Throughout history, David HaMelech’s Book of Psalms has been a traditional source of inspiration, clarity, chizuk, and comfort in times of distress. Whenever we find ourselves in difficult situations, whether individually or communally, we open up the Book of Psalms and use David HaMelech’s poetic praises and supplications to ask Hashem for mercy. Throughout the 150 chapters, there are praises, declarations, and supplications spanning the full range of human emotions (e.g., fear, hope, despair, excitement). All of the chapters convey an emotional awareness of Hashem’s involvement in every aspect of our lives. The Midrash tells us that when King David compiled the Psalms, he had in mind himself, as well as every Jew of every generation and every circumstance. The words of the Psalms contain appropriate chapters for every possible situation, feelings, and circumstances.

Our Sages teach us that reciting the words of Sefer T’hilim and learning the lessons contained within them is commendable whether on a regular basis or during times of distress. But more deeply, we should all strive to find ourselves in the words and relate the text to our specific needs and actually “live the mizmor.”

It’s always a good idea to open up a book of T’hilim in times of need. Our Sages teach us that some chapters are especially relevant in trying times. The following is a good general list of chapters to recite during specific situations:


For a sick person:

6, 9, 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 28, 30-33, 37-39, 41, 49, 55, 56, 69, 86, 88-91, 102-104, 107, 116, 118, 142, 143, 148


At a grave:

33, 16, 17, 72, 91, 104, 130


Tikun Klali of Rebbe Nachman (Rebbe Nachman recommended saying the following ten chapters to undo the spiritual damage caused by sin):

16, 32, 41, 42, 59, 77, 90, 105, 137, 150


Danger to Jewish People or Eretz Yisrael:

20, 79, 80, 83, 121, 130, 142


Livelihood/financial stability:

23, 104, 128, 145


All-purpose (marriage, children, happiness, fulfillment, peace of mind, etc.):

3, 6, 13, 16, 20, 22, 23, 27, 32, 41, 42, 51, 56, 59, 70, 77, 86, 88, 90, 102, 121, 128, 130, 137, 142, 143, 150

List of People Who Need a R’fuah Sh’leimah (a complete recovery)

Please recite Psalms 20, 30, 88, 121, and 130.


Shmuel Moshe ben Peninah

Yosef ben Leah

Aharon Mordechai ben Sharon

Eliyahu ben Miriam

Moshe ben Rachel

Michael Uram ben Raya Rachel

Nisan ben Yael

Nissim ben Devorah

Yehoshua ben Miriam

Mordechai ben Rachel Anba

Yehoshua ben Fruma

Yisrael Meir ben Etta Rachel

Masoud Meir ben Etta Rachel

Moshe ben Mazal

Yechezkel ben Esther Serel

Yitzchak Chaim ben Sarah

Shimon ben Mercedes

Eliyahu ben Margalit

Yosef ben Nosrat

Yosef Gidon Yaakov ben Peninah

Moshe Chaim ben Shulamis

Efraim ben Leah

Ezra Refael ben Taoos Miriam

Yechiel HaLevi ben Rachel

Yaakov Reuven ben Brachah

Yaakov ben Simchah


Frieda Malkah bas Sarah

Tinokey bas Rivkah

Malkah bas Reich Shifrah

Rachel bas Yehudis Binah Baila

Tovah Yocheved bas Esther Bukas

Ruchama Perel Malkah Leah bas Chanah Serel

Esther Hadassah bas Devorah

Alizah bas Miriam

Chanah Elianah bas Naomi

Adele bas Adi

Orah bas Naomi

Chayah Brachah bas Miriam

Sally Ronit bas Taoos Miriam

Sarah Raizel bas Esther Leah

To add names of individuals who need a r’fuah sh’leimah to next week’s T’hilim column, please email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and complete the Google form.

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