[It is written:] “He sows tzedakot and causes deliverance to sprout forth.”1

"זוֹרֵעַ צְדָקוֹת, מַצְמִיחַ יְשׁוּעוֹת".

Tzedakot, the plural form of tzedakah, can mean both “acts of righteousness” and “acts of charity.”

The use of the idiom “sowing” in relation to the commandment of charity,

הִנֵּה, מַה שֶּׁכָּתוּב לְשׁוֹן "זְרִיעָה" בְּמִצְוַת הַצְּדָקָה,

and likewise in the verse, “Sow for yourselves for tzedakah, [and reap according to the measure of chesed,]”2

וּכְמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב בַּפָּסוּק: "זִרְעוּ לָכֶם לִצְדָקָה כוּ'",

may be understood in the light of a teaching of our Sages: “Rabbi Elazar would give a coin to a poor person and would then pray, for it is written, ‘Through tzedek will I behold Your face,’34 and tzedek (“righteousness”) is closely related to tzedakah (“charity”).

יוּבַן עַל פִּי מַה שֶּׁאָמְרוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ־זִכְרוֹנָם־לִבְרָכָה: "רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר יָהִיב פְּרוּטָה לְעָנִי וַהֲדַר מַצְלֵּי, דִּכְתִיב: אֲנִי בְּצֶדֶק אֶחֱזֶה פָנֶיךָ".

This means, i.e., the reason prayer is deemed “seeing G-d’s face” and the reason why this is attained by prefacing prayer with charity is:


that the manifestation of Divinity—which is revealed in the thought of man and in his devotion during prayer,

כִּי גִּילּוּי אֱלֹקוּתוֹ יִתְבָּרֵךְ הַמִּתְגַּלֶּה בְּמַחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם וְכַוָּנָתוֹ בִּתְפִלָּתוֹ,

in each individual according to his own measure—

כָּל חַד לְפוּם שִׁיעוּרָא דִילֵיהּ,

is [granted to man] by way of Divine charity and by [the descent of] “G-d’s lovingkindness from world to world upon those who fear Him….”5

הוּא בְּתוֹרַת צְדָקָה "וְחֶסֶד ה' מֵעוֹלָם וְעַד עוֹלָם עַל יְרֵאָיו כוּ'".

This means that the light of G-d, the [infinite] Ein Sof, radiates with so (quantitatively) great and so (qualitatively) intense a manifestation in the higher worlds above,

כְּלוֹמַר, שֶׁאוֹר ה' אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא הַמֵּאִיר לְמַעְלָה בְּעוֹלָמוֹת עֶלְיוֹנִים, בְּהֶאָרָה רַבָּה בִּבְחִינַת גִּילּוּי רַב וְעָצוּם,

that they (and the beings which inhabit them) are truly in a state of self-nullification, and considered as truly naught before Him,

עַד שֶׁבֶּאֱמֶת הֵן בְּטֵלִין בִּמְצִיאוּת וּכְלָא מַמָּשׁ חֲשִׁיבֵי קַמֵּיהּ

and are absorbed in His light.

וְנִכְלָלִין בְּאוֹרוֹ יִתְבָּרֵךְ,

These [higher worlds] are the heichalot, with the angels and souls within them, that are spoken of in the sacred Zohar by their names and according to their places [and levels, as alluded to] in the liturgy arranged for us by the Men of the Great Assembly.

וְהֵן הֵן הַהֵיכָלוֹת עִם הַמַּלְאָכִים וְהַנְּשָׁמוֹת שֶׁבָּהֶן, הַמְבוֹאָרִים בַּזּוֹהַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בִּשְׁמוֹתָם לִמְקוֹמוֹתָם בְּסֵדֶר הַתְּפִלָּה שֶׁסִּדְּרוּ לָנוּ אַנְשֵׁי כְּנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה,

Now, this “light, which is good,”6 radiates from there to this lowly world,

הִנֵּה, מִשָּׁם מֵאִיר הָאוֹר כִּי טוֹב לָעוֹלָם הַשָּׁפָל הַזֶּה,

upon “those who fear G-d and meditate upon His Name,”7

עַל "יִרְאֵי ה' וְחוֹשְׁבֵי שְׁמוֹ",

who desire to worship Him with the “service of the heart, meaning prayer.”8

הַחֲפֵצִים לְעָבְדוֹ בַּ"עֲבוֹדָה שֶׁבַּלֵּב זוֹ תְּפִלָּה",

As it is written, “And G-d will enlighten my darkness,”9 even in this world, which is so lowly that G-dliness is generally not manifest here.

וּכְמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב: "וַה' יַגִּיהַּ חָשְׁכִּי".

Now, the descent of this illumination downward to this world is called “G-d’s kindness,”

וְהִנֵּה, יְרִידַת הֶאָרָה זוֹ לְמַטָּה לָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה, נִקְרֵאת בְּשֵׁם "חֶסֶד ה'",

Though this illumination is drawn down as a response to the Divine service of the Jew, it outshines it out of all proportion. Its bestowal upon the lower worlds is thus truly an act of “G-d’s kindness,”

which is referred to as water,10 for it descends from a high place to a low place….11

הַמְכוּנֶּה בְּשֵׁם "מַיִם", הַיּוֹרְדִים מִמָּקוֹם גָּבוֹהַּ לְמָקוֹם נָמוּךְ כוּ':

“G-d’s kindness” is drawn down through man’s “arousal initiated from below.” It is thus the coin that one gives a pauper that grants the giver the gift of “beholding G-d’s face”—the internal aspect of G-dliness—during prayer. In this way, man’s kindness and tzedakah elicit G-d’s kindness and tzedakah.