During Pesach in 1942 (5702), amidst the backdrop of World War II, the Frierdiker Rebbe delivered a poignant address, acknowledging the profound suffering. He referred to these turbulent times as the “birth pangs of the Moshiach,”. Urging unity and fortification of Yiddishkeit, he established “Chevras Mishnayos Ba’al Peh” within the organization “Machaneh Yisrael.” Shortly after that, on the 14th of Iyar, the Frierdiker Rebbe announced the formation of “Chevras Tehillim” (Tehillim Society) worldwide.
The Frierdiker Rebbe designated Yerushalayim as this endeavor’s focal point, emphasizing Tehillim’s recitation at Kever Dovid HaMelech. Notably, the chief rabbis of Israel, including Rabbi Dushinsky, Rabbi Uziel, and Rabbi Herzog, endorsed this proposal. On the 16th of Iyar, the Rebbe entrusted the letter to “Machaneh Yisrael” for widespread publication and distribution.
However, in 5707, as Arab riots escalated in Yerushalayim, the Chevras Tehillim activities were suspended. Even after the Six-Day War,
when Israel gained full control over Yerushalayim, the Chevras Tehillim did not resume. Inquiries regarding the matter went unanswered by the Rebbe.
In the spring of 5750, a significant turn of events occured. Rabbi Sholom Duchman, director of Colel Chabad, wrote a letter to the Rebbe, expressing a heartfelt desire to reinstate Chevras Tehillim at Kever Dovid HaMelech. On the eve of Shavuos, while the Rebbe was at the Ohel, Rabbi Krinsky urgently called Rabbi Duchman from the Ohel, relaying the Rebbe’s message. In the Rebbe’s name, Rabbi Duchman was instructed to renew Chevras Tehillim at Kever Dovid HaMelech, preferably before Shavous began in Eretz Yisrael.
With a profound sense of duty, minutes before Yom Tov in Eretz Yisrael, Rabbi Duchman swiftly reached out to the staff of Colel Chabad, conveying the Rebbe’s urgent directive.
Consequently, Chevras Tehillim at Kever Dovid was reestablished before Yom Tov with renewed zeal.
The Rebbe placed great importance on this revived initiative, requesting detailed information, including the names and mothers’ names of the members and specific details regarding the designated times for reciting Tehillim. On one occasion, on the eve of the 10th of Shevat, 5751, during the Gulf War, the Rebbe awaited the updated list before going to the Ohel.
Since then, for 33 consecutive years, a dedicated group of elder Chassidim faithfully gather at Kever Dovid HaMelech every day, reciting the entire Tehillim for the safety and protection of Klal Yisrael. This sacred mission continues to this day.
If you wish to contribute to this noble endeavor, you can support Chevras Tehillim. Together, we can stand united, offering solace and seeking divine intervention through the timeless words of Tehillim.