Week 3: Ana Bekoach
Day 17: Line 3
- We implore you, by the great power of Your right hand, release the captive.
- Accept the prayer of Your people; strengthen us, purify us, Awesome One.
- Mighty One, we beseech You, guard as the apple of the eye those who seek Your Oneness.
- Bless them, cleanse them; bestow upon them forever Your merciful righteousness.
- Powerful, Holy One, in Your abounding goodness, guide Your congregation.
- Only and Exalted One, turn to Your people who are mindful of Your holiness.
- Accept our supplication and hear our cry, You Who knows secret thoughts.
The third line of the prayer is one of unity (“those who seek Your Oneness”). The centrality of the ‘apple (pupil) of the eye’ relates to that of Tiferet, the ‘center’ Sefirah of harmony.
TIFERET – As mentioned in the initial introduction, although we focus on the lower seven Sefirot, the Middot (‘measures’), we keep in mind they are part of the larger framework of ten. The Sefirah of Tiferet is thus seen as ‘central’ in terms of it being vertically in the ‘middle’ of group, with the more ‘heavenly’ emanations above and ‘earthly/human’ ones follow.
INSIGHT ON 42
The Sefirah of Tiferet is associated with the figure of Jacob and the community of Israel. The Shekinah (Divine Presence) accompanies Israel through their exiles.
Zohar, Shemoth 5a – “Said R. Simeon: ‘When the Shekinah went down to Egypt, a celestial “living being” (Hayah, cf.Ezek. 1, 5), called “Israel”, in form like the patriarch Jacob, went down with Her, accompanied by forty-two heavenly attendants, each of whom bore a letter belonging to the Holy Name. They all descended with Jacob to Egypt, and hence it says “and these are the names of the children of Israel which came into Egypt… with Jacob”.’ When R. Isaac was once studying with R. Eleazar, the son of R. Simeon, he asked him: ‘Did the Shekinah go down to Egypt with Jacob?’ Said R. Eleazar: ‘Surely! Did not God say to Jacob, “I will go down with thee into Egypt” (Gen. XLVI, 4)?”