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Prayer before and after Tehillim

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Rabbi David Sperling

Sivan 23, 5781
Question
In the mornings, after davening and learning a bit of Torah, I have begun to also read Tehillim. I go at my own pace of one or two chapters a day, simply reading sequentially. Is prayer required before or after reading Tehillim? If so, is there a fixed text (like before and after eating), or can I say my own prayer? Todah!
Answer
Shalom, Thank you for your question. Firstly, let me strengthen your taking on saying Tehillim! What a wonderful thing. There are many sources that refer to the great benefits of daily Tehillim. May you have the inner strength to continue with this new endeavor. As to a prayer before or after Tehillim – there are such prayers, and you can find them printed in most copies of Tehillim. (For example, the Artscroll version.) However, these are certainly not an obligation, nor even said by most people reciting Tehillim. Many people just say the Tehillim without any pre or post prayers. Some people add an after-prayer, especially if they are saying the Tehillim for the benefit of someone who is ill or needs our prayers for another reason, mentioning their Hebrew name and asking for special Devine help. In any event, I am sure you can find these prayers, but you should feel no special need to say them, especially as you hint that you are saying your own personal prayer, which is certainly a wonderful thing, and I would not be quick to give it up. Blessings.
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