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Tehillim / Psalms

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Tehillim / Psalms

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Tehillim / Psalms
2 Volume Shrink Wrapped Set
A New Translation with a Commentary Anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic, and Rabbinic Sources
Commentary and Overview by Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer
Foreword by HaGaon HaRav Mordechai Gifter
ArtScroll / Mesorah
ISBN: 9780899060644

Reviewed by Harry S. Chou - September 5, 2010

Saying Tehillim (Psalms) has many functions. They can be said as a prayer, read as poetry, or studied for insights in the life and times of their author, King David. They have brought us comfort in times of sadness and we have sung them out in joy and thanksgiving in happier times. Published as part of the Artscroll Tanach Series, the two volume Tehillim / Psalms with commentary by Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer offers the best of both worlds in a sefer of Tehillim. Not only does this set provide the text of all the Tehillim in both Hebrew and English, but also detailed commentary garnered from Talmudic, Midrashic, and Rabbinic sources, which allows you to study the history and meaning of the Tehillim in depth.

This set begins with a short foreword, in Hebrew, by HaGaon HaRav Mordechai Gifter, Telshe Rosh Hayeshivah. This foreword is followed by an in-depth overview (in English) of the Tehillim detailing their history, their meaning in Jewish life, and how they serve to help us connect directly to HaShem in times of joy and sadness. Thereafter follows the Tehillim themselves. On the right-hand side of the page you will find the text of the Tehillim in vowelized Hebrew and on the facing page a new and fluid English translation of each section. The translation was done by Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer in collaboration with Rabbis Nosson Scherman and Meir Zlotowitz. Beneath the Hebrew/English Tehillim, and spread across both facing pages, you will find a detailed and engaging commentary on the portion of Tfilah that you have read above. So comprehensive are these commentaries that on occasion, you'll find only one or two lines of Tfilah at the top of the pages, with rest given over to commentary.

These commentaries were written by Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer, and they incorporate information obtained from Talmudic, Midrashic, and Rabbinic sources. The commentaries in this set are organized in a fashion similar to those found in other books in the Artscroll Tanach series. This means that in addition to commenting on the text itself, the commentaries also provide detailed translations of the Hebrew text, often pointing out subtleties in the Hebrew that are not readily apparent in a standard English translation. As well, Rabbi Feuer is careful to always note where he has drawn the commentaries from (for example from Rashi, or a specific section of Midrash or the Talmud), giving guidance to those who may want to pursue a given topic in greater detail. In addition, each Tfilah is preceded by a brief overview that provides extra insight into its nature and meaning. The text concludes with a set of helpful appendices covering such topics as The Importance of Reciting Tehillim, the prayers to be said before and after reciting Tehillim, Prayer for the Sick, Sabbath Psalms, and more.

This two-volume Tehillim / Psalms is ideal for anyone - scholars, laymen, men, and women who want to increase their understanding and appreciation of Tehillim, and in the process form a closer connection to HaShem when you daven (pray) - both for yourself and for the merit of Klal Yisroel (the Jewish people/nation). In short, this is a must-have set for all Jewish homes and libraries.

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