28- The Ubiquity of Ashrei

Mizmor 145 (Tehila l’David/Ashrei)

Mizmor 145, Ashrei, is said three times on a daily basis every day and on all holidays. What is the special message contained in this mizmor that justifies its multiple recitations and its unique heading "Tehila l’David"?

In this mizmor, the psalmist first blesses God on his own (1-2), in the middle he invites others to join him (10) and in the last line (21) "all flesh" will join King David to praise God. In addition, Mizmor 145 is located at a critical junction in the book of Tehillim; it is the final mizmor in the last David collection (138-145) and, it is also the opening mizmor of the final Hallel unit (145-150).  Contextual interpretation will aid in the understanding of this mizmor and its location at the end of the entire Book of Tehillim: While the Egyptian Hallel (113-118) experienced the new exodus from the Exile, and the Great Hallel (135-136) celebrates the Jewish people living in Zion, in the final Hallel (145-150) at the end of this process, David invites all Jews and Gentiles in the world to sing a new song and praise Hashem with him (145); and indeed, this happens gradually in the final Hallel unit which concludes the entire narrative of the book of Tehillim.

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