Make Tehillim Sing!

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8 Responses

  1. dr. bill says:

    It might not surprise anyone that my library does not contain any Artscroll volumes. It might surprise people that I regularly recite/study Tehillim on behalf of both cholim and those departed.

    I try to study as I read and I have found three translations into English, while different, very worthwhile. One is Daat Mikre’s 3 volume work with a haskamah from RAL ztl. A second is a translation by Rabbi Eli Cashdan with brief commentary by Rabbi Dr. Weinreb published by Koren. A third is by Prof. Robert Alter and may not be acceptable to many on this site.

    As is known, the trop provides a syntax that can be inconsistent with a particular translation and consistent with another. Trop on Tehillim (as well as Iyov and Mishlei) is different from the rest of Tanach, and at least for me, it is very challenging at times to guess at possible consistent interpretations.

    When one recites and studies Tehillim, prayer comes easily.

  2. Raymond says:

    This reminds me a lot of what I perceive Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan’s translation of the Torah (the Living Torah) to be: completely faithful and accurate to the actual Hebrew words, yet using simple, everyday language when translated into English. It is why I have long used it as my most basic, fundamental Torah book that appears in English.

    As for the Tehillim, I have heard that there is a very religious Jewish woman living right here in Los Angeles who recites (and I assume has memorized) the entire Tehillim in its entirety, every single day. Such a lofty goal is way out of my league, but what I have long fantasized about in this realm, is to choose, say, the 25 most important Tehillim that are not too long, and to memorize those. One problem with that, of course, is figuring out which ones to include on such a list. Clearly #23 (Mizmor L’David….) is probably the most indispensable and famous one of them all, plus of course #145 (Ashrei…) is abundantly familiar to all of us, as it is so central to our davening.

  3. YEA says:

    The Artscroll version sounds more poetic to me.

  4. Shades of Gray says:

    “That presents no problem if you are studying the text. But it is unwieldy if you are trying to pour your emotions into a conversation with HKBH…”

    This reminds me of a conversation I had with a mechanech who is a descendent of RSRH. He was visiting my family, and noticed Rabbi Eliyahu Meir Klugman’s biography of Rav Hirsch (Artscroll) on the living room bookshelf. He asked me if I found it easy to read, and I asked him in turn why he would think otherwise.

    He told me that there was originally a question whether the endnotes that the book has (I think partially based on Prof. Breuer’s research) would take away from the reading experience. I later thought of the same comparison between the intellectual and emotional Tehilim experiences(in some contemporary secular books I’ve read, the style is to include the text without endnotes for easy reading, and then to also reference the page and some of the paragraph on each endnote).

  5. Steve Brizel says:

    One should learn Tehilim even with just Rashi and Metzudos just to realize that the entire sefer expresses so many of Dovid HaMelech’s inner moods. It is as if Dovid HaMelech is on the Divine Couch when he is expressing himself. When you learn Tehillim on any level or on a high level as Dr Bill stresses, what you say has a lot more kavana and meaning

  6. Bob Miller says:

    Speaking of the trop for Tehillim—who today knows how to chant to it?

  7. Nachum says:

    There are recordings on the internet of Chazan Yosef Hamoui zt”l (Aleppo Syrian) reading the whole Tehillim and more with trop. Look him up.

  8. Chana Siegel says:

    You can get them through Rennanot on a few CDs. It’s wonderful for acquiring fluency

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