Shir shel yom

Shir Shel Yom (שִׁיר שֶׁל יוֹם), meaning "'song' [i.e. Psalm] of [the] day [of the week]" consists of one psalm recited daily at the end of the Jewish morning prayer services known as shacharit. Each day of the week possesses a distinct psalm that is referred to by its Hebrew name as the shir shel yom and each day's shir shel yom is a different paragraph of Psalms.[1]

Although fundamentally similar to the Levite's song that was sung at the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in ancient times, there are some differences between the two.

Songs for the days of the week


Each day's shir shel yom was chosen for its ties to that day's significance in the week of Creation, as explained by the Baraita that quotes Rabbi Yehuda in the name of Rabbi Akiva:[2]

The Zohar provides an alternative rationale, linking the seven psalms to seven 1000-year periods. Contemporary scholar Dr Rachel Reich finds logic in the style of the Psalms: the psalm for the first day has God in the first word, the one for the second day has Him in the second word, and so on.[3]

Other days

On holidays, including Chol Hamoed and Rosh Chodesh, the Levites would replace the regular song with one appropriate to the day. However, it is customary to recite only the standard song after Shacharit. Only Rosh Chodesh, most congregations recite the special song (Psalm 104) after the regular shir shel yom. Since in the times of the Temple, the song for the Sabbath would override any other song, many do not recite Psalm 104 if Rosh Chodesh falls out on the Sabbath, although many others do. The Vilna Gaon and others would recite each holiday song at the end of Shacharit, and the song for the weekday earlier in the service.


  1. Artscroll Women's Siddur, page 128
  2. Rosh Hashana 31a (translation provided by Artscroll edition)
  3. The Psalms of the Day, Jewish Bible Quarterly, vol. 42, no. 2, April–June 2014.
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