jewish Funeral Guide

Jewish Funeral Services - לוויה

Recitation of Psalm 91

At each stop of the funeral procession many have a custom to recite Psalms 90 and 91 in a special way as follows:

The recitation starts with the blessings of Moses (Psalms 90:17).

Psalms 90:17

וִיהִי נעַם יְיָ
אֱלוֹהֵינוּ עָלֵינוּ
וּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵינוּ כּוֹנְנָה עָלֵינוּ
וּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵינוּ כּוֹנְנֵהוּ׃

May the pleasantness of my Lord
our God be upon us.
And establish the work of our hands for us;
the work of our hands may He establish.


Then at each stop verses 1 through 10 from Psalm 91 are recited.

Psalms 91:1-10

ישֵׁב בְּסֵתֶר עֶלְיוֹן
בְּצֵל שַׁדַּי יִתְלוֹנָן׃
אּמַר לַיְיָ
מַחְסִי וּמְצוּדָתִי‏,‏
אֱלהַי אֶבְטַח בּוֹ׃

כִּי הוּא יַצִּילְךָ
מִפַּח יָקוּשׁ מִדֶּבֶר הַוּוֹת׃
בְּאֶבְרָתוֹ יָסֶךְ לָךְ
וְתַחַת כְּנָפָיו תֶּחְסֶה‏,‏
צִנָּה וְסחֵרָה אֲמִתּוֹ׃

לא תִירָא מִפַּחַד לָיְלָה‏,‏
מֵחֵץ יָעוּף יוֹמָם‏,‏
מִדֶּבֶר בָּאפֶל יַהֲלך‏,‏
מִקֶּטֶב יָשׁוּד צָהֳרָיִם׃

יִפּל מִצִּדְּךָ אֶלֶף
וּרְבָבָה מִימִינֶךָ
אֵלֶיךָ לא יִגָּשׁ׃
רַק בְּעֵינֶיךָ תַבִּיט
וְשִׁלֻּמַת רְשָׁעִים תִּרְאֶה׃

כִּי אַתָּה יְיָ מַחְסִי‏,‏
עֶלְיוֹן שַׂמְתָּ מְעוֹנֶךָ׃
לא תְאֻנֶּה אֵלֶיךָ רָעָה
וְנֶגַע לא יִקְרַב בְּאָהֳלֶךָ׃

One, who sits sheltered by the Most High,
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I shall say: [from] the Lord
is my refuge and my stronghold,
my God - I shall rely on Him.

For He will save you
from trapper's snare, from deadly plague.
With His wing He will cover you
and under His wings you will find refuge;
His truth is a shield and an armor.

You will not fear the terror of the night,
the arrow that flies by day,
the pestilence that walks in the darkness,
the destruction that ravages at noon.

A thousand will fall, at your [left] side,
and ten thousand at your right;
it will not come close to you.
You will just look with your eyes,
and see the retribution of the wicked.

When you [said]: "the Lord is my refuge",
you made the Most High your residence.
No evil will befall you,
and no plague will come near your tent.

At each stop one word of the next verse is added, so that at each stop the first 10 verses plus additional words from verse 11 are recited as follows:

Psalms 91:11

כִּי

כִּי מַלְאָכָיו

כִּי מַלְאָכָיו יְצַוֶּה

כִּי מַלְאָכָיו יְצַוֶּה לָּך

כִּי מַלְאָכָיו יְצַוֶּה לָּך
לִשְׁמָרְךָ

כִּי מַלְאָכָיו יְצַוֶּה לָּך
לִשְׁמָרְךָ בְּכָל

כִּי מַלְאָכָיו יְצַוֶּה לָּך
לִשְׁמָרְךָ בְּכָל דְּרָכֶיךָ

1) For

2) For His angels

3) For His angels He will order

4) For His angels He will order for you

5) For His angels He will order for you
    to guard you

6) For His angels He will order for you
    to guard you in all

7) For His angels He will order for you
    to guard you in all your ways

At the last, seventh stop Psalm 91 is concluded by reciting the rest of its verses, doubling the last verse.

Psalms 91:12-16

עַל כַּפַּיִם יִשָּׂאוּנְך
פֶּן תִּגּוֹף בָּאֶבֶן רַגְלֶךָ׃
עַל שַׁחַל וָפֶתֶן תִּדְרךְ‏,‏
תִּרְמס כְּפִיר וְתַנִּין׃

כִּי בִי חָשַׁק וַאֲפַלְּטֵהוּ‏,‏
אֲשַׂגְּבֵהוּ כִּי יָדַע שְׁמִי׃
יִקְרָאֵנִי וְאֶעֱנֵהוּ‏,‏
עִמּוֹ אָנכִי בְצָרָה‏,‏
אֲחַלְּצֵהוּ וַאֲכַבְּדֵהוּ׃

ארֶךְ יָמִים אַשְׂבִּיעֵהו‏,‏
וְאַרְאֵהוּ בִּישׁוּעָתִי׃

ארֶךְ יָמִים אַשְׂבִּיעֵהו‏,‏
וְאַרְאֵהוּ בִּישׁוּעָתִי׃

On their palms they will lift you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
Upon the lion and the viper you will tread,
you will trample the lion cub and the snake.

He loved Me and I shall deliver him;
I shall elevate him, for he knows My name.
He will call to Me, and I will answer him;
I shall be with him in trouble;
I shall rescue him and honor him.

With long life I shall satisfy him
and show him My salvation.

With long life I shall satisfy him
and show him My salvation.

Afterwards, some continue with the recitation of Psalm 92 through the end of Psalm 100.