Throughout history, David HaMelech’s book of Psalms has been a traditional source of inspiration, clarity, chizuk, and comfort in times of distress. Whenever we find ourselves in difficult situations, whether individually or communally, we open the Book of Psalms and use David HaMelech’s poetic praises and supplications to ask Hashem for mercy. Throughout the 150 chapters, there are praises, declarations, and supplications spanning the full range of human emotions (e.g., fear, hope despair, excitement). All of the chapters convey an emotional awareness of Hashem’s involvement in every aspect of our lives. The Midrash tells us that when King David compiled the Psalms, he had in mind himself, as well as every Jew of every generation and every circumstance. The words of the Psalms contain appropriate chapters for every possible situation, feelings, and circumstances.
Our Sages teach us that reciting the words of Sefer T’hilim and learning the lessons contained within them is commendable, whether on a regular basis or during times of distress. But more deeply, we should all strive to find ourselves in the words and relate the text to our specific needs and actually “live the mizmor.”
It’s always a good idea to open a book of T’hilim in times of need. Our sages teach us that some chapters are especially relevant in trying times. The following is a good general list of chapters to recite during specific situations:
For a sick person: 6, 9, 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 28, 30-33, 37-39, 41, 49, 55, 56, 69, 86, 88-91, 102-104, 107, 116, 118, 142, 143, 148.
At a gravesite: 16, 17, 33, 72, 91, 104, 130.
Tikun Klali of Rebbe Nachman (Rebbe Nachman recommended saying the following ten chapters to undo the spiritual damage caused by sin): 16, 32, 41, 42, 59, 77, 90, 105, 137, 150.
Danger to Jewish People or Eretz Yisrael: 20, 79, 80, 83, 121, 130, 142.
Livelihood/financial stability: 23, 104, 128, 145.
All-purpose (marriage, children, happiness, fulfillment, peace of mind, etc.): 3, 6, 13, 16, 20, 22, 23, 27, 32, 41, 42, 51, 56, 59, 70, 77, 86, 88, 90, 102, 121, 128, 130, 137, 142, 143, 150
List of People Who Need a R’fuah Sh’leimah (a complete recovery)
Please recite Psalms 20, 30, 88, 121, and 130.
Boris Baruch ben Frecha Frida
Chaim Avraham ben Shifrah Zisel
Shimshon Shimon ben Mazal
Aharon Mordechai ben Sharon
Yaakov Yisrael Pinchas ben Tovah
Yisachar Dov ben Chayah Brachah
Tinok ben Chanah
Azriel ShemTov ben Brachah Esther
Shmuel Aryeh ben Sarah Rachel
Ronny Tzalach ben Simchah
Shmuel Aryeh ben Sarah Rachel
Moshe ben Devorah
Yehoshua ben Miriam
Yosef ben Leah
Nisan ben Yael
Efrayim Gavriel ben Esther
Chaim Yehudah HaLevi ben Sarah
Refael Meir HaLevi ben Esther
Evon bas Sally
Luna bas Rachel
Malkah bas Miriam
Tovah Yocheved bas Esther Bukas
Ruchamah Perel Malkah Leah bas Chanah Serel
Esther Hadassah bas Devorah
Ronit bas Rivkah
Mahnaz bas Nosrat
Sylia bas Rachel
Karen bas Rachel
Shoshanah Shurah bas Zina
Sonia bas Raya Rachel
To add names of individuals who need a
r’fuah sh’leimah to next week’s T’hilim
column, please email to
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