We begin with a benediction, to bless and to give thanks to the Lord, for He is good: my soul has heard and was revived by a good tiding— there is no Good but Torah, the Torah of the Lord is whole— referring to the completion of the whole Talmud in most cities and congregations of our followers. Gratitude for the past, and a request for the future: may G‑d grant and continue to strengthen their hearts among the mighty with the might of Torah in like manner from year to year, and make known to mankind the 'might of the Oral Torah and its strong (עוז ) power.

King Solomon, peace be to him, explained: "She girds her loins with strength (עוז ) .. ." The "loins" are the faculty which supports the whole body, with the head that was put and stands over them; and they are the ones that take and bring (the body) to its desired destination. And just as it is with the corporeality of the body, so it is with [the aspect of] the spiritual of the Divine soul. The true belief in the One G‑d, the blessed En Sof—

[Who permeates all worlds and encompasses all worlds, and there is no place void of Him above to no end and below to no limit, and likewise in all four directions, truly in a state of infinitude, and likewise in the aspects of "year" and "soul", as known.]

Now, this belief is referred to as the faculty of the "loins" which upholds and sustains the "head," meaning the intellect that contemplates and cogitates on the greatness of the blessed En Sof in the aspects of "world," "year," "soul," and on the magnitude of His kindness and His wonders with us, that we are "A people near unto Him" and truly "To cleave unto Him." (Thus it is) known from the saying: "One hour of repentance and good deeds in this world is better than all the life of the world to come." For the world to come is but a gleam and reflection of the [aspect called] Shechinah, "Who dwells" .... and was created by the single yud of His blessed Name. ... Repentance and good deeds, however, truly bring Israel nigh unto their Father in Heaven, unto His Being and Essence, as it were, [the aspect of infinitude, indeed], and as it is written: "His splendour is over the earth and the heaven, and He exalts the horn of His people" ...; "Who has sanctified us (to Himself) through His commandments, and commanded us." ... And as waters (reflect) the face .., from this contemplation are born the intellectual or the natural awe and love, that there be a state of "Their heart cried unto the Lord," or a state of "Flashes of fire, a mighty flame"— on a level of "advance" (ratzo), and, afterwards, on a level of "retreat" (shov)— due to the fear of G‑d in his heart and being abashed by His greatness ... This is the aspect of "the left hand parries," as it is written of the Giving of the Torah: "The people saw and they trembled, and they stood from afar .. ." And these are the faculties of the arms and the body of the soul.

But what gives the power and strength to the faculty of the loins— to support and sustain the head and the arms? It is the occupation with, and the study of the halachot in the Oral Torah— which is the [state of] manifestation of the Supreme Will (ratzon ha'elyon) For though "The Torah derives from chochmah," its source and [its] root surpasses exceedingly the rank of chochmah, and is [that which is] referred to as the blessed Supreme Will, as it is written: "As with a shield ratzon taetrenu (You encompass him with favour)"— as a crown which is over the brains that are in the head, [and as known from what has been explained on the verse "A woman of valour is the crown of her husband"— and "whoever repeats halachot every day..." ].

This is the meaning of "She girds her loins with strength": there is no strength but Torah, for it gives power and strength to the faculty of the loins— which are girded and embodied in it to strengthen and fortify its "arms," namely the intellectual or natural awe and love, each one according to his measure. ( As regards supporting and sustaining the faculty of the "head" of the soul, i.e. the intellect that contemplates ... [Solomon] said: "She perceives that her trade is good," as explained elsewhere.)

However, the occasion and time for the strengthening and fortification of the "arms" and the "head" is the time of the morning-prayer. For above that is the time of compassion and a time of Supreme favour. And, therefore, that I will seek after from those who seek the Lord: let them both contemplate and ponder, and have as a reminder between their eyes, all that I wrote them last year in general, and especially with respect to the devotion of prayer from the depth of the heart. Day after day they should seek the Lord with all their heart and with all their soul, to pour out their soul as water in the presence of the Lord, and as the saying of our sages, of blessed memory, in Sifre: "To the extent of pressing out the soul..."

And now once more I put forth my hand a second time to an additional explanation and twofold request, extended and laid out before all like-minded people, those nigh and those afar, to take upon themselves (the following):

On all week-days, businessmen, who do not have so much time, should not descend before the Ark. Only from those who have the time [either teachers, or such as are supported by their parents] who are able to prolong the morning-prayer to at least about an hour and a half— on all week-days, shall one descend before the Ark, according to lot or by consent of the majority. And he should gather about him all those who are supported by their parents, or teachers, who are able to prolong like himself. This (arrangement) is not to be changed, I beg and beseech you!

On the Sabbaths and Festivals, however, when all the businessmen, too, have the time and opportunity to prolong their prayers with the devotion of their heart and soul to the Lord. Moreover, theirs is the duty to do so with exceeding uplifting and abundant strength, as stated in Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim, and as it is written in the Torah or Moses: "Six days you shall work... and the seventh day is a Sabbath unto the Lord your G‑d" stating expressly that (the Sabbath) is wholly unto the Lord. On a Sabbath or Festival, therefore, they too can descend before the Ark, according to lot or by assent of the majority, as I wrote last year.

And it should be made known that, G‑d willing, it is my intention to send spies secretly to all congregations, to find out and to inform about anyone that is able, and about anyone that has the time to prolong and meditate on prayer but is slothful. He shall be punished by estrangement, to be pushed away with both hands when he comes hither to hear the "Words of the living G‑d." And from the negative you can infer the positive. But with those that shall obey it will be well, and the blessing of goodness shall come unto them— "There is no Good but Torah..."