Psalms in a Trans­la­tion for Praying

Rab­bi Zal­man Schachter-Shalomi
  • Review
By – October 6, 2014

Read­ing Psalms/​Tehillim is a time-hon­ored means of respond­ing to chal­lenges in life. Even those who can­not under­stand the mean­ing of the Hebrew text of the Psalms, fre­quent­ly engage in read­ing them as a means of attain­ing a high­er lev­el of spir­i­tu­al­i­ty in the face of ill­ness, finan­cial dif­fi­cul­ty, and world vio­lence. Many edi­tions of Tehillim are arranged by day, with sug­ges­tions of appro­pri­ate Tehillim to recite when fac­ing spe­cific chal­lenges. Reb Zal­man, as he has become known, has stepped in to make Tehillim more acces­si­ble to the indi­vid­ual using them in prayer. This Eng­lish text of Psalms is high­ly read­able and is very appro­pri­ate for the per­son who is reach­ing out to God for help. The poet­ic and musi­cal integri­ty of the Psalms come through clear­ly in this new trans­la­tion. The author made a rather unusu­al deci­sion: to include in Hebrew, with­out trans­la­tion, a num­ber of Tehillim that he found trou­bling because of their state­ments about revenge or vio­lence. While this lim­its the book as a com­plete trans­la­tion, Reb Zalman’s trans­la­tion of the remain­ing Tehillim are of extra­or­di­nary val­ue. Reb Zal­man passed away on July 32014.

Relat­ed content:

Rab­bi Arnold D. Sam­lan is a Jew­ish edu­ca­tor and rab­bi liv­ing in Mia­mi, Flori­da. He serves as exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Orloff Cen­tral Agency for Jew­ish Edu­ca­tion of Broward County.

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