Updated: Sep 8
Tehilim have always been a favorite source of prayers for the Jewish People and even non-Jews alike. Its authors go from Adam HaRishon (the first man), through Moshe Rabbenu and even the sons of Korach. Organised by King David through his wisdom of Ruach HaKodesh (divine spirit), the Tehilim encompass pretty much all emotions and feelings one can imagine in life, including Joy, Thanksgiving, Sadness, Hope, Worry and Gladness.
While people have been using them extensively, it’s powers however, are not so well-known. Here in this article we will explore more in-depth what Tehilim are all about.
The Zohar (Vayishlach) already said:
“Come gaze how these songs and praises that David recited hold secrets and sublime ideasinvolving the mysteries of wisdom, because they were all recited with Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit)”
It is known in the books of Kabbalah that a prayer often has to travel until the Throne of Glory in order to be “heard” (see this article of Kivrei Tzaddikim). However, until it reaches its destination, it often has to pass through many dark forces that want to rip it apart. Tehilim have the power to break many of these forces, as the Noam Elimelech writes, and can ascend without any problems.
The Arizal also recommends a person to recite the verses that refer to his/her name at the end of the Amidah (before the last Yihiu L’ratzon). This verse is the one whose first and last letters are the same as the first and last letters of one’s name. This is because, as he explains in the Gates of Reincarnations (Intro 23), when a person passes away, he forgets many things that are not tied to Torah. When a person is buried, an angel calls him/her by his name and remembering it will be a big source of merit if he can respond.
Generally speaking, when doing personal prayer, it’s usually better to pray in a language the person understands as there’s no requirement to do so in Hebrew. Because Tehilim were composed with a really high level of Ruach HaKodesh, it can be said even if a person has no idea what is being. The Arizal writes in Gates of Unity that Moshe Rabbenu was the father of all prophets, while David HaMelekh was the father of all those that possess Ruach HaKodesh.
None less than the Chida also wrote in Yosef Tehilot that by reciting Tehilim, it is considered as if he fulfilled the entire Torah and he merits a place under the Throne of Glory. Being accustomed to praying the Tehilim also blocks many troubles and suffering from him, his family and the generation!
Here are a few ways of using the Tehilim, besides saying separate chapters that have specific functions.
1. Finish the whole book: This is the most powerful but also the most difficult way to use the book of Tehilim. Some people say that when you complete the whole book you will certainly get what you ask for (provided it’s good).
2. Finish the whole book in a month: Many people, especially Chassidim from Chabad have the custom of reciting a portion of the Tehilim in order to finish it in a month.
3. Tikkun HaKlali: The Tikkun HaKlali has been revealed to us by Rebbe Nachman of Breslev and comprises of 10 chapters (16, 32, 41, 42, 55, 77, 90, 105, 137, 150) which are intended to rectify all types of sexual blemishes, including of thought, a person may have committed.
4. Saying Chapter 13 for 13 days straight: The great Kabbalist Daniel Frisch, author of the series Matok MiDvash revealed to us that one who says chapter 13 for 13 days straight will be answered from Heaven.
5. Saying Chapter 119 for someone’s name: Chapter 119 comprises of a series of groups of 8 verses, with each group starting with one of the letters of the Alef-Beit. For every matter of salvation a person needs (or someone else needs), he can “pray the person’s name” using the groups of verses from this chapter. This is intended as a big segulah, especially for health. The Ba’al Shem Tov also taught that one who says chapter 119 every day will eventually get deep insights into a person when talking to him.
We may not have even scratched the surface when it comes to the power of Tehilim but they are the Jewish People’s tresured prayers that have come to their aid in the most difficult moments.
This article was written and published in the zechut of all Emuna Builder Partners. May they have complete emuna and continue spreading emuna!