06. Customs and Kavana Regarding Its Recitation

Barukh She-amar possesses a special quality and alludes to sublime matters, and it is therefore customary to recite it while standing (MB 51:1, Kaf Ha-ĥayim 1). According to Ashkenazic custom, one also stands while reciting Yishtabaĥ, which ends Pesukei De-zimra. However, according to Sephardic custom, one need not stand (Rema 51:7; Kaf Ha-ĥayim 42). Likewise, it is customary to stand from the beginning of Va-yevarekh David until the words “asher baĥarta be-Avram,” out of respect for the Davidic kingdom. 1

Pesukei De-zimra is recited in a relaxed manner and not hastily (SA 51:8). One must especially have kavana when reciting Tehilla Le-David (Ashrei, Tehilim 145). The Sages teach that one who recites this psalm every day earns life in the next world (see Peninei Halakha: Prayer, ch. 14 n. 5) because its praises are arranged according to the order of the Alef Bet and it contains the important verse, “Pote’aĥ et yadekha…” (“You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing”) (Berakhot 4b). One who realizes that she did not pay attention while reciting that verse must repeat it with kavana, even if she already started reciting other passages (SA 52:7; Peninei Halakha: Prayer, 14:3 n. 5).

Pesukei De-zimra is surrounded by berakhotBarukh She-amar before and Yishtabaĥ after; therefore, it is considered a single unit during which interruptions are forbidden. However, for a great need, such as to prevent loss, it is permissible to interrupt verbally. Similarly, one may greet another to avoid insulting him (MB 51:7 states that one should say the verses “Barukh Hashem” that appear before Va-yevarekh David, before and after the interruption).

Some poskim say that when one must relieve herself in the middle of Pesukei De-zimra she should delay the recitation of Asher Yatzar until after the Amida so as not to interrupt in the middle of Pesukei De-zimra. However, it is best to recite Asher Yatzar immediately after relieving oneself, for if she delays its recitation until after praying, she might forget to say it altogether (Peninei Halakha: Prayer, ch. 14 n. 6).

  1. According to Sephardic rite, today it is also customary to stand when reciting “Hashem Melekh, Hashem Malakh…” before Barukh She-amar. See Peninei Halakha: Prayer, ch. 14 n. 4.

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Translated By:
Series Editor: Rabbi Elli Fischer

The Laws of Shabbat (1+2) - Yocheved Cohen
The Laws of Prayer - Atira Ote
The Laws of Women’s Prayer - Atira Ote
The Laws of Pesach - Joshua Wertheimer
The Laws of Zemanim - Moshe Lichtman

Editor: Nechama Unterman