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הַתִּקּוּן הַכְּלָלִי שֶׁל רֶבִּי נַחְמָן | The Tiqqun haKlali (General Remedy) of Rebbe Naḥman of Bratslav

Before our hands can fix, we need to care. Before we can care, we need to become aware. But how can we remind ourselves to perceive and sustain our sensitivity and capability for compassion? We can shy from the pain that comes with empathy, and we can shy from the pain that comes with taking responsibility for the suffering we cause. But there are consequences to shying away, to disaffection and callous disassociation. If there is any hope, it is as Rebbe Naḥman explained so succinctly: “If you believe that you can damage, then believe that you can fix.”[1] Liqutei Moharan Ⅱ:112 

The Psalms or Tehillim in Hebrew, are the core of Jewish liturgy; its poetry believed to be a treasury of theurgical power.[2] The Midrash Tehillim is testament to the creative depths of imagination exercised in the interpretation of the Tehillim — depths which inform the valence and significance of Tehillim used for tefillah (Jewish prayer).   Power to heal. Power to bring about intervention, if only in our own awareness. If every one of us is like a lonely world unto ourselves, then perhaps some shared songs can unite us, and reconnect us to the world we share together: healing it, liberating it, redeeming it with renewed compassion. This is the hope and promise of a devotional practice of reciting lyrics to songs with long lost and ever rediscovered melodies. Melodies which we can only discover through our own private readings of these ancient songs.

According to Pesaḥim 117a [3] also see Zohar III, 101a.   there are ten kinds of songs in the Tehillim: Ashrei, Berakha, Maskil, Nitzuaḥ, Shir, Niggun, Mizmor, Tefillah, Hoda’ah, and Hallelu-Yah. In the early 19th century, Rebbe Naḥman, a great-grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, taught that the recitation of ten psalms, each representing one of these categories, could act as a Tiqqun (remedy).[4] Recorded in Liqutei Moharan Ⅰ:29, in a teaching given on May 23, 1806.   Their recitation would help in a process of t’shuva leading to an awareness of the divine presence that permeates and enlivens this world but is alas, hidden through an accretion of transgressive thoughts and actions.[5] This is a simplification of a number of ideas and mystical references summarized in plain language.[–Aharon Varady].   On April 1810, Rebbe Naḥman revealed the specific ten psalms of this Tiqqun to two of his closest disciples, Rabbi Aharon of Bratslav and Rabbi Naftali of Nemyriv, by making them witnesses to the following vow:

Bear witness to my words: When my days are over and I leave this world, I will still intercede for anyone who comes to my grave, says these ten Psalms, and gives a penny to charity. No matter how great his sins, I will do everything in my power, spanning the length and breadth of the creation to cleanse and protect him.

I am very positive in everything I say. But I am most positive in regard to the great benefit of these ten Psalms. These are the ten Psalms:

     32, 41
   42, 59, 77 
90, 105, 137, 150

This is the General Remedy. There is a specific remedy for each transgression, but this is the general remedy (tiqqun haklali).
Go out and spread the teaching of the ten Psalms to all men.

Rebbe Naḥman added,

It may seem like an easy thing to say ten Psalms. But it will actually be very difficult in practice.

Today, recitation of the Tiqqun is a daily spiritual practice among the Rebbe Naḥman’s Ḥasidim and introducing the Tiqqun and other teachings of Rebbe Naḥman remains an enduring mission. We’d like to thank Nissim “Nanach” Kaufmann and the kind ḥasidim at nanach.orgfor sharing Rebbe Naḥman’s Tiqqun HaKlali. Nissim notes that for males, the Tiqqun Klali is a complete remedy for tumah (ritual impurity) caused by mikreh lailah hv”sh (nocturnal emission) and any keri (seminal emission). Preferably, the Tiqqun should be recited on the same day after immersing oneself in a natural flowing body of water, or mikveh. However, the Tiqqun can be said even if a natural flowing body of water or mikveh is not available for immersion.


Source (Hebrew)Translation (English)
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ ואֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ הַבּוֹחֵר בְּדָוִד עַבְדוֹ וּבְזַרְעוֹ אַחֲרָיו וְהַבּוֹחֵר בְּשִׁירוֹת וְתִשְׁבָּחוֹת, שֶׁתֵּפֶן בְּרַחֲמִים אֶל קְרִיאַת מִזְמוֹרֵי תְּהִלִּים שֶׁאֶקְרָא כְּאִלּוּ אֲמָרָם דָּוִד הַמֶּלֶךְ עָלָיו הַשָּׁלוֹם בְּעַצְמוֹ זְכוּתוֹ יָגֵן עָלֵינוּ.
May it be your will, YHVH (HaShem) our elo’ah, and elo’ah of our ancestors, Who chooses David, the King, and his descendants; who chooses songs and praises. Please turn to me in mercy and accept the Psalms I am going to say as if King David himself were saying them, and let his merit protect us.[6] We are indebted to the wonderful folk over at Breselev.co.il for sharing their translation of the Yehi Ratson prayer preceding the Tiqqun Klali. I have only made minor changes to it.  
וְיַעֲמָד לָנוּ זְכוּת פְּסוּקֵי תְּהִלִּים וּזְכוּת תֵּבוֹתֵיהֶם וְאוֹתִיוֹתֵיהֶם וּנְקֻדּוֹתֵיהֶם וְטַעֲמֵיהֶם וְהַשֵּׁמוֹת הַיּוֹצְאִים מֵהֶם מֵרָאשֵׁי תֵּבוֹת וּמִסּוֹפֵי תֵּבוֹת, לְכַפֵּר פְּשָּׁעֵינוּ וַעֲוֹנוֹתֵינוּ וְחַטֹּאתֵינוּ, וּלְזַמֵּר עָרִיצִים וּלְהַכְרִית כָּל הַחוֹחִים וְהַקּוֹצִים הַסּוֹבְבִים אֶת הַשּׁוֹשַׁנָּה הָעֶלְיוֹנָה, וּלְחַבֵּר אֵשֶׁת נְעוּרִים עִם דּוֹדָהּ בְּאַהֲבָה וְאַחֲוָה וְרֵעוּת, וּמִשָּׁם יִמָּשֵׁךְ לָנוּ שֶׁפַע לְנֶפֶשׁ רוּחַ וּנְשָׁמָה לְטַהֲרֵנוּ מֵעֲוֹנוֹתֵינוּ וְלִסְלֹחַ חַטֹּאתֵינוּ וּלְכַפֵּר פְּשָּׁעֵינוּ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁסָלַחְתָּ לְדָוִד שֶׁאָמַר מִזְמוֹרִים אֵלּוּ לְפָנֶיךָ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר גַּם יְיָ הֶעֱבִיר חַטָּאתְךָ לֹא תָּמוּת.
There is merit in every verse of the Psalms and in every word, in their letters, vowels and notes and in all the holy names spelled out by the first and last letters of each Hebrew word. Let this merit stand in our favor to atone for our sins and transgressions, cut down our enemies and accusers on High, and destroy all the thorns and thistles surrounding the Supernal Rose. Send down blessing from your exalted place to all the levels of our soul and spirit, to purify us from our sins, forgive our transgressions and atone for our rebellion, just as you forgave King David who recited these tehillim before you. “And HaShem will cause your sin to pass away and you will not die.”[7] II Samuel 12:13.  
וְאַל תִּקָּחֵנוּ מֵהָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה קֹדֶם זְמַנֵּנוּ עַד מְלֹאת שְנוֹתֵינוּ בָּהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה בְּאֹפֶן שֶׁנּוּכַל לְתַקֵּן אֵת אָשֵׁר שִׁחַתְנוּ.
Do not take us from this world before our time. Give us a full life throughout our span of seventy years so that we can make amends for all the wrong we have done.
וּזְכוּת דָּוִד הַמֶּלֶךְ עָלָיו הַשָּׁלוֹם יָגֵן עָלֵינוּ ?בַּעֲדֵנוּ שְׁתַּאֲרִיךְ אַפְּךָ עַד שׁוּבֵנוּ אֵלֶיךָ בִּתְשׁוּבָה שְׁלֵמָה לְפָנֶיךָ.
May the merit of King David protect us, and be patient with us until we return to you in perfect repentance.
וּמֵאוֹצַר מַתְּנַת חִנָּם חֲנָנוֹ, כְּדִּכְתִיב וְחַנּוֹתִי אֶת אֲשֶׁר אָחֹן וְרִחַמְתִּי אֶת אָשֵׁר אֲרַחֵם. וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁאָנוּ אוֹמְרִים לְפָנֶיךָ שִׁירָה בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה כָּךְ נִזְכֶּה לוֹמַר לְפָנֶיךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ שִׁיר וּשְׁבָחָה לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא.
Grant us blessing from your treasury of open-handed generosity, as it is written: “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy.”[8] Exodus 33:19.   Just as we sing before you in this Age of the World, grant us the privilege of singing before you, HaShem, in the next Age.
וְעַל יְדֵי אֲמִירַת תְּהִלִּים תִּתְעוֹרֵר חֲבַצֶּלֶת הַשָּׁרוֹן וְלָשִׁיר בְּקוֹל נָעִים בְּגִילַת וְרַנֵּן, כְּבוֹד הַלְּבָנוֹן נִתָּן לָהּ, הוֹד וְהָדָר בְּבֵית אֱלֹהֵינוּ בִּמְהֵרָה בְּיָמֵינוּ אָמֵן סֶלָה:‏
Through our recital of the Psalms, let pleasant song break forth with rejoicing and exultation. Let glory be given to Israel; and splendor and beauty shall be in the House of our Elohim. Bring it speedily in our days, Amen.
קוֹדֵם שְׁיַתְחִיל בְּאֲמִירַת תְּהִלִּים יֹאמַר זֶה:‏
Before reading Tehilim, the first three verses of Psalms 95 are customarily said:
לְכוּ נְרַנְּנָה לַיהוה, נָרִיעָה לְצוּר יִשְׁעֵנוּ: נְקַדְּמָה פָּנָיו בְּתוֹדָה, בִּזְמִרוֹת נָרִיעַ לוֹ: כִּי אֵל גָּדוֹל יהוה, וּמֶלֶךְ גָּדוֹל עַל כָּל אֱלֹהִים:‏ (תהלים צה:א-ג)
Go, let us sing joyously to YHVH; let us shout out to the rock-fortress of our salvation. Let us advance facing him with thanksgiving; with melodic song let us shout out to him. For YHVH is a great el (deity), and a great King above all elohim (divinities).

Meditate on your intention (kavvanah) before continuing by saying:
הֲרֵינִי מְזַמֵּן אֶת פִּי לְהוֹדוֹת וּלְהַלֵּל וּלְשַׁבֵּחַ אֶת בּוֹרְאִי לְשֵׁם יִחוּד קֻדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא וּשְׁכִינְתֵּה בִּדְחִילוּ וּרְחִימוּ עַל יְדֵי הַהוּא טָמִיר וְנֶעְלָם בְּשֵׁם כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל:‏
I am preparing my mouth to thank, praise, and honor my Creator, to bring about a unification of the blessed Holy One and his shekhinah, in awe and fear, through the [Godliness that is] hidden in the world, in the name of all Yisrael.

Ḥasidim customarily include the following kavvanah to join their intention with that of the Tsaddikim (righteous individuals in the world).
הֲרֵינִי מְקַשֵׁר עַצְמִי בַּאֲמִירַת הָעֲשָׂרָה מִזְמוֹרִים אֵלּוּ לְכָל הַצַּדִּיקִים הָאֲמִתִּיִּים שֶׁבְּדוֹרֵנוּ. וּלְכָל הַצַּדִּיקִים הָאֲמִתִּים שׁוֹכְנֵי עָפָר. קְדוֹשִׁים אָשֵׁר בָּאָרֶץ הֵמָּה.
I am connecting myself in saying the ten Tehilim to all the true tsaddikim that are in our generation, and to all the true tsaddikim resting in dust.

A ḥasid of Rebbe Naḥman might add:
וּבִפְרָט לְרַבֵּנוּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ צַדִּיק יְסוֹד עוֹלָם
“נַחַל נוֹבֵעַ מְקוֹר חָכְמָה” (משלי יח:ד)
רַבֵּנוּ נַחְמָן בֶּן פֵיגֶא.
זְכוּתָם יָגֵן עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל אָמֵן׃
[I am connecting myself ] especially to our Holy Rebbi, Tsadik, Yesod Olam,
the “Flowing Brook, a Fountain of Wisdom”[9] Proverbs 18:4.  ,
our Rabbi Naḥman ben Feiga [who revealed this Tiqqun].
May his merit protect us and all Yisrael, Amen.
תְּהִלִּים טז
1 מִכְתָּ֥ם לְדָוִ֑ד שָֽׁמְרֵ֥נִי אֵ֝֗ל כִּֽי־חָסִ֥יתִי בָֽךְ׃ 2 אָמַ֣רְתְּ לַֽ֭יהוָה אֲדֹנָ֣י אָ֑תָּה ט֝וֹבָתִ֗י בַּל־עָלֶֽיךָ׃ 3 לִ֭קְדוֹשִׁים אֲשֶׁר־בָּאָ֣רֶץ הֵ֑מָּה וְ֝אַדִּירֵ֗י כָּל־חֶפְצִי־בָֽם׃ 4 יִרְבּ֥וּ עַצְּבוֹתָם֮ אַחֵ֪ר מָ֫הָ֥רוּ בַּל־אַסִּ֣יךְ נִסְכֵּיהֶ֣ם מִדָּ֑ם וּֽבַל־אֶשָּׂ֥א אֶת־שְׁ֝מוֹתָ֗ם עַל־שְׂפָתָֽי׃ 5 יְֽהוָ֗ה מְנָת־חֶלְקִ֥י וְכוֹסִ֑י אַ֝תָּ֗ה תּוֹמִ֥יךְ גּוֹרָלִֽי׃ 6 חֲבָלִ֣ים נָֽפְלוּ־לִ֭י בַּנְּעִמִ֑ים אַף־נַ֝חֲלָ֗ת שָֽׁפְרָ֥ה עָלָֽי׃ 7 אֲבָרֵ֗ךְ אֶת־יְ֭הוָה אֲשֶׁ֣ר יְעָצָ֑נִי אַף־לֵ֝יל֗וֹת יִסְּר֥וּנִי כִלְיוֹתָֽי׃ 8 שִׁוִּ֬יתִי יְהוָ֣ה לְנֶגְדִּ֣י תָמִ֑יד כִּ֥י מִֽ֝ימִינִ֗י בַּל־אֶמּֽוֹט׃ 9 לָכֵ֤ן ׀ שָׂמַ֣ח לִ֭בִּי וַיָּ֣גֶל כְּבוֹדִ֑י אַף־בְּ֝שָׂרִ֗י יִשְׁכֹּ֥ן לָבֶֽטַח׃ 10 כִּ֤י ׀ לֹא־תַעֲזֹ֣ב נַפְשִׁ֣י לִשְׁא֑וֹל לֹֽא־תִתֵּ֥ן חֲ֝סִידְךָ֗ לִרְא֥וֹת שָֽׁחַת׃ 11 תּֽוֹדִיעֵנִי֮ אֹ֤רַח חַ֫יִּ֥ים שֹׂ֣בַע שְׂ֭מָחוֹת אֶת־פָּנֶ֑יךָ נְעִמ֖וֹת בִּימִינְךָ֣ נֶֽצַח׃
Psalms 16
1 A mikhtam by David. Guard me, El, for I have taken refuge in you. 2 [O my soul] you should say to YHVH, “You are my Master; [in bestowing your] benefits towards me, there is no duty on your part [on account of my own merit]. 3 But on account of the holy ones who are [buried] in the earth, and of the mighty ones [in faith] in whom is all my delight [all my needs are fulfilled]. 4 The sorrows of those who hasten after another [deity] will increase; I will not pour their libations of blood, nor will I take their names upon my lips. 5 YHVH is the share given for my portion [i.e. to believe in him] and [the share] for my cup is you, Who guide me in my lot. 6 Portions have fallen to me in the most pleasant places [i.e. faith in you]; even a beautiful inheritance [ibid.] is upon me.” 7 I will bless YHVH, Who counseled me; even at night my conscience instructs me. 8 I have placed YHVH before me constantly; because [he is] at my right hand, I will not falter. 9 Therefore, my heart rejoiced, and my soul was glad; even my flesh shall dwell in safety. 10 For you shall not forsake my soul to the grave; you shall not allow your pious one to see destruction. 11 You will make known to me the path of life: satiety of joys in seeing your face, [and being satisfied] unto eternity with the delights that are at your right hand.
תְּהִלִּים לב
1 לְדָוִ֗ד מַ֫שְׂכִּ֥יל אַשְׁרֵ֥י נְֽשׂוּי־פֶּ֗שַׁע כְּס֣וּי חֲטָאָֽה׃ 2 אַ֥שְֽׁרֵי אָדָ֗ם לֹ֤א יַחְשֹׁ֬ב יְהוָ֣ה ל֣וֹ עָוֺ֑ן וְאֵ֖ין בְּרוּח֣וֹ רְמִיָּה׃ 3 כִּֽי־הֶ֭חֱרַשְׁתִּי בָּל֣וּ עֲצָמָ֑י בְּ֝שַׁאֲגָתִ֗י כָּל־הַיּֽוֹם׃ 4 כִּ֤י ׀ יוֹמָ֣ם וָלַיְלָה֮ תִּכְבַּ֥ד עָלַ֗י יָ֫דֶ֥ךָ נֶהְפַּ֥ךְ לְשַׁדִּ֑י בְּחַרְבֹ֖נֵי קַ֣יִץ סֶֽלָה׃ 5 חַטָּאתִ֨י אוֹדִ֪יעֲךָ֡ וַעֲוֺ֘נִ֤י לֹֽא־כִסִּ֗יתִי אָמַ֗רְתִּי אוֹדֶ֤ה עֲלֵ֣י פְ֭שָׁעַי לַיהוָ֑ה וְאַתָּ֨ה נָ֘שָׂ֤אתָ עֲוֺ֖ן חַטָּאתִ֣י סֶֽלָה׃ 6 עַל־זֹ֡את יִתְפַּלֵּ֬ל כָּל־חָסִ֨יד ׀ אֵלֶיךָ֮ לְעֵ֪ת מְ֫צֹ֥א רַ֗ק לְ֭שֵׁטֶף מַ֣יִם רַבִּ֑ים אֵ֝לָ֗יו לֹ֣א יַגִּֽיעוּ׃ 7 אַתָּ֤ה ׀ סֵ֥תֶר לִי֮ מִצַּ֪ר תִּ֫צְּרֵ֥נִי רָנֵּ֥י פַלֵּ֑ט תְּס֖וֹבְבֵ֣נִי סֶֽלָה׃ 8 אַשְׂכִּֽילְךָ֨ ׀ וְֽאוֹרְךָ֗ בְּדֶֽרֶךְ־ז֥וּ תֵלֵ֑ךְ אִֽיעֲצָ֖ה עָלֶ֣יךָ עֵינִֽי׃ 9 אַל־תִּֽהְי֤וּ ׀ כְּס֥וּס כְּפֶרֶד֮ אֵ֤ין הָ֫בִ֥ין בְּמֶֽתֶג־וָרֶ֣סֶן עֶדְי֣וֹ לִבְל֑וֹם בַּ֝֗ל קְרֹ֣ב אֵלֶֽיךָ׃ 10 רַבִּ֥ים מַכְאוֹבִ֗ים לָרָ֫שָׁ֥ע וְהַבּוֹטֵ֥חַ בַּיהוָ֑ה חֶ֝֗סֶד יְסוֹבְבֶֽנּוּ׃ 11 שִׂמְח֬וּ בַֽיהוָ֣ה וְ֭גִילוּ צַדִּיקִ֑ים וְ֝הַרְנִ֗ינוּ כָּל־יִשְׁרֵי־לֵֽב׃
Psalms 32
1 By David, a maskil. Fortunate is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Fortunate is the man to whom YHVH ascribes no iniquity and in whose spirit there is no guile. 3 When I was silent, my bones decayed with my moaning all day long. 4 For [both] day and night your hand is heavy upon me; my freshness was transformed as in the droughts of summer, Selah. 5 I would inform you of my sin, and I did not conceal my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to YHVH,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin, Selah. 6 For this [thing] let every pious man judge himself: [to draw close] to you before [misfortune] befalls, only before the flooding of might waters [of afflictions]; such a person they will not reach. 7 You are a hiding-place for me, from distress you guard me; with songs of deliverance you encompass me, Selah. 8 “I will enlighten you and instruct you in the way which you shall go; I will wink My eye to you.” 9 Be not like a horse or like a mule that does not discern, which must be muzzled with its adornment of bit and rein, that it should not come near you. 10 Many are the pains of the wicked, but as for him who trusts in YHVH — kindness will encompass him. 11 Rejoice in YHVH and exult, O righteous ones, and cause all those of upright hearts to sing praises.
תְּהִלִּים מא
1 לַמְנַצֵּ֗חַ מִזְמ֥וֹר לְדָוִֽד׃ 2 אַ֭שְׁרֵי מַשְׂכִּ֣יל אֶל־דָּ֑ל בְּי֥וֹם רָ֝עָ֗ה יְֽמַלְּטֵ֥הוּ יְהוָֽה׃ 3 יְהוָ֤ה ׀ יִשְׁמְרֵ֣הוּ וִֽ֭יחַיֵּהוּ יאשר וְאֻשַּׁ֣ר בָּאָ֑רֶץ וְאַֽל־תִּ֝תְּנֵ֗הוּ בְּנֶ֣פֶשׁ אֹיְבָֽיו׃ 4 יְֽהוָ֗ה יִ֭סְעָדֶנּוּ עַל־עֶ֣רֶשׂ דְּוָ֑י כָּל־מִ֝שְׁכָּב֗וֹ הָפַ֥כְתָּ בְחָלְיֽוֹ׃ 5 אֲ‍ֽנִי־אָ֭מַרְתִּי יְהוָ֣ה חָנֵּ֑נִי רְפָאָ֥ה נַ֝פְשִׁ֗י כִּי־חָטָ֥אתִי לָֽךְ׃ 6 אוֹיְבַ֗י יֹאמְר֣וּ רַ֣ע לִ֑י מָתַ֥י יָ֝מ֗וּת וְאָבַ֥ד שְׁמֽוֹ׃ 7 וְאִם־בָּ֤א לִרְא֨וֹת ׀ שָׁ֤וְא יְדַבֵּ֗ר לִבּ֗וֹ יִקְבָּץ־אָ֥וֶן ל֑וֹ יֵצֵ֖א לַח֣וּץ יְדַבֵּֽר׃ 8 יַ֗חַד עָלַ֣י יִ֭תְלַחֲשׁוּ כָּל־שֹׂנְאָ֑י עָלַ֓י ׀ יַחְשְׁב֖וּ רָעָ֣ה לִֽי׃ 9 דְּֽבַר־בְּ֭לִיַּעַל יָצ֣וּק בּ֑וֹ וַאֲשֶׁ֥ר שָׁ֝כַ֗ב לֹא־יוֹסִ֥יף לָקֽוּם׃ 10 גַּם־אִ֤ישׁ שְׁלוֹמִ֨י ׀ אֲשֶׁר־בָּטַ֣חְתִּי ב֭וֹ אוֹכֵ֣ל לַחְמִ֑י הִגְדִּ֖יל עָלַ֣י עָקֵֽב׃ 11 וְאַתָּ֤ה יְהוָ֗ה חָנֵּ֥נִי וַהֲקִימֵ֑נִי וַֽאֲשַׁלְּמָ֥ה לָהֶֽם׃ 12 בְּזֹ֣את יָ֭דַעְתִּי כִּֽי־חָפַ֣צְתָּ בִּ֑י כִּ֤י לֹֽא־יָרִ֖יעַ אֹיְבִ֣י עָלָֽי׃ 13 וַאֲנִ֗י בְּ֭תֻמִּי תָּמַ֣כְתָּ בִּ֑י וַתַּצִּיבֵ֖נִי לְפָנֶ֣יךָ לְעוֹלָֽם׃ 14 בָּ֘ר֤וּךְ יְהוָ֨ה ׀ אֱלֹ֘הֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל מֵֽ֭הָעוֹלָם וְעַ֥ד הָעוֹלָ֗ם אָ֘מֵ֥ן ׀ וְאָמֵֽן׃
Psalms 41
1 For the Leader, a song by David. 2 Fortunate is he who considers the sick; on a day of calamity YHVH will rescue him. 3 YHVH will preserve him and keep him alive, and he will be called fortunate in all the land, and you will not deliver him into the desire of his enemies. 4 YHVH will support him on his sickbed; when you have transformed his entire restfulness in his illness. 5 I said, “YHVH, be gracious to me; heal my soul because I have sinned against you.” 6 My enemies speak evil of me; “When will he die and his name be lost?” 7 And if he comes to see [me], he speaks falsely; his heart gathers iniquity to itself; when he goes outside, he speaks of it. 8 All my enemies whisper together about me; against me do they devise my hurt. 9 “An evil thing shall be poured into him, and once he lies down, he will no longer rise.” 10 Even my ally, in whom I trusted, who eats my bread, developed an ambush for me. 11 But you, YHVH, be gracious to me and raise me up, so that I may repay them. 12 By this I shall know that you delight in me, when my enemy does not shout joyfully over me. 13 And as for me, because of my integrity you shall support me, and set me up before your face forever. 14 Blessed be YHVH, elo’ah of Yisrael, from [one end of] the world, to the [other end of] the world. Amen and amen!
תְּהִלִּים מב
1 לַמְנַצֵּ֗חַ מַשְׂכִּ֥יל לִבְנֵי־קֹֽרַח׃ 2 כְּאַיָּ֗ל תַּעֲרֹ֥ג עַל־אֲפִֽיקֵי־מָ֑יִם כֵּ֤ן נַפְשִׁ֨י תַעֲרֹ֖ג אֵלֶ֣יךָ אֱלֹהִֽים׃ 3 צָמְאָ֬ה נַפְשִׁ֨י ׀ לֵאלֹהִים֮ לְאֵ֪ל חָ֥י מָתַ֥י אָב֑וֹא וְ֝אֵרָאֶ֗ה פְּנֵ֣י אֱלֹהִֽים׃ 4 הָֽיְתָה־לִּ֬י דִמְעָתִ֣י לֶ֭חֶם יוֹמָ֣ם וָלָ֑יְלָה בֶּאֱמֹ֥ר אֵלַ֥י כָּל־הַ֝יּ֗וֹם אַיֵּ֥ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ׃ 5 אֵ֤לֶּה אֶזְכְּרָ֨ה ׀ וְאֶשְׁפְּכָ֬ה עָלַ֨י ׀ נַפְשִׁ֗י כִּ֤י אֶֽעֱבֹ֨ר ׀ בַּסָּךְ֮ אֶדַּדֵּ֗ם עַד־בֵּ֥ית אֱלֹ֫הִ֥ים בְּקוֹל־רִנָּ֥ה וְתוֹדָ֗ה הָמ֥וֹן חוֹגֵֽג׃ 6 מַה־תִּשְׁתּ֬וֹחֲחִ֨י ׀ נַפְשִׁי֮ וַתֶּהֱמִ֪י עָ֫לָ֥י הוֹחִ֣ילִי לֵֽ֭אלֹהִים כִּי־ע֥וֹד אוֹדֶ֗נּוּ יְשׁוּע֥וֹת פָּנָֽיו׃ 7 אֱ‍ֽלֹהַ֗י עָלַי֮ נַפְשִׁ֪י תִשְׁתּ֫וֹחָ֥ח עַל־כֵּ֗ן אֶ֭זְכָּרְךָ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ יַרְדֵּ֑ן וְ֝חֶרְמוֹנִ֗ים מֵהַ֥ר מִצְעָֽר׃ 8 תְּהֽוֹם־אֶל־תְּה֣וֹם ק֭וֹרֵא לְק֣וֹל צִנּוֹרֶ֑יךָ כָּֽל־מִשְׁבָּרֶ֥יךָ וְ֝גַלֶּ֗יךָ עָלַ֥י עָבָֽרוּ׃ 9 יוֹמָ֤ם ׀ יְצַוֶּ֬ה יְהוָ֨ה ׀ חַסְדּ֗וֹ וּ֭בַלַּיְלָה שירה שִׁיר֣וֹ עִמִּ֑י תְּ֝פִלָּ֗ה לְאֵ֣ל חַיָּֽי׃ 10 אוֹמְרָ֤ה ׀ לְאֵ֥ל סַלְעִי֮ לָמָ֪ה שְׁכַ֫חְתָּ֥נִי לָֽמָּה־קֹדֵ֥ר אֵלֵ֗ךְ בְּלַ֣חַץ אוֹיֵֽב׃ 11 בְּרֶ֤צַח ׀ בְּֽעַצְמוֹתַ֗י חֵרְפ֥וּנִי צוֹרְרָ֑י בְּאָמְרָ֥ם אֵלַ֥י כָּל־הַ֝יּ֗וֹם אַיֵּ֥ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ׃ 12 מַה־תִּשְׁתּ֬וֹחֲחִ֨י ׀ נַפְשִׁי֮ וּֽמַה־תֶּהֱמִ֪י עָ֫לָ֥י הוֹחִ֣ילִי לֵֽ֭אלֹהִים כִּי־ע֣וֹד אוֹדֶ֑נּוּ יְשׁוּעֹ֥ת פָּ֝נַ֗י וֵֽאלֹהָֽי׃
Psalms 42
1 For the Leader, a maskil by the sons of Qoraḥ. 2 As a doe cries longingly for rivulets of water, so does my soul cry longingly to you, Elohim. 3 My soul thirsts for Elohim, for the living El: “When will I come and appear before Elohim [in the Holy Temple]?” 4 My tears were my bread day and night when they say to me all day long, “Where is your elo’ah?” 5 These things I will remember, and I will pour out my soul [because of the pain which is] upon me: How I passed on in covered [wagons], pacing slowly up to the House of Elohim with a joyful shouting and thanksgiving, a celebrating multitude. 6 Why are you downcast, my soul, and why do you wail over me? Hope to Elohim, for I will yet thank him for the salvations of his presence. 7 My elo’ah, the soul that is upon me is downcast; therefore, I will remember you from the land of Yardan and the peaks of Ḥermon, from the young mountain. 8 One deep [trouble] calls to [another] deep [trouble]; [I am ready] to hear the sound of your water channels [of afflictions]; all your breakers and waves are gone over me. 9 By day, YHVH commands his kindness, and at night, his song is with me, a prayer to the deity [who guards] my life. 10 I will say to El, my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why should I walk in gloom under the oppression of the enemy?” 11 With murder in my bones, my oppressors have reproached me by saying to me all day long, “Where is your elo’ah?” 12 Why are you downcast, my soul, and why do you moan over me? Hope to Elohim, for I will yet thank him for the salvations of my countenance and my elo’ah.
תְּהִלִּים נט
1 לַמְנַצֵּ֣חַ אַל־תַּשְׁחֵת֮ לְדָוִ֪ד מִ֫כְתָּ֥ם בִּשְׁלֹ֥חַ שָׁא֑וּל וַֽיִּשְׁמְר֥וּ אֶת־הַ֝בַּ֗יִת לַהֲמִיתֽוֹ׃ 2 הַצִּילֵ֖נִי מֵאֹיְבַ֥י ׀ אֱלֹהָ֑י מִּמִתְקוֹמְמַ֥י תְּשַׂגְּבֵֽנִי׃ 3 הַ֭צִּילֵנִי מִפֹּ֣עֲלֵי אָ֑וֶן וּֽמֵאַנְשֵׁ֥י דָ֝מִ֗ים הוֹשִׁיעֵֽנִי׃ 4 כִּ֤י הִנֵּ֪ה אָֽרְב֡וּ לְנַפְשִׁ֗י יָג֣וּרוּ עָלַ֣י עַזִ֑ים לֹא־פִשְׁעִ֖י וְלֹא־חַטָּאתִ֣י יְהוָֽה׃ 5 בְּֽלִי־עָ֭וֺן יְרוּצ֣וּן וְיִכּוֹנָ֑נוּ ע֖וּרָה לִקְרָאתִ֣י וּרְאֵה׃ 6 וְאַתָּ֤ה יְהוָֽה־אֱלֹהִ֥ים ׀ צְבָא֡וֹת אֱלֹ֘הֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל הָקִ֗יצָה לִפְקֹ֥ד כָּֽל־הַגּוֹיִ֑ם אַל־תָּחֹ֨ן כָּל־בֹּ֖גְדֵי אָ֣וֶן סֶֽלָה׃ 7 יָשׁ֣וּבוּ לָ֭עֶרֶב יֶהֱמ֥וּ כַכָּ֗לֶב וִיס֥וֹבְבוּ עִֽיר׃ 8 הִנֵּ֤ה ׀ יַבִּ֘יע֤וּן בְּפִיהֶ֗ם חֲ֭רָבוֹת בְּשִׂפְתוֹתֵיהֶ֑ם כִּי־מִ֥י שֹׁמֵֽעַ׃ 9 וְאַתָּ֣ה יְ֭הוָה תִּשְׂחַק־לָ֑מוֹ תִּ֝לְעַ֗ג לְכָל־גּוֹיִֽם׃ 10 עֻ֭זּוֹ אֵלֶ֣יךָ אֶשְׁמֹ֑רָה כִּֽי־אֱ֝לֹהִ֗ים מִשְׂגַּבִּֽי׃ 11 אֱלֹהֵ֣י חסדו חַסְדִּ֣י יְקַדְּמֵ֑נִי אֱ֝לֹהִ֗ים יַרְאֵ֥נִי בְשֹׁרְרָֽי׃ 12 אַל־תַּהַרְגֵ֤ם ׀ פֶּֽן־יִשְׁכְּח֬וּ עַמִּ֗י הֲנִיעֵ֣מוֹ בְ֭חֵילְךָ וְהוֹרִידֵ֑מוֹ מָֽגִנֵּ֣נוּ אֲדֹנָֽי׃ 13 חַטַּאת־פִּ֗ימוֹ דְּֽבַר־שְׂפָ֫תֵ֥ימוֹ וְיִלָּכְד֥וּ בִגְאוֹנָ֑ם וּמֵאָלָ֖ה וּמִכַּ֣חַשׁ יְסַפֵּֽרוּ׃ 14 כַּלֵּ֥ה בְחֵמָה֮ כַּלֵּ֪ה וְֽאֵ֫ינֵ֥מוֹ וְֽיֵדְע֗וּ כִּֽי־אֱ֭לֹהִים מֹשֵׁ֣ל בְּיַעֲקֹ֑ב לְאַפְסֵ֖י הָאָ֣רֶץ סֶֽלָה׃ 15 וְיָשׁ֣וּבוּ לָ֭עֶרֶב יֶהֱמ֥וּ כַכָּ֗לֶב וִיס֥וֹבְבוּ עִֽיר׃ 16 הֵ֭מָּה ינועון יְנִיע֣וּן לֶאֱכֹ֑ל אִם־לֹ֥א יִ֝שְׂבְּע֗וּ וַיָּלִֽינוּ׃ 17 וַאֲנִ֤י ׀ אָשִׁ֣יר עֻזֶּךָ֮ וַאֲרַנֵּ֥ן לַבֹּ֗קֶר חַ֫סְדֶּ֥ךָ כִּֽי־הָיִ֣יתָ מִשְׂגָּ֣ב לִ֑י וּ֝מָנ֗וֹס בְּי֣וֹם צַר־לִֽי׃ 18 עֻ֭זִּי אֵלֶ֣יךָ אֲזַמֵּ֑רָה כִּֽי־אֱלֹהִ֥ים מִ֝שְׂגַּבִּ֗י אֱלֹהֵ֥י חַסְדִּֽי׃
Psalms 59
1 For the Leader, a plea to be spared from destruction; by David, a mikhtam; when Shaul dispatched and they guarded the house to slay him. 2 Rescue me from my enemies, my elo’ah; from those who rise up against me, save me. 3 Save me from workers of iniquity; and from bloodthirsty men rescue me. 4 For behold, they lurked for my soul; strong men lodge against me, neither for any transgression of mine nor for any sin of mine, YHVH. 5 Without any iniquity [of mine], they run and prepare themselves; awaken [yourself] towards me and see. 6 And you, YHVH Elohim Tsevaot, elo’ah of Israel, arise to visit upon all the nations; be not gracious to any treacherous workers of iniquity, Selah. 7 They return in the evening, they howl like a dog and go round about the city. 8 Behold, they spew forth with their mouth; [they have] swords in their lips, for who hears? 9 But you, YHVH, will laugh at them; you will mock all the nations. 10 [In face of] his strength, for you do I wait, for Elohim is my stronghold. 11 The elo’ah of my kindness will precede me; Elohim will show me what befalls my watchful foes. 12 Do not kill them, lest my people forget; make them wander [destitute] with your power and bring them down, YHVH our Shield. 13 The sin of their mouth is the word of their lips, and they will be seized because of their haughtiness, and because of the curse and the lies that they tell. 14 Destroy [them] with wrath, destroy them so they be no longer, and let [people] know that Elohim rules in Yaaqov to the ends of the earth, Selah. 15 And let them return towards evening, let them howl like dogs and go round about the city. 16 Groaning [for food] they will roam about to eat; if they are not sated, they will lodge. 17 And I will sing of your power, and I will sing praises of your kindness in the morning, for you were my stronghold and a refuge on a day that I was in straits. 18 My strength! To you will I sing, for Elohim is my stronghold, elo’ah of my kindness.
תְּהִלִּים עז
1 לַמְנַצֵּ֥חַ עַֽל־ידיתון יְדוּת֗וּן לְאָסָ֥ף מִזְמֽוֹר׃ 2 קוֹלִ֣י אֶל־אֱלֹהִ֣ים וְאֶצְעָ֑קָה קוֹלִ֥י אֶל־אֱ֝לֹהִ֗ים וְהַאֲזִ֥ין אֵלָֽי׃ 3 בְּי֥וֹם צָרָתִי֮ אֲדֹנָ֪י דָּ֫רָ֥שְׁתִּי יָדִ֤י ׀ לַ֣יְלָה נִ֭גְּרָה וְלֹ֣א תָפ֑וּג מֵאֲנָ֖ה הִנָּחֵ֣ם נַפְשִֽׁי׃ 4 אֶזְכְּרָ֣ה אֱלֹהִ֣ים וְאֶֽהֱמָיָ֑ה אָשִׂ֓יחָה ׀ וְתִתְעַטֵּ֖ף רוּחִ֣י סֶֽלָה׃ 5 אָ֭חַזְתָּ שְׁמֻר֣וֹת עֵינָ֑י נִ֝פְעַ֗מְתִּי וְלֹ֣א אֲדַבֵּֽר׃ 6 חִשַּׁ֣בְתִּי יָמִ֣ים מִקֶּ֑דֶם שְׁ֝נ֗וֹת עוֹלָמִֽים׃ 7 אֶֽזְכְּרָ֥ה נְגִינָתִ֗י בַּ֫לָּ֥יְלָה עִם־לְבָבִ֥י אָשִׂ֑יחָה וַיְחַפֵּ֥שׂ רוּחִֽי׃ 8 הַֽ֭לְעוֹלָמִים יִזְנַ֥ח ׀ אֲדֹנָ֑י וְלֹֽא־יֹסִ֖יף לִרְצ֣וֹת עֽוֹד׃ 9 הֶאָפֵ֣ס לָנֶ֣צַח חַסְדּ֑וֹ גָּ֥מַר אֹ֝֗מֶר לְדֹ֣ר וָדֹֽר׃ 10 הֲשָׁכַ֣ח חַנּ֣וֹת אֵ֑ל אִם־קָפַ֥ץ בְּ֝אַ֗ף רַחֲמָ֥יו סֶֽלָה׃ 11 וָ֭אֹמַר חַלּ֣וֹתִי הִ֑יא שְׁ֝נ֗וֹת יְמִ֣ין עֶלְיֽוֹן׃ 12 אזכיר אֶזְכּ֥וֹר מַֽעַלְלֵי־יָ֑הּ כִּֽי־אֶזְכְּרָ֖ה מִקֶּ֣דֶם פִּלְאֶֽךָ׃ 13 וְהָגִ֥יתִי בְכָל־פָּעֳלֶ֑ךָ וּֽבַעֲלִ֖ילוֹתֶ֣יךָ אָשִֽׂיחָה׃ 14 אֱ֭לֹהִים בַּקֹּ֣דֶשׁ דַּרְכֶּ֑ךָ מִי־אֵ֥ל גָּ֝ד֗וֹל כֵּֽאלֹהִֽים׃ 15 אַתָּ֣ה הָ֭אֵל עֹ֣שֵׂה פֶ֑לֶא הוֹדַ֖עְתָּ בָעַמִּ֣ים עֻזֶּֽךָ׃ 16 גָּאַ֣לְתָּ בִּזְר֣וֹעַ עַמֶּ֑ךָ בְּנֵי־יַעֲקֹ֖ב וְיוֹסֵ֣ף סֶֽלָה׃ 17 רָ֘א֤וּךָ מַּ֨יִם ׀ אֱ‍ֽלֹהִ֗ים רָא֣וּךָ מַּ֣יִם יָחִ֑ילוּ אַ֝֗ף יִרְגְּז֥וּ תְהֹמֽוֹת׃ 18 זֹ֤רְמוּ מַ֨יִם ׀ עָב֗וֹת ק֭וֹל נָתְנ֣וּ שְׁחָקִ֑ים אַף־חֲ֝צָצֶ֗יךָ יִתְהַלָּֽכוּ׃ 19 ק֤וֹל רַעַמְךָ֨ ׀ בַּגַּלְגַּ֗ל הֵאִ֣ירוּ בְרָקִ֣ים תֵּבֵ֑ל רָגְזָ֖ה וַתִּרְעַ֣שׁ הָאָֽרֶץ׃ 20 בַּיָּ֤ם דַּרְכֶּ֗ךָ ושביליך וּֽ֭שְׁבִֽילְךָ בְּמַ֣יִם רַבִּ֑ים וְ֝עִקְּבוֹתֶ֗יךָ לֹ֣א נֹדָֽעוּ׃ 21 נָחִ֣יתָ כַצֹּ֣אן עַמֶּ֑ךָ בְּֽיַד־מֹשֶׁ֥ה וְאַהֲרֹֽן׃
Psalms 77
1 For the Leader, on yedutun, by Asaf, a song. 2 My voice is to Elohim, when I cry out; my voice is to Elohim, that he give ear to me. 3 On the day of my distress, I sought YHVH; my wound oozes at night and does not abate; my soul refuses to be comforted. 4 I remember Elohim and I moan; I speak and my spirit becomes faint, Selah. 5 You held my eyes from [getting any sleep]; I am stricken and unable to speak. 6 I think of days of yore, ancient years. 7 I recall my music at night; I speak with my heart and my spirit searches. 8 “Will YHVH forsake [me] forever and nevermore be appeased? 9 Is his kindness ended forever? Has he finished consoling? 10 Has the Merciful El forgotten graciousness? Has he, in anger, shut off his mercy?” Selah. 11 And I said, “This is to infirm me, this change of the right hand of the Most High.” 12 I recall the deeds of Yah when I remember your wonder from time immemorial. 13 And I meditate over all your works, and of your deeds I speak. 14 Elohim, your way is in sanctifying [your Name by judging the wicked]. Who is as great an deity as Elohim? 15 You are the deity who works wonders; you made known your might among the peoples. 16 You redeemed your people with your arm, the sons of Yaaqov and Yosef, Selah. 17 The waters saw you, Elohim, the waters perceived you, and they trembled, the deeps even quaked. 18 They poured forth thick waters; the skies let out a voice [of thunder], even your arrows [of lightning] went abroad. 19 The sound of your thunder [rebuked] the wheel[s of Pharaoh’s chariots]; the lightning illuminated the world; the earth trembled and roared. 20 In the sea was your way, and your path in the mighty waters; afterwards your steps were not known [when the sea returned to its strength to cover the Mitsrim]. 21 You led your people like sheep by the hand of Mosheh and Aharon.
תְּהִלִּים צ
1 תְּפִלָּה֮ לְמֹשֶׁ֪ה אִֽישׁ־הָאֱלֹ֫הִ֥ים אֲ‍ֽדֹנָ֗י מָע֣וֹן אַ֭תָּה הָיִ֥יתָ לָּ֗נוּ בְּדֹ֣ר וָדֹֽר׃ 2 בְּטֶ֤רֶם ׀ הָ֘רִ֤ים יֻלָּ֗דוּ וַתְּח֣וֹלֵֽל אֶ֣רֶץ וְתֵבֵ֑ל וּֽמֵעוֹלָ֥ם עַד־ע֝וֹלָ֗ם אַתָּ֥ה אֵֽל׃ 3 תָּשֵׁ֣ב אֱ֭נוֹשׁ עַד־דַּכָּ֑א וַ֝תֹּ֗אמֶר שׁ֣וּבוּ בְנֵי־אָדָֽם׃ 4 כִּ֤י אֶ֪לֶף שָׁנִ֡ים בְּֽעֵינֶ֗יךָ כְּי֣וֹם אֶ֭תְמוֹל כִּ֣י יַעֲבֹ֑ר וְאַשְׁמוּרָ֥ה בַלָּֽיְלָה׃ 5 זְ֭רַמְתָּם שֵׁנָ֣ה יִהְי֑וּ בַּ֝בֹּ֗קֶר כֶּחָצִ֥יר יַחֲלֹֽף׃ 6 בַּ֭בֹּקֶר יָצִ֣יץ וְחָלָ֑ף לָ֝עֶ֗רֶב יְמוֹלֵ֥ל וְיָבֵֽשׁ׃ 7 כִּֽי־כָלִ֥ינוּ בְאַפֶּ֑ךָ וּֽבַחֲמָתְךָ֥ נִבְהָֽלְנוּ׃ 8 שת שַׁתָּ֣ה עֲוֺנֹתֵ֣ינוּ לְנֶגְדֶּ֑ךָ עֲ֝לֻמֵ֗נוּ לִמְא֥וֹר פָּנֶֽיךָ׃ 9 כִּ֣י כָל־יָ֭מֵינוּ פָּנ֣וּ בְעֶבְרָתֶ֑ךָ כִּלִּ֖ינוּ שָׁנֵ֣ינוּ כְמוֹ־הֶֽגֶה׃ 10 יְמֵֽי־שְׁנוֹתֵ֨ינוּ בָהֶ֥ם שִׁבְעִ֪ים שָׁנָ֡ה וְאִ֤ם בִּגְבוּרֹ֨ת ׀ שְׁמ֘וֹנִ֤ים שָׁנָ֗ה וְ֭רָהְבָּם עָמָ֣ל וָאָ֑וֶן כִּי־גָ֥ז חִ֝֗ישׁ וַנָּעֻֽפָה׃ 11 מִֽי־י֭וֹדֵעַ עֹ֣ז אַפֶּ֑ךָ וּ֝כְיִרְאָתְךָ֗ עֶבְרָתֶֽךָ׃ 12 לִמְנ֣וֹת יָ֭מֵינוּ כֵּ֣ן הוֹדַ֑ע וְ֝נָבִ֗א לְבַ֣ב חָכְמָֽה׃ 13 שׁוּבָ֣ה יְ֭הוָה עַד־מָתָ֑י וְ֝הִנָּחֵ֗ם עַל־עֲבָדֶֽיךָ׃ 14 שַׂבְּעֵ֣נוּ בַבֹּ֣קֶר חַסְדֶּ֑ךָ וּֽנְרַנְּנָ֥ה וְ֝נִשְׂמְחָ֗ה בְּכָל־יָמֵֽינוּ׃ 15 שַׂ֭מְּחֵנוּ כִּימ֣וֹת עִנִּיתָ֑נוּ שְׁ֝נ֗וֹת רָאִ֥ינוּ רָעָֽה׃ 16 יֵרָאֶ֣ה אֶל־עֲבָדֶ֣יךָ פָעֳלֶ֑ךָ וַ֝הֲדָרְךָ֗ עַל־בְּנֵיהֶֽם׃ 17 וִיהִ֤י ׀ נֹ֤עַם אֲדֹנָ֥י אֱלֹהֵ֗ינוּ עָ֫לֵ֥ינוּ וּמַעֲשֵׂ֣ה יָ֭דֵינוּ כּוֹנְנָ֥ה עָלֵ֑ינוּ וּֽמַעֲשֵׂ֥ה יָ֝דֵ֗ינוּ כּוֹנְנֵֽהוּ׃
Psalms 90
1 A prayer by Mosheh, the man of Elohim. Adonai, a shelter are you; you have been for us, in generation after generation. 2 Before the mountains were born, and when the earth and inhabited land were yet non-existent, and from everlasting to everlasting, you are El. 3 You bring a man down to a crushing point, and you say, “Return, O sons of men.” 4 For if a man lived a thousand years, they would be in your eyes like a bygone yesterday, for they will but pass away, and be like a watch in the night. 5 You flow them; they are as a [dream] during sleep; in the morning, like grass he passes away. 6 In the morning, it blossoms and is rejuvenated; by evening, it is cut off and withers. 7 For we perish from your wrath, and from your anger we are dismayed. 8 You have placed our iniquities before you, [the sins of] our youth before the light of your countenance. 9 For all our days have passed away in your anger; we have consumed our years as a fleeting thought. 10 The days of our years because of them are seventy years, and if with strength, eighty years; but their proudest success is toil and pain, for it is quickly shorn off and we fly away. 11 Who knows the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the reverence that is due unto you? 12 To number our days, so inform [us], that we may get a heart of wisdom. 13 Return, YHVH [from your wrath]. How long? And be consoled [in thinking favorably] regarding your servants. 14 Satiate us in the morning with your loving-kindness, and we will sing out and rejoice throughout our days. 15 Cause us to rejoice according to the days that you afflicted us, the years when we saw evil. 16 May your works appear to your servants, and your majesty to their sons. 17 And may the pleasantness of YHVH our elo’ah be upon us, and the work of our hands, establish for us (without mishap to us), and the work of our hands, establish it.
תְּהִלִּים קה
1 הוֹד֣וּ לַ֭יהוָה קִרְא֣וּ בִּשְׁמ֑וֹ הוֹדִ֥יעוּ בָ֝עַמִּ֗ים עֲלִילוֹתָֽיו׃ 2 שִֽׁירוּ־ל֭וֹ זַמְּרוּ־ל֑וֹ שִׂ֝֗יחוּ בְּכָל־נִפְלְאוֹתָֽיו׃ 3 הִֽ֭תְהַלְלוּ בְּשֵׁ֣ם קָדְשׁ֑וֹ יִ֝שְׂמַ֗ח לֵ֤ב ׀ מְבַקְשֵׁ֬י יְהוָֽה׃ 4 דִּרְשׁ֣וּ יְהוָ֣ה וְעֻזּ֑וֹ בַּקְּשׁ֖וּ פָנָ֣יו תָּמִֽיד׃ 5 זִכְר֗וּ נִפְלְאוֹתָ֥יו אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂ֑ה מֹ֝פְתָ֗יו וּמִשְׁפְּטֵי־פִֽיו׃ 6 זֶ֭רַע אַבְרָהָ֣ם עַבְדּ֑וֹ בְּנֵ֖י יַעֲקֹ֣ב בְּחִירָֽיו׃ 7 ה֭וּא יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵ֑ינוּ בְּכָל־הָ֝אָ֗רֶץ מִשְׁפָּטָֽיו׃ 8 זָכַ֣ר לְעוֹלָ֣ם בְּרִית֑וֹ דָּבָ֥ר צִ֝וָּ֗ה לְאֶ֣לֶף דּֽוֹר׃ 9 אֲשֶׁ֣ר כָּ֭רַת אֶת־אַבְרָהָ֑ם וּשְׁב֖וּעָת֣וֹ לְיִשְׂחָֽק׃ 10 וַיַּֽעֲמִידֶ֣הָ לְיַעֲקֹ֣ב לְחֹ֑ק לְ֝יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל בְּרִ֣ית עוֹלָֽם׃ 11 לֵאמֹ֗ר לְךָ֗ אֶתֵּ֥ן אֶת־אֶֽרֶץ־כְּנָ֑עַן חֶ֝֗בֶל נַחֲלַתְכֶֽם׃ 12 בִּֽ֭הְיוֹתָם מְתֵ֣י מִסְפָּ֑ר כִּ֝מְעַ֗ט וְגָרִ֥ים בָּֽהּ׃ 13 וַֽ֭יִּתְהַלְּכוּ מִגּ֣וֹי אֶל־גּ֑וֹי מִ֝מַּמְלָכָ֗ה אֶל־עַ֥ם אַחֵֽר׃ 14 לֹֽא־הִנִּ֣יחַ אָדָ֣ם לְעָשְׁקָ֑ם וַיּ֖וֹכַח עֲלֵיהֶ֣ם מְלָכִֽים׃ 15 אַֽל־תִּגְּע֥וּ בִמְשִׁיחָ֑י וְ֝לִנְבִיאַי אַל־תָּרֵֽעוּ׃ 16 וַיִּקְרָ֣א רָ֭עָב עַל־הָאָ֑רֶץ כָּֽל־מַטֵּה־לֶ֥חֶם שָׁבָֽר׃ 17 שָׁלַ֣ח לִפְנֵיהֶ֣ם אִ֑ישׁ לְ֝עֶ֗בֶד נִמְכַּ֥ר יוֹסֵֽף׃ 18 עִנּ֣וּ בַכֶּ֣בֶל רגליו רַגְל֑וֹ בַּ֝רְזֶ֗ל בָּ֣אָה נַפְשֽׁוֹ׃ 19 עַד־עֵ֥ת בֹּֽא־דְבָר֑וֹ אִמְרַ֖ת יְהוָ֣ה צְרָפָֽתְהוּ׃ 20 שָׁ֣לַח מֶ֭לֶךְ וַיַּתִּירֵ֑הוּ מֹשֵׁ֥ל עַ֝מִּ֗ים וַֽיְפַתְּחֵֽהוּ׃ 21 שָׂמ֣וֹ אָד֣וֹן לְבֵית֑וֹ וּ֝מֹשֵׁ֗ל בְּכָל־קִנְיָנֽוֹ׃ 22 לֶאְסֹ֣ר שָׂרָ֣יו בְּנַפְשׁ֑וֹ וּזְקֵנָ֥יו יְחַכֵּֽם׃ 23 וַיָּבֹ֣א יִשְׂרָאֵ֣ל מִצְרָ֑יִם וְ֝יַעֲקֹ֗ב גָּ֣ר בְּאֶֽרֶץ־חָֽם׃ 24 וַיֶּ֣פֶר אֶת־עַמּ֣וֹ מְאֹ֑ד וַ֝יַּֽעֲצִמֵהוּ מִצָּרָֽיו׃ 25 הָפַ֣ךְ לִ֭בָּם לִשְׂנֹ֣א עַמּ֑וֹ לְ֝הִתְנַכֵּ֗ל בַּעֲבָדָֽיו׃ 26 שָׁ֭לַח מֹשֶׁ֣ה עַבְדּ֑וֹ אַ֝הֲרֹ֗ן אֲשֶׁ֣ר בָּֽחַר־בּֽוֹ׃ 27 שָֽׂמוּ־בָ֭ם דִּבְרֵ֣י אֹתוֹתָ֑יו וּ֝מֹפְתִ֗ים בְּאֶ֣רֶץ חָֽם׃ 28 שָׁ֣לַֽח חֹ֭שֶׁךְ וַיַּחְשִׁ֑ךְ וְלֹֽא־מָ֝ר֗וּ אֶת־דברוו דְּבָרֽוֹ׃ 29 הָפַ֣ךְ אֶת־מֵימֵיהֶ֣ם לְדָ֑ם וַ֝יָּ֗מֶת אֶת־דְּגָתָֽם׃ 30 שָׁרַ֣ץ אַרְצָ֣ם צְפַרְדְּעִ֑ים בְּ֝חַדְרֵ֗י מַלְכֵיהֶֽם׃ 31 אָ֭מַר וַיָּבֹ֣א עָרֹ֑ב כִּ֝נִּ֗ים בְּכָל־גְּבוּלָֽם׃ 32 נָתַ֣ן גִּשְׁמֵיהֶ֣ם בָּרָ֑ד אֵ֖שׁ לֶהָב֣וֹת בְּאַרְצָֽם׃ 33 וַיַּ֣ךְ גַּ֭פְנָם וּתְאֵנָתָ֑ם וַ֝יְשַׁבֵּ֗ר עֵ֣ץ גְּבוּלָֽם׃ 34 אָ֭מַר וַיָּבֹ֣א אַרְבֶּ֑ה וְ֝יֶ֗לֶק וְאֵ֣ין מִסְפָּֽר׃ 35 וַיֹּ֣אכַל כָּל־עֵ֣שֶׂב בְּאַרְצָ֑ם וַ֝יֹּ֗אכַל פְּרִ֣י אַדְמָתָֽם׃ 36 וַיַּ֣ךְ כָּל־בְּכ֣וֹר בְּאַרְצָ֑ם רֵ֝אשִׁ֗ית לְכָל־אוֹנָֽם׃ 37 וַֽ֭יּוֹצִיאֵם בְּכֶ֣סֶף וְזָהָ֑ב וְאֵ֖ין בִּשְׁבָטָ֣יו כּוֹשֵֽׁל׃ 38 שָׂמַ֣ח מִצְרַ֣יִם בְּצֵאתָ֑ם כִּֽי־נָפַ֖ל פַּחְדָּ֣ם עֲלֵיהֶֽם׃ 39 פָּרַ֣שׂ עָנָ֣ן לְמָסָ֑ךְ וְ֝אֵ֗שׁ לְהָאִ֥יר לָֽיְלָה׃ 40 שָׁאַ֣ל וַיָּבֵ֣א שְׂלָ֑ו וְלֶ֥חֶם שָׁ֝מַ֗יִם יַשְׂבִּיעֵֽם׃ 41 פָּ֣תַח צ֭וּר וַיָּז֣וּבוּ מָ֑יִם הָ֝לְכ֗וּ בַּצִּיּ֥וֹת נָהָֽר׃ 42 כִּֽי־זָ֭כַר אֶת־דְּבַ֣ר קָדְשׁ֑וֹ אֶֽת־אַבְרָהָ֥ם עַבְדּֽוֹ׃ 43 וַיּוֹצִ֣א עַמּ֣וֹ בְשָׂשׂ֑וֹן בְּ֝רִנָּ֗ה אֶת־בְּחִירָֽיו׃ 44 וַיִּתֵּ֣ן לָ֭הֶם אַרְצ֣וֹת גּוֹיִ֑ם וַעֲמַ֖ל לְאֻמִּ֣ים יִירָֽשׁוּ׃ 45 בַּעֲב֤וּר ׀ יִשְׁמְר֣וּ חֻ֭קָּיו וְתוֹרֹתָ֥יו יִנְצֹ֗רוּ הַֽלְלוּ־יָֽהּ׃
Psalms 105
1 Give thanks to YHVH, proclaim his name; make his deeds known among the peoples. 2 Sing enthusiastically to him, play music to him, speak of all his wonders. 3 Boast of his holy name; may the heart of those who seek YHVH rejoice. 4 Search for YHVH and his might; seek his presence constantly. 5 Remember his wonders, which he performed, his miracles and the judgments of his mouth. 6 The seed of Avraham his servant, the children of Yaaqov, his chosen ones. 7 He is YHVH our elo’ah; throughout all the earth are his judgments. 8 He remembered his covenant forever, the word he had commanded to the thousandth generation, 9 [The Covenant] which he cut with Avraham, and his oath to Yitsḥaq, 10 And he set it up to Yaakov as a statute, to Yisrael as an everlasting covenant, 11 Saying, “To you I shall give the land of K’naan, the lot of your inheritance.” 12 When they were few in number, hardly dwelling in it. 13 And they walked [in their customs] among one nation and then among another nation, from one kingdom to another people. 14 He let no man rob them, and he reproved kings on their account. 15 “Do not touch My anointed ones, and do not harm My prophets.” 16 He called a famine upon the land; he broke every staff of bread. 17 He sent a man before them; Yosef was sold as a slave. 18 They afflicted his foot with fetters; his soul was placed in irons. 19 Until his word came, the saying of YHVH purified him. 20 A king sent and released him, a ruler of peoples [sent] and loosed his bonds. 21 He made him the master of his household and the ruler over all his possessions. 22 To bind up his princes at his wish, and he made his elders wise. 23 Yisrael came to Mitsrayim, and Yaaqov sojourned in the land of Ḥam. 24 And he made his people very fruitful, and he made it stronger than its adversaries. 25 He turned their heart to hate his people, to plot against his servants. 26 He sent Mosheh his servant, [and] Aharon whom he chose. 27 They placed upon them the words of his signs and his miracles in the land of Ḥam. 28 He sent darkness and it darkened, and [the signs] did not disobey his word. 29 He turned their water into blood, and killed their fish. 30 Their land swarmed with frogs, [even] in the rooms of their monarchs. 31 He commanded and a mixture of noxious beasts came, lice throughout their entire boundary. 32 He made their rains into hail, flaming fire in their land. 33 And it struck their vines and their fig trees, and it broke the trees of their boundary. 34 He spoke and locusts came, and nibbling locusts without number. 35 And they consumed all grass in their land, and they consumed the produce of their soil. 36 And he smote every firstborn in their land, the first of all their strength. 37 And he took them out with silver and gold, and there was no pauper among their tribes. 38 Mitsrayim rejoiced with their departure, for their fear had fallen upon them. 39 He spread out a cloud for shelter, and fire to illuminate the night. 40 They asked, and he brought quails, and the bread of heaven sated them. 41 He opened a rock and water flowed; in the deserts ran rivers. 42 For he remembered his holy word with Avraham his servant. 43 And he took out his people with joy, his chosen ones with joyful singing. 44 And he gave them lands of nations, and they inherited the toil of regimes. 45 In order that they keep his statutes and observe his laws. Hallelu-Yah!
תְּהִלִּים קלז
1 עַ֥ל נַהֲר֨וֹת ׀ בָּבֶ֗ל שָׁ֣ם יָ֭שַׁבְנוּ גַּם־בָּכִ֑ינוּ בְּ֝זָכְרֵ֗נוּ אֶת־צִיּֽוֹן׃ 2 עַֽל־עֲרָבִ֥ים בְּתוֹכָ֑הּ תָּ֝לִ֗ינוּ כִּנֹּרוֹתֵֽינוּ׃ 3 כִּ֤י שָׁ֨ם שְֽׁאֵל֪וּנוּ שׁוֹבֵ֡ינוּ דִּבְרֵי־שִׁ֭יר וְתוֹלָלֵ֣ינוּ שִׂמְחָ֑ה שִׁ֥ירוּ לָ֝֗נוּ מִשִּׁ֥יר צִיּֽוֹן׃ 4 אֵ֗יךְ נָשִׁ֥יר אֶת־שִׁיר־יְהוָ֑ה עַ֝֗ל אַדְמַ֥ת נֵכָֽר׃ 5 אִֽם־אֶשְׁכָּחֵ֥ךְ יְֽרוּשָׁלִָ֗ם תִּשְׁכַּ֥ח יְמִינִֽי׃ 6 תִּדְבַּ֥ק־לְשׁוֹנִ֨י ׀ לְחִכִּי֮ אִם־לֹ֪א אֶ֫זְכְּרֵ֥כִי אִם־לֹ֣א אַ֭עֲלֶה אֶת־יְרוּשָׁלִַ֑ם עַ֝֗ל רֹ֣אשׁ שִׂמְחָתִֽי׃ 7 זְכֹ֤ר יְהוָ֨ה ׀ לִבְנֵ֬י אֱד֗וֹם אֵת֮ י֤וֹם יְֽרוּשָׁ֫לִָ֥ם הָ֭אֹ֣מְרִים עָ֤רוּ ׀ עָ֑רוּ עַ֝֗ד הַיְס֥וֹד בָּֽהּ׃ 8 בַּת־בָּבֶ֗ל הַשְּׁד֫וּדָ֥ה אַשְׁרֵ֥י שֶׁיְשַׁלֶּם־לָ֑ךְ אֶת־גְּ֝מוּלֵ֗ךְ שֶׁגָּמַ֥לְתְּ לָֽנוּ׃ 9 אַשְׁרֵ֤י ׀ שֶׁיֹּאחֵ֓ז וְנִפֵּ֬ץ אֶֽת־עֹ֝לָלַ֗יִךְ אֶל־הַסָּֽלַע׃
Psalms 137
1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat, we also wept when we remembered Tsiyon. 2 On willows in its midst we hung our harps. 3 For there our captors asked us for words of song and our tormentors [asked of us] mirth, “Sing for us of the song of Tsiyon.” 4 How shall we sing the song of YHVH on foreign soil? 5 If I forget you, Yerushalayim, may my right hand forget [its skill]. 6 May my tongue cling to my palate, if I do not remember you, if I do not elevate Yerushalayim above my foremost joy. 7 Remember, YHVH, and repay the children of Edom; and the day of Yerushalayim, those who say, “Raze it, raze it, down to its foundation!” 8 Daughter of Babylon, who is destined to be plundered, praiseworthy is he who repays you in accordance with how you have done to us. 9 Praiseworthy is he who will take and dash your infants against the rock.
תְּהִלִּים קנ
1 הַ֥לְלוּ יָ֨הּ ׀ הַֽלְלוּ־אֵ֥ל בְּקָדְשׁ֑וֹ
הַֽ֝לְל֗וּהוּ בִּרְקִ֥יעַ עֻזּֽוֹ׃
2 הַֽלְל֥וּהוּ בִגְבוּרֹתָ֑יו
הַֽ֝לְל֗וּהוּ כְּרֹ֣ב גֻּדְלֽוֹ׃
3 הַֽ֭לְלוּהוּ בְּתֵ֣קַע שׁוֹפָ֑ר
הַֽ֝לְל֗וּהוּ בְּנֵ֣בֶל וְכִנּֽוֹר׃
4 הַֽ֭לְלוּהוּ בְתֹ֣ף וּמָח֑וֹל
הַֽ֝לְל֗וּהוּ בְּמִנִּ֥ים וְעוּגָֽב׃
5 הַֽלְל֥וּהוּ בְצִלְצְלֵי־שָׁ֑מַע
הַֽ֝לְל֗וּהוּ בְּֽצִלְצְלֵ֥י תְרוּעָֽה׃
6 כֹּ֣ל הַ֭נְּשָׁמָה תְּהַלֵּ֥ל יָ֗הּ
Psalms 150
1 Hallelu-Yah! Praise El in his holy place,
praise him in the firmament of his might.
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him as befits his superb greatness.
3 Praise him the blast of the shofar;
praise him with psaltery and lyre.
4 Praise him with timbres and dance,
praise him with stringed instruments and flute.
5 Praise him with resounding cymbals;
praise him with far-sounding trumpets.
6 Let every soul praise Yah!
אחר שסיים תהלים יאמר שלשה פסוקים אלה:‏
After finishing the Tehilim of the Tiqqun Haklali recite the following three Pesukim:
מִ֥י יִתֵּ֣ן מִצִּיּוֹן֮ יְשׁוּעַ֪ת יִשְׂרָ֫אֵ֥ל
בְּשׁ֣וּב יְ֭הוָה שְׁב֣וּת עַמּ֑וֹ
יָגֵ֥ל יַ֝עֲקֹ֗ב יִשְׂמַ֥ח יִשְׂרָֽאֵל׃ (תהלים יד:ז)
וּתְשׁוּעַ֣ת צַ֭דִּיקִים מֵיְהוָ֑ה
מָֽ֝עוּזָּ֗ם בְּעֵ֣ת צָרָֽה׃
וַֽיַּעְזְרֵ֥ם יְהוָ֗ה וַֽיְפַ֫לְּטֵ֥ם
יְפַלְּטֵ֣ם מֵ֭רְשָׁעִים וְיוֹשִׁיעֵ֑ם
כִּי־חָ֥סוּ בֽוֹ׃ (תהלים לז:לט-מ)
O that the salvation of Yisrael would come from Tsiyon!
When YHVH returns the captivity of his people,
Yaaqov shall rejoice, Yisrael shall be glad. (Psalms 14:7)
And the redemption of the righteous is from YHVH,
their stonghold at times of trouble.
And YHVH helped them and rescued them;
he rescued them from the wicked and saved them
because they took refuge in him. (Psalms 37:39-40)


1Liqutei Moharan Ⅱ:112.
2The Midrash Tehillim is testament to the creative depths of imagination exercised in the interpretation of the Tehillim — depths which inform the valence and significance of Tehillim used for tefillah (Jewish prayer).
3also see Zohar III, 101a.
4Recorded in Liqutei Moharan Ⅰ:29, in a teaching given on May 23, 1806.
5This is a simplification of a number of ideas and mystical references summarized in plain language.[–Aharon Varady].
6We are indebted to the wonderful folk over at Breselev.co.il for sharing their translation of the Yehi Ratson prayer preceding the Tiqqun Klali. I have only made minor changes to it.
7 II Samuel 12:13.
8 Exodus 33:19.
9 Proverbs 18:4.



19 comments to הַתִּקּוּן הַכְּלָלִי שֶׁל רֶבִּי נַחְמָן | The Tiqqun haKlali (General Remedy) of Rebbe Naḥman of Bratslav

  • Avatar photo Tiferet

    The Hebrew for Psalm 32 is actually Psalm 33! Thanks for posting this! I’ve always wonder what Tikkun Klali was!

    • Avatar photo Aharon

      Thanks for the correction, Tiferet!

      שְׁגִיא֥וֹת מִֽי־יָבִ֑ין
      מִֽנִּסְתָּר֥וֹת נַקֵּֽנִי׃

      Of mistakes who can know? From hidden flaws, heal me. (Ps. 19:13)

      Or as Charles Rennie Mackintosh said, “There is hope in honest error, none in the icy perfections of the mere stylist.”

      • Avatar photo baba

        Concerning CH. 137, there is a very serious translation mistake. It says: “Praiseworthy is who will destroy your buildings to the ground”. Olalayikh are your buildings your actions your creations. Not “your infants”.

        • Baba, I get it that this is your preferred reading of Psalms 137:9, but to very boldly claim that the common and familiar reading is a “very serious translation mistake” reads to me as either disingenuous or intellectually dishonest. There is nothing wrong and so much good in sharing with one another our preferred and sometimes “redemptive” readings of difficult passages, but we fail when we overstate our claims. Reading ‘olalayikh’ (your infants) as ‘ohalayikh’ (your tents) is not so much a translation than an interpretive re-reading of the text in light of its horror. If your reading is a quote from a midrash, I’d very much like to learn the source — and thank you.

          • Avatar photo baba

            I understand your discomfort at confronting the fact that there could be mistakes in a generic consensus, concerning translations such as these. But Naara commonly translated as ‘virgin’ is not an isolated case, though famous. The particular case of Psalm 137 is one of the cases which scream for correction because it takes the whole chapter out of context. The subject is destruction of holy sites. Here in this particular Psalm the words Gemul, Paal, and Olel are all used to speak about committing an action. This is clear to anyone who knows Hebrew.
            In the Tikkun haklali itself (Ps.77) you have a clear example of that same use of Paal and Olel:
            וְהָגִיתִי בְכָל פָּעֳלֶךָ וּבַעֲלִילוֹתֶיךָ אָשִׂיחָה:
            so Ynapets, grind, et Olalaykh your makings -here temples of worship- to the ground, which is in context with the whole chapter.

            Im not trying to make it sweeter, just more accurate linguistically, and contextually.
            It is but one among many examples, where Latin, Greek or German references stumble on Semitic language poetics or double-entendre, so prevalent in ancient oriental culture.
            Why should the Bible be different in that aspect from the distortions made to Chinese and Indian classics when they were translated?
            If i speak Chinese, can i not tell an englishman that his translation is wrong?
            As someone who has studied Hebrew Aramaic and other semitic languages, i feel totally in my right to tell westerners they are not getting it.
            They better bring up valid arguments instead of quick and superior dismissal. Especially when its with other people’s culture than their own, being translated.

            Gal Eiynay veAbita

            We could all benefit from mutual respect.

  • Isn’t the praiseworthiness of one who would take an infant and dash it against a rock (psalm 137) rather barbaric? With all due respect, this isn’t something I personally could subscribe to or advocate, and for others to do so, in my opinion, is anything but praiseworthy. Maybe this was considered just fine back in the day (when it was written; and when Rebbe Nachman included it in his Tikkun?), but surely by contemporary standards, and really by any standards, of humane and compassionate conduct, it could not be considered so. Rather reminds one of something a Nazi might easily do, doesn’t it?

    • Hi Matthew. I agree that Tehillim 137:9, taken alone is deeply disturbing. But it’s also not the only verse in Psalms that invokes a horrible curse. If the verse reminds of the Nazis and barbarism in general, then the verse probably has succeeded in communicating the horror the Psalmist is responding to. In this case, the Psalmist is calling for vengeance in kind with the suffering endured in the destruction of their people. I think it’s fair to say this is verse is more than simply a statement of catharsis.

      In the following midrash, the subject of the verse is redirected from Babylon, the empire responsible for laying waste to Judah, Jerusalem, and the First Temple in the 5th century BCE, to “Edom” (aka Rome) the empire responsible for laying waste to Jerusalem, Judah, and the Second Temple in the 1st and 2nd century CE. As unpalatable as the verse may read today, it’s important to at least understand it in the context of the experience of oppression in which it was read. Here’s one rabbinic interpretation from the Midrash Tehillim on Psalm 138 (translated from Hebrew by William G. Braude):

      I. A Psalm of David. I will give You thanks with my whole heart (Ps. 138:1). Isaiah said: The grass withers, the flower fades (Isa. 40:7). When these things occur, what should you do? Then, O you that tells good tidings to Zion, get you up into the high mountain (ibid. 40:9). When the children of Israel say, “We are afraid of them that hate us,” the Holy One, blessed be He, will answer: “They that hate you are become like grass”— that is, as long as they were standing, you had reason to fear them, but now that they have withered—the breath of the Lord blows upon it (ibid. 40:7)—what have you to fear? Therefore O you that tells good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid (ibid. 40:9). The children of Israel say: When will we offer praise? When God requites the wicked/lawless for their dealing, as it is said As you have done, it will be done unto you; your dealing will return upon your own head (Ob. 1:15). What was Edom’s dealing? Edom dashed the little ones of Israel against the rock. For this reason it is said, O Edom, Happy will he be, that takes and dashes your little ones against the rock (Ps. 137:9). In that hour the children of Israel will give thanks with all their heart to the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is said I will give Thee thanks with my whole heart. Thus you learn that as long as the wicked/lawless are in the world, they enslave the children of Israel and oppress them, so that the children of Israel cannot take breath to thank God with all their heart. But when the wicked/lawless wither away, then I will give You thanks with my whole heart. Before the gods will I sing praise unto You (Ps. 138:1)— that is, before the judges of the Sanhedrin, concerning whom it is said “You will not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of your people” (Ex. 22:27). Or, the phrase before the gods may refer to the Prophets who are called gods, as it is said “Moses, the man, the god” (I Chron. 23:14), and as it is also said “There came a man, a god, unto Eli” (I Sam. 2:27). Even after death, the Prophets are called gods, as you find it said of Samuel, I saw gods ascending out of the earth (ibid. 28:13). Accordingly, Before the gods will I sing praises unto You means that even under the weight of the judgments upon us, we will sing praise unto You.

    • Avatar photo Yehuda

      Matthew you need to understand.He is not referring to a human being to do it but to God. God gives and takes. A little earthquake and it can easily happen. the War in syria is another example. + He is also talking about the time when Pharaoh smashed our infants on the walls and bathed in their bath. Remember the Torah has 70 faces and one verse can also mean a 1000 things. Torah can either become death or life depending on the person’s pure heart. I choose life. It also means the children of Lilit who are actually demons that we can’t see. In shmuel (1) God told them to leave no one alive and shaul had compassion and left them alive. This compassion eventually resulted in the mass killing of Jews.

      • Shaul also chose life. Do you really feel that the nimshal of the story of Shaul’s compassion for the remnants of Amalek is to circumscribe our ḥesed“ and raḥamim?
        I think that many will legitimately ask, if this is what God demands, then this God isn’t worthy of being worshipped. And if this God is the creator of our world, then our world is hateful and our existence is in the hands of an arbitrary and capricious deity. No. We must choose another of the 70 faces of meaning.

  • Aharonium, thanks for your reply. I suppose that for me the bottom line is that revenge in general is characteristic of a rather immature stage of moral development. I don’t mean to sound arrogant. Pushed against the wall, maybe I would regress to the same behavior. I would hope not though. I would consider it a regression however, and not a noble or in any way morally desirable response. I’m realistic enough to recognize that humanity as a whole has not perhaps developed beyond this stage. Nevertheless, it seems to me that those of us who may be able to recognize, or aspire to a more mature level of morality have some obligation to speak to it, at least, and not to accept as desirable something less, despite the fact that it may be sanctioned in scripture. On a strictly practical level, it is not rocket science to see that a culture dedicated to revenge and violence (including emotional, environmental and spiritual violence) – these cultures are everywhere, easily recognizable, numerous, deeply rooted in societies world wide, historically normal- is a culture doomed to creating and sustaining the kind of world we live in, ie. one that is unjust, unsustainable, corrupt, destructive in all imaginable ways. Of course, all too often religion is used to justify these cultures. My understanding of Judaism suggests that it at least has the potential to speak out against such culture, and in fact does so, if one looks in the right places. One can find whatever one wishes to find in scripture. Including all manner of contradiction. In the end, each of us is responsible for the choices we make, whether to God on judgement day, or to ourselves and to others now. I prefer to advocate for compassion, love, kindness, forgiveness, insight and humility. If someone else wishes to use scripture to justify barbarism, God bless them.

    • Avatar photo Yorin

      I am sorry, but I have to say this: It does not matter what our preferences are, or how we “feel”. These are the words of G-d, not man. So let’s not be so arrogant as to sit in judgement on the words of the True Judge. He is full of compassion and while it is difficult to understand the words of Tehillah 137, we should bow to His wisdom, righteousness and love. Let G-d be true and every man a liar. That is true humility.

  • Avatar photo Ya'akov Love

    Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi recently published an English translation of Tikkun HaKlali. In an appendix he included Psalm 139 as an alternative for those not comfortable with Psalm 137. Although he was careful to state that he was not recommending it as an efficacious replacement for the purposes of this tikkun.

  • Avatar photo Rinah

    “According to Pesaḥim 117a there are ten kinds of songs in the Tehillim: Ashrei, Beracha, Maskil, Nitzuach, Shir, Niggun, Mizmor, Tefilla, Hoda’ah, and Halleluyah.”

    Is it possible to tell us what each of these words mean and which one pertains to which Psalm please? (My Hebrew is very poor!) It will be very much appreciated!

    Thank you for providing this article, it is very helpful!

    Shalom aleichem!

  • In Psalm 137 can the rock be the Almighty Himself? I know that the same word for rock is used in Bamidbar 20. Moses struck the rock. A way for the child of a evil person can change is to be struck in the heart by G-D. Blessed is the person who would facilitate this.

  • Avatar photo Ari

    Thank you very much for posting this!!!!

  • Avatar photo Brachah

    Look at the deeper significance. Not the physical word, but the real sod meaning. Nothing can be understood in pshat. {{hug}}

  • […] That’s why so many people, from all walks of life, flock to his gravesite in Uman to say the ten chapters of psalms that he revealed as the complete remedy.  (Why we go on Rosh Hashana is a discussion for another […]

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