Sometimes I say prayers, typically tehillim, that appear to contain a promise to do something. Example: " חַסְדֵי יְהוָה, עוֹלָם אָשִׁירָה; לְדֹר וָדֹר, אוֹדִיעַ אֱמוּנָתְךָ בְּפִי. I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever; to all generations will I make known Thy faithfulness with my mouth."

When I say this, am I taking on a neder or a shevu'ah to sing of G-d's mercies forever? I believe the answer must be "no," since--among other reasons--many people say the entire book of Tehillim every month, every week, or every day, thus "swearing" to many such things on a regular basis, and it doesn't seem to be a problem. But exactly why isn't it?

(Is it because I do not actually have in mind to make the neder as I say the prayer? --But shouldn't I in fact honestly have in mind all I am saying in a truly sincere tefilla?)

  • 1
    The munach under the word 'עולם' indicates that you will sing about G-d's eternal kindnesses. That means right now, in what follows from this moment. The expression לדור ודור with the shalshelet (from generation to generation) can mean simply that you will make known that G-d's faithfulness is from generation to generation. At least in this example, it is talking about what you are doing in the immediate present. May 26, 2017 at 20:04
  • @YaacovDeane So interesting! I figured the answer was going to be something like "the actual peyrush is such that we could say it [with impunity]" (given that the laws to say tehillim, etc. are from a Divine Source) .Shabbat Shalom!
    – SAH
    May 26, 2017 at 22:50
  • There is another exemple: at the end of Nishmat Kol Chai the nusach says שכן חובת כל היצורים ... להודות להלל ... על כל דברי שירות ותשבחות דוד עבדך משיחך So do we are accepting the Chova to praise H-m more than all David's praises? Question to mods: do you think I could ask an integral question of this without be considered a dupe on this (already answer-accepted) one?
    – yO_
    Nov 19, 2018 at 19:45

1 Answer 1


I have heard 2 interpretations concerning parts of Tefilla which seem to say that we will do something in the future. (ex. in daily Maariv - כי הם חיינו ואורך ימינו ובהם נהגה יומם ולילה (

1- We ask that we should be zoche (merit) to be able to act that way.

2- If it is a quote of Tehillim or someone else's saying, we quote in praise of Hashem or in Tefilla what Dovid Hamelech (or whoever said it) said, and we pray that we the subject matter should be applied to us as well.

You must log in to answer this question.

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