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The potent power of Psalms, and the proper times to recite them.


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Rabbi Latowicz: Welcome. I'll be with you in a moment...

Manuel: hi

Rabbi Latowicz: hi

Manuel: Could you explain to me why it's such a good thing to recite Tehillim?

Rabbi Latowicz: they were written in prophecy by King David and others...

Rabbi Latowicz: and Tehillim is the roadmap to the gates of heaven and higher, whoever recites these holy words, his paryers are heard before G-d

Rabbi Latowicz: the Jewish prayer book is almost entirely made of tehillim

Manuel: So, is the idea that the requests within the tehillim should be answered or that they should enable your prayers that you say later to be answered?

Rabbi Latowicz: both

Manuel: So, what's the idea of saying a bit of tehillim for somebody who has passed, at a memorial event or at a cemetery?

Rabbi Latowicz: becuase of the power and holiness of the words assist the soul in its ascent to the next world

Manuel: by saying the words with that person in mind, you help the soul's ascent?

Rabbi Latowicz: yes

Manuel: wow

Manuel: I heard that tehillim is only said during the day. Why is that?

Rabbi Latowicz: daytime is a time of CHESED [Ed. note: divine kindness]

Rabbi Latowicz: night is DIN [divine severity, justice]

Manuel: DIN?

Manuel: Oh, judgment

Manuel: right?

Rabbi Latowicz: correct

Rabbi Latowicz: this is only until midnight, after midnight it is ok to say Tehillim

Manuel: okay, thanks, I think you've answered my questions!

Rabbi Latowicz: very welcome, nice chatting

Rabbi Latowicz: shalom

Manuel: shalom!

[Another exception to the aforementioned rule is Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and the days of penitence between them. On these days, when G-d's kindness is all-pervasive, it is customary to recite Psalms even during the nighttime.]

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.


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Torah » The Bible » The Prophets
Mitzvot » Prayer » About

Rosh Hashanah
The Jewish New Year. An early autumn two day holiday marking the creation of Adam and Eve. On this day we hear the blasts of the ram's horn and accept G-d's sovereignty upon ourselves and the world. On Rosh Hashanah we pray that G-d should grant us all a sweet New Year.
Yom Kippur
Day of Atonement. This late-autumn high-holiday is the holiest day of the year. We devote this day to repentance and all healthy adults are required to fast.
King of Israel who succeeded Saul, becoming king of Israel in 876 BCE. Originally a shepherd, he became popular after he killed the Philistine strongman, Goliath. He is the progenitor of the Davidic royal dynasty -- which will return to the throne with the arrival of King Messiah.
The Book of Psalms. One of the 24 books of the Bible. Compiled by King David; mostly comprised of poetic praise for G-d. A large part of our prayers are culled from this book.
The Book of Psalms. One of the 24 books of the Bible. Compiled by King David; mostly comprised of poetic praise for G-d. A large part of our prayers are culled from this book.
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.