We have learned thus far that the entire ‘Pesukei d’Zimrah’ is like a sealed unit, and preferably, no interruptions should be made therein, except for the mitzvah-responses listed in the previous lessons. Does this imply that at the conclusion of ‘Pesukei d’Zimrah’ – i.e. after ‘Yishtabach’ – there is a “break” and we can talk freely then? The complete answer to that question will be given in siman 54. Generally speaking, however, one should assume not; rather he should gird himself to remain silent from unnecessary interruption from ‘Baruch She’amar’ all the way (get this…) until after ‘Nefilas Apayim’ (lit. “Putting down the head”, a.k.a. ‘Tachanun’ - see Artscroll Siddur pp.132-138)!
We will now conclude our study of the ‘Pesukei d’Zimrah’ with some miscellaneous halachos concerning select passages and paragraphs:
1) It is customary for mourners to recite ‘Kaddish’ before ‘Pesukei d’Zimrah’, following Psalm 30 (pp. 54-56). (Ed: In many congregations, a ‘Kaddish d’Rabanan’ (“The Rabbi’s Kaddish”), which is reserved to follow Torah Study in the presence of a minyan, is recited following ‘Rabi Yishmael Omer’ – see siman 50. Neither of these ‘Kaddishim’ are from among the essential ‘4 Kaddishim’ of Shacharis that are discussed elsewhere in the laws of Tefila.)
2) There is a ‘pasuk’ (verse) found in the paragraph of ‘Hodu’ (“Give thanks”), regarding which the Shulchan Aruch and Mishnah Berurah caution us to carefully distinguish between its words (see top of p. 62): ‘Ki (break) kol elo(k)hei ha-amim (break) elilim (pause), v’Hashem shamayim (break) asah.’ (“For all the gods of the peoples are nothings – but Hashem made heaven!”) The Sages wanted us to be sure not to run the word “nothings” into “Hashem”! (Note: The other breaks are due to other grammatical considerations.)
3) ‘Mizmor l’Sodah’ (“A psalm of thanksgiving” – p. 64) should be omitted on Shabbos, Yom Tov, Erev Pesach and all of Pesach (i.e. even Chol Hamoed), and Erev Yom Kippur. We will not go into the reasons at this time – trust me!
4) The importance of the ‘pasuk’ (p. 68) - ‘Posei-ach es Yadecha u’masbia l’chol chai ratzon’ (“You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.”) The halacha instructs us that if one said this ‘pasuk’ without concentrating on its meaning, he must repeat it and continue in sequence to the end of the paragraph! Why specifically this ‘pasuk’? The Mishnah Berura writes that the primary reason this Psalm (Tehillim 145) was selected to be recited in ‘Pesukei d’Zimrah’ (Ed: And mind you, this Psalm is the single-most important one of ‘Pesukei d’Zimrah’ altogether, as we will learn in the next siman) was because of this one ‘pasuk’, which states unequivocally that Hashem is the Supervisor of all of His creatures and supplies them their needs! If we miss this point, we’ve missed everything!
5) The last ‘pasuk’ of the entire Tehillim – ‘Kol han’shama tehalel (K/Y)ah, Hallelu-(k/y)ah’ [“Let all souls praise G-d, Hallelu(k/y)ah”] is repeated.
6) ‘Az Yashir’ (“The Song at the Sea”) should be sung with great joy! One should say it and imagine as if he has personally crossed the sea TODAY! The Sages promise that he who says ‘Az Yashir’ with joy is forgiven of his sins! The final ‘pasuk’ of ‘Az Yashir’ – ‘Hashem Yimloch l’olam va’ed’ (“Hashem shall reign for all eternity” – p. 80) is repeated, and some add the Aramaic translation as well.
Finally, ‘Pesukei d’Zimrah’ should be recited s-l-o-w-l-y!