Weekly Halacha: When to Read Pesukim and Recite Tehillim

Weekly Halacha: When to Read Pesukim and Recite Tehillim


“ואלה שמות בני ישראל הבאים מצרימה את יעקב איש וביתו באו” :שמות א’,א”

The לבוש says that ואלה שמות stands for וחייב אדם לקרות הפרשה שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום.  Reb Hirsh Henoch Hakohen Levin zt”l, the son-in-law of the Sefas Emes, points out that the end letters of the first five words ואלה שמות בני ישראל הבאים spell תהלים.  When they started to feel the slavery in the Galus of Mitzrayim, Klal Yisroel understood that they must daven to Hashem. Throughout all the exiles, the Jewish people survived through the recital of תהלים.  When is the proper time of day that one is allowed to read pessukim and recite Tehillim?

The באר היטב (או”ח סימן רל”ח ס”ק ב’) brings from the אריז”ל that one should not learn תורה שבכתב at night.  Even parts of pessukim should not be said. The שער הציון (ס”ק א’) says that from the פרי מגדים it seems that one is permitted to learn מקרא at night.  The שער הציון explains that even according to those who are stringent, it is not an issur, rather it is better to learn מקרא during the day. The פרקי דרבי אליעזר (פרק מ”ו) and the מדרש תנחומא in Parshas Ki Sisa (אות ל”ו) both say that הקב”ה learned with משה רבינו during the day מקרא and משנה at night.

According to most poskim this חומרא applies from צאת הכוכבים until עמוד השחר.  There are those who say that it only applies until חצות.

Most poskim agree that the חומרא of the Arizal only applies when one is learning the pessukim of תנ”ך for לימוד התורה, but if one is saying them for רחמים ותחנונים or for a סגולה, it is permitted.  Therefore it would be permissible to say תהלים at nighttime for one who is sick, or for the need of any salvation. This applies as well to the first four perakim of תהלים that are said before going to sleep, for תיקון חצות, ויתן לך on מוצאי שבת,and the pessukim of פרשת וישלח before one departs on a trip.  There are those who permit saying תהלים as a ציבור even if it is not for the purpose of a ישועה. If one reads the pessukim with פירוש רש”י it is considered תורה שבעל פה and permitted at nighttime.

The לבוש מרדכי and the חיד”א write that all of this does not apply to women and children. Men who only know how to learn מקרא do not have to be careful about this חומרא.

This also does not apply on לילי שבת ויו”ט ויום הכיפורים ולילי ששי.  It is therefore permissible for one to lain שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום on ליל שבת.

Prepared by R’ Avrohom Yehoshua Ziskind


קריאת שמו”ת והלכותיה,פסקי תשובות,פסקים ותשובות,עלינו לשבח

The author can be reached at shueyziskind@gmail.com

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