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The Shir Shel Yom is (usually) a chapter of Tehillim said at the end of davening, unique to each day. That applies for every day except Wednesday.

In some (many) customs, Wednesday's song is Tehillim 94, plus the first 3 pesukim (verses) of Tehillim 95.

Why are the extra 3 pesukim added?

  • 2
    off the cuff (not an answer) I heard that the first 3 pesukim which are used in Kabbalat Shabbat are to signal that Wednesday is the earliest time when we can start Shabbat for the coming week. – rosends Feb 11 '15 at 20:45
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    Minhag Anglia is not to say these 3 Pesukim. Thus it is not printed in the Singer's Prayer Book. – Zvi Feb 11 '15 at 20:57
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    Indeed not everyone has them appended. I believe it's a kabbalistic change. – Double AA Feb 11 '15 at 21:26
  • Minhagei Polin and Ashkenaz is not to say these 3 pessukim. – Joshua Pearl Jun 7 '15 at 11:53
  • @JoshuaPearl What Minhagei Polin and Ashkenaz? I have yet to go to a minhag Polin/Ashkenaz minyan in which they don't say this. – DonielF Oct 10 '17 at 22:20
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Moreshet.co.il reports:

אך האריז"ל הנהיג להוסיף שלשה פסוקים ראשונים ממזמור צ"ה, "לכו נרננה" וכו', כדי לא לסיים בפורענות - "יצמיתם ה' אלקינו", כעין מה שאמרו חז"ל לגבי הפסקה בקריאת התורה: "ואין מפסיקין בקללות", וכן נוהגים בסיום הקריאה של מגילת איכה, שאחרי הפסוק האחרון "כי אם מאס מאתנו" וכו', חוזרים על הפסוק שלפניו: "השיבנו ה' אליך" וכוו, כדי לא לסיים בפורענות.

טעם נוסף לתוספת הפסוקים מתורת החסידות: "ההכנות לשבת, הן הנפשיות והן הגשמיות, צריכות להתחיל ביום רביעי בשבוע, משום כך מוסיפים בשיר של יום רביעי, שלושת הפסוקים הראשונים של המזמור "לכו נרננה", שנאמר בקבלת שבת"  כל טוב ובשורות טובות מקורות לתשובה תמיד פ''ז מ''ד; ר''ה לא ע''א; סופרים פי''ח ה''א; מגילה לא ע''ב; מנהגי חב''ד ילקוט מנהגים עמ' 161. תשובה מאת שמואל פנחס גלברד

My translation:

The Ari z”l introduced the idea of adding the first three pesukim of Tehillim 95 in order not to end the Shir shel yom with punishment “the L-rd our G-d will destroy them”. A similar idea is seen at the end of Eicha, Lamentations.

An additional reason comes from Chassidus. One needs to make spiritual and physical preparations for Shabbos from Wednesday. For this reason we add these three pesukim which are said in the service of Kabbolas Shabbos.

The answer came from Rabbi S P Goldbard.

  • Interesting that he picks on Eichah, when we do the same at the end of Yeshaya, Koheles, and others. – DonielF Oct 10 '17 at 22:20
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I was taught that the reason is based on the Gemara (Ta'anis 29a & Arochin 11b):

אמרו: כשחרב בית המקדש בראשונה, אותו היום ערב תשעה באב היה, ומוצאי שבת היה, ומוצאי שביעית היתה, ומשמרתה של יהויריב היתה, והלוים היו אומרים שירה ועומדין על דוכנם. ומה שירה היו אומרים? {תהילים צד-כג} וַיָּשֶׁב עֲלֵיהֶם אֶת אוֹנָם וּבְרָעָתָם יַצְמִיתֵם ולא הספיקו לומר יַצְמִיתֵם ה' אֱ-לֹקינוּ עד שבאו נכרים וכבשום. וכן בשניה. ‏

"The Levi'im were about to end the Shir Shel Yom - and had reached וַיָּשֶׁב עֲלֵיהֶם אֶת אוֹנָם וּבְרָעָתָם יַצְמִיתֵם - and Gcd turned their evil against them, and due to their evil He cut them off - when the enemy entered the Beth Mamikdash - before they could finish the Mizmor and end off with צְמִיתֵם ה' אֱ-לֹקינוּ - may Gcd cut them off."

(Why they were saying the Shir of Wednesday on a Sunday is discussed in the Gemara in Arochin and mentioned in Rashi in Ta'anis.)

In order to prevent a recurrence of this apparent self curse, it was instituted that one ends the Shir of Wednesday 3 Psukim later. The limits the risk of the Chazan stalling at the wrong point.

  • You were taught by whom, please? – msh210 Feb 13 '15 at 6:23
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    @msh210, I always quote my sources, if I know them. I learned this idea about Wednesday (or picked it up) some 40 years ago, and I'm surprised I cannot find any source for it [yet]. – Danny Schoemann Feb 15 '15 at 8:00
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The Interlinear Artscroll Siddur (Ashkenaz) has a footnote on those verses (page 227) that reads:

The next three verses are not part of the psalm of the day, and are not recited in all congregations. They are the beginning of the next psalm and are recited because of their inspiring message that is an apt climax to the song of the day.

No source was cited, as far as I could tell.

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    I've seen this before, and always wondered what they mean by "apt". – Ypnypn Feb 12 '15 at 21:45

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