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11.01 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 209, “Three Conditions in Prayer”
There are three conditions in prayer:
- Believing that He can save him. Although he has the worst conditions of all his contem- poraries, still, “Will the Lord’s hand be too short to save him?” If it is not so, then “the Landlord cannot save His vessels.”
- He no longer has any choice for he has already done all that he could but saw no cure to his plight.
- If He does not help him, he will be better off dead than alive. Prayer means “lost in the heart.” The more one is lost, so is the measure of his prayer. Clearly, one who lacks luxuries is not like one who has been sentenced to death, and only the execution is missing, and he is already tied with iron chains, and he is standing and pleading for his life. He will certainly not rest or sleep or be distracted for even a moment from praying for his life.
11.02 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 122, “Understanding What Is Written in Shulchan Aruch”
When one cries “Write us to life,” “life” means Dvekut [adhesion] with the Life of Lives, which is specifically by a person wanting to work entirely in the form of bestowal, and that all of one’s thoughts of his own pleasure will be revoked. Then, when he feels what he is saying, his heart can fear that his prayer might be accepted, meaning that he will have no desire whatsoever for himself. And concerning self-pleasure, there appears a state where it seems as though he leaves all the pleasures of this world, together with all the people, friends, his kin, all his possessions, and retires to the desert where there is nothing but wild beasts, without anyone knowing of him or of his existence. It seems to him as though he loses his world at once, and feels that he is losing a world filled with the joy of life, and takes upon himself death from this world. He feels as though he is committing suicide when he experiences this image.
Sometimes, the Sitra Achra [other side] helps him picture his state with all the dark colors. Then the body repels this prayer, and in such a state, his prayer cannot be accepted since he himself does not want his prayer to be accepted.
For this reason, there must be preparation for the prayer, to accustom oneself to the prayer, as though his mouth and heart are the same. And the heart can come to agree through accustoming, so it would understand that reception means separation, and that the most important is the Dvekut with the Life of Lives, which is bestowal.
One must always delve in the work of Malchut, called “writing,” considered “ink” and Shacharit [blackness]. This means that one should not want one’s work to be in the form of “Libni and Shimei,”1 that only at the time of whiteness does he adhere to the Torah and Mitzvot [command- ments], but unconditionally. Whether in white or in black, it will always be the same for him, and that come-what-may, he will adhere to the commandments of the Torah and Mitzvot.
11.03 Baal HaSulam,
Letter No. 34
It is written, “Take no rest, and give Him no rest until He establishes, and until He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” So we rush our pleas above, knock by knock, tirelessly, endlessly, and do not weaken at all when He does not answer us. We believe He hears our prayer but waits for a time when we have the Kelim [vessels] to receive the faithful bounty, and then we will receive a reply to each and every prayer at once, since “the hand of the Lord will not be short,” God forbid.
This is the meaning of the words, “Children in whom there was no blemish … and who have the strength to stand in the King’s palace.” It teaches you that even those who have been rewarded with pardon for iniquities—which became as merits, by which the matter appears after the fact, and in whom there is no blemish—still need more strength to stand in the King’s palace, meaning stand and pray, and wait tirelessly, knock by knock, until they elicit the complete desire from the Creator. This is why we should learn this trade before we enter the King’s palace, meaning muster power and might to stand as a pillar of iron until we elicit the desire from the Creator, as it is written, “Take no rest.” Although the Creator seems silent and unresponsive, let it not cross your minds to be silent, too, “Take no rest.” This is not what the Creator intended by His silence, but rather to give you power to stand afterward in the King’s palace when you have no blemish. This is why, “and give Him no rest.” Naturally, all the works are taught while one is still outside the palace, for afterward there will be no time to dedicate to crafts.
11.04 Baal HaSulam,
Letter No. 52
In each and every movement in His work there are two opposites in the same carrier, as I have elaborated in previous letters, as the receiver consists of body and soul, which are opposites. Hence, in each attainment, great or small, He makes two opposite forms.
There are two concepts in the work of the Creator:
- ) “prayer and plea,”
- ) “praise and gratitude.”
Naturally, both must be at their highest. To complete the prayer, a person must feel the Creator’s closeness to him as mandatory, like an organ that is hanging loosely, for then he can complain and pour out his heart before Him.
But opposite that, regarding the complete praise and gratitude, a person must feel the Creator’s closeness to him as an addition, a supplement, as something that does not belong to him at all, for “What is man that You should know him, the son of man that You should think of him?” Then he can certainly give complete praise and gratitude to His great name for choosing him from among all those who are standing ready to serve the Creator.
It is great work for the complex man to be completed in both those opposites, so they are set in his heart forever at the same time.
11.05 Baal HaSulam,
Letter No. 57
There is no happier state in man’s world than when he finds himself despaired with his own strength. That is, he has already labored and done all that he could possibly imagine he could do, but found no remedy. It is then that he is fit for a wholehearted prayer for His help because he knows for certain that his own work will not help him.
As long as he feels some strength of his own, his prayer will not be whole because the evil inclination rushes first and tells him, “First you must do what you can, and then you will be worthy of the Creator.” It was said about this, “The Lord is high and the low will see.” For once a person has labored in all kinds of work, and has become disillusioned, he comes into real lowliness, knowing that he is the lowest of all the people, as there is nothing good in the structure of his body. At that time, his prayer is complete and he is granted by His generous hand.
11.06 Baal HaSulam,
Letter No. 57
The writing says about this, “And the children of Israel sighed from the work, etc., and their cry went up.” It is so because at that time they came into a state of despair from the work. It is as one who pumps into a punctured bucket. He pumps all day but does not have a drop of water to quench his thirst.
So were the children of Israel in Egypt: Everything they built was promptly swallowed in its place in the ground, as our sages said.
Similarly, one who has not been rewarded with His love, all that he has done in his work on purifying the soul the day before is as though completely burned the next day. And each day and each moment he must start anew as though he has not done a thing in his entire life.
Then, “The children of Israel sighed from the work,” for they evidently saw that they were unfit to ever produce something by their own work. This is why their sigh and prayer were complete, as it should be, and this is why “Their cry went up,” since the Creator hears the prayer, and He only awaits a wholehearted prayer.
11.07 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 18, “My Soul Shall Weep In Secret – 1”
When concealment overpowers a person and he comes to a state where the work becomes tasteless, and he cannot picture or feel any love and fear, and he cannot do anything in Kedusha [holiness], his only counsel is to cry to the Creator to have mercy on him and remove the screen from his eyes and heart. Crying is a very important matter. It is as our sages write: “All the gates were locked except for the gates of tears.” The world asks about this: If the gates of tears are not locked, what is the need for the gates at all? He said that it is like a person who asks his friend for some necessary object. This object touches his heart, and he asks and begs him in every manner of prayer and plea. Yet, his friend pays no attention to all this. And when he sees that there is no longer reason for prayers and pleas then he raises his voice in weeping.
It is said about this: “All the gates were locked except for the gates of tears.” That is, when were the gates of tears not locked? Precisely when all the gates were locked. It is then that there is room for the gates of tears, and then we see that they were not locked.
However, when the gates of prayer are open, the gates of tears and weeping are irrelevant. This is the meaning of the gates of tears being locked. Thus, when are the gates of tears not locked? Precisely when all the gates are locked, the gates of tears are open since one still has the choice of prayer and plea.
This is the meaning of “My soul shall weep in secret,” meaning when one comes to a state of concealment, then “My soul shall weep,” because one has no other option.
11.08 Baal HaSulam,
Letter No. 56
The labor and exertion that appear in one’s heart during the prayer is the most reliable and most guaranteed to reach its goal than any other matter in reality.
11.09 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 5, “Lishma Is an Awakening from Above, and Why Do We Need an Awakening from Below?”
In order to attain Lishma [for Her sake], it is not within one’s hands to understand, as it is not for the human mind to grasp how such a thing can be in the world. This is so because one is only permitted to grasp that if he engages in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments] he will attain something. There must be self-benefit there for otherwise, one is unable to do anything. Rather, it is an illumination that comes from above, and only one who tastes it can know and understand. It is written about it, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Thus, we must understand why one should seek advice and counsels regarding how to achieve Lishma. After all, no counsels will help him, and if the Creator does not give him the second nature, called “the desire to bestow,” no labor will help him to attain the matter of Lishma.
The answer is, as our sages said (Avot, Chapter 2, 21), “It is not for you to complete the work, and you are not free to idle away from it.” This means that one must give the awakening from below, since this is regarded as a prayer.
A prayer is considered a deficiency, and without a deficiency there is no filling. Hence, when one has a need for Lishma, the filling comes from above, and the answer to the prayer comes from above, meaning he receives fulfillment for his lack. It follows, that the need for man’s work in order to receive the Lishma from the Creator is only in the form of a lack and a Kli [vessel]. Yet, one can never obtain the filling by himself; it is rather a gift from the Creator.
However, the prayer must be a complete prayer, from the bottom of the heart. This means that one knows one hundred percent that there is no one in the world who can help him but the Creator Himself. Yet, how does one know this, that no one will help him but the Creator Himself? One can acquire that awareness precisely if he has exerted all the powers at his disposal and it did not help him. Thus, one must do every possible thing in the world to attain “for the sake of the Creator.” Then one can pray from the bottom of the heart, and then the Creator hears his prayer.
However, one must know, when exerting to attain the Lishma, to take upon himself to want to work entirely to bestow, completely, meaning only to bestow and not to receive anything. Only then does one begin to see that the organs do not agree to this view.
From this one can come to clear awareness that he has no other choice but to pour out his heart to the Creator to help him so the body will agree to enslave itself to the Creator unconditionally, as he sees that he cannot persuade his body to annul itself completely. It turns out that precisely when one sees that there is no hope that his body will agree to work for the Creator by itself, one’s prayer can be from the bottom of the heart, and then his prayer is accepted.
11.10 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 20, “Lishma [for Her sake]”
In order for a person to obtain Lishma, one needs an awakening from above, as it is an illumination from above and it is not for the human mind to understand. Rather, he who tastes, knows. It is said about this, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Because of this, upon assuming the burden of the kingdom of heaven, one needs it to be in utter completeness, meaning only to bestow and not at all to receive. If a person sees that the organs do not agree with this view, he has no other choice but prayer—to pour out his heart to the Creator to help him make his body consent to enslaving itself to the Creator.
Do not say that if Lishma [for Her sake] is a gift from above, what good is one’s overcoming and efforts, and all the remedies and corrections that he does in order to achieve Lishma, if it depends on the Creator? Our sages said about it, “You are not free to rid yourself of it.” Rather, one must give the awakening from below, and this is considered “prayer.” Yet, there cannot be a real prayer if he does not know first that without prayer it cannot be obtained.
Therefore, the acts and remedies he does in order to obtain Lishma create the corrected Kelim [vessels] in him that want to receive the Lishma. Then, after all the actions and the remedies he can pray in earnest since he saw that all his actions did not help him whatsoever. Only then can he make an honest prayer from the bottom of his heart, and then the Creator hears his prayer and gives him the gift of Lishma.
11.11 Baal HaSulam,
Letter No. 52
When a person introspects and feels his poor state, he awakens to return to the Creator and pours out his prayer in great longing to adhere to the Creator. He thinks that all those prayers and all that awakening are by his own power. He sits and awaits the Creator’s salvation, small or great. When time passes and he sees no sign of welcome from the Creator, he falls into despair because the Creator does not want him, since after all this longing, He did not turn to him at all.
It is written about this: “Seek the Lord while He is found.” That is, when the Creator presents Himself to you for asking, then you will necessarily seek Him, too, for it is man’s way to move first. In other words, the Creator first gives you the heart to seek Him. When you know this, you will certainly grow stronger, as strong as you can ask, for the King is calling you.
So it says, “Call upon Him when He is near.” That is, when you call on the Creator to bring you closer to Him, know that He is already near you, for otherwise there is no doubt you would not be calling Him. This is also the meaning of the verse, “Before they call, I will answer,” meaning that if you are calling Him, then He has already turned to you to give you the awakening to call upon Him. “While they speak, I listen,” meaning the measure of the Creator’s listening depends precisely on the measure of the longing that appears during the saying of the prayer. When one feels excessive longing, he should know at that time that the Creator is listening to him attentively.
Clearly, when he knows this, he pours his heart out even stronger, for there is no greater privilege than the King of the world being attentive to him. This is quite similar to what our sages said, “The Creator longs for the prayer of righteous,” for the Creator’s desire for a person to draw near Him awakens great power and longing in the person to crave for the Creator, for “As in water of the face to the face, so the heart of man to man.”
It follows that the saying of the prayer and the hearing of the prayer go hand in hand until they accumulate to the full measure and he acquires everything. This is the meaning of “spirit draws spirit and brings spirit.” Note these words, for they are the first foundations in the ways of the Creator.
11.12 Baal HaSulam,
The Study of the Ten Sefirot, Part 8, “Inner Light,” Item 88
All our work in prayers and practical Mitzvot [commandments] is to sort once more and raise all those souls that fell from Adam HaRishon into the Klipot [shells] until they are brought to their first root as they were in it before he sinned with the tree of knowledge.
11.13 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 113, “The Eighteen Prayer”
This is the meaning of “for You hear the prayer of every mouth.” When does He hear every mouth? When Your people, Israel, pray with mercy, meaning simple mercy, when one prays to raise the Shechina from the dust, to receive faith.
It is similar to one who has not eaten in three days. Then, when he asks of another to be given something to eat, he is not asking for any luxuries or extras; he is simply asking to be given some- thing to revive his soul.
Similarly, in the work of the Creator, when one finds himself standing between heaven and earth, he is not asking the Creator for something redundant, but only for the light of faith, for the Creator to open his eyes so he can take upon himself the quality of faith. This is called “raising the Shechina from the dust.” This prayer is accepted from “every mouth.” That is, whatever state a person is in, if he asks to revive his soul with faith, his prayer will be answered.
This is called “with mercy,” when one’s prayer is only to be pitied from above so he can sustain his vitality. This is the meaning of what is written in The Zohar, that a prayer for the poor is immediately accepted. That is, when it is for the Shechina, it is immediately accepted.
11.14 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 47, “In the Place Where You Find His Greatness”
“In the place where you find His greatness, there you find His humbleness.” It means that one who is always in true Dvekut [adhesion] sees that the Creator lowers Himself, meaning the Creator is present in the low places.
One does not know what to do, and this is why it is written, “Who sits on high, who looks down on heaven and on earth.” A person sees the greatness of the Creator and then “who looks down,” meaning he lowers the heaven to the earth. The advice that is given to this is to think that if this desire is from the Creator, we have nothing greater than that, as it is written, “He raises the poor out of the litter.”
First, one must see that he has a lack. If he does not, he should pray for it, why does one not have it? The reason he does not have a lack is due to the diminution of awareness.
Hence, in every Mitzva [commandment], one must pray, why does he not have awareness, for he is not keeping the Mitzva in wholeness. In other words, the will to receive covers so he will not see the truth.
If he would see that he is in such a lowly state, he would certainly not want to be in that state. Instead, one should exert in one’s work every time until he comes to repentance, as it is written, “He brings down to the netherworld, and raises up.”
This means that when the Creator wants the wicked one to repent, He makes the netherworld so low for him that the wicked one himself does not want to be so. Hence, one needs to pray pleadingly that the Creator will show him the truth by adding to him the light of the Torah.
11.15 Baal HaSulam,
Letter No. 57
Everything, small or great, is obtained only by the power of prayer. All the labor and work to which we are obliged are only to discover our lack of strength and our lowliness—that we are unfit for anything by our own strength—for then we can pour out a wholehearted prayer before Him.
We could argue about this, “So I can decide that I am unfit for anything, and why all the labor and exertion?” However, there is a natural law that there is none so wise as the experienced, and before one tries to actually do all he can do, he is utterly incapable of arriving at true lowliness, to the real extent, as said above.
This is why we must toil in Kedusha [holiness] and purity, as it is written, “Whatever you find that your hand can do by your strength, that do,” and understand this for it is true and deep.
I revealed this truth to you only so you would not weaken or give up on mercy. Although you do not see anything, for even when the measure of labor is complete, it is the time of prayer, but until then, believe in our sages: “I did not labor and found, do not believe.”
When the measure is full, your prayer will be complete and the Creator will grant generously, as our sages instructed us, “I labored and found, believe,” for one is unfit for a prayer prior to this, and the Creator hears a prayer.
11.16 Baal HaSulam,
Letter No. 11
All the good of the awakening from below concerns only our learning how to feel the deficiency, as it is set before us by the Creator. This is the meaning of “A prayer makes half,” since as long as one does not feel the deficiency of the half—the part that was cut off from the whole, and the part does not feel as it should—one is incapable of complete Dvekut [adhesion] since this will not be considered advantageous for him, and one does not keep or sustain a needless thing.
Our sages told us that there is a remedy for this feeling by the power of the prayer. When one is persistent in praying and craving to adhere to Him perpetually, the prayer can do half, meaning that he will recognize that it is half. When the sparks multiply and become absorbed in the organs, he will certainly be rewarded with complete salvation and the part will be adhered to the whole forever.
11.17 Baal HaSulam,
“Not the Time for the Livestock to Be Gathered”
This is the meaning of a prayer in public, that one must not exclude oneself from the public and ask for oneself, not even to bring contentment to one’s maker, but only for the entire public. It is so because one cannot extend one’s boundary while the boundaries of the rest of the buds of the flower remain where they are, for as smallness blemishes the beauty, so does greatness, since the boundaries of all the lines and circles of the flower must be related.
This is the meaning of (Psalms 22:21) “Save my soul from the sword, my only one from the dog.” One who departs from the public to ask specifically for one’s own soul does not build. On the con- trary, he inflicts ruin upon his soul, as in (Midrash Rabbah, Chapter 7, Item 6) “All who is proud,” etc., for there cannot be one who retires from the public unless with an attire of pride. Woe unto him, for he inflicts ruin on his soul.
11.18 Baal HaSulam,
“Not the Time for the Livestock to Be Gathered”
Every one must gather with all of one’s strength into the whole of Israel with every plea to the Creator in the prayer and in the work, for it is insolence and great disgrace to disclose one’s naked- ness before, etc.
This is the meaning of (Exodus 20:23) “And you shall not go up by steps to My altar,” meaning as an individual, where one is above the other. And especially that he desires to boast over the seed of holiness, and a holy nation does not need him. He marches on the heads of the holy nation and demands greatness over them. This is a disgrace we must not mention henceforth.
Instead, he should include himself in the only one, the root of all of Israel.
Article No. 18 (1986), “Who Causes the Prayer”
Baal HaSulam said about it, “It is written, ‘And it shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer, and while they are still speaking, I will hear.’” He interpreted that when a person feels his fault and prays for the Creator to help him, it is not because a person feels his fault, and this gives him reason to pray. Rather, the reason is that he is favored by the Creator, and the Creator wishes to bring him near.
At that time, the Creator sends him the sensation of his own fault and calls upon him to join Him. In other words, it is the Creator who brings him near by giving him a desire to turn to the Creator and to speak to the Creator. It follows that he already had the granting of the prayer even before he prayed. That is, the Creator brought him closer by enabling him to speak to the Creator. This is called, “Before they call, I will answer.” That is, the Creator brought that person near Him before the thought appeared in the man’s mind that he should pray to the Creator.
But why did the Creator choose him and give him the call to come to Him and pray? To this, we have no answer. Instead, we must believe above reason that this is so. This is what we call, “Guidance of Private Providence.” One must not say, “I’m waiting for the Creator to give me an awakening from above, and then I will be able to work in the work of holiness.” Baal HaSulam said that in regard to the future, a person must believe in reward and punishment, meaning he must say (Avot, Chapter 1), “If I am not for me who is for me, and when I am for me, what am I, and if not now, then when?”
Article No. 164, “What to Ask of the Creator—to Be His Servant”
When a person sees that he has disturbances in his work of the Creator and he wants to pray to the Creator to have the strength to work, what should he ask?
There are two options:
- That the Creator will take away from him the disturbances. As a result, he will not need to make great efforts in order to walk in the ways of the Creator.
- For the Creator to give him a greater taste for the Torah and prayer and good deeds, and by this the disturbances will not be able to detain him because when Torah and Mitzvot [commandments] are important, disturbances cannot rule.
For example, a person cannot say that he has many disturbances so he cannot save his life. That is, it is not true if he argued that because his relatives or his environment are disturbing him, he is unable to save his life. Rather, of course, a person will give all that he has for his life, and all the obstacles do not matter to him.
Therefore, he asks the Creator to give him the taste of life in Torah and Mitzvot, and against life, one cannot say that he has disturbances because the importance of life does not let him relate to the disturbances.
Article No. 217, “Run My Beloved”
It is impossible to receive anything without equivalence. Rather, there must always be equivalence. Hence, when he evokes mercy on himself, it follows that he is engaged in reception for himself. And the more he prays, not only is he not preparing the Kli [vessel] of equivalence, but on the contrary, sparks of reception form within him.
It turns out that he is going the opposite way: While he should prepare vessels of bestowal, he is preparing vessels of reception. “Cleave unto His attributes” is specifically “As He is merciful, so you are merciful.” Hence, when he prays for the public, through this prayer he engages in bestowal. And the more he prays, to that extent he forms vessels of bestowal, by which the light of bestowal, called “merciful,” can be revealed.
Article No. 29 (1986), “Lishma and Lo Lishma”
There is only one way—to try to attain the greatness of the Creator. That is, in all that we do in Torah and Mitzvot, we want our reward to be the feeling of the greatness of the Creator, and all our prayers should be to “raise the Shechina [Divinity] from the dust,” since the Creator is hidden from us due to the Tzimtzum that took place and we cannot appreciate His importance and greatness.
Therefore, we pray to the Creator to remove His concealment from us and to raise the glory of Torah. As we say in the Eighteen Prayer of Rosh Hashanah [New Year service], “Indeed, give glory to Your people.” That is, “Give the glory of the Lord to Your people,” so they will feel the glory of the King.
For this reason, one must try to remember the goal while studying Torah, so it will always be before his eyes what he wants to receive from the study, that the study will impart greatness and importance of the Creator. Also, while observing the Mitzvot, not to forget the intention that thanks to observing the Mitzvot, the Creator will lift the concealment on spirituality from him and he will receive a feeling of the greatness of the Creator.
Article No. 106, “The Ruin of Kedusha [Holiness]”
One must not ask the Creator to bring him closer to Him, as it is insolence on the part of man, for in what is he more important than others? However, when he prays for the collective—which is Malchut, called “assembly of Israel,” the sum of the souls—that the Shechina [Divinity] is in the dust, and he prays that she will rise, meaning that the Creator will light up her darkness, then all of Israel will rise in degree, too, including the beseeching person, who is included in the collective.
Article No. 18 (1989), “What Is, ‘There Is No Blessing in That Which Is Counted,’ in the Work?”
When a person should replace the goal, meaning where in the beginning of his work in Torah and Mitzvot, his goal—which he wanted to achieve through the labor—was self-benefit, now he replaces the goal. That is, where he thought, “When will I achieve the goal for my will to receive so I can enjoy?” now he yearns for the goal and says, “When will I be able to delight the Creator and relinquish self-benefit?”
Since this purpose is against nature, he needs more faith in the Creator, since he must always exert to obtain the greatness of the Creator. That is, to the extent that he believes in the greatness of the Creator, to that extent he can work with this intention. For this reason, it is upon a person to pray each day that the Creator will open his eyes so he will recognize the greatness and importance of the Creator, so he has fuel to labor with the aim to bestow.
There are two discernments to make in this: 1) to have a desire to bestow contentment upon his Maker, that this will be his only aspiration, 2) to do things with the aim that the actions will bring him a desire to do things in order to please the Creator. In other words, he must work and toil extensively to obtain light and Kli [vessel]. Light means that he received from the Creator a desire where he craves all day to bring contentment to the Creator. A Kli is a desire, meaning that he wants to bestow upon the Creator. Those two, he should receive from the Creator, meaning both the light and the Kli.
However, a person should demand this, and it is written about this, “Zion, no one requires her.” Our sages said, “This means that she ought to be sought,” meaning that there must be a demand on the part of the lower ones that the Creator will give them both the light and the Kli.
Article No. 4 (1988), “What Is the Prayer for Help and for Forgiveness in the Work?”
Our sages said, “Man’s inclination overcomes him every day. Were it not for the help of the Creator, he would not overcome it.” Thus, why is it man’s fault if he did not receive the required help from the Creator? And accordingly, why should one ask forgiveness from the Creator? The answer is simple: It is because he did not ask for help. Our sages said, “He who comes to purify is aided.” It follows that the help comes from the Creator after he asks for help.
Thus, man’s sin is that he did not ask the Creator for help. Had he asked for help, he would cer- tainly get help from the Creator. But if a person says that he asked for help and the Creator did not help him, to this comes the answer that a person should believe that the Creator hears the prayers, as it is written, “For You hear the prayer of every mouth.” If he truly believed, his prayer would be complete, and the Creator hears a complete prayer when a person yearns with all his heart that the Creator will help him.
But if his prayer is not constantly on his lips, it means that he does not have the real faith that the Creator can help him and that the Creator hears everyone who asks Him, and that small and great are equal before Him, meaning that He answers everyone. It follows that the prayer is incomplete. This is why he should ask forgiveness for his sins, for not asking for the required help from the Creator.
Article No. 29 (1987), “What Is ‘According to the Sorrow, So Is the Reward’?”
Precisely when a person begins to walk on the path of bestowal, he comes to a state of pain and sorrow, and feels the labor that exists in serving the Creator. That is, the labor begins to work when one wants to work for the sake of the Creator. Only then do the arguments of the spies come to him. It is very difficult to overcome them, and many people escape the campaign and surrender to the argument of the spies.
But those who do not want to move, but rather say, “We have nowhere to go,” suffer from not being able to always overcome them. They are in a state of ascending and descending, and every time they overcome, they see that they are farther from the goal that they want to be rewarded with Dvekut with the Creator, which is equivalence of form.
The measure of sorrow that they must tolerate is because in truth, a person cannot emerge from the control of self-reception by himself, as it is the nature in which the Creator created man, which only the Creator Himself can change. In other words, as He has given the created beings the desire to receive, He can later give them the desire to bestow.
However, according to the rule, “There is no light without a Kli, no filling without a lack,” first one needs to obtain a deficiency. That is, he must feel that he is deficient of this Kli called “desire to bestow.” And concerning feeling, it is impossible to feel any lack if one does not know what he is losing by not having the Kli, called “desire to bestow.” For this reason, man must introspect on what causes him not to have the desire to bestow.
To the extent of the loss, he feels sorrow and suffering. When he has the real lack, meaning when he can pray to the Creator from the bottom of the heart for not having the strength to be able to work for the sake of the Creator, then, when he has the Kli, meaning the real lack, this is the time when his prayer is answered and he receives assistance from above. It is as our sages said, “He who comes to purify is aided.”
Article No. 2 (1991), “What Is, ‘Return, O Israel, Unto the Lord Your God,’ in the Work?”
What it means that the Creator heals the brokenhearted. The thing is that it is known that the essence of man is the heart, as our sages said, “The Merciful one wants the heart.” The heart is the Kli [vessel] that receives the Kedusha from above. It is as we learn about the breaking of the vessels, that if the Kli is broken, everything you put in it will spill out.
Likewise, if the heart is broken, meaning the will to receive controls the heart, abundance cannot enter there because everything that the will to receive receives will go to the Klipot [shells/peels]. This is called “the breaking of the heart.” Hence, a person prays to the Creator and says, “You must help me because I am worse than everyone, since I feel that the will to receive controls my heart, and this is why nothing of Kedusha can enter my heart. I want no luxuries, only to be able to do something for the sake of the Creator, and I am utterly incapable of this, so only You can save me.” By this we should interpret what is written (Psalms 34), “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted.” That is, those who ask the Creator to help them so their heart will not be broken and will be whole.
Article No. 27 (1991), “What Is, ‘If a Woman Inseminates First, She Delivers a Male Child,’ in the Work?”
A request is what a person feels that he is lacking. This is specifically in the heart, meaning that it does not matter what he says with his mouth, since “requesting” means that a person asks for what he needs, and all of man’s needs are not in the mouth, but in the heart. Therefore, it does not matter what a person says with his mouth. Rather, the Creator knows the thoughts. Hence, what is heard above is only what the heart demands and not what the mouth demands, since the mouth has no deficiency that must be satisfied.
Article No. 16 (1988), “What Is the Foundation on which Kedusha [Holiness] Is Built?”
By being unable to emerge from his will to receive for himself, and by feeling that he needs the Creator’s help, the need for assistance of the Creator is born within him.
His help is through Torah, since “The light in it reforms him,” meaning he receives vessels of bestowal.
Article No. 27 (1991), “What Is, ‘If a Woman Inseminates First, She Delivers a Male Child,’ in the Work?”
When a person comes to pray to the Creator to help him, he should first prepare and examine him- self to see what he has and what he needs, and then he can know what to ask of the Creator to help him. It is written, “From the depths I have called upon You, Lord.” “Depth” means that a person is at the very bottom, as was said, “at the bottom of Sheol,” meaning that his lack is below and he feels that he is the lowliest of all humans.
In other words, he feels so far from Kedusha, more than everyone else, meaning that no one feels the truth, that his body has nothing to do with Kedusha. For this reason, those people, who do not see the truth of how far they are from Kedusha, can be content with their work in holiness, while he suffers from his situation.
Article No. 268, “One Learns Only Where One’s Heart Desires”
We also need to understand what our sages said, “One does not see one’s own faults” (Shabbat 119). Accordingly, how can one correct his practices if he never sees that they are corrupt and require correction? According to this, a person should always remain corrupted.
The thing is that it is known that man was created with a nature that he wants to delight only himself. Hence, everything he learns, he wants to learn from this how he can enjoy. For this reason, if a person wants to enjoy, he will not learn other things that his heart desires because this is his nature. Therefore, one who wants to come closer to the Creator and be able to learn things that show ways by which to bestow upon the Creator must pray to the Creator to give him a different heart, as it is written, “A pure heart, create for me, O God.”
In other words, when there is another heart, and the desire in the heart is a desire to bestow, everything he learns will show ways of things that show only bestowal upon the Creator. However, he will never see against the heart, as was said about it, “And I will remove the stony heart from within you, and I will give you a heart of flesh.”
Article No. 528, “Prayer”
If he wants to know and asks the Creator to understand the connection, this is called a “prayer.” This is a great and very important thing, since he has a connection with the Creator because he wants something from Him.
Article No. 24, “Three Times in the Work”
A prayer is work in the heart. That is, since the root of man’s heart is the will to receive, and he needs the opposite, meaning that it will work only to bestow and not to receive, it follows that he has a lot of work in inverting it.
And since this is against nature, he must pray to the Creator to help him come out of his nature and enter what is discerned as above nature. This is called a “miracle,” and only the Creator can perform miracles. That is, for man to be able to exit self-love is a miraculous act.
Article No. 37 (1985), “Who Testifies to a Person?”
We must study and scrutinize the books that discus the necessity of the work of bestowal until we understand and feel that if we don’t have this Kli, we will not be able to enter the Kedusha. We should not look at the majority, who say that the most important thing is the act and here is where all the energy should go, and that the acts of Mitzvot and establishing of the Torah that we do are enough for us.
Instead, he must perform every act of Torah and Mitzvot in order to bring himself into the aim to bestow. Afterwards, when he has a complete understanding of how much he needs to engage in order to bestow, and he feels pain and suffering at not having this force, then it is considered that he already has something for which to pray—for work in the heart—since the heart feels what it needs.
For such a prayer comes the answer to the prayer. This means that he is given this strength from above so he will be able to aim in order to bestow, for then he already has the light and Kli. However, what can one do if, after all the efforts he has made, he still does not feel the lack of not being able to bestow as pain and suffering? The solution is to ask the Creator to give him the Kli called, “A lack from not feeling,” and that he is unconscious, without any pain from being unable to bestow.
It follows that if he can regret and ache over not having the deficiency, for not feeling how remote he is from Kedusha [holiness].
This is called “work in the heart,” as well. It is called, “a prayer.” This means that for this defi- ciency, he already has a place in which to receive fulfillment from the Creator, to give him the sense of deficiency, which is the Kli that the Creator fills with a filling.
Article No. 36, “Who Hears a Prayer”
“He hears a prayer.” There is a question: Why is prayer written in singular form if the Creator hears prayers, as it is written, “For you hear the prayer of every mouth of Your people Israel with mercy”?
We should interpret that we have only one prayer to pray—to raise the Shechina [Divinity] from the dust, and by this all the salvations will come.
Article No. 10 (1989), “What Does It Mean that the Ladder Is Diagonal, in the Work?”
Is written, “and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven.” That is, the ladder, by which we climb up to the King’s palace, has two ends. 1) “A ladder was set on the earth.” This is the left line, called “earth.” One should see that he is placed in worldliness, immersed in self-love, as in, “the left pushes away.” Then there is room to pray from the bottom of the heart, for then one looks within one’s reason at how he cannot do anything for the sake of the Creator, and only He can deliver him from the governance of the evil in him. It is said about this, “Were it not for the help of the Creator, he would not be able to overcome it.” 2) It is written, “its top reaching to heaven.” The other end of the ladder is in “heaven,” as though he has complete wholeness because he is content with his lot, in the little bit of contact that he has with the work of the Creator. He feels that he is happy with this, since it is a great privilege to be rewarded with serving the King and speaking with Him even one moment a day; this is enough for him to be in high spirits, and he thanks the King for this and praises Him.
Article No. 38 (1990), “What Is, ‘A Cup of Blessing Must Be Full,’ in the Work?”
A person needs great mercy in order not to escape the campaign. Although he uses the counsels that our sages said, “I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice,” but the person says that he has already used this advice several times to no avail.
He also says that he has already used the advice “He who comes to purify is aided,” and it is as though all the counsels are not for him. Thus, he does not know what to do. This is the worst state for a person, meaning he wants to escape from these states but has nowhere to run. At that time he suffers torments at being between despair and confidence. But then a person says, “Where will I turn?”
At that time, the only advice is prayer. Yet, this prayer is also without any guarantee, so it follows that then he must pray to believe that the Creator does hear a prayer, and everything that one feels in these states is to his benefit. But this can be only above reason, meaning although the mind tells him, “After all the calculations, you see that nothing can help you,” he should believe this, too, above reason, that the Creator can deliver him from the will to receive for himself, in return for which he will receive the desire to bestow.
Article No. 16 (1989), “What Is the Prohibition to Bless on an Empty Table, in the Work?”
“Right line,” meaning wholeness, in which there are no deficiencies. And what should one do when he engages in a manner of “right”? He should praise and thank the Creator, and engage in the Torah, for then is the time to receive the light of Torah, since he is in a state of wholeness, regarded as being a person who has blessing and no lacks. Naturally, this is the time for the blessing to be on him, as said above, “The blessed clings to The Blessed.”
However, it is impossible to walk on one leg. That is, a person cannot progress on one leg. Since there is a rule, “There is no light without a Kli,” meaning “No filling without a lack,” and since on the right line he is in wholeness, it follows that he has nowhere to progress, no need for the Creator to satisfy his needs, since he has no needs at all.
For this reason, at that time a person must try to see his faults, so as to have room for prayer that the Creator will satisfy his needs. This is regarded as a person having to provide empty Kelim that the Creator may fill with upper abundance, which is called “a blessing.” If there are no empty Kelim, meaning deficiencies, with what can he fill them?
This is regarded as a person walking on the “left line.” In spirituality, “left” means something that requires correction. This means that a person should dedicate a small portion of his time to criticize himself and see how much effort he can put into working solely for the sake of the Creator, and not for his own sake, and if he can say that if he does not work in order to bring contentment to his Maker, he does not want to live, and so forth.
At that time he realizes that he cannot do this on his own, but only the Creator can help. It follows that now is the time when he can pray from the bottom of the heart. That is, he sees and feels that he is powerless to change the nature with which he was created, called “will to receive for himself and not to bestow.”
Article No. 401, “Hear, O Israel”
A person should begin the work of the Creator on the right, called “male,” which is wholeness, called happy with his share, which is regarded as “desiring mercy.” Whatever flavor and vitality he has in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments] is enough for him to labor in Torah and Mitzvot because he believes in private Providence, that such is the will of the Creator, and feels that he is a complete person, and thanks and praises the Creator for giving him a part in His work.
This is called a “male,” when he feels himself as whole and he is always happy and observes, “Serve the Lord with gladness.”
However, this is called “half a body”; he does not have the quality of female, which is a lack. From the perspective of the left, he begins to calculate to what extent his qualities and thoughts are whole, and then he sees the truth, that he is still immersed in the will to receive for his own benefit, and cannot work for the sake of others, whether between man and man or between man and the Creator.
To the extent that he has the recognition of evil, he can exert, meaning work, perform actions, as in “Everything that is in the power of your hand to do, that do.” Also, he can pray from the bottom of the heart, since only to the extent that a person feels the bad, meaning feels that it is bad, to that extent he acts in order to be rid of the bad. This is called “female,” meaning a lack.
It follows that he has room for two opposite qualities. On one hand, he is regarded as complete, which is the “right,” Hesed [mercy], happy with his share. He can praise and thank the Creator for letting him into a place of Torah and good deeds. On the other hand, he can pray to the Creator for remaining outside of the work of the Creator because everything was built on the basis of self-love.
At that time, the person is called “complete,” and otherwise he is not considered “man” because if he sees his deficiencies he will soon run from the quality of the “right,” as well.
But once he has seen his bad state and yet reinforces himself above reason that he has wholeness, and the sign of this is that he can thank the Creator for this, then he is called “complete.” This is “Right and left, and a bride between them.” By having the quality of male and female, he can be rewarded with the quality of “bride,” meaning the real kingdom of heaven.
Article No. 16 (1988), “What Is the Foundation on which Kedusha [Holiness] Is Built?”
“I awaken the dawn” will mean “Whenever I want, I awaken the dawn.” In other words, I myself awaken the darkness and the blackness within me—that I am still immersed in self-love and I still do not have love for the Creator. I am still without the glory of the Torah and I still do not have the importance of the Torah to know that it is worthwhile to do everything to obtain the light of Torah, as well as how to appreciate the importance of observing the Mitzvot that the Creator commanded for us.
When I need to perform some Mitzva and intend that it will be in order to bestow, the resistance in the body promptly awakens in full force. And he has a great struggle to do anything and he sees the ascents and descents each time. And then he has room for prayer. This is so because a person awakens himself at the right time, meaning when he feels that he will be able to pray instanta- neously, and not that the black will bring him sadness and depression, that he will not have the ability to pray for the blackness.
One can see for himself whether it comes to him from the side of Klipa or not. The sign for this is that something that comes from Kedusha is always in the form of “increasing holiness and not decreasing.” In other words, one always asks the Creator to elevate him to a higher degree than the one he is on. But when the blackness comes from the side of Klipa, a person cannot ask the Creator to raise him above his state.
“Rather, they bring down,” meaning bring him down to the netherworld, and he loses the small portion of faith that he had and he remains seemingly dead.
Letter No. 22,
That is, the fact that a person is permitted to learn and pray, and observe Mitzvot even one min- ute a day, that, too, is a gift from the Creator, for there are several billions in the world to whom the Creator did not give the chance to be able to think of the Creator for even one minute a year. Therefore, while engaging in the Torah, one must be glad, for only through joy is one rewarded with drawing the light of Torah.
Article No. 10, “What Does ‘The King Stands on His Field When the Crop Is Ripe’ Mean in the Work?”
The correction of a person walking on the left line is because he does not wait to get a decline and fall, and then he will wait until an awakening from above comes to him. Instead, he draws upon him the left, and then he sees that he is in a state of descent, meaning that he does not have a single spark of desire to work in order to bestow and not for his own benefit. And then he can pray.
It is as Baal HaSulam said about what our sages said of David, who said, “I awaken the dawn, and the dawn does not awaken me.” That is, King David did not wait for the dawn, which is called “black,” which is darkness, meaning that the darkness awakens him. Instead, he awakens the dark- ness. He prays to the Creator to illuminate His face for him and thus he gains time from having the preparation for the darkness, and then it is easier to correct it.
And the two above-mentioned lines—right and left—beget a third line, the middle line. It is as our sages said, “And the Creator places the spirit and soul within him.” Thus, after a person has completed the work in two lines, all the evil is revealed in him. This came to him because those two lines are as two verses that refute one another. And one sees that there is no end to the ups and downs, and then he makes an honest prayer for the Creator to help him receive the desire to bestow.
Article No. 15 (1985), “And Hezekiah Turned His Face to the Wall”
The prayer should be primarily for the Shechina being in the dust. This means that work to bestow upon the Creator is despicable and contemptible, and we ask of the Creator to open our eyes and remove the darkness that is floating before our eyes.
We ask about this, as it is written (Psalms 113), “He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the destitute from the trash.” It is known that the holy Shechina is called poor and meager, as it is written in The Zohar, “and it is placed in the dust.” “He lifts the poor from the trash” refers to those who want to cling to her but feel that they are lowly, and they do not see how they can emerge from this mud. At that time they ask of the Creator to lift them.
Where the body agrees with the work, where it is on the basis of the will to receive, since they have no clue about bestowal, their work is with pride, meaning they take pride in being servants of the Creator while others are in utter lowliness, and they always see others’ faults.
But those who walk on the path of truth, who want to achieve bestowal, are lowly because they see that “Were it not for the Creator’s help, he would not have overcome it.” Thus, they find no special merit in themselves over others. These people are called “lowly” because they want to connect to bestowal, which is lowliness, and this is another reason why they are called “lowly.”
At that time they can say what is written, “The Lord is high, great, and terrible. He lowers the proud to the ground, and raises the lowly to the heavens,” for at that time they say that what was lowly before is now high and sublime, great and terrible. This is because now they feel that what was previously work in self-love, which is pride, when they felt proud about this work, has now become lowliness, since they are ashamed to work for self-love.
But who gave them the strength to feel this? It was the Creator who gave them. This is why at that time a person says, “Lowers the proud to the ground,” while the work of bestowal, which was previously lowly, now the work of bestowal has become to him of the highest merit. And who did this for him? Only the Creator. At that time a person says, “And raises the lowly to the heaven.”
Article No. 20 (1990), “What Is Half a Shekel in the Work? – 2”
It is known that there is no light without a Kli, as there is no filling without a lack. Accordingly, a complete thing is called “light and Kli,” which divides into two halves: The first half is the Kli, namely the lack. The second half is the light, namely the filling.
It follows that when a person prays to the Creator to satisfy his lack, it is called “half,” meaning making a lack, which is the Kli, for the Creator to satisfy his lack. This is as our sages said (VaYikra Rabbah 18), “A prayer makes half.” We should interpret that a prayer is when a person prays to the Creator to satisfy his lack. This is already regarded as “half,” meaning the first half, which is in one’s hand. The second half is in the hands of the Creator, meaning that the Creator must give the light, and then there will be a complete thing.
Letter No. 9
One who sees one’s lowliness sees that he is treading the path leading to the work Lishma. This gives one room for real prayer from the bottom of the heart, when he sees that no one will help him but the Creator himself, as Baal HaSulam interpreted concerning the redemption from Egypt, “I, and not a messenger,” for everyone saw that only the Creator Himself redeemed them from the governance of evil. And when rewarded with the work Lishma there is certainly nothing to be proud of because then one sees that it is only God’s gift, and not “my power and the might of my hand,” and there is no foreign hand that can help him. Therefore, he feels his lowliness—how serving the king is an immeasurable pleasure, and without His help he would not agree to it. Indeed, there is no greater lowliness than this.
Article No. 10 (1986), “Concerning Prayer”
Before one knows that he cannot obtain the vessels of bestowal by himself, he does not ask the Creator to give them to him. It follows that he does not have a real desire for the Creator to answer his prayer. For this reason, one must work to obtain the vessels of bestowal by himself, and after all the work that he has put into it without obtaining it begins the real prayer from the bottom of the heart. At that time he can receive help from above, as our sages said, “He who comes to purify is aided.”
But since this prayer is against nature, since man was created with a desire to receive, which is self-love, how can he pray to the Creator to give him the force of bestowal while all the organs oppose this desire? This is why this work is called “prayer,” meaning he must make great efforts to be able to pray to the Creator to give him the force of bestowal and annul man’s force of reception. This is why our sages said, “‘And you shall work’ is prayer, the work in the heart.” By this we will understand why they refer to prayer as “work in the heart.” It is because one must work a lot on himself to cancel self-love and assume the work of obtaining vessels of bestowal. It follows that on the desire to have vessels of bestowal he must work with himself to want to pray, to be given the force of bestowal.
Article No. 3 (1989), “What Is the Difference between the Gate of Tears and the Rest of the Gates?”
A person must pray first, in order to know what he really needs. Then, he is notified from above that he does not need luxuries, but as The Zohar says about the verse “Or make his sin known to him,” the Creator makes him know the sin. At that time he knows on what he needs to repent, meaning to restore what he is lacking.
It follows that when a person knows that he is wicked, as in “the wicked in their lives are called ‘dead,’” when he has come to realize that the fact that he is placed under the control of the will to receive separates him from the Life of Lives, he knocks about this and wants to repent. That is, he wants to be given help from above so he can emerge from self-love and be able to love the Creator with all his heart. Thus, he feels that he is wicked, since where he should love the Creator, he loves himself. It follows that his knocks, we understand that he does what he can to make the Creator bring him closer and take him out of the control of his own evil. This is called “real tears.” This is the meaning of what we explained, “Open a gate for us, when a gate is locked.” That is, since he sees that all the gates are closed, he begins to knock. It follows that at the time of the locking of the gate, when he has already prayed and was notified the reason for the sin, he begins to shed the real tears, meaning at that time he simply wants to be a Jew. At that time, his knocks are regarded as tears, and this is the meaning of “Who opens a gate to those who knock in repentance.”
Article No. 24 (1989), “What Is ‘Do Not Slight the Blessing of a Layperson,’ in the Work?”
Our sages said (Yoma 16), “Any turn you take should be only through the right.” The meaning of “any” is “generally.” That is, generally, a person should walk on the right line. It is permitted to walk on the left line only when he is certain he will be able to pray for his deficiencies. Otherwise, he must remain on the right until he feels that he is ready for it.
Therefore, if thoughts that he is at fault have awakened in him against his will, and how can he speak words of Torah and prayer to the Creator when his thoughts tell him, “You are filthy! How are you not ashamed to engage in matters of Kedusha?!” About this, a person (must) say that it is written, “I am the Lord, who dwells with them in the midst of their Tuma’a [impurity].” That is, even though I am in the lowest possible baseness, I still believe what is written, that the Creator dwells even in the worst lowliness.
However, He is not among the proud, as our sages said, “Anyone who is proud, the Creator says, ‘I and he cannot dwell in the same abode.’” For this reason, when a person feels whole, according to the right line, when he appreciates his lowliness and says that nonetheless, the Creator has given him some grip on Kedusha, and that “some,” compared to the Kedusha that a person should attain, that “some” is called “layperson.”
But if he says according to his lowliness, “I thank and praise the Creator for this,” it can be said about this what is written, “I am the Lord, who dwells with them in the midst of their Tuma’a.” When he is happy about this, he can be rewarded with, “The Shechina [Divinity] is present only out of joy.” It follows that through this lowliness, that because the Creator has given him some grip on Kedusha, he can climb the rungs of holiness if he only takes from this the joy and appreciates it. Then, a person can say, “Raise the poor from the dust,” “He will raise the destitute from the litter.” That is, when a person feels his lowliness, that he is meager, meaning poor, as our sages said (Nedarim 41), “Abaye said, ‘In our tradition, there is no poor but in knowledge.’” That is, it has been handed down from our father, a custom from our forefathers that “there is no poor but in knowledge.”
This is why he says that he is meager, meaning poor, for he has no knowledge of Kedusha—he is called “poor and meager.” Then, if there is any grip on Kedusha, even though he is poor, he says, “Raises the poor from the dust.” That is, he says a prayer, for even though he is poor, the Creator still raised him. “He raises the destitute from the litter.” Although he feels that he is destitute, the Creator still lifted him, and for this, he praises the Creator. If there is any grip on Kedusha, we can already praise and thank the Creator.
Article No. 15 (1986), “A Prayer of Many”
If there are a few people in the collective who can reach the goal of Dvekut with the Creator, and this will bring the Creator more contentment than if he himself were rewarded with nearing the Creator, he excludes himself. Instead, he wishes for the Creator to help them because this will bring more contentment above than from his own work. For this reason, he prays for the collective, that the Creator will help the entire collective and will give them that feeling—that they receive satisfaction from being able to bestow upon the Creator, to bring Him contentment.
And since everything requires an awakening from below, he gives the awakening from below, and others will receive the awakening from above, to whomever the Creator knows will be more beneficial for the Creator.
It follows that if he has the strength to ask for such a prayer, then he will certainly face a true test—if he agrees to such a prayer. However, if he knows that what he is saying is only lip service, what can he do when he sees that the body disagrees with such a prayer to have pure bestowal without a hint of reception?
Here there is only the famous advice—to pray to the Creator and believe above reason that the Creator can help him and the whole collective.
Article No. 39 (1991), “What Does It Mean that the Right Must Be Greater than the Left, in the Work?”
Is written (Sanhedrin 44b), “Rabbi Elazar said, ‘One should always precede prayer to trouble.’” We should interpret that one does not go into the work of the left before he first worked in the manner of the right, which is regarded as wholeness, meaning that he does not lack anything and he thanks and praises the Creator for giving him some grip on the work of the Creator, and then he begins the work of the left. At that time, he sees that he is in trouble, that he has neither Torah nor work that is suitable for one who is serving the Creator. At that time, he feels how far he is from the work of the Creator, meaning from working for Him, namely working only with the aim to bestow contentment upon his Maker, and not at all for his own benefit. At that time, he sees how the body objects to this, and he does not see that he will ever be able to do anything only in order to bestow.
It follows that when he begins the path of the left, this is called “trouble,” and he has no other choice but to pray to the Creator to help him and give him the desire to bestow, called “second nature.” At that time, the prayer is from the bottom of the heart, and the Creator hears his prayer.
Article No. 23 (1985), “On My Bed at Night”
This is called “his father gives the white,” as we said that wholeness is called “whiteness,” where there is no dirt. There is a twofold gain here:
1) In this way he receives elation from being adhered to the Whole, meaning to the Creator, and we must believe that what He gives is wholeness. Wholeness makes a man whole, making him feel whole, too. Naturally, he derives nourishment from this, so he can live and persist and then have strength to do the holy work.
2) According to the importance he acquires during the work of wholeness, he will later have room to feel the deficiency with regard to his work, which is not truly pure. That is, at that time he can depict to himself how much he is losing by his negligence in the work, for he can compare between the importance of the Creator and his own lowliness, and this will give him energy to work.
However, one should also correct oneself, or he will remain in the dark and will not see the true light that shines on the Kelim [vessels] that are suitable for it, called “vessels of bestowal.” The correction of the Kelim is called Nukva, deficiency, when he works on correcting his deficiencies. This is regarded as “His mother gives the red.” That is, at that time he sees the red light, which are the barriers on his way, which prevent him from reaching the goal.
Then comes the time of prayer, since the man sees the measures of the work that he has in matters of “mind and heart,” and how he has not progressed in the work of bestowal. He also sees how his body is weak, that he does not have great powers to be able to overcome his nature. For this reason, he sees that if the Creator does not help him, he is lost, as it is written (Psalms 127), “If the Lord does not build the house, they who build it labor in it in vain.”
From those two, meaning from wholeness and deficiency, which are the “father and mother,” it turns out that the Creator is the one who helps him, giving him a soul, which is the spirit of life. And then the newborn is born.
Article No. 15 (1989), “What Is, ‘The Righteous Become Apparent through the Wicked,’ in the Work?”
In order for a person to progress on the path of the Creator, to be rewarded with all his work being for the sake of the Creator, and now he feels that he is in a state of ascent, what more should he do? For this reason, the Creator leads His world with wicked. That is, at that time the Creator gives him thoughts of wicked—that it is not worthwhile to work for Him, but only for himself. By this, he suffers a descent and thinks that the descent he has received is not because it was given to him so he would advance in the path of the Creator, to be rewarded with knowledge of Kedusha [holiness]. Rather, he thinks that he regressed because he cannot work in the manner of individuals, but needs to work like the general public. And since he has departed from the general public, he is left empty handed from here and from there, since he cannot return to the general public.
For this reason, in that state, a person stands between heaven and earth, and feels that his situ- ation is worse than that of the rest of the people. At that time, he can ask the Creator with all his heart, and pray as it is written, “Pardon me, O Lord, for I am wretched. Heal me, O Lord, for my bones are dismayed, and You, O Lord, how long?” That is, how long will I stay in a situation where I feel that my condition is worse than any other person, that I have no grip on spirituality.
For this reason, he has no other choice but to believe what is written, “For You hear the prayer of every mouth.” Baal HaSulam explained that a person must believe that the Creator hears the prayer of every mouth, meaning even the worst mouth in the world, of which there cannot be lowlier and worse in the world. Still, the Creator hears him, as our sages said, “He who comes to purify is aided.”
Article No. 19 (1985), “Come unto Pharaoh – 1”
We should pay attention to “Come unto Pharaoh” and believe through the worst possible states, and not escape the campaign, but rather always trust that the Creator can help a person and give him, whether one needs a little help or a lot of help.
In truth, one who understands that he needs the Creator to give him a lot of help, because he is worse than the rest of the people, is more suitable for his prayer to be answered, as it is written, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.”
Therefore, one should not say that he is unfit for the Creator to bring him closer, but that the reason is that he is idle in his work. Instead, one should always overcome and not let thoughts of despair enter his mind, as our sages said (Berachot, 10), “Even if a sharp sword is placed on his neck he should not deny himself of mercy,” as it was said (Job, 13), “Though He slay me, I will hope for Him.”
We should interpret the “sharp sword placed on his neck” to mean that even though one’s evil, called “self-love,” is placed on his neck and wants to separate him from Kedusha by showing him that it is impossible to exit this authority, he should say that the picture he sees is the truth.
However, “He should not deny himself of mercy,” for at that time he must believe that the Creator can give him the mercy, meaning the quality of bestowal. That is, by himself, it is true that one cannot exit the authority of self-reception. But from the perspective of the Creator, when the Creator helps him, of course He can bring him out. This is the meaning of what is written, “I am the Lord your God, who took you out from the land of Egypt to be your God.
Article No. 23 (1989), “What Is, ‘If He Swallows the Bitter Herb, He Will Not Come Out,’ in the Work?”
Even when he comes to know that the Creator can help him, and he understands that the real advice is only prayer, the body comes and makes him see that “You see how many prayers you have already prayed but you received no answer from above. Therefore, why bother praying that the Creator will help you? You see that you are not getting any help from above.” At that time, he cannot pray. Then we need to overcome once more through faith, and believe that the Creator does hear the prayer of every mouth, and it does not matter if the person is adept and has good qualities, or to the contrary. Rather, he must overcome and believe above reason, although his reason dictates that since he has prayed many times but still received no answer from above, how can he come and pray once more? This, too, requires overcoming, meaning to exert above reason and pray that the Creator will help him overcome his view and pray.
Article No. 24 (1991), “What Does It Mean that One Should Bear a Son and a Daughter, in the Work?”
When a person prevails and asks for help from the Creator, after he has decided that he has a harm- doer in his heart, called “will to receive,” and that he cannot emerge from it, meaning after going through several ascents and descents, he finally sees that he has remained bare and destitute. At that time, his prayer is from the bottom of the heart. That is, he sees that if the Creator does not help him, he cannot overcome it.
Although one can say that he believes above reason that only the Creator helps him, within reason, he does not feel this, since he knows that he himself made the efforts and the labor to obtain something in spirituality. But when one sees that after all the exertions, he cannot emerge from the governance of the will to receive for himself, then he sees within reason that only the Creator can help him.
It follows that what our sages said, “Man’s inclination overcomes him every day, and were it not for the help of the Creator, he would not be able to overcome it,” he does not need to believe in this above reason, the way ordinary workers of the Creator who observe Torah and Mitzvot believe “above reason” that this is so, that the Creator helps them. Rather, those people who want to work in order to bestow, for them, it is within reason, to the point that they must believe above reason that the Creator can help them emerge from the governance of the will to receive.
Article No. 5 (1988), “What Is, ‘When Israel Are in Exile, the Shechina Is With Them,’ in the Work?”
The Creator wants him to see his real state, how remote he is from working for the benefit of the Creator. For this reason, the Creator has taken from him the flavor he felt in Lo Lishma [not for Her sake], which leaves him lifeless. It follows that the Creator is tending to him and wants to admit him into Kedusha.
Therefore, now he must pray to the Creator to help him, since now he needs His help. Otherwise, he sees that he is completely lost. This is regarded as having obtained a Kli and a need for the Creator’s help, since now he sees that he is truly separated from the Creator because he has no life, for one who adheres to the Creator has life, as it is written, “For with You is the source of life.”
Now he can certainly pray from the bottom of the heart, for a real prayer is specifically from the bottom of the heart. Accordingly, he should be thankful to the Creator for letting him see his true state. Now he sees that he needs the Creator to give him the necessary assistance, as our sages said, “He who comes to purify is aided.” And The Zohar asks, “With what is he aided?” and it replies, “With a holy soul.”
Therefore, now the Creator has given him an opportunity to obtain a holy soul. He should be delighted about the state of descent and suffering that he feels in this state. For this reason, he should say that he is not in a state of descent, but on the contrary, he is in a state of ascent.
By this we can interpret what our sages said, “When torments come upon Israel, they surrender and pray.” This means that when they come into a state of descent, they see their true state, that they are in lowliness. This is considered that they surrender, since they see their state—that they have parted from the Life of Lives, for one who has Dvekut with the Creator is alive. Otherwise, he feels only suffering. Therefore, it is clear to him that now is the time for prayer from the bottom of the heart. This is the meaning of the words, “They surrender and pray.”
Article No. 28 (1987), “What Is ‘Do Not Add and Do Not Take Away,’ in the Work?”
He must believe above reason and imagine that he has already been rewarded with faith in the Creator that is felt in his organs, and he sees and feels that the Creator leads the entire world as the good who does good. Although when he looks within reason he sees the opposite, he should still work above reason and it should appear to him as though he can already feel in his organs that so it really is, that the Creator leads the world as the good who does good.
Here he acquires the importance of the goal, and from here he derives life, meaning joy at being near to the Creator. Then a person can say that the Creator is good and does good, and feel that he has the strength to tell the Creator, “You have chosen us from among all nations, You have loved us and wanted us,” since he has a reason to thank the Creator. And to the extent that he feels the importance of spirituality, so he establishes the praise of the Creator.
Once man has come to feel the importance of spirituality, which is called “One should always establish the praise of the Creator,” then is the time when he must shift to the left line. He must criticize how he truly feels within reason the importance of the King, if he is truly willing to work only for the sake of the Creator.
When he sees within reason that he is bare and destitute, that state when he sees the importance of spirituality, but only above reason, that calculation can create in him deficiency and pain for being in utter lowliness. Then he can make a heartfelt prayer for what he lacks.
Article No. 22 (1986), “If a Woman Inseminates”
The only way to obtain a deficiency, that we are lacking the desire to bestow, is by prayer, which is a “medium” between man and the deficiency. That is, one prays for the Creator to give him something for which he has no deficiency, that he will lack it. It follows that the Kli that is called “deficiency” is a deficiency with respect to the feeling, meaning that he does not feel its lack, and the prayer is that the Creator will give him the light, which is the filling of his lack. It therefore follows that the filling is a lack. Thus, he has no other choice but to pray to the Creator to give him a deficiency.
11.59 RABASH, Article No. 42, “Serve the Creator with Joy”
The Zohar asks, It is written, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted.” A servant of the Creator, whose intention is to bestow, should be happy when he is serving the King. If he has no joy during this work, it is a sign that he lacks appreciation of the greatness of the King.
Therefore, if one sees that he has no joy he should make amendments, meaning think about the greatness of the King. If he still does not feel, he should pray to the Creator to open his eyes and heart to feel the greatness of the Creator.
Here the two discernments develop: 1) He should regret not having a sensation of the greatness of the King. 2) He should be happy that his regrets are about spirituality and not like the rest of the people, whose regrets are only in order to receive.
We should know who it is who gave us the awareness that our regrets should be over spirituality, and we should be happy that the Creator has sent us thoughts of spiritual deficiency, which in itself is regarded as the salvation of the Creator. For this reason, we should be happy.
Article No. 25 (1987), “What Is Heaviness of the Head in the Work?”
A prayer should be with heaviness of the head, meaning when a person feels that he does not have faith above reason, meaning that the reason does not mandate him to work in order to bestow, yet the person understands the primary goal should be to be rewarded with Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator. Since the reason objects to this, he must go against reason, and this is very hard work. Since he is asking the Creator to give him something to which all of his organs object, it follows that each and every prayer he makes to the Creator has its special work. This is why a prayer is called “work in the heart,” meaning that he wants to go against the intellect and the mind, which tell him the complete opposite.
This is why it is not called “the work of the brain,” since the work of the brain means that a person exerts to understand something with his mind and reason. But here he does not want to understand with his reason that we should serve the Creator in a state of knowing. Rather, he wants to serve the Creator specifically with faith above reason. This is why a prayer is called “work in the heart.”
Article No. 12 (1991), “These Candles Are Sacred”
The most important is the prayer. That is, one must pray to the Creator to help him go above reason, meaning that the work should be with gladness, as though he has already been rewarded with the reason of Kedusha, and what joy he would feel then. Likewise, he should ask the Creator to give him this power, so he can go above the reason of the body.
In other words, although the body does not agree to this work in order to bestow, he asks the Creator to be able to work with gladness, as is suitable for one who serves a great King. He does not ask the Creator to show the greatness of the Creator, and then he will work gladly. Rather, he wants the Creator to give him joy in the work of above reason, that it will be as important to a person as if he already has reason.
Article No. 1 (1991), “What Is, ‘We Have No Other King But You,’ in the Work?”
In order for a person to be able to receive a complete thing, he must have a complete lack. Hence, from above, he is shown his deficiencies each time, which were concealed within his body. It there- fore follows that a person must say that the Creator was merciful with him in that He revealed to him his faults, just as He is giving him the filling, for “There is no filling without a lack.”
By this we can interpret what is written (Psalms 89), “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, generation after generation I will make known Your faith with my mouth.” We should understand the meaning of “sing forever.” How can one sing to the Creator when he sees that he is full of faults and his heart is not whole with the Creator, and he feels far from the Creator? And sometimes, he even wants to escape the campaign. How can he say that this is the Lord’s mercies and he is singing about this to the Creator?
According to the above, a person should say that the fact that he in a lowly state is not because now he has become worse. Rather, now, since he wants to correct himself so that all his actions will be for the sake of the Creator, from above he is shown his true state—what is in his body, which until now was concealed and was not apparent. Now the Creator has revealed them, as it is written in the book A Sage’s Fruit.
A person says about this that it is mercy that the Creator has revealed to him the bad in him so he would know the truth and would be able to ask of the Creator for a real prayer. It follows that on one hand, now he sees that he is far from the Creator. On the other hand, a person should say that the Creator is close to him and tends to him, and shows him the faults. Hence, he should say that they are mercies.
This is the meaning of the words, “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever.” That is, on one hand, he is happy and is singing about this. On the other hand, he sees that he must repent. In other words, he must ask of the Creator to bring him closer and give him the desire to bestow, which is a second nature.
Letter No. 65,
The main thing in the work is that there is no giving of half a thing from heaven. Otherwise, it could happen that if a person repented half way he would receive assistance from above for half the work. But since there is no giving of half a thing from heaven, a person must pray to the Creator to give him complete help. This means that during his prayer, a person sets what is in his heart in order, since prayer is work in the heart, so a person must decide that he wants the Creator to give him a desire to completely annul before Him, meaning not leave any desire under his own authority, but that all the desires in him will be only to give glory to the Creator.
Once he decides on complete annulment, he asks the Creator to help him execute it. This means that although in the mind and the desire he sees that the body disagrees with him annulling all his desires before the Creator instead of for his own sake, he should pray to the Creator to help him want to annul before Him with all the desires, leaving no desire for himself. This is called a “com- plete prayer,” meaning that he wishes that the Creator will give him a complete desire without any compromises to himself, and he asks of the Creator to help him always be with his righteousness.
Article No. 4 (1989), “What Is a Flood of Water in the Work?”
Bina, whose quality is desiring mercy, meaning that she does not need to receive anything, is there- fore free, since only one who needs to receive is limited and dependent on the view of others. But one who goes with his eyes shut and does not need any greatness or anything else, this is called “freedom.” However, we must know that it is a lot of work before we attain the quality of Bina. That is, to be content with little with his feeling and his mind, and be happy with his share, with what he has. That person can always be in wholeness because he is happy with his share.
But what can one do if he has not yet obtained this quality, and he sees that he cannot overcome his will to receive. At that time, he must pray to the Creator to help him so he can go in the work with his eyes shut, and will not need anything, and will be able to do everything for the sake of the Creator despite the resistance of the body to this.
That is, he does not tell the Creator how He should help him. Rather, he must subjugate himself and annul before the Creator unconditionally. But since he cannot overcome his body, he asks the Creator to help him win the war against the inclination, since he understands his lowliness.
For this reason, he asks the Creator to have mercy on him.
Article No. 23 (1989), “What Is, ‘If He Swallows the Bitter Herb, He Will Not Come Out,’ in the Work?”
When one begins the work, he begins with faith, but the body resists this work, and then comes a state of labor, when he must overcome the body and seek all kinds of counsels, as our sages said, “In trickery shall you conduct war,” since the body does not want to relinquish self-benefit. To the extent that he exerts, to that extent he begins to feel that he is incapable of doing anything since in his view, he has done everything he could. After the labor, he comes to know that only the Creator can help, and it is out of his hands. Then comes the third state—a prayer—and then the prayer is from the bottom of the heart, since it is utterly clear to him that no one can help him but the Creator.
Article No. 587, “The Upper One Scrutinizes for the Purpose of the Lower One”
The upper one scrutinizes the GE for the purpose of the lower one (because “a prisoner does not free himself”). The upper one makes a Masach [screen] on the MAN of the lower one, meaning the rejecting force, until it is in the form of receiving in order to bestow, and only then is the light gripped in the MAN.
That is, MAN is a desire to receive. This is expressed through prayer, where prayer is regarded as raising MAN, and the answering of the prayer is called MAD, Ohr Yashar [direct light], upper abundance, bestowal. This prayer called MAN requires conditions, meaning that there will be the correction of a Masach in the prayer, namely that his intention will be for the sake of the Creator, called Lishma [for Her sake].
One must receive the power to work Lishma from the upper one, since the lower one is powerless to begin the work, but only in the form of Lo Lishma [not for Her sake], called “will to receive,” for only the Lo Lishma gives the first moving force of the lower one, for when a person does not find sufficient flavor in corporeal pleasures, he begins to search for spiritual pleasures.
It follows that the root of the work of the lower one is the will to receive, and the prayer, called MAN, rises up, and then the upper one corrects this MAN and places on it the power of the Masach, which is a desire to delay the abundance before the lower one knows about himself that his aim is to bestow.
That is, the upper one bestows upon the lower one good taste and pleasure in the desire to bestow, by which the lower one feels His exaltedness. At that time, he begins to understand that it is worthwhile to annul before Him and cancel his existence before Him. Then, he feels that all that there is in reality is only because such is His will, that the Creator wants the lower one to exist, but for himself, he wants to annul his existence. It follows that then, all the vitality he feels is regarded as Lishma and not for himself.
When he feels this, it is considered that he already has the correction of the MAN, and then he is also fit to receive the MAD, as well, for there is no contradiction between them anymore, since the lower one, too, wants the benefit of the upper one and not his own benefit.
It is considered that when the upper one gives the lower one Mochin, he also gives him the clothing of the Mochin, meaning that he gives the lower one the abundance, as well as the power of the Masach, which is the desire to bestow. This is the meaning of “from Lo Lishma, we come to Lishma.”
11.67 Zohar for All, VaYakhel [And Moses Assembled],
“The Ascent of the Prayer,” No. 150
Happy is a man who knows how to set up his prayer properly. In this prayer, in which the Creator is crowned, he waits until all the prayers of Israel have concluded ascending and are included in the complete prayer, and then all is as perfect as it should be above and below.
11.68 Zohar for All, Truma [Donation],
“In the Multitude of People Is the King’s Glory,” It. 692, 694-698
“In a multitude of people is a king’s glory, and in the dearth of people is a prince’s ruin.”
When the Creator comes to the house of gathering and the whole people come together, pray, thank, and praise the Creator, it is the glory of the King, for the Creator is established with beauty and correction to rise up to AVI.
When the Creator comes to the house of gathering early and the people did not come to pray and to praise the Creator, the whole of the governance above and all those upper appointees and camps break from their rising, which they correct in the corrections of a King, the Creator.
The reason why they break from their rising is that when Israel below establish their prayers and litanies, and praise the high King, all those upper camps praise and become corrected in the holy correction, since all the upper camps are friends with Israel below, to praise the Creator together so the rising of the Creator will be above and below together.
And when the angels come to be friends with Israel, to praise the Creator together, and Israel below do not come to establish their prayers and litanies, and to praise their Master, all the holy camps in the upper government break from their corrections. It is so because they do not rise in rising, for they cannot praise their Master because the praises of the Creator must be above and below together, upper and lower at the same time. This is why it is written, “A prince’s ruin,” and not “A king’s ruin,” as it concerns only the camps of angels, not the King Himself.
And even though not many came to the house of gathering, but only ten, the upper camps come into these ten, to be friends with them and to praise the Creator, since all the King’s corrections are in ten. Hence, ten is enough.
11.69 Zohar for All,
Hukat [Constitution], “The Well,” Item 78
Anyone who wishes to evoke things of above—in an act or in a word—if that act or that word is not done properly, nothing is evoked. All the people in the world go to the assembly-house to evoke a matter above, but few are the ones who know how to evoke. The Creator is near to all those who know how to call Him and to evoke a matter properly. But if they do not know how to call upon Him, He is not close, as it is written, “The Lord is near to all those who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” “In truth” means that they know how to properly evoke a true matter.
11.70 Zohar for All,
Truma [Donation],” Three Colors in a Flame,” Item 43
When Israel come to the synagogue and pray their prayer, when they come to redeem Israel and attach redemption to prayer, not stopping in the middle, by that they cause Yesod, which is called “redemption,” to approach Malchut, which is called “prayer,” that white color, Netzah, rises to the top of the chamber, Malchut, and becomes a Keter [crown] for it.
11.71 Zohar for All,
Shemot [Exodus], “Sigh, Cry, and Outcry,” Items 356-357
One who prays and cries and cries out until he can no longer move his lips, this is a complete prayer that is in the heart. It is never returned empty, but is accepted. Great is the cry for it tears a man’s sentence from all his days.
Great is the cry that governs the quality of Din above. Great is the cry that governs this world and the next world. For a cry, man inherits this world and the next world, as it is written, “Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses.”
11.72 Zohar for All, Balak,
“A Prayer for Moses, a Prayer for David, a Prayer for the Poor,” Items 187-188
Three are called “a prayer”:
A prayer for Moses the man of God. This is a prayer of which there is none like it in another person.
A prayer for David. This is a prayer of which there is none like it in another king.
A prayer for the poor, the most important of all three. This prayer precedes Moses’ prayer, pre- cedes David’s prayer, and precedes all the other prayers in the world.
It is so because the poor is brokenhearted, and it is written, “The Lord is near to the broken- hearted.” The poor always quarrels with the Creator, and the Creator listens and hears his words. When the poor has prayed his prayer, He opens all the windows of the firmament and all the other prayers that rise up, the brokenhearted poor pushes them away. It is written, “A prayer for the poor for he will wrap.” It should have said, “For he will wrap himself”; why is it written, “for he will wrap”? He causes delay, delaying all the prayers in the world, which do not enter until his prayer enters. Wrapping means delaying.
11.73 Zohar for All,
Shemot [Exodus], “Sigh, Cry, and Outcry,” Items 353-355
There are three things here: sigh, cry, and outcry, and they are not similar. With a sigh, it is written, “And the children of Israel sighed.” With a cry, it is written, “And they cried.” With an outcry, it is written, “And their outcry came up unto God.” Each is interpreted separately, but Israel did all of them. However, another one said, “Israel did the cry and the outcry, but they did not do the sigh.” This is implied by the words that they sighed but were not sighed, and that the sigh above was for them.
How are an outcry and a cry different? There is an outcry only in prayer, as it was said, “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my outcry,” and also, “Unto You, O Lord, is my outcry,” and “My outcry is unto You, and You will heal me.” Thus, an outcry means words of prayer. A cry means crying and not saying anything, without any words. The cry is greater than all of them, for the cry is in the heart. It is closer to the Creator than a prayer or a sigh, as it is written, “For if they cry unto Me, I will surely hear their cry.”
A sigh, a cry, and an outcry are thought, voice, speech—Bina, ZA, and Malchut. Hence, a cry in which there is no speech is more acceptable to the Creator than a prayer in words, since the speech is revealed and there is gripping in it, but a cry, where there is no disclosure except in the crying heart, there is no hold for the accusers in it. It is also more acceptable than a sigh because it is revealed only in the thought of the one who sighs, which is Bina, and the lower one cannot properly adhere to the Creator through it. This is why a cry is more acceptable.
What does it say when the Creator said to Samuel, “It repents Me that I have set up Saul to be king”? “And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night.” He left everything—the sigh, the outcry—and took the cry, since it was closest to the Creator, as it is written, “And now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come unto Me.”
11.74 Zohar for All,
Beresheet Bet [Genesis 2], “Seven Palaces of AVI de Beria,” It. 95
All those lights and camps travel with the rising of the prayer. They tie connections and become entirely mingled, as one, until the spirit of the bottom palace becomes tied to the spirit of that palace, and they become one. They all enter the pillar in the middle of the palace, and ascend by it to be included in the spirit in the fourth palace, above them. Happy is one who knows the secret of his Master and raises his banner where he should.
11.75 Zohar for All,
Toldot [Generations], “And Isaac Entreated,” Items 20-21
“And Rebecca his wife conceived.” From the perspective of the system she was unworthy of con- ceiving, since she was barren from birth. But through his prayer, He subverted for him, meaning He changed the arrangement of the system, “And Rebecca his wife conceived.”
For twenty years, Isaac waited on his wife and she did not deliver, until he prayed his prayer. This was so because the Creator desires the prayer of the righteous, when they ask before Him for their needs. And what is the reason? It is so that an ointment of holiness would grow and pro- liferate through the prayer of the righteous for anyone in need, for the righteous open the upper hose with their prayer, and then even those who are unworthy of being granted are granted.
11.76 Zohar for All,
VaYetze [And Jacob Went Out], “His Thought Was of Rachel,” It. 189
“If He set His heart upon man, He will gather his spirit and his breath unto Himself.” The will and the thought draw the extension and do the deed with everything that is needed. This is why in prayer, a desire and a thought to aim in are required. Similarly, in all the works of the Creator, the thought and the contemplation does the deed and draw extensions to all that is needed.
11.77 Zohar for All,
VaYishlach [And Jacob Sent], “The Prayer of the Righteous,” It. 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.
11.78 Zohar for All, Shemot [Exodus],
“Twelve Mountains of Persimmon,” Items 253-255
There is nothing that the Creator loves more than the prayer of the righteous. Even though He desires it, at times He does what they ask and at times He does not.
Our sages said, once the world needed rain. Rabbi Elazar came and declared forty fasts, but rain did not come. He prayed a prayer but rain did not come. Rabbi Akiva came and prayed and said, “The blower of wind,” and a strong and harsh wind blew. He said, “He who brings down rain,” and a torrent came down. Rabbi Elazar’s mind was weak. Rabbi Akiva looked at his face and sensed the weakness of his mind.
Rabbi Akiva stood before the people and said, “I will give you an allegory. What is this like? Rabbi Elazar is like one who is loved by the king, whom the king loves more than anyone. When he comes before the king, he is welcome, so he does not wish to grant him his wish quickly, so he would not depart him, because he wishes for him to speak to him. I, however, am like the king’s servant, who makes a request before him and the king does not wish that he will come into the palace, much less speak to him. The king says, ‘Grant him his wish immediately lest he will enter.’
“Thus, Rabbi Elazar is the king’s beloved one and I am a servant. The king wishes to speak to him everyday and to not part from him. But as for me, the king does not wish for me to come into the palace so he grants my wish immediately.” Rabbi Elazar was appeased.
11.79 Zohar for All,
VaYishlach [And Jacob Sent], “The Prayer of the Righteous,” It. 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.
11.80 Zohar for All,
VaYishlach [And Jacob Sent], “And God Went Up from Him,” It. 164
How favored are Israel before the Creator, for you have not a nation or a tongue among all the idol worshipping nations in the world that has gods that will answer their prayers as the Creator is destined to answer the prayers and pleas of Israel any time they need the prayer answered. This is so because they pray only for their degree, which is Divinity. That is, each time they pray, it is for the correction of Divinity.
11.81 Zohar for All,
Miketz [At the End], “And Saw Benjamin,” Item 209
When one prays to the Creator, he should not look whether his salvation came or not, for when he looks, several litigants come to look at his actions.
11.82 Zohar for All,
Miketz [At the End], “And Saw Benjamin,” Items 211, 213
“Desire that comes is a tree of life.” One who wishes for the Creator to grant his prayer should engage in Torah, which is the tree of life. And then desire comes. What is desire? It is a degree that all the prayers in the world are in its hands—the Nukva—and it brings them before the upper king, ZA. “Desire that comes,” since it comes before the upper king for Zivug, to complement the wish of the invocator, to grant him his wish.
That does not extend among those appointees and the chariots from hand to hand. Rather, the Creator gives immediately because when it is extended among those appointees and chariots, several litigants are given permission to observe and to look at his sentence before they give him his salvation. But what comes out of the King’s house and is given to man, whether he is worthy or unworthy, is given to him immediately. This is, “Desire that comes is a tree of life,” which means that it is given to him immediately.
11.83 Zohar for All,
VaYechi [Jacob Lived], “Dan Shall Judge His People,” Items 713-714
“One should always praise one’s Master and then pray his prayer.” One whose heart is pure and wishes to pray his prayer, or is in trouble and cannot praise his Master, what is he?
Even though he cannot aim the heart and will, why should he diminish his Master’s praise? Rather, he will praise his Master even though he cannot aim, and then he shall pray his prayer. It is written, “A prayer of David. Hear a just cause, O Lord, hear my singing, listen to my prayer.” “Hear a just cause, O Lord,” first, since he praised his Master. Afterwards, “Hear my singing, listen to my prayer.” One who can praise his Master and does not do so, it is written about him, “Even if you pray profusely, I do not hear.”
11.84 Zohar for All,
VaYechi [Jacob Lived], “Dan Shall Judge His People,” Item 717
What are MAN? In the craving below, lower waters rise, meaning MAN, to receive upper waters, MAD, from the degree atop them. This is so because lower waters, MAN, spring out only by an awakening of the desire of the lower one. At that time, the craving of the lower one and the upper one become attached, and lower waters spring out opposite the descending upper waters, the Zivug ends and the worlds are blessed, all the candles light up, and the upper ones and lower ones are in blessings.
11.85 Zohar for All,
VaYechi [Jacob Lived], “The Terrible Mountain,” Item 426
When a man goes out to the road, he should set up his prayer before his Master, to extend the light of Divinity on himself, and then set out. It turns out that the Zivug of Divinity is to redeem him on the way and to save him however is needed.
11.86 Zohar for All, Shemot [Exodus],
“And the Daughter of Pharaoh Came Down,” 203-204
All things in the world depend on repentance and on the prayer that a man prays to the Creator. It is all the more so with one who sheds tears during his prayer, for there is no gate through which these tears do not come. It is written, “She opened it and saw the child.” “Opened” is Divinity, who stands over Israel like a mother over her children, opening, always in favor of Israel.
When she opened and saw the child, a delightful child, Israel, who always sin before their King and promptly plea before the Creator, repent and cry before Him as a son who cries before his father. It is written, “And behold a boy that wept.” Since he wept, all the harsh decrees in the world were removed from him.
11.87 Zohar for All,
Bo [Come unto Pharaoh], “The Tefillin [Phylacteries],” Item 235
“All the rivers flow into the sea.” The rivers, which are the abundance from ZA, flow to Malchut, which is called, “a sea.” And because she receives them from above, from Malchut, she is called, “prayer,” and she is sanctified by their holiness, and she is called, “holy,” since Mochin de Malchut is called, “holy,” and it is called “prayer.” Then, Malchut is called, “the complete kingdom of heaven.”
11.88 Zohar for All, BeShalach [When Pharaoh Sent],
“Your Right Hand, O Lord, Majestic in Power,” Items 278-279
Any person who seeks to unite the holy Name and did not intend for it in heart, in desire, and in fear, so that upper and lower will be blessed in him, his prayer is thrown outside, everyone declares him bad, and the Creator calls upon him, “If you come to see My face.”
“To see My face” means all those faces of the King, illumination of Hochma, as it is written, “A man’s wisdom illuminates his face,” hidden in the depth behind the dark, which are the Dinim in the left line. And all those who know how to properly unite the holy Name break all those walls of darkness and the King’s face is seen and shines for all. And when it is seen and shines, all are blessed, upper and lower. Then there are blessings in all the worlds, and then it is written, “To see My face.”
11.89 Zohar for All,
BeShalach [When Pharaoh Sent], “The Story of Haman,” Item 408
“A song of ascents. Out of the depths I have called You, O Lord.” Why does it say, “A song of ascents,” without saying who said it? A song of ascents means that all the people of the world are destined to say it because this song is destined to be said for all eternity.
11.90 Zohar for All,
BeShalach [When Pharaoh Sent], “The Story of Haman,” It. 409-410
“Out of the depths I have called You.” Anyone who prays his prayer before the holy King must ask his pleas and pray from the bottom of the heart so that his heart will be wholly with the Creator, and he will aim his heart and will, as it is written, “Out of the depths I have called You.” But it is written, “With all my heart I have sought You.” This verse is sufficient, to pray with all of one’s heart, so why the need for “From the bottom”?
Every person who asks his request of the King must aim his mind and will to the Root of Roots, to extend blessings from the depth of the pit, so that blessings will pour from the fountain of all. The place from which that river comes out is the concealed Hochma, as it is written, “And a river comes out of Eden. “Eden” is Hochma; “river” is Bina that went out of Rosh AA, which is the concealed Hochma. It is written, “There is a river whose streams make the city of God glad.” This is called “Out of the depths,” the depth of everything, the depth of the pit from which streams come out and extend from it to bless all. This is the beginning, to extend blessings from above downwards.
11.91 Zohar for All,
BeShalach [When Pharaoh Sent], “The Story of Haman,” Item 411
When Atik, who is more concealed than all that are concealed, wished to summon blessings for the world, He instilled everything and included everything in that high depth, which is the concealed Hochma de AA in relation to Malchut coming out of it. From here, a river, which is Malchut, draws and continues. Rivers and streams, which are the Mochin, come out of it and water everything from it, meaning that all the Mochin of ZON and BYA extend from there. And one who prays his prayer should aim one’s heart and will to extend blessings from the depth of this everything, so his prayer will be accepted and his wish will be done.
11.92 Zohar for All,
BeShalach [When Pharaoh Sent], “And Pharaoh Drew Near,” Items 65-67
“And Pharaoh drew near” means that he sacrificed his whole army and vehicles to make war [Hikriv means both “brought closer” and “sacrificed”]. We also learn that Pharaoh brought Israel closer to repentance. This is why it is written, “And Pharaoh drew near” and not “And Pharaoh brought closer.” It is written, “O Lord, they sought You in distress; they could only whisper a prayer, Your chas- tening was upon them.” “They sought You in distress” means that Israel do not visit the Creator in times of contentment, but when they are in distress, and then they all visit Him. “They could only whisper a prayer” means that they are all praying with prayers and litanies, and pour out prayers before Him. When? “Your chastening before them,” when the Creator visits them in His strap.
Then the Creator stands over them in Rachamim [mercies] and welcomes their voice, to avenge their enemies, and He fills with mercy over them.
Israel were nearing the sea and saw the sea before them becoming stormier, its waves straighten- ing upward. They were afraid. They raised their eyes and saw Pharaoh and his army, and slings and arrows, and they were terrified. “And the children of Israel cried out.” Who caused Israel to draw near to their father in heaven? It was Pharaoh, as it is written, “And Pharaoh drew near.”
11.93 Zohar for All,
BeShalach [When Pharaoh Sent], And Pharaoh Drew Near
“Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord.” You need not make war, for the Creator will make war for you, as it is written, “The Lord will fight for you, and you will keep silent.” On that night, the Creator assembled His company and sentenced the sentence of Israel. If the fathers did not pray for Israel first, they would not have been saved from the Din [judgment].
11.94 Zohar for All, Truma [Donation],
“The Watchman Says, “Morning Comes,” Item 86
“If you ask, ask.” If you make your requests before the King in prayer, ask, pray and ask your requests and return to your Master. “Come,” as one who invites, greeting his sons and having mercy on them. So is the Creator. In the morning and also at night, He calls out and says, “Come.” Happy are the holy nation whose Master seeks them and calls for them to bring them near Him.
11.95 Zohar for All,
Truma [Donation], “Lift Up a Song for Him Who Rides through the Prairies,” Items 713-716
The great priest who stands before Him would enter the Temple only with joy, and to show joy because the place causes. It is written about it, “Serve the Lord with gladness,’ for one must not show sadness in her.
Therefore, one who is in sorrow and distress, who cannot rejoice in his heart out of his distress, should ask for mercy before the high King. Therefore, he will not pray his prayer at all or come in with any sadness, for he cannot delight his heart and enter before Him with joy. What is the correction for such a person?
Rather, all the gates are locked and closed, and the gates of tears do not close. There is no tear except out of sorrow and sadness, and all those appointees over the gates break the turns of the roads and the locks, admit those tears, and that prayer enters before the holy King.
At that time, that place, Malchut, is pressured by the sadness and pressure of that man, as it is written, “In all their affliction He was afflicted.” He called, “He was afflicted,” for man’s affliction moves Divinity. The craving of the upper world, ZA, to that place, Malchut, is as a male who always craves the female. Hence, when the King, ZA, enters the queen, Malchut, and finds her in sadness, then all she wants is handed to her, that man or that prayer are not returned empty, and the Creator takes pity on him. Happy is that man who sheds tears before the Creator in his prayer.
11.96 Zohar for All,
Sifra DeTzniuta [The Book of Concealment], Chapter Three, Item 39
“Let the waters teem.” Teeming is translated as murmuring, when his lips murmur, when his lips move with words of prayer in purity and cleanness of the mind. In the water that cleanses and purifies, the living soul is teeming.
When a person wishes to establish a prayer to his Master, his lips murmur in that manner from below upward, to raise the glory of his Master to the place of the potion of the deep well of Bina. Then he goes to draw from that potion of the stream, Bina, from above downward to each and every degree through the last degree, Malchut, to extend donations to all from above downward. Subsequently, he must make a connection through all, to unite all the degrees in Ein Sof, the connection of the aim of the faith, and all his wishes will be fulfilled, whether the wishes of the public or the wishes of an individual.
11.97 Zohar for All,
Sifra DeTzniuta [The Book of Concealment], Chapter Three, It.40-43
The prayer that one should ask of his Master is set up in nine manners:
- In the order of the alphabet;
- In mentioning the qualities of the Creator: Merciful, Gracious, and so forth;
In the honored names of the Creator: EKYEH, Yod–Hey, Yod–Hey–Vav, El, Elokim, HaVaYaH, Hosts, Shadai, and ADNI;
- In ten Sefirot, KHB, HGT, NHYM;
- In mentioning the righteous: the patriarchs, the prophets, and the kings;
- In song and praise in which there is true reception;
- Above them, one who knows how to properly correct corrections for his Master;
- In knowing how to raise from below upward;
- And there are those who know how to extend abundance from above downward.
In all those nine manners of prayer, great intention is required. If not, it is written about him, “They who despise Me will be despised.” With Amen, he should intend to include the two names HaVaYaH ADNI, which are 91 in Gematria, and Amen is also 91 in Gematria. And the name HaVaYaH, ZA, conceals its abundance and blessings in the treasure, called “palace,” which is ADNI, Malchut.
This is implied in the verse, “And the Lord is in the palace of His holiness, all the earth is silent before Him.” It is also implied in what we learn, “Man’s abundance is in his home.” It is so because man [Adam] is 45 in Gematria, the name HaVaYaH filled with the letters Aleph. And “abundance is in his home” is ADNI, Malchut, as it is written, “In all My house he is trusted.” It translates into “In all who are with Me,” in Malchut.
And if he aims properly in all of these nine manners of prayer, it is a person who honors the name of his holy Master. It is written about it, “For I will honor those who honor Me, and those who despise Me will be despised.” I will honor him in this world to keep and to do all his needs, and all the nations of the earth will see that the name of the Lord is called upon him and will fear him. In the next world, he will be rewarded with being with pious, in the realm of the pious, even though he did not read in the Torah sufficiently, but because he was rewarded with looking at knowing his Master and aimed in it properly.
One who does not know how to unify the holy Name and make the connection of faith, to extend to the place that is needed, and to honor the name of his Master, it is better for him not to be born, especially if he does not intend in the Amen. For this reason, anyone who murmurs with his lips with a clean heart, with cleansing waters, it is written about him, “And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,’” for a man who knows how to unite the image and the likeness properly, where ZA is Tzelem [image] and Nukva is the likeness, “and they will rule over the fish of the sea.”
11.98 Zohar for All, VaYakhel [And Moses Assembled],
“The Intention of the Prayer,” Items 107, 108
Each day a herald calls upon all the people in the world, “This matter is up to you,” as it is written, ‘Take from among you a donation to the Lord.’ And if you should say that the matter is hard for you, ‘Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring it.’”
Hence the meaning of the prayer: a person who fears his Master and aims his heart and will in a prayer corrects the upper correction, first by singing and praising that the upper angels say above. And in that order of praises that Israel say below, Malchut adorns herself in her corrections as a woman who adorns herself for her husband.
11.99 Zohar for All, VaYakhel [And Moses Assembled],
“The Intention of the Prayer,” Item 111
And before the high King, we must stand up with fear and quiver, for then He stretches out His right hand to her in the blessing, “Protector of Abraham,” who is the right line. Afterwards, His left, which He puts under her head in the blessing, “You are mighty,” is the left line. Then they both embrace together in kissing in the blessing, “The holy God,” the middle line. From there up they are kisses until the last three. These are the first three blessings of the Eighteen Prayer. One must place his heart and will, and aim his mouth, heart, and will together in all those corrections and orders of the prayer.
11.100 Zohar for All, New Zohar,
Noah, “Do Not Drink Wine or Ale,” Items 93-97
Two things do not go together: wine and serving the Creator.
A drunk who prays is as one who performs idol-worship. Where is this from? From Hannah, as it is written, “And Eli thought that she was drunk.” But she replied and said, “Do not regard your maidservant as a corrupt woman,” an idol-worshipper.
No people are called holy except for those who abstain from wine, as it is written, “All the days when he abstained for the Lord, he will be holy.” There is no wine that is called “good wine” like the wine of the land of Israel. And more than all of them is the wine of the Upper Galilee, from which no one can drink half a log [approx. half a liter].
Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, went to see Rabbi Yosi, his father-in-law. They gave him a soft fine calf to eat and opened for him a barrel of wine. His father-in-law poured and he drank; he poured and he drank. Rabbi Yosi said to him, “Have you heard from your father what is the measure of the cup that is permitted to drink?”
He said to him, the measure of the cup is as it is. He should drink one cup if the drink is hot, and one cup if the drink is cold. But the sages did not imagine that your cup is small, your wine is good, and my belly is big.”
11.101 Zohar for All,
Pekudei [Accounts], “The Palace of Noga, Netzah,” Items 574-577
The 12 wheels turning in this palace are called “seraphim” in two colors, white and red, Rachamim and Din. They are always poised to watch over the sorrowful, whom the rest of the nations afflict and oppress. They are called “windows,” as it is written, “Watching over through the windows.”
They stand to observe those who pray their prayer, and come early to the synagogue [house of gath- ering] to be counted among the first ten. Then the seraphim rise up and write them above because the first ten are considered their friends, as it is written, “Friends are listening to your voice, let me hear it.” Happy are the righteous who know how to set up their prayer properly because when that prayer begins to rise, those angels rise along with that prayer and enter the firmaments and palaces up to the gate to the upper door, and a prayer enters to be crowned before the King.
All those who pray prayers and sanctify their Master wholeheartedly, that prayer should elicit from the thought and by the will of speech and spirit. Then the name of the Creator is sanctified, and when the prayer reaches the angels, who are friends, they all take the prayer and go with it up to the seventh palace, to the door that is there. Those angels praise the Creator when Israel pray prayers and sanctify to the Creator. At daytime, they are the appointees during the day, who were appointed to praise along with the people of Israel, to be friends with them. At night, they are friends to those other ones, who say poems at night.
11.102 Zohar for All, Pekudei [Accounts],
“The Palace of Holy of Holies,” Items 824- 825, 827
“Who esteem His name” are those who think and intend in His name, to unite palaces with palaces, to tie ties, and to unite everyone in one unification. They are the ones who esteem His name, as it is written, “And who esteem His name.” Then he is written among those who esteem His name, and he is noted and becomes known above, and is completed above and below.
Anyone who comes near to his Master and prays his prayer, but does not complete the unifica- tion, and is not concerned with his Master’s honor, tying ties, it is better for him if he were not born. The Creator says, “Write that man childless, a failure of a man in his life,” as it is written, “Who robs his father and his mother,” who are the Creator and His Divinity.
Happy is he who is sanctified in the prayer in this manner, ties connections, unifies unifications, properly intends in everything, and does not stray to the right or to the left. His prayer will not return denied; the Creator sentences and he revokes. It is written about it, “Your father and mother will be glad, the one who bore you shall rejoice.” He has a portion in this world and in the next world.
11.103 Zohar for All,
Pekudei [Accounts], “The Palace of Holy of Holies,” Items 812-813
He must connect to the Kedusha of his Master and not part from Him. And when he asks, the beginning of the pleading should be to know his Master, to show his passion for Him, which is the first request, “Grant us from You wisdom, understanding, and intelligence.” Henceforth, he will part a little and ask the pleas that he needs to ask.
All his questions will be after he arranges the order. Likewise, all his questions will be in litanies and requests before his Master, and He will not remove Himself from him, meaning will be angered. Happy is he who knows how to arrange that order, to go by the straight path as he should.
11.104 Zohar for All,
Pekudei [Accounts], “The Palace of Holy of Holies,” Item 832
Anyone who does not know how to establish the praise of his Master, it is better for him not to be born because the prayer must be complete above, out of thought, the will of the heart, the voice, and the word of the mouth, to make wholeness, connection, and unification above. As it is above, and as the wholeness comes out from above downward, so it should be from below upward, properly tying the connection.
11.105 Zohar for All, VaYikra [The Lord Called],
“I Acknowledged My Sin unto You,” Items 338-339
Anyone who covers his sins and does not acknowledge them before the holy King to ask for mercy for them, is not permitted to open the door of repentance, since it is covered from him. But if he details them before the Creator, the Creator has mercy on him and the Rachamim prevail over the Din.
It is even more so if he cries, since he opens all the hidden doors and his prayer is accepted. Hence, the confession of his sins is the glory of the King, to make Rachamim prevail over the Din.
11.106 Zohar for All, VaYikra [The Lord Called],
“I Acknowledged My Sin unto You,” Item 342
One who makes a request of the King must unite the holy Name in his will from below upwards, from Malchut to Keter, and from above downwards, from Keter to Malchut—uniting everything in one unification in Ein Sof [infinity], and in this unification he will include his plea. Who is so wise as to make his pleas like King David’s, who was keeping the King’s door? He was a Merkava [chariot/assembly] to Malchut, which is called “the King’s door.” So it is, and this is why the Torah teaches us the ways of the holy King, so we will know how to follow Him, as it is written, “After the Lord your God shall you walk.”
11.107 Zohar for All, Aharei Mot [After the Death],
“From the Depths I Have Called You, Lord,” Items 244-245
Before the Creator created the world, He created repentance. The Creator said to repentance, Bina: “I wish to create man in the world provided that if they return to you from their iniquities you will be willing to pardon their iniquities and atone them.” Each and every hour, repentance is ready for people. When people repent from their iniquities, this repentance, Bina, returns to the Creator giving Mochin to ZA and atones for everything. Then the Dinim surrender and all are perfumed, and the man is purified from his iniquities.
When is one purified from his iniquity? When he properly enters repentance. When he repents before the upper king and prays a prayer from the bottom of the heart, as it is written, “From the depths I have called You, O Lord.”
11.108 Zohar for All,
BeHukotai [In My Statutes], “Alms for the Poor,” Item 21
The poor is gripped in Din and all his feeding is in Din, in a place called “justices,” which is Malchut, as it is written, “A prayer for the poor when he is weakened.” This prayer is the Tefillin of the hand, Malchut. When she is not in a Zivug with ZA, she is poor and she is called “justice,” and one who gives Tzedaka [alms, but also righteousness in Hebrew] to the poor makes the Holy Name above properly whole, connecting her with ZA, which gives her everything. Because Tzedaka is the tree of life, ZA, and Tzedaka gives and bestows upon justice, Malchut, when she gives to justice, ZA and Malchut connect with one another and the Holy Name is complete.
One who evokes that awakening below, who gives Tzedaka, it is certainly as though he made the Holy Name in completeness. As one does below, so it awakens above. The one who does righteous- ness is the Creator, as though he made Him.
11.109 Zohar for All, New Zohar,
Nasso, “The Blessing of the Priests,” Items 3-4
Woe to one who comes to seduce his Master’s heart with a distant heart and not with a complete desire, as it is written, “They deceived Him with their mouth and lied to Him with their tongue, and their heart was not steadfast with Him.”
The unification of the prayer and the blessing depend on the speech and the words of the mouth, and everything depends on the root of the action. One who does not know the root of the action, his work is not work. If he blemishes the act of speaking, there is no place for the blessing to be in and his prayer is not a prayer. That person is blemished above and below.
11.110 Zohar for All, Zohar Hadash,
Hukat, “To the Conductor [also: Winner] of Lilies,” Items 119-121
Hear, daughter, and see, and lend your ear.” “Hear,” for hearing depends on you, since when Israel repent before Me, “Hear,” bring their prayers before Me since the door to everything is in you. I have placed everything in your hand, to lead the lower world. Hence, “Hear, daughter, and see,” since you are the vision of everything. Hochma is called “vision.” It is revealed only in Malchut. This is why you are called Be’ar Lahai Roi. Therefore, each day, you must inquire about the deeds of the people of the world, to give to one according to one’s deeds.
When the Creator created the world, He placed His hall in the hands of the queen to watch over the world. When people are worthy, joy is added above.
“Lend your ear,” to receive the prayer of everyone. So she did with all the prayers, to bring the crown to the righteous, Yesod, since all the prayers are to bring the crown to the righteous. They are regarded as MAN so the righteous will pour on them MAD.
11.111 Zohar for All,
Balak, “Sihon and Og,” Item7
We should pay attention to faith in the Creator, that all his words are words of truth and great faith. Once he says something, it is done entirely. A man with a narrow heart, if he says that this would be completed in several years and after so long, so it is. The Creator, according to His governance, and all the worlds are filled with His glory, is all the more so.
Man’s words are small, and all his words are temporary. So is he, temporary, like a fleeting shadow. However, through repentance and prayer and good deeds with many tears, he is holy, since the Great One, who is superior to the entire world, shines His light and restricts His holiness for man to do His will.
11.112 Zohar for All,
Balak, “A Prayer of Moses, a Prayer of David, a Prayer of the Poor,” Items 190-191
All the hosts of heaven ask each other “What does the Creator do?” “In what does He exert?” They are told that He unites passionately with His Kelim [vessels], with the brokenhearted. Everyone does not know what was done with the prayer of the poor and all his grievances since the poor has no passion except when he sheds tears in grievances before the holy King, and the Creator has no passion except when He accepts them and they are poured down before Him. This prayer defers and delays all the prayers in the world.
Moses prayed his prayer and was delayed by several days in this prayer because of the prayer of the poor. David saw that all the windows and all the gates of Heaven were ready to open before the prayer of the poor. Of all the prayers in the world, there is none to which the Creator listens immediately as with the prayer of the poor.
11.113 Zohar for All, Balak,
“A Prayer of Moses, a Prayer of David, a Prayer of the Poor,” Item 192
One who prays should make himself poor so his prayer will be included in the prayers of all the poor, since all the guards of the gates do not let all the prayers in the world enter as they let the prayer of the poor, since they enter without permission.
If a person makes himself and makes his desire always as that of a poor, his prayer rises and meets the prayers of the poor, connects to them and ascends with them. It enters among them and is willingly accepted by the holy King.
11.114 Zohar for All,
Yitro [Jethro], “You Shall Not Have,” Items 414-416
“A prayer of the poor when he is weak and pours out his complaint before the Lord.” All of Israel’s prayers are prayer, and the prayer of the poor is the highest because it rises up to the throne of the King and crowns itself in His head and the Creator is praised in this prayer. This is why the prayer of the poor is called “a prayer.”
“When he is weak [“weak” can also mean “wrap” in Hebrew].” This “weak” is not the wrapping of clothing, for he has no clothing. Rather, here it is written, “When he is weak,” and there it is written, “Who are weak from hunger.” Here, too, “When he is weak” is with hunger. “And pours out his complaint before the Lord,” meaning that he cries out to his Master, and it pleases him before the Creator since the world exists in him when there are no others who sustain the world in the world. Woe unto one of whom that poor cries out to his Master, since the poor is closer to the King than anyone, as it is written, “And it shall come to pass, when he cries unto Me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.”
As for the rest of the people in the world, at times He listens and at times He does not listen, since the tabernacle of the Creator is in those broken Kelim, as it is written, “And with the contrite and lowly of spirit.” It is also written, “The Lord is near to those with a broken heart,” and “A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”
11.115 Zohar for All,
VaEtchanan, “Midnight,” Items 8-9
When one rises at midnight to engage in Torah, a herald calls out about him and says, “Here, bless the Lord all the servants of the Lord who stand in the house of the Lord at night.” In the morning, when he stands in prayer before his Master, that herald calls out about him and says, “And I will let you walk among these who are standing here.”
After he concludes his prayer willingly before his Master, he should willingly devote his soul to Malchut. A person has several counsels in everything. When he is in prayer, all those words that one utters from one’s mouth in that prayer rise and break through airs and firmaments until they come to the place where they come, and are crowned on the head of the King, who makes from them a crown.
11.116 Zohar for All,
VaYelech [And Moses Went], Answering “Amen,” Items 37-39
When Israel below keep their answering of Amen and aim their hearts as they should, several doors of blessing open above, there is much goodness in all the world, and there is joy in everything. What is Israel’s reward for causing it? Their reward is in this world and in the next world. In this world, when they are afflicted and they pray their prayer before their Master, the voice declares through all the worlds, “Open the gates and let in the righteous, loyal nation.” Do not pronounce it “loyal,” but Amens [a similar pronunciation in Hebrew], who observe their answering Amen. “Open the gates,” as Israel opened the gates of blessings for them, now open the gates and let the prayer of those who are afflicted be answered.
This is their reward in this world. What is their reward in the next world? When a man who observed answering Amen departs this world, what does he observe—observe that blessing which the sayer blesses and he waits for him to answer after it, “Amen,” as he should? At that time, his soul rises and declares before him, “Open the gates before him,” as he opened the gates each day when he was loyal, meaning Amens.
What is Amen? Amen is the spring of the stream that extends, Bina. It is called Amen, as it is writ- ten, “And I was beside Him as an apprentice.” Do not pronounce it Amon [apprentice], but Amen. Keeping all the degrees—that river that stretches out, Bina—is called “Amen,” as it is written, “From the world and to the world,” from the world above, Bina, to the world below, Malchut. Here, too, Amen and Amen, Amen of above, Bina, Amen of below, Malchut. Amen means keeping of them all.
11.117 Zohar for All,
Ruth, “A Prayer, an Outcry, a Tear,” Item 418
In the whole world, none stand before the Creator but man’s repentance and prayer. There are three kinds of repentance: a prayer, an outcry, and a tear, and all of them are written in this verse, “Hear my prayer, Lord, and listen to my outcry; do not be silent at my tear.”
All three are important to the Creator, but none are important as the tear, since through the tears, the heart, the desire, and the whole body awaken and come in thirteen gates before the Creator.
Hearing is written about a prayer, as it is written, “Hear my prayer, O Lord.” It is written about the outcry, “Listen to my outcry.” A prayer is not like them, but more than all of them, as it is written, “Do not keep silent to my tear.”
With a prayer, sometimes a person prays his prayer and the Creator hears but does not want to do what he asks. He keeps silent to him and does not watch over him, for only hearing is written about it. An outcry is more important than a prayer, since he cries out with his heart’s will before his Master. And since he places more of his will, it is written about it, “Listen,” as one who listens to the speaker. Nevertheless, He is silent and does not want to do what he wants.
But the tear is in the heart, and in the will of the entire body. This is why it is written about it, “Do not keep silent to my tear.”
Not all the tears come before the King. Tears of anger and tears of one who complains about his friend do not come before the King. Rather, tears of prayer and repentance, when they pray the prayer out of their plight, they all break through firmaments and open gates and come before the King.
On the day when the Temple was ruined, all the gates were locked but the gates of tears were not locked. It is written about Hezekiah, “I heard your prayer, I saw your tear,” truly seeing out of the tears.
11.118 Zohar for All, Pekudei [Accounts],
“The Palace of the Sapphire Pavement, Yesod,” Items 489-490
Above the door of the palace is another door, which the Creator dug out of Dinim de Miftacha, as it is written, “The well that the ministers dug.” It opens three times a day, meaning that three lines illuminate in it, and it does not close. It stands open for those who repent, who have shed tears in their prayer before their Master. And all the gates and doors are closed until they come in by per- mission, except for these gates, which are called “the gates of tears.” Those are open and require no permission.
This is so because the first door is as it is written, “Sin crouches at the door,” where the Malchut de Man’ula is found, ten thousand. In that respect, repentance does not help because it is the quality of harsh Din. But the Creator dug another door above it, the Miftacha, Malchut that is mitigated in Bina, and from there the repentance helps.
When this prayer in tears rises through these gates, that Ophan, who is an angel from Malchut, called Ophan comes. He stands over 600 big animals, and his name is Yerachmiel. He takes the prayer in tears, the prayer enters and is connected above, and the tears remain here. They are written in a door that the Creator dug.
The prayer in tears raises MAN for correction of the Miftacha, to raise Malchut to Bina; hence, the prayer is accepted and the tears remain carved on the door, where they cause the mitigation of Malchut in Bina.
11.119 Zohar for All,
VaYechi [Jacob Lived], “Be Gathered, that I May Tell You”
All the prayers in the world, prayers of many, are prayers. But a solitary prayer does not enter before the Holy King, unless with great force. This is so because before the prayer enters to be crowned in its place, the Creator watches it, observes it, and observes the sins and merits of that person, which He does not do with a prayer of many, where several of the prayers are not from righteous, and they all enter before the Creator and He does not notice their iniquities.
“He has regarded the prayer of the destitute.” He turns the prayer and examines it from all sides, and considers with which desire the prayer was made, who is the person who prayed that prayer, and what are his deeds. Hence, one should pray one’s prayer in the collective, since He does not despise their prayer, even though they are not all with intent and the will of heart, as it is written, “He has regarded the prayer of the destitute.” Thus, He only observes the prayer of an individual, but with a prayer of many, He does not despise their prayer, even though they are unworthy.
“He has regarded the prayer of the destitute” means that He accepts his prayer, but it is an indi- vidual who is mingled with many. Hence, his prayer is as a prayer of many. And who is an individual who is mingled with many? It is Jacob, for he contains both sides—right and left, Abraham and Isaac, and he calls out to his sons and prays his prayer for them.
And what is the prayer that is fully granted above? It is a prayer that the children of Israel will not perish in the exile. This is because every prayer in favor of Divinity is received in full. And when Israel are in exile, Divinity is with them. This is why the prayer is regarded as being in favor of Divinity and is accepted in full.
11.120 Zohar for All, VaYetze [And Jacob Went Out],
“Remembering and Visiting,” Items 284-285
Wherever a person prays his prayer, he should incorporate himself in the public, in the manifold public, as it is written about Shunammite when Elisha told her, “Would you be spoken for to the king or to the captain of the army?” “Would you be spoken for to the king,” since that day was the festival of the first day of the year, and the day when Malchut of the firmament rules and sentences the world. At that time, the Creator is called “The king of the sentence,” and this is why he told her, “Would you be spoken for to the king,” since he called the Creator “King.”
And she said, “I dwell among my own people.” In other words, she said, “I have no wish to be mentioned above, but to put my head among the masses and not leave the public. Similarly, man should be included in the public and not stand out as unique, so the slanderers will not look at him and mention his sins.
11.121 Zohar for All, VaYakhel [And Moses Assembled],
“The Ascent of the Prayer,” Items 121,123.
“And He said unto me, ‘You are My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’” This concerns the prayer that one should pray before the Creator, which is one great work, more honored than the work of his Master. There is the work of the Creator that is in the work of the body, meaning the Mitzvot that depend on an act, and there is the work of the Creator that is more internal work—which is the most important—meaning Mitzvot that depend on speech and on the will of the heart.
A man’s prayer is the work of the Ruach [spirit], work from Behina Bet, which depends on the speech. It is in high secrets and people do not know that a man’s prayer breaches airs and breaches firmaments, opens doors and rises up.
11.122 Zohar for All, VaYakhel [And Moses Assembled],
“The Meaning of the Book of Torah,” Item 225
“Blessed is the name of the Master of the world. Blessed be Your crown and Your place. May Your favor remain with Your people Israel forever; may the redemption of Your right be shown to Your people in Your Temple, and impart upon us the best of Your light, and accept our prayers with mercy. May it be Your will that You extend our lives with goodness, that I, Your servant, be numbered among the righteous, that You have mercy on me, protect me, all that is mine, and that is of Your people Israel.
“It is You who nourishes all and sustains all. You control everything. It is You who rules over kings, and the kingship is Yours. I am a servant of the Creator, and I bow before Him and before the glory of His law [Torah] at all times. Not in man do I put trust, nor on any children of God do I rely, only on God in heaven, who is the true God, whose law is true, whose prophets are true, and who executes abundant kindness and truth. In him do I trust, and to His glorious and holy name do I declare praises. May it be Your will that You open my heart with Your law, and that You give me male sons who fulfill Your wish. May You fulfill my heart’s wishes and the heart of Your entire people Israel for good, for life, and for peace. Amen.”
11.123 Zohar for All, BeShalach [When Pharaoh Sent],
“Your Right Hand, O Lord, Majestic in Power,” Item 278
Any person who seeks to unite the holy Name and did not intend for it in heart, in desire, and in fear, so that upper and lower will be blessed in him, his prayer is thrown outside.
11.124 Zohar for All,
Introduction of The Book of Zohar “Torah and Prayer,” Item 183
The prayer that we pray is the correction of the Holy Divinity, to extend abundance to her, to satisfy all her deficiencies, for hence, all the requests are in plural form, such as “And grant us knowledge from You,” or “Bring us back, our Father, into Your law.”
This is so because the prayer is for the whole of Israel, since all that there is in the holy Divinity exists in the whole of Israel. And what is lacking in her is lacking in the whole of Israel. It follows that when we pray for the whole of Israel, we pray for the Holy Divinity, since they are the same. Thus, before the prayer, we must look into the deficiencies in Divinity, to know what needs to be corrected and filled in her.
11.125 Zohar for All,
VaYishlach [And Jacob Sent], “The Prayer of the Righteous,” It.64-65
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.
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.
11.126 Zohar for All, Truma [Donation],
“The Watchman Says, “Morning Comes,” Items 93-95
When Israel establish an order of songs and praises and the order of prayer in the synagogue, three camps of high angels gather. One camp is the holy angels who praise the Creator in the day. There are others who praise the Creator at night, but those are the ones who praise the Creator, and sing and praise with Israel during the day.
The second camp is the holy angels that are in each Kedusha that Israel sanctify below. Under their governance are all those who awaken in all the firmaments in the prayer of Israel. The third camp is the high maidens, which are seven spirits of seven palaces of Beria, which correct along with the Malchut. They correct the Malchut to bring her in before the King.
They all correct in the order of Israel that correct below, in those songs and praises and in the prayer that Israel pray. When these three camps gather, Israel begin to sing, and they chant before their Master. And the first camp, who are appointed on praising their Master during the day, con- gregate with them and sing together with them in those praises of King David.
11.127 Noam Elimelech,
One must always pray for his friend, as one cannot do much for himself, for “One does not deliver oneself from imprisonment.” But when asking for his friend, he is answered quickly. Therefore, each one should pray for his friend, and thus each works on the other’s desire until all of them are answered. This is why it was said, “Israel are Arevim [responsible/sweet] for one another,” where Arevim means sweetness, as they sweeten for each other by the prayers they pray for one another, and by this they are answered. And the essence of prayer is in the thought since in the thought, one’s prayer can be accepted easily.
11.128 Pri Tzadik,
VaYeshev, Item 3
The first Hassidim [adherents of the Hassidut movement] would spend one hour in prayer so as to aim their hearts to their Father in heaven. The word “aim” means the directness of the heart; it is to direct the heart so it is not scattered into the passions and lusts of worldly matters, but only to aim directly to his Father in heaven.
11.129 Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk,
There Is None More Whole than a Broken Heart
The Creator is not called upon out loud, but secretly, in the heart, from its interior.
11.130 Babylonian Talmud,
Masechet Taanit, 2a
To love the lord your God and to serve Him with all your hearts. Which is the work that is in the heart? Namely, it is a prayer.
11.131 Raaiah Kook,
The prayer is connecting the desire to the Creator.
11.132 Rav Menachem Mendel of Kosov,
Love of Peace
One who prays for his friend is answered first. This means that one who prays for his friend becomes a pipeline of bestowal to bestow upon his friend. And since the abundance flows through him, he is answered first. By this we can understand the verse, “He who blesses is blessed,” since one who blesses becomes a pipeline of bestowal and is therefore blessed. This is so because bracha [blessing] comes from the word brecha [pool], namely a pipeline of good bestowal. This is so specifically if the blessing and the blessed love one another and have true unity and are in wholeness. At that time, they awaken the upper pipeline which can impart through the righteous, who is the trail, as in, “The world is nourished because of Hanina, my son.”
How is there intention? One should clear his heart from all the thoughts and see himself as though he is standing before the Shechina [Divinity]. Therefore, one should settle oneself a little prior to the prayer, to aim his heart, and then pray. The first Hassidim [adherents of the Hassidut movement] would spend one hour prior to the prayer, one hour after the prayer, and extend the prayer by one hour.
11.134 Likutey Halachot [Assorted Rules],
“Synagogue Rules,” Rule One
The ascent of the soul and its completeness is mainly when all the souls merge and become one, for then they rise to the Kedusha [holiness], since the Kedusha is one. Therefore, the prayer, which is regarded as the soul, depends primarily on the unity of souls.
11.135 Likutei Tefilot,
Part 1, Prayer 65
Help and save with Your great and plentiful mercies, so that each one from Israel who is far from the goal will be brought to his real purpose. May each one shut his eyes and mind completely to the imagination of this world until he is always included in utter annulment, back and forth, within the real purpose, which is all one, all good, so that each one in Israel is rewarded with including his prayer in the One. Give good help to all, so we merit annulling all our corporeality until we are rewarded with annulling ourselves completely, to truly be included in Your oneness, which is all good, always, until our prayer is utterly complete, included together from beginning to end with the complete unity.
11.136 Meshivat Nefesh,
The war against Amalek, which is the war against the inclination, is a very long war, and submitting it is mainly by strengthening. Through everything that one experiences in one’s life, he should be very strong and not let himself fall under any circumstances, for as long as one does not despair oneself and strengthens oneself to somehow start over every time, he is regarded as winning the war, for it is impossible for man to defeat it by himself. It is as our sages said, “Were it not for the help of the Creator, he would not overcome it.” Rather, man must only commit to strengthening himself each time anew, and not retreat from this war or cause oneself despair under any circumstances.
Certainly, in this war, it is impossible to evidently see who is the winner, since the war is still long, the exile is intensifying, and each one experiences what he experiences. Yet, as long as we are holding our weapons in our hands—and our main weapon is the prayer—and as long as we do not cause ourselves despair from this war and keep gripping to our weapons, we are winning for sure, since as long as one strengthens oneself in prayer and outcry to the Creator, he is winning the war, as this is essentially the victory.
11.137 Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk,
The Dawn Star
When one has something to cry out about and wants to cry out but cannot cry out, this is the biggest outcry.
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