There are a total of 36 psalms that are introduced with the word “Mizmor.” The simple meaning of the word “mizmor” is “musical accompaniment,” but the root word zameir also means “pruning,” as in “tizmor karmecha – prune your vineyard” (Sefer VayikraParshas B’Har). A tree cannot flourish if its vitality is sapped by damaged bark and diseased branches. Cutting away the undesirable portions assures the continued growth of a thriving tree. Without regular pruning, a tree will fail to produce fruit. The same concept of pruning a plant to increase growth also applies to spiritual development. Proper pruning involves identifying and ridding ourselves of undesirable traits and modes of action that sap our energy. Such inner work is difficult, but its rewards are unequaled.

According to Rabbi Mordechai Yoffe (Levush, 1530-1612), there is an evil force in this world created from all our sins that prevents our t’filos from reaching the Kisei HaKavod – the eternal throne. The Psalms prune away these obstacles. When we say T’hilim, these forces are destroyed and our t’filos are able to reach the highest point, the Kisei HaKavod. This is the reason we say T’hilim before Sh’ma and Sh’moneh Esrei. T’hilim chases away spiritual forces that might disrupt our prayers and allows our t’filos to rise.

List of People Who Need a r’fuah sh’leimah (a complete recovery)

Please recite Psalms 20, 30, 88, 121, and 130.

Yisrael ben Raizel Shoshanah Miriam

Eliyahu ben Rachel

Robert ben Mazal

Yosef Yehudah ben Devorah

David ben Maya

Yosef Meir ben Malkah Charna

Amir ben Azar Avivah

Binyamin Nesanel ben Brachah Tovah

Eliyahu ben Zoya

Eliyahu ben Sophie

Lavi Rafael ben Olga

Moshe Reuven ben Sima Taybela

Yitzchak ben Rachel Shifrah

Shalom Reuven ben Shima

Shia Hersh ben Surel

Baruch Bendit ben Chanah Gitel

Chai Yitzchak ben Esther Rivkah

Moshe Reuven ben Sima Taybela

Yosef Gideon Yaakov ben Peninah

Rafael ben Sonyah Sarah


Leah bas Michal

Chayah Esther bas Barba

Esther bas Rachel

Tovah Yocheved bas Esther Bukas

Ruchamah Perel Malkah Leah bas Chanah Serel

Esther Hadassah bas Devorah

Tziporah bas Fruma

Behnaz Chayah bas Yafah

To add names of individuals who need a r’fuah sh’leimah to next week’s T’hilim column, please email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and complete the Google form.