Tzedaka During Tehillim: The Rebbe’s Heartfelt Request

Tehillim and tzedaka are both known for their power to protect and save. In a little known sicha, the Rebbe makes a heartfelt request that they be done together each day after davening.

In a sicha on Chai Elul 5745/1985, the Rebbe explained that for ages Yidden have used both reciting Tehillim and giving tzedaka to bring about salvation from potential calamity. Doing both together, the Rebbe explained, would increase their power in stopping any danger.

The Rebbe then made a “heartfelt and soulful request” that tzedaka be given in conjunction with Tehillim said after davening. This is in addition to the regular tzedaka given before davening.

The sicha is printed in Likkutei Sichos, volume 29, pages 297-299, and we bring you a partial translation printed in “The Rebbe’s Directives”:


Here is the appropriate place to discuss something very surprising, which I have yet hear it be pointed it out (and certainly to be instituted in constant and actual practice).

It has been the age-old practice of Jews to recite Tehillim when in need of overturning Heavenly decrees and forestalling misfortune.

There is another strategy that is especially effective in averting calamity-to give tzedakah.

This is because it is our sins that are the underlying cause of any negative occurrence, and giving tzedakah cancels out the effect of our sins, as the Posuk states, “Your sin can be redeemed with charity” (as explained in Igeres Hateshuvah and Igeres Hakodesh).

Furthermore, the Alter Rebbe explains in the first section of Tanya that the mitzvah of tzedakah is equal to all the other mitzvot put together. When someone gives tzedakah, he gives away what he earned through his own hard work, thus elevating his entire being to Hashem. Even if someone is independently wealthy and does not need to work, he could have used this money for his own necessities, so by giving it to tzedakah he is giving his life to Hashem.

It would thus be most fitting to practice the act of giving tzedakah whenever Tehillim is being recited to avert an evil decree, or even when it is being recited for any other reason with joy and gladness of heart (for example, to fulfill the Rebbe’s directive to recite a portion of Tehillim each day or to add three kapitlach each day during Elul.)

(It is self-evident that this practice is to be observed only on days when money may be handled.)

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