The Book of Zohar. Chapter “The Torah and Prayer”

The Book of Zohar.The Book of Zohar. Chapter “The Torah and Prayer” (abridged)

180. Rabbi Shimon opened (the way for the Light) and said: “It is written that Hizkiyahu (Hezekiah) turned his face (property of bestowal) to the wall (Screen) and prayed to the Creator (raised MAN).” Let us see how great and potent the power of the Torah (force of bestowal) is, and how high it rises above all (the egoistic disturbances). For he who engages in the Torah (self correction) has no fear of those Above or below (forces, obstructions), nor of any hardships or illnesses of this world, for he is connected to the Tree of Life and learns from it each day (realizes that all the obstructions are meant to help him learn to be similar to the Creator).

181. For the Torah teaches man how to walk a path of truth; it teaches him how to return to his Master and cancel what is predestined for him (correction through suffering). And even if man is shown that what is predestined for him cannot be canceled, it is nonetheless completely canceled and annulled, then disappears at once and does not prevail over him in this world. Hence, man should study the Torah day and night (when the Light shines or does not shine for him), and never abandon it (as a means of correction), as it is written: “Contemplate Him day and night.” Whoever abandons the Torah (his corrections), it is as though he abandons the Tree of Life (the ray of Light that connects him to the World of Infinity, to the root of his soul)

“Contemplate Him day and night” – “Him” implies the Creator! In another place in The Zohar, it is said that Hizkiyahu’s prayer was accepted by the Creator, for nothing (no egoistic desires) separated him from the wall (the Shechina, the sensation of the Creator, akin to the Wailing Wall).

182. Come and see – such is the advice given to man: when at night (powerless) he goes to bed (in the state of lying down, the body and the head are equally important – there’s no control over self), then he must accept the Creator’s governance from Above (above his reason, which is egoistically opposed to bestowal, and wholeheartedly entrust his soul to Him (rise above his egoistic desire). Thus, man is immediately spared all the (egoistic errors) illnesses, slander, and evil eyes, and they will no longer have power over him.

183. And in the morning (when the Light shines for him), when he rises from his bed (the head rises above the body and controls it), he must bless the Creator (for this) and enter (with his properties) His house, and bow before Him (take all the conditions of the Upper Nature upon himself) in fear and trepidation (because he will not be able to do it without help from the Light), and only then should he pray (attain the ability to be grateful, so that his “I” would agree to it). He should take advice of his holy Patriarchs (forces of the Upper degree), as it is written, “By Your great mercy shall I come into Your house, to bow in fear of Your holy greatness.”

184. Man cannot enter the house of prayer (reveal empty and uncorrected desires within him) unless he first receives permission from Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov (the three lines), for they have corrected the prayer to the Creator (so that he could follow the middle line). It is therefore written, “And in Your great mercy shall I enter into Your house.” The aforesaid refers to Avraham, for his property is mercy, the Sefira Hesed (the right line). “I will bow before Your holy chamber” refers to Yitzchak, for thanks to him Malchut is called Heichal – chamber, the Sefira Gevura (the left line). “In fear and trepidation” refers to Yaakov, for his property is the Sefira Tifferet, called “fear” (the middle line). And man must first enter into these properties, and only then enter the house of prayer to raise his prayers. Such a state is described by the verse, “Here is My slave, Israel, by whom I am adorned.”

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