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    As we are in the heat of
    the Days of Awe, there
    is a powerful segulah,
    a propitious activity in
    which all of us can take
    advantage of, and yet
    most of us are unaware
    of its power. We all know
    the custom of saying
    L’Dovid Hashem Ori, the
    27th Chapter of Tehillim from the beginning
    of Elul until Shemini Atzeres. The earliest
    record of this custom is from the siddur
    of Rab Shabtai Mei’Rakshov, zt”l, zy”a,
    although some people ascribe it even earlier,
    to the Baal Shem Tov, zt”l, zy”a.
    What most people are unaware of is what
    Rab Shabtai wrote about the custom. He
    reveals, “It is a tradition in our hands that
    whoever says this psalm with concentration
    from Elul till Simchas Torah will be declared
    innocent in judgement and will cancel from
    upon himself all harsh and evil decrees.” This
    is also cited in the widely accepted Mateh
    Efraim. The Chida adds that with proper
    saying of this psalm, one can be confident that
    he will live out his days with goodness.
    The simple connection between this psalm
    and this time of the year lies in its opening
    and subsequent statements. As the Medrash

    elaborates, Hashem Ori – Hashem is my light,
    zu Rosh Hashanah – this refers to the Day
    of Judgment. V’yishi – and my salvation,
    zu Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement. Ki
    yitz’pneini b’suko b’yom ra’ah – for Hashem
    shelters me in his booth on a day of evil, zu
    Succos – this alludes to Succos. Furthermore,
    in this psalm, Dovid HaMelech reveals the
    mission statement, the primary focus of his
    life. He passionately declares, “Achas sho’alti
    mei’eis Hashem, osah avakeish: Shivti b’veis
    Hashem kol y’mei chaiyai, lachazos b’noam
    Hashem ul’vakeir b’heichalo – I have one
    request from Hashem, for this I beseech you:
    that I should dwell in the House of Hashem
    to see the sweetness of Hashem and to visit
    His Abode.”
    When we ask Hashem on Rosh Hashanah and
    Yom Kippur for renewed life and menuchas
    hanefesh, a contentment of spirit, our petition
    is much more effective and successful if
    we give Hashem a strong reason to grant
    our request. We learn this idea from the
    Haggadah shel Pesach. There, the Haggadah
    instructs before saying the Mah Nishtanah,
    “Kan haben sho’el.” Most take this to mean,
    “Here the son asks (the four questions),”
    but the great rebbes of old interpret, “Here
    is the proper place (for parents) to ask for a
    son,” for we are giving Hashem a powerful

    reason to grant us this boon in order that we
    should fulfil the mitzvah of answering our
    son’s Mah Nishtanah. So too, we emulate
    Dovid HaMelech’s mission statement and
    ask Hashem to grant us a trouble-free life
    so we could see the sweetness of Hashem
    by learning His Torah, which is described as
    “Deracheha darchei noam – Its ways are ways
    of sweetness,” and to regularly, and without
    interruption, be able to visit His Abode, our
    Shul, which is our Mikdash Me’at, our mini
    Indeed, in the beginning of every week, we
    enunciate these two missions in our Havdalah
    prayer. In prose, very similar to the psalm
    of L’Dovid, we say, “Hinei, Ke’l yoshuasi,
    evtach v’lo efchad, ki azi v’zimras Kah,
    Hashem, vayehi li liyeshuah – Behold the
    Almighty is my salvation, I will trust in Him
    and not be afraid, for Hashem is my might
    and my song, and therefore Hashem is to me
    a salvation.” Here again, we have reference
    to the twofold mission statement: my might
    refers to the Torah, as it says in the verse,
    “Hashem oz l’amo yitein – Hashem gave
    might (the Torah) to his nation,” and zimras
    Kah, refers to praying and connecting with
    So, let’s utilize this powerful segulah of
    L’Dovid Hashem Ori, saying it with intense

    concentration and may it help us be blessed
    with a kisiva v’chasima tovah, a sweet, happy,
    healthy, and wonderful New Year.
    To Be Continued.