DailyTehillim.com

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DAILY TEHILLIM





After several years of hard work and detailed planning, DailyTehillim.com, the newest member of the Torah Learning Resources (TLR) family, has gone live on the World Wide Web.
 
Having already developed the widely-acclaimed DailyHalacha.com, DailyGemara.com, MishnaBerura.com. and LearnTorah.com, TLR was approached to undertake the task of creating a venue for managing the database of names of those among us who can achieve an especially profound benefit from having Tehillim read on their behalf. Reading Tehillim provides the merit of learning Torah for the sake of those in need. The administration and staff of TLR rose to the occasion, producing a state-of-the-art Internet resource that promises to touch countless lives throughout the Jewish world.
 
Taking On-Line Tehillim to a New Level
 
According to Morris Dweck, founder of TLR, the success of the organization’s earlier sites proved that “the World Wide Web was the perfect forum for this project.”
 
Until now, individuals and groups compiled lists and either e-mailed, snail mailed, or texted the names to many who had volunteered to recite Tehillim when needed. DailyTehillim.com goes one step further, allowing individual users to add names to their personal lists, combining all previous lists, and giving communities the opportunity to access them quickly, easily, and on demand. 
 
The site was engineered and developed by Imagineer Technology Group, which also contributed to the development of DailyHalacha.com, DailyGemara.com, MishnaBerura.com and LearnTorah.com. Great emphasis was placed on making the site’s features as user friendly as possible. Anticipating that many users may not be Internet savvy, developers created tutorials to provide an on-demand education about the site. Further, to aid those not fluent in Hebrew, the site offers the entire book of Tehillim in English and in transliterated form (Hebrew text in English letters)..  With free registration, users can add names of those in need of prayers to their community’s list and/or create their own personal list of names. Registered users will receive daily e-mail updates of their community’s list of names for whom to recite Tehillim and a notification when there is an emergency Tehillim reading.  
 
While the primary reason for developing the site was to create a comprehensive community list of those in need of our prayers, the site also serves as a valuable resource for those who want to enhance their own praying or seek a deeper understanding of the book of Tehillim, one of the most cherished and sacred treasures of our religious tradition. 
 
True to its mission to “provide meaningful and useful tools for learning Torah through today’s ever changing technologies,” TLR added numerous features that enable users to immerse themselves in the book of Tehillim and gain a deeper understanding of its strength and meaning. These features include:
§ Every Tehillim perek (chapter) in Hebrew, English translation and English transliteration, along with a brief, one-page English summary of the chapter. The translation and summary allow the reader a fuller understanding of the chapter, thereby enhancing his/her recitation and making it more meaningful. 
§ An in depth audio lesson in English of on the perakim by Rabbi Eli J Mansour
§ Audio recordings of Hacham Baruch Ben-Haim reciting Tehillim with the traditional ta’amim (cantillation chant), a treasure which the Ben-Haim family graciously shared with TLR, and, by extension, with Jews around the world.
§ A special print edition of every chapter, in which Gd’s Name is abbreviated in order to avoid the possibility of the desecration of sacred text. (Users are advised, however, that even without Gd’s name, printed pages should not be discarded without proper care.)
 
A Prayer for Every Occasion
 
For centuries, Jews have turned to the Book of Tehillim, which was authored mainly by King David, as an expression of their deepest, most heartfelt emotions. The Zohar, the principal text of Kabbalah, exhorts, “One who is wise should submit his prayers like King David.” Within the 150 chapters of Tehillim, one finds expression of virtually every kind of human emotion – joy, fear, sorrow, pain, anguish, despair, hope, confidence, exhilaration, frustration, yearning, awe, serenity and anxiety. Indeed, Tehillim provides an appropriate prayer for every occasion, feeling and experience.
 
Ancient tradition, as recorded in the work Shimush Tehillim, associates different chapters of Tehillim with different needs. The recitation of some Psalms, for example, is particularly suited for assistance in earning a livelihood, while others are beneficial for curing certain ailments. Rabbi Michael Haber of Sephardic Press who provided the English translation, also graciously compiled the list of segulot (“charms”) ascribed to the different chapters, which can be easily accessed on the site in times of specific needs. For example, a user can choose the category for an easy labor and delivery and instantly receive the list of chapters suited for this purpose. One can then just click on any of the resulting chapter numbers and see it in Hebrew only, Hebrew with English translation, Hebrew with English transliteration, or Hebrew with both translation and transliteration.
 
Another important function of DailyTehillim.com is to unite one’s community in times of need. Our community has always distinguished itself in the area of hesed, and already has a remarkable support system in place for those enduring serious illness or the devastating loss of a loved one.   DailyTehillim.com seeks to further bring our community and others together by; publicizing emergency Tehillim readings and serving as a “bulletin board” for announcing arayat (readings in memory of departed loved ones), shiva (seven days of mourning), and levayot (funerals), Heaven forbid. The daily email updates will help keep all community members informed of these important events, providing added cement which binds the community’s collective benevolence.
 
The site’s developers hope that this resource will spread to other Jewish communities throughout the world. The community in Panama, for example, can run its own database of names and e-mail list for pertinent announcements. The powers of technology allow for untold numbers of Jews across the globe to perform hesed for one another, and connect with Jews from their own communities and from around the world in desperate need of their prayers.
 
Among the many unique, user-sensitive features of the site is the “Chapter 119 name generation” tool. There is a time-honored tradition to recite sections of Psalm 119 after a loved one’s passing, on a yahrsseit, and for an ill patient. Each section of this chapter consists of eight sentences that begin with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The sections chosen for this recitation correspond to the spelling of the name of the ailing patient or the deceased. To generate the appropriate reading on the website, the user simply enters the person’s Hebrew first name and the Hebrew first name of his/her mother, and the site instantly generates the corresponding verses from Chapter 119 to be recited on that individual’s behalf. The user can then either recite the verses on the computer or print them. This remarkable tool makes it simple to find the appropriate prayer, and negates the need for flipping through the pages of a Tehillim book in search of the relevant sections of Chapter 119.
 
A Labor of Love
 
DailyTehillim.com is the product of the commitment, expertise and vision of many dedicated and talented individuals who joined together to bring this dream into reality. Morris Dweck, visionary founder and mastermind of other Torah Learning Resource websites – DailyHalacha.com, DailygGemara.com, LearnTorah.com and MishnaBerura.com – acknowledged the tireless efforts of Erol Dusi, president of Imagineer Technology Group, which developed the site. Shmuel Sasson, who also programmed DailyHalacha.com, DailyGemara.com and MishnaBerura.com, spent literally hundreds of hours programming DailyTehillim.com and continues to work with the site administrators to enhance it. Marco Sarder who offered invaluable help in assembling the images displayed on the site, and Rico Toussoun, a longtime, stalwart member of the TLR team, provided the audio files of Rabbi Mansour’s Tehillim classes and so much more.
 
For more than 5 years, Marc Cohen, Eva Kairey and others have been circulating emails containing the names of people in need of prayers. This was an overwhelming undertaking for these individual, and it was only when Marc Cohen approached Torah Learning Resources for their assistance that the idea for this website began to form. The community owes a great debt of gratitude to Marc and Eva for their ongoing involvement in this most special form of hesed.
 
Gary Mizrachi developed a CD that contains many of the same features as the site. The CD provides the Tehillim reading of Rabbi Shimon Alouf of Ahava V’Ahva Congregation, a Chapter 119 generation tool, and much more.  Gary offered invaluable advice in the development of DailyTehillim.com, and has expressed his enthusiastic support for this on-line service.
 
David Silverberg, a great friend of the TLR family of websites, wrote the chapter summaries with the guidance of Rabbi Mansour, as well as the transliterations of the text.
 
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Rabbi Eli J. Mansour has provided spiritual guidance for all the endeavors of TLR. The organization expressed its deepest gratitude for the rabbi’s unwavering support and hard work on the community’s behalf – the latest culmination of which is the forthcoming publication, by Artscroll, of Rabbi Mansour’s new book, Patah Eliyahu: The Daily Halacha,a compendium of practical halachot and illuminating insights from the weekly parasha
 
DailyTehillim.com User’s Guide
 
On the homepage of DailyTehillim.com, one can find the following tutorials explaining the basic features and services of the site:
 
1) Introduction and Brief Overview of the Site
2) How to Register a Name for Tehillim Reading
3) How to Request An Emergency Tehillim Reading and Broadcast An Immediate Emergency Email/Text Message
4) How to Post Funeral Information and Broadcast An Immediate Email/Text Message
5) How to Register A Yahrsseit Anniversary
6) All about the Community Tehillim List
7) All about Your Personal “My Tehillim List”
8) All About Receiving Our Emails/Text Messages
9) How To Read Tehillim For The Sick
 
 
Upon accessing the site, the user views the homepage (shown here), in the center of which the day’s chapter of Tehillim can be seen. An icon on the top right allows the user to register and, if he has already registered, log in to his private account. To register, one simply enters his first and last names and e-mail address, and creates a password. There is no cost to register or use the site. Registered users enjoy the following benefits:
 
·      Maintain/Print a personal Tehillim list.
·      Receive daily or emergency emails/SMS.
·      Register a name for Tehillim reading.
·      Register levayot (funerals), arayat, and yahrsseit anniversaries.
 
Below is a guide to other features of the homepage, as well as some of the other site views.
 
Homepage 
1.       This is the daily Tehillim perek text. There are four options for viewing the text – Hebrew only, Hebrew with English translation, Hebrew with English transliteration, Hebrew with both translation and transliteration. Choose the option that suits your needs by clicking on the appropriate tab.
2.       This is the community generated list of names of those in need of prayers. The list includes the person’s English name, Hebrew name (and mother’s Hebrew name), transliteration of name, the reason prayers are needed, the date the name was posted, and some details as to the individual’s condition. Contributors have the option of omitting the English name in the interest of confidentiality. Names stay on the list for 14 days and then are automatically deleted unless the registrar extends the ending date.
3.       This provides a list of categories of specific needs, and the corresponding Tehillim to be prayed for each.
4.       This feature, also user generated, allows all viewers to be informed of funerals, details of shiva, and time and place of arayat.
5.       This feature can be amended by users to include the yahrsseit of loved ones, and will also publish the yahrsseit of prominent hachamim.
6.       Click here to hear an audio lesson by Rabbi Mansour explaining the day’s perek.
7.       Click here to hear the audio recording of Hacham Baruch Ben Haim, zs”l, reciting the Tehillim with the proper ta’amim.
8.       Announcement of the day’s sponsorship – click on box below to become a sponsor. TLR depends on sponsorships in order to maintain the site and offset the costs of its development.
 
Below is the site view of the perek summary in English. 
 
Below is a screenshot of the page where one enters the name of an ill patient, then selects either a short (5 minute), standard (15 minute), or long (35 minute) Tehillim reading. All 3 versions include a special Beracha for Refuah Shelema that includes the patient’s name.
 
 
This page below allows the user to enter a person’s Hebrew name in order to generate the corresponding verses from perek 119. 
 
The central feature of the site, adding someone’s name to the community list is a three-step process. First, one enters the individual’s name so that the site can check if it has already been entered. 
 
 
If the name is not already on the list, the user is invited to enter the name and designate the type of prayer needed, either “Regular Reading” or “Emergency.”
 
The next step is entering the person’s English name and category of need, followed by the person’s Hebrew name and mother’s Hebrew name. An on-screen typewriter is available for entering Hebrew names. Finally, users are asked to enter the transliterated name, country and community, and the condition of the individual. 
 
In the final stage, the user sets a start date for saying Tehillim. As mentioned, names will stay on the list for 14 days and then will be automatically deleted unless someone manually changes the ending date.
 
In order to authenticate submissions, an administrator will contact either the user or an immediate family member for permission to publicize the name of the person in need of prayers. The user is therefore prompted to provide his phone number and relationship to the person for whom prayers are requested.
 
Looking Ahead
 
 
There is a time-honored tradition for groups to form and divide the entire Book of Tehillim among its members, who recite their assigned sections on behalf of ill patients. DailyTehillim will develop and incorporate into the site an online tool for compiling a list of volunteers who will make themselves available to recite a section of Tehillim “on demand” in emergency situations, to ensure the completion of the entire book for gravely ill patients.
 
Also in the works is a special “Kol Hamitpalel” feature, which will encourage users to pray on behalf of those suffering from the same condition they are facing. The Sages teach that “whoever prays for someone and he has that same need – he is answered first.” How beautiful it would be if every couple struggling to have a child would pray on behalf of others in the same situation! The DailyTehillim administrators hope that this feature will enhance the feeling of mutual responsibility among all Jews, in the spirit of the famous dictum, “kol Yisrael arevim ze lazeh” (“all Israel are responsible for one another”).
 
DailyTehillim’s “Tehillim 101” page cites a number of traditional sources emphasizing the value and importance of reciting Tehillim. For example, the Hida (Rabbi Haim Yosef David Azoulay, 1724-1806) wrote that one who recites Tehillim each day “is considered as though he fulfilled the entire Torah and merits a place beneath the Throne of Glory,” adding that “one who is accustomed to [reciting] Tehillim repels all kinds of calamities and several harmful plagues from him, his household, his family members, and his entire generation.”
 
The website also cites a comment from the Midrash describing King David’s plea to Gd that his stirring prayers would be studied and recited by Jews of future generations. The administrators and staff of DailyTehillim are doing their part to ensure that David’s wish is fulfilled, that his magnificent poetry will continue to guide, uplift and give hope to untold numbers of Jews. Hopefully, this website will serve to not only aid us in beseeching Hashem to heal the ill and elevate the souls of the departed, but also inspire all Kelal Yisrael with the timeless lessons of the sacred text of Tehillim.