Why is Pesukei d-Zimra absent from your siddur?

 

Question:

I really like your siddur.  I especially like that it is short enough to allow me to actually have intention while I pray, without making me feel pressed to quickly finish.  But why doesn’t the siddur include Psalms 145 – 150 in the Pesukei d’Zimrah?  The Rambam advises its inclusion in Hil. Tefilah 7:12, as is found in the Talmud (Shabbos 118b).

 

Answer:

Our siddur does make reference to pesuqeh d-zimra.  The English siddur mentions it on page 15, and in the Hebrew siddur it is mentioned on page 17.  Although we do not bring the text for Psalm 145-150, we specify exactly which Psalms are recited.  If someone wants to recite them, they should be able to find them in a Tanakh.  If they bought a siddur before acquiring a Tanakh, they have their priorities confused.

You are right in referencing Hil. Tefillah 7,12.  Note, however, that the Rambam only says that the Sages praised those who recite pesuqeh d-zimra.  This is not the phraseology of a mandatory halakha.

Also notice that although the Rambam mentions pesuqeh d-zimra in Hil. Tefillah 7,17 in the context of private prayer, yet when bringing the order of public prayer in Hil. Tefillah 9,1 – the public prayers begin with Qadish and then go straight into Qiryath Shema’.  Pesuqeh d-Zimra is not mentioned.  According to Mishneh Torah, pesuqeh d-zimra is not a part of prayer in a minyan.

The goal of our siddurim, and indeed of Dor Deah in general, is to make Torah accessible to the masses in a manner that emphasizes priorities.  If someone wants to recite Psalm 145-150 every day before prayers, kol ha-kavod lo.  If he makes it a common practice to recite them aloud, he should have it memorized within a matter of months.  Adding the entire text of Psalm 145-150 detracts from the goal of our siddur.  If these Psalms were to be recited together in a minyan, then it would be reasonable to include them.  But as pointed out, they are not a part of public prayer al pi Mishneh Torah.

 

Thank you for bringing up this question!  Keep’em coming.

 

R’ Yosef Eliyah

Click here to download a copy of our siddur for youself, free of charge.

 

 

* DorDeah.com is an independent organization.  DorDeah.com is not affiliated with www.mechon-mamre.org, the “Torath Moshe Society,” nor Chabad-Lubavitch.  Though we are grateful for the contributions of these organizations in providing Mishne Torah resources, we do not endorse all the views espoused by these organizations.

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