Book of Psalms
Source of Commentary:
Yalkut MeAm Lo'ez, Rashi, The Schottenstein Book of Psalms
- Prayer Before Reciting Sefer Tehillim
- Psalms For Special Occasions
- Verses For People's Names
- Tikkun Klali
Sefer Tehillim Index:
King David opens the Sefer Tehillim by teaching that one who departs from evil and does good is truly happy and firmly rooted. Happy is he who has not taken the counsel of the wicked, but "meditates in His Torah day and night."
Tehillim TWO speaks of the affliction that befell David, which symbolize and anticipate the sufferings that would afflict the individual Jew and the Jewish people throughout all the generations. It seeks to inspire the Jew with hope and strength during the long travail of exile, until the coming of the Mashiach ben David.
Tehillim THREE relates David's steadfast trust in G-d even when his son Avshalom drove him from his throne and pursued him. It is intended to instill hope in every heart - in the very midst of tragedy. For deliverance is Hashem's.
Tehillim FOUR...the Singer joyously thanks G-d for His beneficence. Although engulfed in troubles and surrounded by the vindictiveness of his enemies, he strove to rise above despair and rejoice in the Divine Presence. David Admonishes his enemies and advises them to repent.
Tehillim FIVE...King David declares his trust in G-d who watches over the righteous and abominates the wicked. He asks for divine guidance and assistance to smooth the way before him, and calls for retribution against the wicked.
Tehillim SIX...David composed this psalm in the midst of his illness and pain, praying for deliverance and life. He also addresses his human enemies: Your joy at my affliction will turn to shame when G-d at last hears my plea! Likewise, he hints at the suffering and martyrdom of the Jewish people throughout the ages.
Tehillim SEVEN...in this psalm, David gives thanks for having been saved from his enemies who lurk to destroy him. It may seem to the righteous man that he is helpless against those who rise up against him, but he dare not despair. With G-d's mercy, the wicked will ultimately fall victim to his own plans.
Tehillim EIGHT...The Singer proclaims the Almighty's supervision over His creatures and he acclaims the excellence of man when he lives in accordance with his Maker's will: when he acknowledges that "mighty is Your Name in all the earth."
Tehillim NINE...King David composed this psalm after having defeated his enemies who harassed the people of Yisrael. He expresses his joy at the manifestation of G-d's presence in the affairs of this world, and in particular in His judgment.
Tehillim TEN...The wicked man oppresses the poor and helpless man with impunity; symbolic of the Jewish people's suffering under foreign rule. The Singer pleads for Heaven's intervention: "Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?" he asks.
Tehillim ELEVEN...King David speaks out against those who pursue and humiliate him, and he entreats G-d to sanctify His name in the world by paying them back in accordance with their deeds. He also answers why it is that the tzaddik suffers while the wicked prospers.
Tehillim TWELVE...The Singer protests the early death of the righteous, which e contrasts with the longevity of those who speak with false and flattering lips. "Save, Hashem!" he pleads on behalf of the downtrodden, "for there is no one - neither faithful nor loyal - in whom to trust except You."