This morning (Rosh Chodesh), I davened at the Ohel Yitzchak shul on Washington St., Jerusalem (no, not that Ohel Yitzchak). After aleinu but before shir shel yom the gabbai announced that because it is Rosh Chodesh, we only say היום יום ראשון בשבת in order to fulfill זכור את יום השבת, and then say barchi nafshi, skipping the regular shir shel yom.

I've never seen this done before. What rabbis say to do this, and why?

  • I've heard of the reverse being done (per Minhag Frankfurt) but never this. Commented Aug 16, 2015 at 19:57

1 Answer 1


The shul you were attending seemed to have been following the custom of the Vilna Gaon.

Rabbi A Grossman has an article entitled The Vilna Gaon’s Psalms for Special Days.

Some extracts:

...the Vilna Gaon was faced with a conflict. Like Maimonides, he believed that the public prayers officially ended with the reader’s full qaddish, what we call qaddish tithqabbal, and that ideally there should be no additions thereafter.

As is evident from his other writings, the Vilna Gaon was opposed to the recitation of any psalms after any of the prayers, but he did approve of the practice of reciting the Psalm of the Day because of its educational benefits. Thus, although it would make sense for us this coming Thursday (Rosh Chodesh) to recite the psalms for both Thursday and the New Moon, the Vilna Gaon limited the recitation to the psalm that would have the greatest impression on the populace.

....since Temple times the sages assumed that the psalm for the New Moon precedes all the other psalms, even that of the Sabbath, because it would anounce the beginning of the new month, as the beginning of the month was something only determined that very day.

As such, the psalm for the New Moon would be the psalm of choice if we could only recite one during our prayers, whether Sabbath or weekday.

THe article does not source the statements of the Vilna Gaon.

  • Interesting then that the Gra shul doesn't follow this minhag, at least to my memory.
    – Scimonster
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 7:06
  • On the case of the OP above it is the 1st of Ellul so we also recited L'David Hashem Ori.. So there is still one than one to be recited. The only "dispute" seems to be which to recite first (L'David or Barchi Nafshi)
    – CashCow
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 8:23
  • 1
    @CashCow The Gra opposed the recitation of L'David as part of Shul. So no, he never had that issue.
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 3:04

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