The Book of Zohar. Chapter “Raising a Prayer” – 2

The Book of ZoharThe Book of Zohar. Chapter “Raising a Prayer” – 2 (abridged)

The first Commandment finds its place in the blessings that King David sang during his offerings in the Torah, where man must fear his Master, for these songs stand in a place called “fear” or Malchut. And all of these written blessings constitute the essence of fear of the Creator, Malchut. And man must sing these songs with his desires in fear.

Man must achieve a level of spiritual development where his desires will coincide with what is said in the texts of these blessings. It is impossible to force someone to wish something; all our feelings are the product, the result of our spiritual level. The Light of that degree influences one’s egoism and corrects it with the power of that degree.  Therefore, man can only ask for correction, but it will come from Above, from the Light, from the Creator.

Here we have a list of degrees that man must gradually go through in his correction. These degrees are usually called Commandments, and in all there are 620 of them between us and the Creator: 613 Commandments of the Torah for Israel (altruism) and seven Commandments of the Torah for all the nations (egoism). Here they are expounded in a different way: since the most important thing is to ask for correction (and if the request is genuine, it immediately receives an answer in the form of Light that descends to it), all of man’s work on himself, all of his efforts in the study, all his work and actions are intended only for creating a true request, MAN.

Hence, the stages of man’s spiritual development are described as his path in prayer; as if he stands and prays, although this process continues within him throughout his life on earth.

The second Commandment is to love the Creator. (As it was repeatedly stated, this feeling is the result of correction; see the “Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot,” item 45, which describes the four stages of one’s sensation of the governance, from darkness to love). It is when through one’s prayer, one reaches Ahavat Olam (great love) and Le El (for the Creator). These two blessings precede the appeal, Shema Israel (Hear, O Israel) and Ve Ahavta Et (and love the Creator), the blessing of the Creator for one’s love for Him that follows the appeal Shema Israel. And this is the secret of love for the Creator.

The third Commandment takes place when one reaches a place in the prayer that is called Lehishtabe’ach (blessed is the Creator). He must then attain praises and blessings of the Creator in his desire, as in parts of the prayer Yotzer Ohr (He who creates Light) and Yotzer HaMeohrot (maker of the stars).

The fourth Commandment is to proclaim the Creator’s unity, i.e., Shema Israel (Hear, O Israel, our Creator is one!). From this point (degree) on, one must express the secret of the Creator’s unity (in all His manifestations to man) in his heart’s desire (one’s heart must be filled only with the sensation of the One, Upper Force). Afterward, the Commandment to remember and remind others of the exodus from Egypt (egoism) is observed, as it is written: “Remember how you were a slave in Egypt.”

The fifth Commandment is for a Cohen to bless the people (the Light’s descent to the Partzuf), so that Israel will be included when the prayer (the Cohanim’s blessing) ascends, for at this time (state), Knesset Israel (all those who correct themselves by aspiring to the Creator and constitute a part of Malchut de Atzilut), i.e., Malchut, receives a blessing (Light).

The sixth Commandment and the desired time (spiritual state or level when man wishes only to give all of his desires, i.e., his soul, to the Creator, meaning that he can act for the Creator’s sake in all of his desires) is to entrust one’s soul with the Creator with complete desire in one’s heart. When one falls (willingly accepts the small state) on his face (Hochma) and proclaims (raises MAN): “I entrust my soul with You, O Creator.” The intentions and desires of his heart are to give his soul completely to the Creator (this desire is the consequence of this spiritual degree and comes naturally to those who attain it).

These six Commandments of the prayer correspond to the 600 Commandments of the Torah. And the remaining thirteen Commandments are required in order to attract the thirteen properties of mercy (thirteen Midot HaRachamim), which include all the rest. The prayer is adorned with 600 Commandments, which corresponds to HGT NHY, to what the prayer, Malchut, receives from ZA.

Happy is he who heeded and focused his desire on this (who was able to raise a proper request for his correction), who completed all that was required each day (in the Creator’s daylight), and directed his heart’s intentions and desires to fulfill this Commandment, which depends on the word.

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One Comment

  1. These are helpful and clear instructions and commentary. Thank you.

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