Rabbi Shimon opened [the discussion by citing the verse:] "Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, and prayed to G‑d" (Isaiah 38:2) [and through his prayer and in the merit of the Torah that he had taught, he nullified the decree against his family that he would soon die childless]. Come and see how powerful is the might of the Torah, and how high it rises above all. Because whoever conducts his life according to the Torah has no fear of those Above or below, and all the mishaps or illnesses of this world do not concern him. Through the Torah, one is connected to the Tree of Life [which is tiferet, the source of the Torah] and learns from it every day.

The Torah teaches every person how to walk the straight path. It [also] gives advice on how to return to one's Master [if he stumbles and sins] to cancel a negative decree against him [as was the case with Hezekiah the king]. Because even though a decree has been given and sealed that it not be canceled through prayer, it shall nevertheless be canceled [through the merit of Torah study] and not be applied to him anymore in this world [for such is the power of Torah study]. For this purpose, man should fully involve himself in the study of the Torah day and night, and it should constantly be in his mind. As it is written, "you shall meditate therein day and night". (Joshua 1:8) So if his mind drifts away from the Torah - or he abandons it - it is as though he abandons the Tree of Life.

Come and see! The following is good advice for all people: when he lays down on his bed at night and goes to sleep, he should wholeheartedly take upon himself [when saying the bedtime Shema] the yoke of complete subordination to the heavenly Kingdom [and thus include himself in malchut of Atzilut] and he should quickly prepare to deposit his entrusted soul to Him [when saying the verse: "into your hands I surrender my soul"]. Then he shall be immediately spared from all bad diseases and evil spirits and they shall have no power over him.

And in the morning, as he rises from his bed, he should then bless his Master, enter into His house, and bow in front of His sanctuary in great awe. And afterward, he should recite his prayers. For he should take advice from our holy forefathers, as it is written, "But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your love; and in the fear of You, I will bow down toward Your holy temple." (Psalms 5:8)[When entering, one should invoke the merit of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.]

BeRahamim LeHayyim: What do the Ari and Chida want us to learn?

Being mindful means knowing where one is, where one has come from, and where one is going. We are encouraged here to constantly just add a little bit more of openness to G‑d's light of His Torah inside ourselves, with the promise of tremendous riches.

Note how yesterday's selection dealt with sleeping and rising. The Bereishit/beginning of one's day must be dedicated to connect to the straight and connective path, a path enlightened by the Divine light of Torah.

What does the selection mean to YOU?! Why are you reading it NOW?!

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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