זורע צדקות, מצמיח ישועות

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

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

הנה מה שכתוב לשון זריעה במצות הצדקה

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

וכמו שכתוב בפסוק: זרעו לכם לצדקה גו׳

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

יובן על פי מה שאמרו רז״ל: רבי אליעזר יהיב פרוטה לעני, והדר מצלי, דכתיב: אני בצדק אחזה פניך

may be understood in the light of a teaching of our Sages:3 “Rabbi Eliezer would give a coin to a poor person, and would then pray, for it is written,4 ‘Through tzedek will I behold Your face,’” and tzedek (“righteousness”) is closely related to tzedakah (“charity”).

פירוש

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:

כי גילוי אלקותו יתברך, המתגלה במחשבתו של אדם וכונתו בתפלה

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

כל חד לפום שיעורא דיליה

in each individual according to his own measure —

הוא בתורת צדקה וחסד ה׳ מעולם ועד עולם על יראיו

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

כלומר, שאור ה׳ אין סוף ברוך הוא, המאיר למעלה בעולמות עליונים בהארה רבה, בבחינת גילוי רב ועצום

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,

עד שבאמת הן בטלין במציאות, וכלא ממש חשיבי קמיה

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

ונכללין באורו יתברך

and are absorbed in His light.

והן הן ההיכלות עם המלאכים והנשמות שבהן, המבוארים בזהר הקדוש בשמותם למקומותם, בסדר התפלה שסדרו לנו אנשי כנסת הגדולה

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.

הנה משם מאיר האור כי טוב לעולם השפל הזה

Now, this6 “light, which is good,” radiates from there to this lowly world,

על יראי ה׳ וחושבי שמו

upon7 “those that fear G‑d and meditate upon His Name,”

החפצים לעבדו בעבודה שבלב, זו תפלה

who desire to worship Him with the8 “service of the heart, meaning prayer.”

וכמו שכתוב: וה׳ יגיה חשכי

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

והנה ירידת הארה זו למטה, לעולם הזה, נקראת בשם חסד ה׳

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

For 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,”

המכונה בשם מים, היורדים ממקום גבוה למקום נמוך כו׳

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

“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.