Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Power of Prayer - Part II, Nefesh HaChaim

Rabbi Chaim Volozhin, a Torah Giant during the 1800's, wrote his famous work, "Nefesh HaChaim" which includes a lot of Torah on the level of Sod, often quoting from the Zohar (among other works) in order to make the reader much more aware of the power of his Torah learning and tefillos (among other things).

In Chapter 10 of the second volume of "Nefesh HaChaim" we read the following:

...Each word from the Tefillah, or of any berachah, ascends by way of masters of voices and [those that are] winged that take it, to perform its' work in The Upper Root that is designated for it, and he (the person who recites the Tefillah or Berachah), is made, so to speak, into a partner with the Creator, to build and plant many, many worlds.

As is written in "Tikkunim" - Tikkun 18, 35b: "And when a person utters "vapors" and words in his prayer, a number of birds open their wings and their mouths to accept them (the tefillos). This being [the meaning behind] that which is written, "For a bird of the Heaven will carry the voice, and the master of wings..." (Koheles: 10, 20) And the Holy One, Blessed is He, takes those words and builds
worlds with them, regarding which it is written, "For when the new heavens and the new earth..." (Yeshayahu: 66, 2) And the Sod (Secret) of this thing is [in accordance with the following pasuk:] "And I Shall Place My Word in your mouth... to plant the Heavens..." (Ibid.: 51, 16) "And to say to Tzion, you are My nation." - Do not read "Ammi" - "My nation", rather, "Immi" - "with me", with My Partnership..."

And the "thinking one" will understand from that which he knows, that it was not for naught that 120 Elders, among them
many prophets, establish a small supplication and prayer like this (note: The Anshei Kenesses HaGedolah - The Men of the Great Assembly composed the Shemoneh Esrei prayer that we recite). Rather, they contemplated through Ruach HaKodesh (Divine Inspiration) and the contemplation of their Elevated Prophecy, it being clear to them the paths of all the orders of Creation and the chapters of the "Merkavah" - the "Heavenly Chariot" (can only be contemplated on a very high spiritual level). For this they made the foundation for, and established the nature of these Berachos and the Tefillos, specifically [in this form - as we have it today], being that they saw and contemplated how every word would have its [spiritual] light dwell on it, which is very necessary for the tikkun ("repair") of the many worlds and [spiritual] forces, and the order of the "Merkavah".


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