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SA Jewish News

Whatever you’re feeling, there’s a psalm for it

  • MasinterTehillimBook
In much the same way that there is an app for everything, there is a psalm for every requirement as well. So says Chabad House Director Rabbi David Masinter.
by JORDAN MOSHE | Jan 17, 2019

If you are sad, there is a psalm to help you. If you are mad, there is one too. If you are finding it hard to concentrate, you will find a psalm to help, and so it goes, according to Masinter.

“With so much negativity in our world, we need all the help we can get to find positivity. The positive energy of prayer works to find it,” he says.

Masinter launched a tehillim (psalms) campaign on Wednesday this week in honour of the start of the 70th anniversary of the year when the Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, assumed leadership of the Chabad movement.

Part of the Rebbe’s vision was for every Jewish home to have Jewish texts within its walls, says Masinter. Masinter’s campaign is to ensure that every family has a book of psalms in their home, and one that has an excellent English translation.

“The book of psalms is a work of divine inspiration that enables anyone to give expression to whatever they may be feeling,” he says. “The Rebbe knew very well the innate power of tehillim and their ability to achieve great things in any situation no matter how challenging.” This year, therefore, Chabad’s annual book publication will be geared towards a unique book of tehillim, making these special prayers accessible to all Jews.

Featuring the original Hebrew text alongside an English translation produced by Chabad, the book will include a comprehensive variety of tehillim.

Launching a sweeping drive that covers the entire country, Masinter is committed to getting a copy of the book to every Jewish teenager in South Africa, as well a shortened version to every primary school pupil as well. “No one will be left out of this project,” he says. “Those who cannot afford to buy one will be included. This is a project for all Jews.

“Psalms break all barriers and express innumerable feelings,” he says. “Anyone can say them at any time. No matter his age or situation, a Jew is never removed from G-d, and just needs to bring out the connection that lies within him.”

This project follows another recently launched campaign in which Masinter set up a series of 18 art installations around Johannesburg, all of them bearing simple injunctions aimed at passers-by, including “Tell someone they look great”; “Complain less, smile more”; “Make someone a coffee”; and even “Call your mom”.

At a time when negativity pervades South African society, Masinter is committed to turning the pessimistic outlook of its citizens around. Not only does he promote positive thinking in the Jewish and broader community, he aims to change the way we view reality.

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