26 votes

Did King David's parents abandon him? (Psalm 27)

I Samuel 16:11 and Psalms 118:22 imply that David was a rejected child in his family. וַיֹּ֨אמֶר שְׁמוּאֵ֣ל אֶל־יִשַׁי֮ הֲתַ֣מּוּ הַנְּעָרִים֒ וַיֹּ֗אמֶר ע֚וֹד שָׁאַ֣ר הַקָּטָ֔ן וְהִנֵּ֥ה רֹעֶ֖ה ...
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18 votes
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Why does Wednesday's shir shel yom include part of the next perek?

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 ...
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15 votes

Location of Dead Sea Scroll with Psalm 22 verse 17 - They pierced my hands and my feet

Tehillim 22:17 (17 is the counting in Jewish editions) in the Masoretic text reads: יז כִּי סְבָבוּנִי כְּלָבִים עֲדַת מְרֵעִים הִקִּיפוּנִי כָּאֲרִי יָדַי וְרַגְלָי 17 For dogs have ...
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14 votes

Did King David's parents abandon him? (Psalm 27)

The Ibn Ezra says that the author is referring to the fact that his parents abandon him in their death, עזבוני במותם, ואתה אספתני תמיד Whereas the Malbim says that it has to do with David's ...
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13 votes

Why is sleep spelled with an aleph in Tehillim 127?

Note: As Michlol Yofi points out, there are a few other words in Tanach spelled with an Alef instead of a Heh or a Vav. For example: זרא, מרא, כלא. As @Double AA wrote, Minchat Shai on the pasuk ...
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12 votes
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Psalm 41:10 Who is King David's friend who lifted his heel against him?

2 Samuel 15:12 "And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counsellor, from his city, from Giloh, as he offered the sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong, and the people with ...
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11 votes

How does the moon cause harm? Tehillim 121:6

The Idea in Brief The verse is not speaking about any harm from the sun (or even the moon), but instead speaks to harm that occurs night and day; in this respect, the psalmist speaks to divine ...
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  • 1,539
10 votes
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Why do yekkes say Shir Mizmor Le'Osof each morning?

In the siddur Sefas Yisroel from OpenSiddur it is written: שיר מזמור לאסף has been recited since the end of the Geonic period - a few hundred years before the introduction of the שיר של יום. Its ...
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10 votes

What is the source that says David wrote Psalms / Tehillim while hiding from Saul

Tehillim 54 לַמְנַצֵּ֥חַ בִּנְגִינֹ֗ת מַשְׂכִּ֥יל לְדָוִֽד׃ For the leader; with instrumental music. A maskil of David, בְּב֣וֹא הַ֭זִּיפִים וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ לְשָׁא֑וּל הֲלֹ֥א דָ֝וִ֗ד מִסְתַּתֵּ֥ר ...
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  • 1,767
9 votes

What is the "Ode to the woman" of Shlomo HaMelech?

It is verses 10 - 31 of chapter 31 of Proverbs (Mishlei), commonly known as Eishes Chayil, or the woman of valor. It is customarily sung by men on Friday night before Kiddush. The topic of the song ...
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9 votes

Was Psalm 29 derived from Canaanite sources?

Samuel Sandmel popularized the term "parallelomania": extrapolating from the fact that two passages have some resemblance that they must have a literary connection, or that one was ...
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9 votes
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What is the history behind ascribing a heading to each of the Psalms?

Yes, these headings appear in Hebrew manuscripts. Here are two of the most famous manuscripts with the heading for your psalm: למנצח אל־תשחת לדוד מכתם בשלח שאול וישמרו את־הבית להמיתו. Leningrad Codex ...
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  • 8,686
8 votes
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Why repeat the last verse of "Yoshev b'Seter Elyon"

Machzor Vitri - page 114 says we say the verse Orech Yamim twice in order to complete the name of Hashem that is produced by doing so. וכופלין אורך ימים כדי להשלים השם היוצא ממנו Tashbatz 258, ...
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8 votes
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Tehilim 51, "in sin did his mother conceive him", What does that mean?

Rav Sa'adya Gaon explains in his commentary to Psalms (51:7) that David was not making a statement about the state of Man. Rather, he was speaking personally; that he was so ashamed, that he felt as ...
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  • 34.9k
8 votes

Did King David's parents abandon him? (Psalm 27)

While the sources cited by rosends refer to an "abandonment" which might occur at some point during a persons life, but which could possibly be avoided in particular circumstances, Rashi suggests that ...
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7 votes
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In Psalm 27, David appears to request more than one thing. Why does he say the word "One"?

Metzudas David thereon apparently understands "b" and "c" to be the same thing. לחזות. לראות בנעימות תורת ה' : ולבקר. לדרוש בהיכלו בדבר מצות ה' Furthermore, Malbim understands "b" and "c" to be ...
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7 votes

What is the shir shel yom for Rosh Hodesh Tevet according to the tradition of the GR"A?

Maaseh Rav 157 (a work documenting the practices of the Vilna Gaon) records the answer according to the tradition you ask about: אין אומרים שיר של יום של יומו ואומרים במקומו בב' ימים דר"ח ברכי נפשי ...
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  • 95.6k
7 votes

Tehillim 119 -- what vav's to pronounce

The trick here (if the dot-above-the-Vav's location is ambiguous) is that if the Vav is a mater lectionis, then it is serving as the vowel for the previous letter. Thus if the previous letter has a ...
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7 votes

In Psalm 105:39 why is the cloud said to "cover" rather than "precede" the people?

Rashi to Numbers 10:34: Seven times is the word ענן used in the account of their journeys alluding to four clouds which screened them on all four sides, one that was above them, one beneath their ...
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  • 38.5k
7 votes

Who are the bene elim?

There are several opinions: Rashi - They are to be understood as "שרים" - officers Ibn Ezra - they are "כוכבים" - stars The Targum draws the same conclusion as you that they ...
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7 votes
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Refs for Ps. 119 being called "Alfa-Bita" and "Temanya Apin"?

Psalm 119 is referred to as temanya apin in Berachot 4b: אִילֵּימָא מִשּׁוּם דְּאָתְיָא בְּאָלֶף בֵּית, נֵימָא ״אַשְׁרֵי תְמִימֵי דָרֶךְ״ דְּאָתְיָא בִּתְמָנְיָא אַפִּין It is referred to as alfa ...
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  • 38.5k
7 votes
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Question about Shmuel 1:11:11 and Tehillim 83:8

The Radak makes your point in Divrei Hayamim to suggest that the Amonim are a different nation than the B'nei Amonim. In the story in Shmuel, they are referred to as Amonim throughout, not B'nei Amon, ...
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  • 6,015
7 votes
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Based on Tehillim 92, would playing נֶבֶל not violate Shabbat?

Partial answer: Taking into account that this was the Shir Shel Yom of Shabbat, the gemara in Sukkah 51a states: "However, with regard to the song that the Levites sang accompanying an offering, ...
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  • 20.8k
6 votes

How sick does someone have to be to be put on "the cholim list"?

Sheilas Yaavetz 64 - column starting ונ"ל טעם discussing praying for a sick person on Shabbos, says that one should only pray for an ill person, whose illness has taken a turn for the worse. לכן ...
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6 votes

Which tehillim are best to say for the welfare of soldiers at war?

While I am not aware that there is any authoritative list, It seems that among several that are coomonly said is Tehillim 121. I believe this was chosen as a general Tehillim to be said for people ...
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6 votes
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Why do people stand for Psalm 100?

It is a dispute in poskim, and there are different customs about which one to follow. Why is this psalm different than all other Psalms? Two reasons, one is that it has a reference to the sacrifice, ...
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6 votes
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Tehillim (Psalms) 27:2 -- Is it כָּשְׁלוּ or כָשְׁלוּ?

The Aleppo, Leningrad, and Damascus Codices all have it Rafeh. Even the original Bomberg Mikraot Gedolot has it Rafeh! Minchat Shai ad loc. comments that it should be Rafeh. I did find that the Codex ...
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  • 95.6k
6 votes
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Why is "we" mentioned twice in the English translation of Ps. 20:8?

Here's a more colloquial translation of what they're trying to accomplish: Some rely on their chariots, and some on their horses, but as for us? We call out in the name of God! (There is no double-...
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  • 127k
6 votes

Unusual spelling of Joseph's name

The gemara in sotah 10b says it is because he was מקדש שם שמים בסתר by not falling for אשת פוטיפר. The context can be understood as referring to יוסף's time in Egypt and hence this is an appropriate ...
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6 votes

What is the 'ten stringed' instrument in Psalm 33, Psalm 92 and Psalm 144?

See this: HARP (në'-vël) [H5035] 1. an ancient string instrument of ten strings used to accompany the voice. Standing almost three feet tall, the harp had of two sets of strings (five on each ...
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