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In attempting to gradually learn the traditional siddur I have slowly been increasing the amount I pray from the Pesukei D'Zimrah every few days with the belief that eventually I should pray the whole section each day. However, seeing as it is exceptionally long, I have to wonder if I am correct that reciting the whole section is typical and/or obligatory. In my Koren Siddur some notes indicate the key parts, especially for situations where time is limited. However, my question is slightly different and I'd like a more direct answer.

How much of the Pesukei D'Zimrah is customarily recited, by an Orthodox individual, when not in a minyan (do not include details relating to the parts that are generally noted as designated for a minyan, i.e. the half kaddish near the end)?

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    All of it is customarily recited (except any parts that require a minyan, of course). – Yishai Jul 22 '14 at 14:13
  • Are you talking about P"Z for weekdays or Shabbat? – Noach MiFrankfurt Jul 22 '14 at 16:33
  • It goes a lot faster if you read it in English. Personally (as one only two years into learning to read Hebrew), I do the first sentence and last few sentences (chatimah) in Hebrew and read the rest in English. There are opinions that you should not switch languages in the middle of a verse, but I just don't switch languages mid-sentence. – Mike Jul 23 '14 at 4:16
  • Have to look it up, but, I believe the Shulchan Aruch codifies that it is better to pray a little, but with kavana/consciously, than a lot mindlessly (i.e. quality over quantity). – Loewian Mar 12 '15 at 18:00
  • @Loewian ShA OC 1:4 – Double AA May 8 '17 at 4:06
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I can't necessarily say what is customary, but I will say that if you are only going to say a portion, then you should say Barukh She'Amar, skip to Ashrei and say Psalms 145-50 and Yishtabach. This is all that is required, according to the Rambam:

Hilkhot Tefila 7:12

יב. ושבחו חכמים למי שקורא זמירות מספר תהלים בכל יום ויום מתהלה לדוד עד סוף הספר וכבר נהגו לקרות פסוקים לפניהם ולאחריהם ותקנו ברכה לפני הזמירות והיא ברוך שאמר וברכה לאחריהם והוא ישתבח ואח"כ מברך על קריאת שמע וקורא קריאת שמע:

The Sages praised those who recite songs from the Book of Psalms every day; from "A song of praise by David... (Tehillah l'David)" (Psalms 145) until the end of the Book [of Psalms]. It has become customary to read verses before and after them.They instituted a blessing before the [recitation of the] songs, Baruch She'amar..., and a blessing after [concluding] them, Yishtabach. Afterwards, one recites the blessings for Kri'at Shema and recites the Shema.

He goes on to say in 7:13 that some also say Shirat haYam, but that this remains optional.

I know that when I began to davven each day, following Rambam's advice here was helpful. It's nice to know that you can do less, and still be doing all the things technically required. Plus, Hodu can be bothersome.

  • Awesome answer and source reference. So far it has greatly helped me to start with those three as my foundation and to add as much as I can to that. Agreed on hodu as well, of course seeing that it is so beautiful but definitely a difficult piece for starting out. Thanks again – Yochanan Michael Jul 22 '14 at 15:47
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    Mizmor l'toda (Psalm 100) is also required on weekdays according to all of the Rambam siddurim I've checked. – Noach MiFrankfurt Jul 22 '14 at 16:34
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    This abbreviated Pesukei d'Zimra list is also useful when you get to shul sometime between Baruch She'amar and Barkhu. – Mike Jul 23 '14 at 4:08
  • Couldn't "וכבר נהגו לקרות פסוקים לפניהם ולאחריהם" be interpreted as indicating a halachically binding custom? – Loewian May 8 '17 at 4:15
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The earlier answer gives Rambam's list of what's required, but I'll address what's customarily recited, as requested. All of it. The entire p'suke d'zimra as printed in the sidur is recited by someone praying even without a minyan in my experience (though sidurim and nuschaos vary).

  • You are correct and thank you for answering the question as stated. Suppose I was happy to see what went beyond custom, however I do greatly appreciate your insight and direct answer. It is good to hear that I figured taht correctly and to see input on it. Thank you, – Yochanan Michael Jul 27 '14 at 21:15

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