The Psalms of David all seem to be about his joy or his sadness, crying out to Hashem.

But to make it clear, are these Psalms for us as well: when we sing them do we also pray them? Or are we talking about the greatness of David and his faith? Maybe both? Maybe some Psalms are for us and others are for David?

What can we learn from them if we can’t use them in prayer?

  • 1
    Good question. The psalms are mainly prayers of David, who was praying for his specific needs, what are we making when we read psalmes
    – kouty
    Sep 14, 2016 at 15:21
  • 1
    Some areas to clarify: 1) "Psalms of David" - Do you mean all the Psalms or just the ones that start with words "A Psalm to David" or "To David, a Psalm"? 2) Last question - who says we can't use them in prayer? As a matter of fact, the majority of our morning prayers includes entire Psalms or verses from various Psalms. Please clarify / edit.
    – DanF
    Sep 14, 2016 at 18:43
  • @DanF Not saying anything,just trying to make things clear.
    – Aigle
    Sep 14, 2016 at 20:49
  • I do mean all the psalms,And I do think there for prayer today,just want to make it clear.
    – Aigle
    Sep 14, 2016 at 20:55

3 Answers 3


King David's words are timeless, and relevant in every single generation.

This teaching is spelled out in the Midrash (Shochar Tov, Tehillim 18:1):

ר' יודן אומר בשם ר' יהודה אמר, כל מה שאמר דוד בספרו, כנגדו, וכנגד כל ישראל, וכנגד כל העיתים אמרו.

R. Yodan said in the name of R. Yehuda, who said: “Everything that David said in his book, corresponded to himself, and corresponded against all of Israel; and he said it corresponding to all of times”.

In times of joy and otherwise, we should look to find ourselves and whatever situation we may be in, in the inspirational words of King David's Psalms.


the Psalms were composed with ruach hakodesh/prophecy which means he was a sort of spokesman for the word of God as David himself said:

The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me; His word was on my tongue. (Shmuel II 23:2)

some of the psalms were even intended for our times as can be seen here.

Also, David was the King of Israel which means he was the heart of the nation (this is why there are special mitzvot for the king to guard his heart from going astray) and being the first and foremost king this extended to all generations. Hence, the Psalms are for every jew for all times. Hence, even when he seems to be speaking only about himself, it applies for all jews at all times. (cant remember the source of this)


Yes ; as it is lengthy explained in sefer l'kutai mohoron 2, torah 125.

This is the actual quotation of Rabbi Nachman:

קכה - מענין אמירת תהלים

מענין אמירת תהלים דבר עם אחד ואמר לו, שעקר אמירת תהלים לומר כל מזמורי תהלים על עצמו, למצא את עצמו בתוך כל מזמור ומזמור. ושאל אותו זכרונו לברכה: איך, ופרש לו רבנו, זכרונו לברכה, קצת, כי כל המלחמות שבקש דוד המלך, עליו השלום, שיצילהו השם יתברך מהם - הכל צריכין לפרש לעצמו על מלחמת היצר הרע וחילותיו, וכיוצא בזה בשאר המזמורים (וכמבאר מזה לעיל בסימן קא). ושאל אותו: איך יפרש לעצמו מהפסוקים, שדוד המלך, עליו השלום, משבח את עצמו, כגון: "שמרה נפשי כי חסיד אני" (תהלים פ"ו), וכיוצא בזה. השיב לו: גם זה צריכין לפרש על עצמו, כי צריכין לדון את עצמו לכף זכות, ולמצא בעצמו איזה זכות ונקדה טובה, אשר בבחינת הנקדה טובה הזאת הוא בחינת חסיד, וכיוצא. ואמר לו רבנו, זכרונו לברכה: הלא אצל יהושפט כתיב (דברי הימים ב יז): "ויגבה לבו בדרכי ה'", שבדרכי ה' ועבודתו יתברך הגביה לבו קצת. עוד אמר לו רבנו, זכרונו לברכה: הלא בבקר אנו אומרים בתחלה: 'מה אנו מה חיינו' וכו', ואנו מקטינים עצמנו מאד, ואחר כך אנו אומרים: 'אבל אנחנו עמך בני בריתך' וכו', שאחר כך אנו מחזקים עצמנו ומרימים את עצמנו, ואנו מספרים את גדלתנו ומתפארים, שאנחנו עמו בני בריתו זרע אברהם יצחק ויעקב וכו', כי כך צריכין להתנהג בעבודת השם כנ"ל. ועין מזה ספר הראשון בסימן רפ"ב, על פסוק: "אזמרה לאלקי בעודי":

Regarding the recitation of T'hilim he spoke to someone and said to him that the point of the recitation of T'hilim is to say all mizmorei T'hilim about himself - to find himself in every mizmor.

And he of blessed memory asked him, "how?".

So our Rabbi of blessed memory explained to him, in part, that all of the battles that King David alav hashalom asked Hashem to save him from - each [person] needs to explain it for himself regarding his evil inclination and its armies(?). Similar [comparisons apply] to the rest of the mizmorim. . .

The point is that for example when king david sais ''ki chasid ani'' acctually every person can find himself being a 'chasid' in certain areas. And so on.

  • 3
    Welcome to Mi Yodeya! I recommend meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/a/76
    – msh210
    Sep 14, 2016 at 15:32
  • 2
    Please edit in what he says, a summary of it would be very useful as well.
    – mevaqesh
    Sep 14, 2016 at 18:24
  • sorry, but I was searching for an English translation, but there wasn't to find, I can put the Hebrew version, would this work?
    – mendy
    Sep 14, 2016 at 18:54
  • 1
    Thanks for this text of Rav Nachman Mibreslev, very strong. I feel that you can put the hebrew version, and translate it or summarize what you understand.
    – kouty
    Sep 15, 2016 at 7:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .