Tehillim to be said during birth

* This article is an excerpt from the above Sefer

Saying Tehillim:[1]

It is customary to recite the following psalms while one’s wife is in labor: 1, 2, 3, 4, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 33, 47, 72, 86, 90, 91, 92, 93, 104, 112, and 113 to the end.

Kapitel 20:[2] It is customary to recite Psalm 20 during labor as a request of mercy for an easy birth. This Psalm contains nine verses corresponding to the nine months of pregnancy, and 70 words corresponding to the 70 contractions that every woman must experience during birth. It is a known Segula to recite this Kappitel 12 times, both the husband and wife.[3]

Kapitel 100:[4] Reciting Psalm 100 during labor is a Segula for an easy birth, as the word Lesoda can be rephrased as Letolda [i.e. birth].

Kapittel 119:[5] Reading Psalm 119 in accordance to the name of the Yoledes and of the letters “Kera Satan” is a Segula for an easy birth.

Saying Tehillim at night-May one recite Tehillim for a woman in labor at night?[6] Those who are accustomed to not recite Tehillim during nighttime[7], as is the Chabad custom[8], are likewise not to recite Tehillim even for a sick person, until midnight. However, if the matter is urgent for that moment, such as if a woman is in labor to give birth at that moment, which happens to be at night, then many Poskim[9] are lenient and indeed the widespread custom is to permit saying Tehillim at night in such a case.[10] Nonetheless, some Poskim[11] and communities are stringent even in such a case. There is no clear Chabad directive in this matter other than the general widespread custom to be lenient.

Shabbos:[12] It is permitted for one to pray on behalf of a woman who is having difficulty in labor on Shabbos. Thus, one may say Tehillim on her behalf.


[1] Sefer Hatoldos Rebbe Mahrash that so instructed the Tzemach Tzedek to his sons when the Rebbe Maharash was born; Koveitz Minhagei Chabad Inyanei Hirayon p. 17; Shevach Habris 2:4

[2] Siddur Arizal; Avodas Hakodesh-Sansen Leyair [Chida]; Yosef Ometz 70; Zohar 3:249

[3] Nitei Gavriel 62:9

[4] Likkutei Eitzos Os Banim

[5] Sefer Zechira p. 68

[6] See Nitei Gavriel 52:10; Toras Hayoledes 31:4

[7] Chaim Sheal 25; Likkutei Maharich; Maharsham 1:158 in name of Zechor Leavraham and Yosef Ometz; Ben Ish Chaiy Pekudei 7; Rav Poalim 2:2; Kaf Hachaim 238:9;Yitzchak Yiranein 1

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one may read Tehillim at night. [See Kikar Laeden 5:7 [Chida], Mentioned in Igros Kodesh ibid; Ashel Avraham Butchach 238; Na’ah Lehodos on Tehillim 119 and Shemo Yitzchak; Divrei Yatziv Y.D. 136:2; Avnei Tzedek Y.D. 102; Kumi Runi p. 20; Meateh Tehila  see also Siddur Yaavetz; Levushei Mordechai Tinyana 186; Betzeil Hachochma 4:46; Pamei Yaakov 69:104 [Rav Ovadyah Yosef] in name of many Sefarim; Piskeiy Teshuvos 238 footnote 24]

[8] Sefer Haminhagim p. 41 [English]; Igros Kodesh 18:31 [printed in Shulchan Menachem 1:374]; Toras Menachem 48:122; Toras Menachem 1985 5:3103

[9] Vayechi Yaakov O.C. 9; Os Habris on Tehillim; Likkutei Maharich 1 Tikkun Chatzos; Meiy Yehuda Altman 22; Tzitz Eliezer 8:2; Beir Moshe 4:22; Pamei Yaakov 69:104 [Rav Ovadyah Yosef] in name of many Sefarim; Yabia Omer 6:30; Yalkut Yosef Bikur Cholim p. 57 in name of Chida in Avodas Hakodesh, Yaskil Avdi, Betzeil Hachochma 4:45

[10] This follows the ruling of the Ashel Avraham of Butchach ibid who states Tehillim may be recited at night being it is a prayer and not learning.

[11] Rav Poalim 2:2; Or Letziyon 2:46; Tehillim Igara Dehilula; Adir Bamarom 387; Zechor Leavraham 62; Tiferes Banim on Kitzur SHU”A 1:5; Sefer Zichron Beis Kelm p. 28; Yitzchak Yiranein 1; Nitei Gavriel ibid

[12] Admur 288:9; See M”A 288:14 and Machatzis Hashekel ibid; Rav Akiva Eiger 288:10; M”B 288:28 over; Maavor Yabok Mamar Sifsei Tzedek 1; Maharam Mintz 67; Nitei Gavriel 62:7; Toras Hayoledes 31:5

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