Psalms You Can Say In Vigil for the Victims of the Boston Terror Attack
During great times of distress it is the Jewish custom to engage in prayers and the saying of Tehillim (Psalms). Psalms are actually liturgical songs, and for this reason they are the backbone of Jewish prayer. The Psalms are not only a deep guide for prayer, but they are also a heartfelt book of poetry that provides prayers for strength and words of comfort to those who utilize them.
To learn more about the reciting of Tehillim (Psalms), please refer to the following article:
Most often for chassidim Psalms are said at night or in the darkness of the early morning, during times of reflection and devotion. It may even be paired with Tikkun Chatzot, or the Bedtime Shema.
I have handpicked these ten Psalms that I believe are appropriate for this incident. Certain standard Tehillim are most often suggested after terrorist attacks or similar disasters; Psalms 23, 83 and 121. Psalm 46 is also a commonly appropriate chapter, it also holds special significance for Americans since it has been previously invoked by President Barak Obama in memory of the victims of the 9/11 attack.
May G-d hear our prayers and bring a speedy recovery, and restore the peace and joy to the city of Boston and all the Artzot haBrit – The United States, or literally in Hebrew “the Land of The Covenant.” (a term derived in references to our Constitution).
Psalm 46 – “G-d is for us a shelter and a strength, a help in troubles; He is very accessible… But as for the river-its rivulets shall cause the city of G-d, the holy place of the dwellings of the Most High, to rejoice. G–d is in its midst that it should not totter; G-d shall help it as morning approaches… The L-rd of Hosts is with us; the G-d of Jacob is our fortress forever.”
Psalm 20 – “May the L-rd answer you on a day of distress; may the name of the G-d of Jacob fortify you. May He send your aid from His sanctuary, and may He support you from Zion… They kneel and fall, but we rise and gain strength.”
Psalm 23 – “The L-rd is my shepherd; I shall not want. Even when I walk in the valley of darkness, I will fear no evil for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff-they comfort me.”
Psalm 83 – “O G-d, have no silence, do not be silent and do not be still, O G-d. For behold, Your enemies stir, and those who hate You raise their heads. Against Your people they plot cunningly, and they take counsel against Your protected ones….”
Psalm 121 – “I shall raise my eyes to the mountains, from where will my help come? My help is from the L-rd, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to falter; Your Guardian will not slumber.”
Psalm 27 – “The L-rd is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The L-rd is the stronghold of my life; from whom shall I be frightened? When evildoers draw near to me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and my enemies against me-they stumbled and fell.”
Psalm 56 – “They lodge, they hide, they watch my steps, when they hope for my life… Then my enemies will retreat on the day that I call. Thereby I will know that I have a G-d… In G-d I trusted. I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
Psalm 64 – “Hear, O G-d, my voice in my prayer; from fear of the enemy You shall guard my life. You shall hide me from the counsel of evildoers, from the gathering of workers of iniquity.”
Psalm 68 – “May G–d rise up; His enemies scatter, and those who hate Him flee from before Him. As smoke is driven away, You will drive [them] away; as wax melts before fire, the wicked will perish from before G-d. And the righteous will rejoice, yea, they will exult before G-d and they will delight with joy.”
Psalm 70 – “May those who seek my life be shamed and humiliated; may those who desire my harm turn back and be disgraced… May all those who seek You exult and rejoice, and may those who love Your salvation say constantly, “May G-d be magnified”… But I am poor and needy, O G-d, hasten to me; You are my aid and my rescuer, O L-rd, do not delay.”
- “Rabbi Stays on Site in Boston, Offering some ‘Sense of Serenity‘” (chabad.org)
- Saying Tehillim for Israel and the IDF (hardcoremesorah.wordpress.com)
- Mishebeirach Prayers for Israel and the IDF (hardcoremesorah.wordpress.com)
- Visiting the Graves of a Righteous Person” – praying in the merit of the righteous (hardcoremesorah.wordpress.com)