Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tehillim for Israel and the Sick

One thing that annoys me more than anything is that whenever I go to minyan at the end someone always has to start saying Shir Haamalos Mimamakim Karasicha Hashem. Why is this? The Rabbis set up a formula so you can say a few things of Tehillim every day and finish the whole book of Tehillim by the end of the month. How come at the end of Shacharis no one says these few chapters followed by their Mi Shebeirach or Acheinu Kol Beis Yisrael? I would think that would be more appropriate. Before Barchu during the Aseres Ymei Teshuva that Shir Hamalos is supposed to be said. I think it has lost its meaning being said at that time since it is now recited a few times every day. I have even been in shuls on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur where they no longer say this. Is this the reason why? For the situation in Israel there are also designated perakim of Tehillim that could be said but everyone reverts back to the same Shir Hamalos. Can someone start a movement to change things to the way they are supposed to be? I know I walk out instead of saying the shire Hamalos because it has lost all meaning to me including during the Aseres Ymei Tshuva since I hear it way to many times. Maybe someone has some suggestions to help me. I hope that we can all say the proper Tehillim and daven to help our brothers and sisters during these tough times in the holy land

23 comments:

Lvnsm27 said...

Interesting point.

FrumWithQuestions said...

Thanks. I actually dicussed this with one of my RAbbi's the other night and he tried to explain it to me but i guess i am stubborn because i did not agree. he said that the Shir Hamaalos was eliminated during the 10 days of repentance because it was a hefsek between yishtabach and barchu

A Simple Jew said...

Any perek is the right perek to say. What matters is the intention in one's heart.

FrumWithQuestions said...

Its not in ones heart if its done as habit. At least do a different perek every day. Not the same one for everything.

Jewish Blogmeister said...

Sorry I have to disagree. Do you daven the same shemoneh Esrai every day three times a day? Does it lose meaning? Perhaps you should focus on the meaning if you feel it's getting lost. Perhaps say it slower think about what you are saying etc.

FrumWithQuestions said...

I am not sure which DAf in Brachos it is on, but when I learned the Gemara, I learned that it used to be the common practice to say different things where we say Elokai Nitzor today. Since the printing of Siddurim that paragraph became standardized for reasons I don't know. Shemone Esrei was also instituted by Chazal to be said 3 times a day. Shacharis, Mincha and Maariv all have different structures with Shemona Esrai being the high point so its not like you are saying the same thing in the same context. It is hard to have concetration on a Perek of Tehilim when you believe it should not be said at that time. I feel the same about music. I am going to post something about that soon.

Rebecca said...

There was once a story about a boy who was in shul and so badly wanted to daven but he didn't know how to read hebrew. All he knew was the aleph bet. So, he just kept saying the aleph bet over and over again. he had more kavannah than some of the other people who could read the tefilot. Sometimes it doesn't matter what you are saying but the kavannah in which you are saying it. For example, there have been times in my life where I have felt the need to recite tehillim. Being that I don't always have tehillim on me I had to do it by heart. There are only two that I know by heart (the one you are talking about being one of them). Perhaps they were inappropriate to say in the situations I was in but they got me through the experiences. I understand the point you are trying to make but I think your commenters are trying to make an equally valid point which is what I am saying. Just think about it.

FrumWithQuestions said...

Its very different when you are in the middle of nowhere and remeber one perek then when you are in a shul that has Siddurim with Tehillim in the back when all you have to do is turn a few pages. But no, people are too lazy to do that.

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Thanks for your comment. I like to find out new blogs. Enjoy blogging.

yitz said...

Hi FWQ, Interesting blog you have here! As to this Shir HaMaalos, I think Rebecca hit the nail on the head. That particular one is one that many know by heart.
I used to be very judgmental and negative about people who "bolted" out of shul as soon as Aleinu was over, UNTIL...well, when my work schedule presented me with the same choice. Some people are on a very tight schedule, can only get up at a certain time, daven at a certain time, and need to get to work at a certain time. Therefore, asking them to say an extra 5-10 minutes worth of Tehillim at the end of davening is completely unfair, and they won't do it!
Isn't it better to have MORE people saying one, well-known chapter ["kapitel"] of Tehillim TOGETHER, than to have 2 people saying 10 minutes of Tehillim together after everyone else leaves? And yes, even the 30 seconds it might take to find a Siddur or Tehillim can make the difference for some people!
Now here in Israel, we are VERY CONCERNED about our war "situation", and appreciate EACH & EVERY JEW'S prayers and Tehillim, no matter how long or short - just please say it, with as much kavanna as you can muster! Thanks.

yitz said...

BTW, I see that you like both Reb Ben Zion Shenker's and Reb Shlomo Carlebach's music. You may want to check out my blog too!

FrumWithQuestions said...

Yitz- I try to read your blog on a regular basis but you do not write on it so frequently. Do you think it is better to say that Shir Hamaloos with a Kehillah with no kavanah or to say the ones that are proper for the time by yourself with kavannah? One of the things i don't understand is why people need to leave a minyan early or run out and don't have that extra minute. On a personal basis, I will never run out of a minyan early unless it is an emergency. If i feel i would need to leave early, I just go to another minyan which starts earlier. If I know I am going to be late to a minyan, I go to another one where I will be on time. ALthough Hashem is happy when somone goes to minyan, do you think it is showing respect to Hashem by running out early?
Your other point of the Shir Hamaloos being familiar with people, I ask a question, How did it become so familiar with everyone. My answer is because even before the current crisis in Israel people were saying this perek just for the sake of saying this perek. Why I don't know but I still believe that if you are going to say Tehillim you should say the ones designated for each situation and not say the same one over and over for every single situation.

yitz said...

FwQ, While we're chatting here about saying the appropriate Tehillim with kavanna, perhaps that's what I try to do on my blog - find the appropriate piece for the appropriate time, with kavanna. That sometimes means that I don't post every day, but I do try to post something at least once a week [I posted yesterday, BTW!].
As we are both fans of R. Ben Zion Shenker's music, how many people sing his "Eishes Chayil" on Friday night? I personally know of -- and use -- several other niggunim for EC: that of Lizhensk, Dzikov, Breslov, Shlomo Carlebach and Regesh, for example. And there are more. Should we say that those who sing R. Ben Zion's niggun week after week are lacking in the proper kavanna for Eishes Chayil? I don't think so...
Perhaps one of the lessons here is that we should be much less judgmental of others than we are used to. There's a wonderful expression that I heard in the name of the Rebbe Reb Zusia of Anipoli: "Two Chassidim in town are too many. One is not enough. There should be one-and-a-half Chassidim in town, and each of them should see the other as the whole & themselves as the half."
We should worry about our OWN kavanna & not judge if other's are having enough kavanna or not.
Do you think it is better to say that Shir Hamaloos with a Kehillah with no kavanah or to say the ones that are proper for the time by yourself with kavannah? If you're referring to YOUR kavanna, say it by yourself later. If you're referring to the Kavanna of others, don't judge them, but do indeed join them!

FrumWithQuestions said...

Regarding Eishes Chayil Friday Night, no matter what tune somebody is using to sing it, It is still being done at the right time no matter what the tune someone is doing. When I sing Zemiros I try and swith off different tunes every week so they don't become a standard repeating tune. I feel the same when I go to shul on Shabbos. If someone uses the same niggun for Musaf that was used during Shacharis it drives me crazy.

yitz said...

I see you have tremendous potential to become a Modzitzer Chassid, for we too, put our emphasis on "chiddushim" of niggunim. This goes all the way back to Rebbe Yechezkel of Kuzmir, the grandfather of the first Modzitzer Rebbe, who declared that any Shabbos that does not have a new niggun is not a real Shabbos for him. Every year the Modzitzer Rebbes composed several - as many as 20 - new niggunim for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, as well as several throughout the year!
However, as to the appropriateness of Psalm 130, you should know that the Gedolim at the onset of the Oslo War in 2000, prescribed Psalms 83, 130 and 142; so it is certainly appropriate today!!! Just about every minyan I've been at in Yerushalayim is saying this Kapitel these days!

yitz said...

Hi, I just found this on the Beyond Teshuva weblog:
Rabbi Eliashiv Requests That We Say Tehillim 13, 70, 83, 125, 128, 130, 142

Please note that once again, Psalm 130 is included!

FrumWithQuestions said...

Psalm # 130 is included with the others to be said together. Not just psalm 130 and ignore the others like most people are doing. In a shul I used to daven at, Artscroll distributed booklets with all of these Psalms in it at the begining of the Intifada to be said. This shul said the whole booklet and people started to complain because it was takng to long. Rather than saying only one, the Rav decided to break them up and say one everyday so at the end of the week you would have said all of them. By doing this he satisfied the people that this was taking too much time and he solved the problem of not ignoring the other psalms so you can say all of them.

yitz said...

Sounds good, but let me just remind you that especially now, with our people in danger and we're into the Nine Days, we should be extra careful not to judge each other, and certainly not to judge harshly! All the best!

FrumWithQuestions said...

I try not to judge but when people do something that is clearly and universally wrong, such as talking in shul, its hard not to judge.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes one must judge. If you are going to not judge and delude yourself that everything is great, how will things improve ?

Anonymous said...

Mechanical recitation of Tehillim is a major problem, just like mechanical davening, mechanical learning, etc. You are right that it is an issue that should be addressed.

FrumWithQuestions said...

Thank you anonymous for thinking like me and agreeing that this is an actual problem that people do not adress.

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