April 16, 2024
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April 16, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Misleading Tehillim Service

I am writing this as a big fan of the Jewish Link; I read your newspaper every Shabbat and my husband and I enjoy discussing many of the articles. However, there has been an advertisement repeatedly featured in your paper that is antithetical to what our community stands for. I am referring to the Tehillim Kollel advertisements, which imply the delivery of miracles when you make a contribution to their organization. Each advertisement includes a “Tehillim narrative,” in which a moving story is shared about people whose struggles were miraculously resolved after signing up for their Tehillim service (which of course requires payment). This week’s ad included the miracle of Zevi’s improved allergies and less severe asthma after his doctors and various medicines couldn’t help. A previously featured “Tehillim narrative” told the story of someone who landed a job right after signing up for this service. The problem with these too-good-to-be-true stories is that they go against the rabbinic literature in our mesorah about tefillah, which is primarily a personal experience, and not a service to be purchased. These advertisements persuade struggling individuals to replace a sincere and personal tefillah with a paid service in which they are davened for by people they don’t even know. This is why I believe these advertisements are misleading and go against what our community stands for.

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