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The Psalms: From Your Lips to God's Ears

Jewish businessman Reuben Ebrahimoff discusses the importance of the book of Psalms. Read Transcript


GORDON: Reuben Ebrahimoff says most of the holy scriptures

contain God's words to man.

The Psalms, on the other hand, are man's words to God.

It contains more than 2,000 verses of man's deepest pain

and praise, and Reuben says, every one of them

holds an eternal message.

When businessman Reuben Ebrahimoff

began speaking at his synagogue about Biblical prophets,

he realized many people knew little or nothing about them.

Audiences loved his insight, so he

committed to share his interpretations with over 100

synagogues around the world.

Now, Reuben's YouTube videos reach thousands weekly.

In his book, "From Your Lips to God's Ears,"

Reuben offers his 10 step guide to understanding the Psalms

for Jewish and non-Jewish homes.

Reuben is with us here now, and welcome to the 700 Club.

I have to say, when you were first introduced to me,

I've never had an introduction like this.

Here is the world's foremost expert on the Psalms.

Why have the Psalms become your life's work?

REUBEN EMBRAHIMOFF: There is no book, that I feel,

is more pervasive than the Book of Psalms.

On a daily basis, Jewish and Christian people

are reading the Book of Psalms.

They use it to feel connected to God,

and when people hit bottom, they use it to raise themselves up

to connect to God.

I found in studying the book that we

can use King David as a spiritual role model for us,

and that is why I took such great interest

in understanding the book.

Many people read the book, but you

need to understand these 10 different things

about each chapter that will take you from reading it

to understanding it.

And the more you understand, the better you feel about it.

GORDON: I would add to that, not just to understand it,

but to begin to pray it--

that you will find a Psalm for literally every human need,

and just start praying that Psalm.

You know it's the proper way to pray it.

REUBEN EMBRAHIMOFF: Actually, about 1,000 years ago there was

a great man named [INAUDIBLE] and he identified 150 outcomes

of saying a particular Psalm and that he sought out each

sentence in each one of the Psalms--

for example, where King David prayed for success

in a threatening situation, that we too can reach out to God,

praying for that success in our own lives and the book

outlines all 150 chapters reasons to say them.

GORDON: You say that we've lost the soul of the Psalms

or what do you mean by that?

REUBEN EMBRAHIMOFF: I think what happens

is that we look at Psalms, possibly within Judaism,

and the prayer book, as a stenographer's notes

as to what went on in the temple time.

You had the Kohen, the priests doing the sacrificial work

and the [INAUDIBLE], the Levites were

part of the levitical orchestra and that orchestra

played music that would pass the cerebral cortex

and go right into the emotion.

And that is the reason why I try to explain

within the Book of Psalms--

that it was originally sung and music

played in the times of worship.

And I hope that will trickle down to people today

to feel that energy of joy and happiness and connectivity.

GORDON: Is that why there are specific instructions how

to play the particular instruments on each one

and even some have a musical notation that'll

give you what should be the melody for it.

And is there any way to recreate any of that

or is that just lost?

REUBEN EMBRAHIMOFF: It used to be thought of lost.

In my research, I stumbled across an extraordinary man

named Dennis McCorkell.

And Dennis is also passionate about the Book of Psalms.

And what he set out to do was to find out

what the music of the temple sounded like

and he came up with what he called the Davidic cipher.

And what he was able to do is number one, learn Hebrew.

Then he learned the musical cantelations, which typically

is the vocalization, and he applied this theory

that the vocalization, the note was also the instrumentation.

And today, you could listen to what Dennis McCorkell's

hypothesis is about what the music in the time of the temple

sounds like.

Amazing.

GORDON: That is amazing.

I've got to ask this, what is your favorite psalm?

REUBEN EMBRAHIMOFF: I would have to go

with the most popular one, which is the Lord is my Shepherd.

However, what I would like to share with you is the word

hallelujah.

And normally, we say praise God.

However, it was also an invocation and I would say,

Gordon, hallelujah, praise the Lord

and then you would respond, you know

something I'm glad you asked me because I do have something

to be very grateful for.

Whatever the person's story may be, I had a child this week.

My child is healthy.

I was successful.

So, whenever I see hallelujah, the last word

in the Book of Psalms, I remember

that it's the opportunity to acknowledge God as being

the source of all blessing.

GORDON: It is curious that the day psychologists are finding

that an attitude where you're grateful

and you're expressing gratitude to God

actually leads to greater happiness.

The more you remember the blessings,

the happy you would get.

REUBEN EMBRAHIMOFF: So much of what we perceive

is self-fulfilling prophecies and what

happens is if we're stressed out, we're worried,

we are depressed, our focus snowballs in that direction.

It's then time to pause and it's time to ask ourselves,

what do I have to be grateful for?

And that using the Book of Psalms,

it will make us cognizant of those things, that God

is the source of the blessing and that we're actually blessed

in abundance and whatever we're worried about usually

is a small percentage.

Fear behaves irrationally in the brain

and if we put it proportionately,

we could manage our way through things.

GORDON: Well, I can talk to Reuben for a long time,

but here let me give you this, this book

is absolutely incredible.

It's called "From Your Lips to God's Ears."

My study of Psalms began with Spurgeon,

The Treasury of David, and then I

went to the art scroll two volume set of Psalms.

I recommend both of those, but this one

gives you not just the interpretation of them

and the background of them.

It also gives you all these wonderful musical notations,

what kinds of instruments were available,

how it would have been part of the service at the temple

and how it's part of the season, because the Israelites would

read through the Psalms every year.

And that was part of the weekly Torah

portion, the weekly reading and they would do it daily.

And I encourage you, to understand

how the Psalms can inform your prayers

and you can get it with this book, "From Your Lips

to God's Ears" and it's available nationwide.

And Reuben, thanks for being with us and thanks

for this wonderful book.

REUBEN EMBRAHIMOFF: You're welcome, Gordon.

Thank you.

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