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Tehillim Illuminated

C.B. Gavant

How many chapters of Tehillim do you know by heart? Three? Five? Ten? There’s a lot of Tehillim in our davening: Hallel and Pesukei D’zimrah, for example, are almost entirely from Sefer Tehillim. But sometimes it’s really hard to know what we’re saying. We may sing Mizmor LeDavid each Shabbos, but do you know what the words ma’aglei tzedek really mean? Let’s meet Mrs. Leah-Perl Shollar, who’s dedicated the last four years explaining Tehillim to kids, and whose book, The Family Tehillim, is coming out s

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


“Even for an adult,
Tehillim can be very challenging, since many of the
words that David HaMelech uses are poetic and appear only once or twice in Tanach. I wanted children to feel connected to David HaMelech, so I tried to
focus on mefarshim that relate to his life and times. For
example, at one point in his life, David was accused of something that he
didn’t do when a famine befell Eretz Yisrael. Even though the navi told him it wasn’t his fault, he davened to Hashem for forgiveness, and
rain began to fall, ending the famine. David composed chapter 4 as a response
to this rainfall, out of his gratitude that people would now know he was

“I learned something new every day, so it’s hard to condense it into just a few words! But
it was very exciting to see how different mefarshim, often from
widely divergent paths, all showed that a certain perek had the same
“Even though it was a lot of work, we felt a tremendous sense of responsibility to present the material properly and make sure it was 100 percent accurate. I hope that all kids will find parts of the sefer that appeal to them.”

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