Who Initiated Shabbos Mevorchim Tehillim?

Every Shabbos Mevorchim, Chabad Chassidim gather in a minyan to recite the entire Tehillim. Who was the person behind this custom?

By Anash.org writer

Every Shabbos Mevorchim, Chabad Chassidim gather in a minyan to recite the entire Tehillim. Who was the personbehind this custom?

In 1935, an 87-year-old Chabad Chassid by the name of Reb Chaim David Lein, a Shochet from the town of Nevel, sent a letter to the Frierdiker Rebbe suggesting that all Anash recite the entire Tehillim before davening every Shabbos.

Reb Chaim Dovid was one of the elder Chassidim; he had been a yoshev in Lubavitch during the time of the Rebbe Maharash and was known for his profound dedication to Chassidus. During a snowstorm one Friday night in Nevel, a Chossid heard knocking on his door and immediately feared that the secret police were coming for him, but when the knocking persisted, he had no choice but to open, and to his surprise, it was Reb Chaim Dovid Lein. “I was in the middle of learning a Maamar when my candles burned out, so I walked around until I found a chassidishe home which still had lights burning.”

When the Frierdiker Rebbe received Reb Chaim Dovid’s suggestion, he replied that it was a good one, although it should not be done every Shabbos, but specifically on Shabbos Mevarchim.

In a letter written in honor of Yud Beis Tamuz, the Frierdiker Rebbe publicly acknowledged his input:

“I am very pleased to hear of the public recital of Tehillim on every Shabbos Mevarchim, as suggested to me by my colleague and friend, Reb Chaim Dovid shu”b.”

The Frierdiker Rebbe’s secretary, Reb Chatche Feigin, made copies of the letter and sent it to the Chassidim in the Soviet Union, along with a letter about the importance of farbrengens and with a request that Chassidim bless the Rebbe Rayatz – whose health had been deteriorating – during those farbrengens.

Approximately one month later, the Frierdiker Rebbe sent out an official letter to all Anash, publicizing the custom, which remains strong until this day.

(Source: Avnei Chein, chapter 16)

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  1. While I have no documentary evidence, I heard this story many years 5750 from ‘sholom ber hagadol’ (reb shalom ber notik a’h) in the famous yeshiva in Brunoy, France.

    His version: originally the butchers in nevel wanted to do something for the health of the Rebbe. (FR obviously). While all week they couldn’t add they had to get up before dawn for work, shabbos was the one time they could sleep yet they gave up 2 hours of sleep to get up for tehilim.
    This was so beloved by the FR that he accepted the suggestion to make this customary for all the chasidim.

    Interesting point. Tchernobil chasidim have a custom of saying the whole Tehilim EVERY SHABBOS.

    The FR who was a tchernobler grandson was the first one to institute completingtehilim

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