The Prayer of the Righteous

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43) “We came to your brother, Esau.” He asks, “When he said, ‘We came to your brother,’ do we no know that he is Esau? Did Jacob had other brothers?” And he replies, “To Esau means that if you say that he has repented and is walking on a corrected path, it is not so. Rather, Esau is as wicked as before, and is also walking toward you.” And should you say, “Is he walking alone?” He is not, but four hundred men are with him.

44) And why was he told all that? It is because the Creator always desires the prayer of the righteous and crowns Himself with their prayer. That angel, Sandalfon, who is appointed over the prayer of Israel, takes all the prayers and makes of them a crown for Him That Lives Forever. It is even more so with the prayers of the righteous, which the Creator desires, and they become a crown for the Creator to crown Himself with these prayers. And should you say, “But the camps of holy angels were coming with Him; why did he fear?” The righteous do not rely on their purity, but on prayers and pleas to their Master.

45) A prayer of many rises before the Creator and the Creator crowns Himself with that prayer, since it rises in several ways. This is because one asks for Hassadim, the other for Gevurot, and a third for Rachamim. And it consists of several sides: the right side, the left, and the middle. This is so because Hassadim extend from the right side, Gevurot from the left side, and Rachamim from the middle side. And because it consists of several ways and sides, it becomes a crown over the head of the Righteous One That Lives Forever, Yesod, which imparts all the salvations to the Nukva, and from her to the whole public.

But a prayer of one does not comprise all the sides; it is only on one way. Either one asks for Hassadim or Gevurot or Rachamim. Hence, a prayer of one is not erected to be received like the prayer of many, as it does not include all three lines like the prayer of many.

Jacob comprised all three lines, since he was a chariot for the middle line, which contains both. This is why the Creator desired his prayer, as it was utterly complete, with all three lines, like the prayer of many. This is why it is written, “Then Jacob was greatly afraid and was distressed,” since the Creator arranged it for him so he would pray because He wanted his prayer.

46) “Happy is the man that fears always; but he that hardens his heart shall fall into evil.” Happy are Israel, for the Creator desires them and gave them the true law, to be rewarded by it with everlasting life. The Creator draws the upper life upon anyone who engages in Torah, and brings him to the life of the next world, as it is written, “for He is thy life, and the length of thy days.” And it is written, “and through this thing ye shall prolong your days,” because she is life in this world, life in the next world.

47) Anyone who engages in Torah Lishma [for Her name] does not die by the hands of the evil inclination, which is the angel of death, because he clings to the tree of life and does not let go of it. For this reason, righteous, who engage in Torah, their bodies are not impure after they die, since the spirit of impurity is not over them.

48) Jacob, who was the tree of life, why did he fear Esau? After all, the Sitra Achra cannot rule him? Moreover, the Creator told him, “And, behold, I am with thee,” so why was he afraid? It is written, “and the angels of God met him.” If the camps of the holy angels were with him, why was he afraid?

49) Indeed, in truth, he should not have been afraid. But Jacob did not want to rely on the Creator’s miracle. He thought he was not worthy of the Creator performing a miracle with him, since he did not serve his mother and father properly and did not engage in the Torah during the twenty-two years he had been with Laban, and he took two sisters. And even though it had all been settled that Jacob did not sin at all by that, still, one needs to always be afraid and plead in prayer before the Creator, as it is written, “Happy is the man that fears always.”

50) The prayer of the patriarchs kept the world, and all the people in the world live and rely on their righteousness. Forever and ever is this ancestral merit remembered, because ancestral merit is existence Above and below. And the existence of Jacob is more complete than of all of them. Hence, when a time of trouble came upon Jacob’s sons, the Creator saw Jacob’s image before Him and had mercy on the world, as it is written, “then will I remember My covenant with Jacob.” It spells Jacob with a Vav [in Hebrew] because the Vav is the shape of Jacob, since Jacob is a chariot for ZA, which is the Vav of the name HaVaYaH.

51) Anyone who sees Jacob, it is as though he is looking at an illuminating mirror, which is ZA, since the beauty of Jacob is like the beauty of Adam ha Rishon. Anyone who looked in his dream and saw Jacob covered in his clothes has gained life.

52) Before King David came to the world, he did not have a life at all, except for the seventy years that Adam ha Rishon gave him. This is why the life of King David was seventy years and the life of Adam ha Rishon was 1,000 years minus seventy. This is why Adam ha Rishon and David are in the first millennium since the creation of the world.

53) “He asked life of Thee, Thou gave it him; even length of days for ever and ever.” “He asked life of Thee” is King David. This is because when the Creator created the Garden of Eden and put King David’s soul in it, he gazed upon it and saw that it had no life of its own at all, and thus it stood before Him the whole day. Since He created Adam ha Rishon, he said, “This must be the life of David,” and from Adam ha Rishon these were the seventy years that King David lived in the world.

54) The patriarchs gave him of their lives, each and every one. Abraham gave him of his life, and so did Jacob and Joseph. Isaac did not leave him anything, since King David came from his side because King David is the Nukva from the left side, when it is darkness and not light. Hence, he had no life, since there is life only from the right side, ZA, called “The Tree of Life.”

Isaac, too, was from the left side, but he was included in Abraham, as it is written, “Abraham begot Isaac,” and also because of the tying [sacrifice of Isaac]. This is the reason why he had life. And this was only to himself, but he could not give life to David, since he is essentially from the left line and has no life of his own, but only by Hitkalelut [inclusion]. This means that Isaac, too, is from the left line, like David, and hence could not give him a life of his own.

55) Abraham gave him five years because he had 180 years to live, like Isaac, and he lived only 175 years, with five years missing.

Jacob should have lived in the world the same as the days of Abraham—175 years. But he lived only 147 years, with twenty-eight years missing. It follows that Abraham and Jacob gave him thirty-three years of their lives.

Joseph lived 110 years. He should have lived 147 years, like the days of Jacob. He is missing thirty-seven years. With Abraham and Jacob’s thirty-three, they are seventy years, which they gave King David to live in. And David lived in all those years, which the patriarchs had left for him.

56) Why did Isaac not leave him any of his life, as did Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph? It is because Isaac was darkness, from the left line, prior to his Hitkalelut with the right, and David came from the side of the darkness, from the left side. One who is in the dark has no light at all, no life. Hence, David had no life at all. But Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph had light because they shown upon King David from the right side, and he should shine from them and have life. This means that he must be included in the right because there is no life at all from darkness, from the left. This is why Isaac was not counted.

57) Why did Joseph leave him with more life than all of them—thirty-seven years—while they, only thirty-three? It is that Joseph alone is equal to all of them because he is called “righteous,” Yesod, containing all the Sefirot. This is why he shines to the moon, the Nukva, more than all of them. Hence, he left for King David more life than all of them, as it is written, “And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.” The firmament is considered Yesod Tzadik [righteous], Joseph. And the earth is Nukva, King David. Thus, he shines for Nukva, Yesod, Joseph, and this is why he gave him more life than any of them.

58) Jacob’s prayer protected him from Esau, not his own merit. This is because he wanted to leave his merit for his sons after him, and not use it for himself now because of Esau. This is why he prayed to the Creator and did not rely on his merit for his salvation.

59) “And he divided the people… into two camps. …If Esau comes… then the camp which is left shall escape.” Question: Could it not be that Esau would strike both camps?

60) Divinity did not move from the tent of Leah and the tent of Rachel. Jacob said, “I know that they are kept by the Creator.” For this reason, “he put the handmaids and their children foremost,” so if Esau were to strike, he would strike these. But I am not afraid for the children of the mistresses because Divinity is with them. Hence, the meaning of “first” is first in danger. This is why he said, “the camp which is left,” since Divinity is with them. And because he did that, he made his prayer for the maids and their children.

61) “A Prayer for the poor shall envelop.” This is what King David said when he looked and saw the ways of the poor. He looked upon him when he was walking and fleeing his father in law, King Saul. This is a prayer—that the poor prays to the Creator—which is answered before all the prayers in the world.

62) It is written, “A prayer for the poor, and it is written, “A Prayer of Moses the man of God.” A prayer for the poor is a hand prayer [in the Tefillin], the Nukva, because the Nukva is called “poor,” since she has nothing of her own and must receive everything from ZA. The prayer of Moses is a head prayer [in the Tefillin], ZA. There should be no separation between a prayer for the poor and a prayer for Moses, between Nukva and ZA, since they should always be in a Zivug, and the two of them are regarded as one.

63) Hence, the prayer of the poor is always answered by the Creator before all other prayers in the world. A prayer for the poor, who is attached to his indigence as one who has nothing of his own.

64) “A prayer” implies Moses, who is ZA. “For the poor” implies David, who is the Nukva. “Shall envelop” means when the moon, Nukva, is covered, when the sun, ZA, is hidden from her. “…and pours out his complaint before the Lord [HaVaYaH, ZA],” to unite with the sun, ZA.

65) Every man’s prayer is a prayer. But the prayer of the poor is the prayer that stands before the Creator for it shatters gates and doors and enters and is admitted before Him. “…and pours out his complaint before the Lord,” as one who complains about the judgments of the Creator.

66) The prayer of the righteous is joy for the assembly of Israel, Nukva, to be crowned with the prayer before the Creator. This is the reason why it is more loved by the Creator than the prayer of the poor. And for this reason, the Creator desires the prayer of the righteous, when they should pray, because they know how to appease their Master.

67) It is written about Jacob’s prayer, “O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, O Lord, who says unto me: Return…” He crowned and tied a knot in one proper tying. He said, “God of my father Abraham,” which is to the right, and “God of my father Isaac,” which is to the left, who says unto me, to himself, that it is the deciding middle line. Here, upon the middle line does it depend—to crown his place between them, between Abraham and Isaac, which are right and left. This is why he told him, “Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will do thee good.”

68) “I am not worthy of all the mercies,” said Jacob. You have promised to do good unto me, and I know that all Your deeds are on condition that Your will is done. And there is no merit in me for “I am not worthy of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which Thou hast shown unto Thy servant.” Therefore, You do not need to keep your promise to me, and all that You have done for me to this day was not because of my merit. Rather, You did this because of Your kindness. And all that mercy and the truth was for Your kindness, for when I first crossed the Jordan, while I was fleeing Esau, I crossed that river alone, and You did unto me grace and truth. And now I cross the river with two camps.

69) Thus far he established the praise of his Master; from here on he should ask what he needs, to show to all the people in the world that a person should first establish the praise of his Master, and then pray his prayer.

70) “Deliver me, I pray Thee, from the hand of my brother”; after he established the praise, he prayed his prayer. This implies that one who prays his prayer, his words should be properly interpreted. When he said, “Deliver me, I pray Thee,” it seems as though it should have sufficed, since he does not need more than deliverance. Yet, he told the Creator, “And should You say that You have already saved me from Laban?” This is why he explained, “from the hand of my brother.” And if you say that other kin are called brothers, too, he therefore explained, “from the hand of Esau.” This is so because we need to interpret the matter properly. Why do I need deliverance? Because I fear lest he will come and strike me. And all of that is to explain the matter above.

71) “And Thou said: I will surely do thee good.” He asks, “What is, ‘And Thou?’” And he replies, the Nukva is called thou, as it is written, “Thou preserves them all…”

72) King David said, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable before Thee.” “The words of my mouth”—explicit words. “The meditation of my heart”—abstruse thing, which one cannot interpret in one’s mouth. Meditation, which is in the heart, he cannot interpret.

73) This is why it should be something that is interpreted orally, “the words of my mouth,” and something that is dependent upon the heart and is not interpreted by the mouth, “the meditation of my heart,” for it is all secret. One corresponds to the lower degree, the Nukva, and one corresponds to the upper degree, Bina. The thing that is interpreted by the mouth corresponds to the lower degree, which should be interpreted—the revealed world. That thing, which is dependent upon the heart, corresponds to a more internal degree, Bina, the covered world. But both are needed; this is why he said, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable before Thee.”

74) “…and [I will] make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.” There is Mochin of a number, which is interpreted orally—the illumination of Hochma, which is revealed by the Nukva, called Peh [mouth], and there is Mochin without a number—covered Hassadim, which extend from Bina and are called “the meditation of my heart.”

In the beginning, Jacob said, “And Thou said: I will surely do thee good,” Mochin of a number. This is why he put the Name first. And You are the revealed world. Afterwards he said, which cannot be numbered, which are Mochin without a number that extend from the covered world, covered Hassadim. And both are needed.

Happy are the righteous who know how to properly establish the praise of their Maker, and then to pray their prayer. This is why it is written, “And He said unto me: ‘Thou art My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’”

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