It is important to know the meaning of every word that you pray, and to focus your heart on their meaning as you utter those words.

But the words themselves, the very sounds and utterances, they too are instruments of great power. The very act of bonding with the words that you utter is itself a divine service, one which can carry a person to the highest heights—if only he will say those words with gusto and with joy.


ריב׳יש ע״ה אמר צוהר תעשה לתיבה, שתהא התיבה מצהיר. על דרך כי יש בכל אות עולמות ונשמות ואלהות, ועולים ומתקשרים ומתיחדים זע״ז, עם אלהות, ואח״כ מתיחדים ומתקשרים יחד האותיות ונעשה התיבה, ומתיחדים יחודים אמתיים באלהות. וצריך כל אדם לכלול נשמתו בבל בחי׳ ובחי׳ מהנז׳, ואז מתיחדים כל העולמות כאחד ועולים ונעשה שמחה ותענוג גדול עד אין שיעור. וזהו תחתים שנים ושלישים וכו‘, דהיינו עולמות ונשמות ואלהות, תלת עלמין אית ליה וכו׳,,וצריך לשמוע בכל תיבה כל מה שאומר, שהשכינה, עולם הדיבור, מדברת, והוא שיש לה צוהר, שתצא בבהירות ולעשות נחת רוח ליוצרו. וצריך אמונה גדולה לזה, דהשכינה נקראת אמונה אומן, ובלא אמונה נקרא ח״ו נרגן מפריד אלוף

Noah was told, “Make a tzohar for the ark.” The word ark in Hebrew is teivah, which also means “a word.” A tzohar is something that shines. So the verse could mean, “Make each word you say shine.”

The ark had a lower floor, a second floor and a top floor. These correspond to the three levels of Worlds, Souls and G‑dliness—the three planes of reality of which the Zohar speaks.

So too, within every letter of every word there is an aspect of worldliness, a soul, and G‑dliness. The worldliness is its outer manifestation, the sound and form of the letter; the G‑dliness is its inner, boundless energy; and its soul is that which brings this boundless energy and this outer form into union. As you say these words in your prayer, these three aspects all ascend, bond and unite with one another and with the G‑dliness beyond.

This is all speaking of the letters alone. Beyond that, the letters bond to form words, forming true unions with G‑dliness. As all this occurs, you must include your own soul in every one of these stages, so that all the worlds unite as one and ascend together, causing great joy and immeasurable delight.

You must listen to every word that you say, for the Shechinah, the Divine Presence, is speaking. The Shechinah, you see, relates to the world of speech. It is the feminine aspect of G‑d, so to speak—as G‑d speaks back to Himself from within His world.

Yet that is only when each word has a tzohar—when the words come out shining because you say them to provide pleasure to your Creator.

Saying the words with such joy that the Shechinah speaks within them requires great faith, as the Shechinah is called “true faith.” But one who does not say them this way is called a “grumbler who alienates the Master of the Universe”—heaven forbid.

—Tzava’at Harivash 75