I don't know much about tehillim and I don't say them regularly. But lately I've started to say Shir Lamaalot for Israel and I've wondered a few things.

For example, today somebody asked for people to say tehillim for the refua shlema if his grandmother. I only knew Shir Lamaalot (psalm 121) from memory and I didn't know if I could use it for any reason, because I know there were special tehillim for refua shlema.

Can I say the same tehillim for many different situations? Or do I need to say the special tehillim for each occasion?

  • 1
    FWIW, the recital of Tehillim for sick people or those in danger seems to be a minhag. AFAIK, there are no rules that state that there must be just 1 Tehillim per situation. If you view the words of most Tehillim, they address more than a single theme, anyway. So, it seems to me that 1 Tehillim is fine for multiple affairs.
    – DanF
    Oct 16 '15 at 13:22
  • @DanF somewhat related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/53595/…
    – mevaqesh
    Oct 16 '15 at 14:28

There are so many thoughts that come to mind in regard to your question. It's difficult to know where to start.

In general, recital of Tehillim have the characteristic of removing anything which blocks or obstructs blessings from HaShem.

So in that context, don't think that your recital of any particular chapter is somehow failing to help your friend.

In that context, a story from the Ba'al Shem Tov comes to mind.

There was a Jewish indidual who had been conscripted to the military when he was a child. He never learned how to practice Judaism properly in its details. But he knew and connected with being Jewish.

At a particular time, circumstance arranged that he would be present in the shul of the Ba'al Shem Tov for Yom Kippur. This young man didn't know Hebrew or which prayers to say.

The story can be seen at the following link...


There are many details which are, maybe, more efficacious, but the primary thing is your personal intention. If that is positive, G-d and the Angels will find a way to make your prayers effective.

G-d bless you

  • G-d bless you to Yaacov, thanks for your time
    – Gabriel12
    Oct 18 '15 at 1:22
  • "In general, recital of Tehillim have the characteristic of removing anything which blocks or obstructs blessings from HaShem." Source?
    – mevaqesh
    Oct 18 '15 at 2:04
  • @mevaqesh: G-d has an arrangement how the universe was set up. The Angels, being totally faithful and committed to serving the One who created them, will do exactly what G-d wills. My comment was intended to the concept that part of the function of the angels is to rearrange the letters and words of our prayers so that they are in the most beneficial format to be accepted and heard. Oct 18 '15 at 2:08
  • @YaacovDeane o.k. im kein it suffices to say that God will find a way to make my prayers effective. If he chooses to do that through angels, so be it.
    – mevaqesh
    Oct 18 '15 at 2:13

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