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Towering Tehillim

Rabbi Yehoshua Alt

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Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg Ztz”l. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications and is the author of the books, Fascinating Insights and Incredible Insights. His writings inspire people across the spectrum of Jewish observance to live with the vibrancy and beauty of Torah. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes, and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

Towering Tehillim

The Midrash[1] states that Yaakov recited Tehillim in the house of Lavan. The Divrei Yoel[2] says that Yaakov already comprehended Sefer Tehillim with prophecy but it wasn’t revealed until Dovid Hamelech. He prepared this power for the generations of Galus that through this the Jewish people will exist and be saved from their troubles.


An allusion to this idea is that the end letters of the words ואלה שמות בני ישראל הבאים, these are the names of the Jews who were coming to Mitzrayim[3] spell תהלים. This hints to that in all pain and troubles (מצרים means straits, referring to our troubles), one can recite Tehillim, thereby bringing about a salvation.[4]


R’ Yechiel Meir of Gustonon was called the Tehillim Rebbe because whenever people approached him with their problems he would prescribe a regimen of Tehillim. To some he would say, recite the entire Tehillim while to others he would suggest a section of Tehillim or a few chapters. Each person received their prescription which led to their salvation. When asked about this, R’ Yechiel Meir said that he’s not a man who performs miracles. He would quote the Kotzker Rebbe that Tehillim is not in the order that Dovid Hamelech arranged it. If it would be, then Tehillim would have the power of Techias Hameisim (resurrection of the dead). Because it is obviously not the time to give people such power, Dovid Hamelech rearranged the chapters of Tehillim. Despite this, all other salvations can be attained by reciting Tehillim.


A man named Levi was invited by a 60-year-old man, named Naftali, to attend his Seudas Hodaa in 2021 for surviving his month-long battle in the hospital against the coronavirus. Although Levi was unsure why he was invited as he barely knew Naftali, he still attended since was personally invited. At the seuda there were 18 other people. This crowd seemed very random as they were all from different communities. Levi struck up a conversation with one of the guests at the seuda named Binyamin. Binyamin told Levi that he was unsure why he was invited as he wasn’t even sure who this person was. Levi related that he felt the same way, since he hardly knew Naftali. Then Naftali began his speech and he explained why he invited everyone. He said that when he was lying in his hospital bed, nearly dead, he ascended to heaven where he saw his mother who died a few years earlier. She told him to return to earth. He responded that he wanted to but was unable. She then replied, “look down and you’ll see you can go.” He then looked from heaven and saw these 18 people that he invited to the seuda saying Tehillim for him, each one in their locale. At that moment they all mentioned his name for a Refua Shleima with the Tehillim they were reciting, although they didn’t know who they were davening for. His mother told him that these 18 people are giving him the power to return alive. This is why he invited these 18 people. Look at the power of Tehillim!


[1] Breishis Rabba 68:11.

[2] Vayeitzei, p. 91.

[3] Shemos 1:1.

[4] Mayana Shel Torah, Shemos 1:1.

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