In Nefesh Harav, Rabbi Shachter writes that the Gr"a (and subsequently Rav Soloveitchik) did not say מזמור שיר חנוכת הבית לדוד before davening, as ברוך שאמר is a מתיר to say Tehillim (specifically when it comes to the words "ובשירי דוד עבדיך," etc.):

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This got me thinking about the use of Brachos. If we follow the opinion of R' Yosef Dov Soloveitchik discussed here, if we use brachos as a "matir," how can we say Tehillim during the day (at least not without the words "ובשירי דוד עבדיך" - or something of the like)?

Perhaps this idea is more similar to Birkas HaTorah than to other brachos (like birkas hanehenin), as it lasts all day. Maybe that can answer why one may say Tehillim throughout the day as well as the Ashrei before Mincha.

Which leads to another question: How did the Gr"a and the Rav recite Selichos (a service that begins with Ashrei, a chapter of Tehillim) in the morning - before the recitation of ברוך שאמר? Do the words "תהלה לדוד" act as a matir? Would that answer our Selichos question, allowing for chapters of Tehillim like Ashrei to be said before or after ברוך שאמר? (This leads to yet another question: is ברוך שאמר only a matir for non-"תהלה לדוד" Tehillim, like the Hallelukas?)

Is it possible that I am overthinking things and that the Nusach of the Gr"a and the Rav is merely a midas chassidus that is by no means required?

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    Slichos are designed to be said at night not in the morning so I don't know why you focus on them more than Ashrei at Mincha. It's all stuff after Shacharis.
    – Double AA
    May 25, 2021 at 14:22
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    You should realize Mizmor Shir is a late kabbalistic addition to the Nusach Sefard practice of reciting Hodu before Barukh SheAmar as a way of closing off Hodu. It was never recited in old Ashkenazi rites and there is no reason to do so in congregations that recite Hodu after Barukh SheAmar. Whether it's prohibited to say it anyway (for fun?) as discussed here is a different question.
    – Double AA
    May 25, 2021 at 14:31
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    It sounds to me like he's just repeating in brisker terminology the general ashkenazi position of putting all tehillim into pesukei dizimra, as recommended by the Tur 281 he.wikisource.org/wiki/… If so the Rav's point is really a strong one: Ashkenazim have a longstanding intentional practice to specifically avoid adding Tehillim before Barukh SheAmar, so adopting an out-of-context Sefardi/Kabbalistic practice is not cost neutral.
    – Double AA
    May 25, 2021 at 14:59
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    One could draw a distinction between reciting tehillim for the purposes of praising Hashem (which would require a special ‘matir’) and reciting them as limmud hatorah, which is arguably the function of ashrei before mincha, which would he covered by your regular birchat hatorah.
    – Joel K
    May 26, 2021 at 17:46

1 Answer 1


I asked this of Rav Schachter and he thought it's a good question for Tehillim and Selichot before Shacharit, but for afterwards seemingly it lasts all day.


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