. Thank ...
4
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1answer
104 views

Tehilim 47 - said 7 times before the blowing of the Shofar

What is the source and reason for saying Tehilim 47 - 7 times before the blowing of the Shofar?
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2answers
192 views

Why does David say that he only sinned against G-d?

In Psalm 51:6 David says that "Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in Thy sight" (JPS) I wondered why does he think that he sinned only against the Lord? I think he ...
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41 views

Meaning of the verses ana hashem hoshia/hatzlicha na?

In Hallel (and in Havdala for Sefardim) the following verses are recited: Ana Hashem hoshea na. Ana Hashem hatzlicha na. The simple translation would be: Please, O Lord, save now! Please, O ...
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0answers
119 views

Gentiles praying in Hebrew

Can a gentile pray in hebrew, and recite the Psalms? I am a Noahide (Chassidic Gentile) who is interested in going through the conversion process to Reform Judiaism. Is it okay for me to pray the ...
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103 views

Why does the prefix She- appear in only Tehillim, Shir Hashirim, and Koheles?

The prefix שֶׁ is very common in Mishnaic and Modern Hebrew, but in Tanakh appear rarely, except in Tehillim, Shir Hashirim, and Koheles, where it is all over the place. Why are these books the only ...
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192 views

What is meant by the 974 “worlds” that were “created and destroyed”?

Midrash Tehillim 90:13 says that God created and destroyed 974 worlds before this one. What exactly does that mean? I've heard it used in defense of a modern understanding of evolution and cosmology ...