Week 3 Introduction

The third week of the Omer count relates to Tiferet on the central column of the “Tree of Life” diagram. This particular Sefirah relates to a number of themes including; harmony, tikkun, unity, Jacob, the messiah and prayer.

“Because Tiferet symbolizes the state of harmony among the Sefirot, it came to be associated with the traditional name for God in rabbinic literature — Ha-Kadosh Barukh Hu (The Holy One Blessed be He). Tiferet was understood to be the subject of many traditional prayers. Prayers that emphasized God as father and king were usually prayers referring to Tiferet in particular or, through it, to the Sefirot in general. In this way Tiferet was often portrayed as the representative of the other Sefirot. Tiferet came to symbolize the aspect of God that was known as the traditional God of Judaism, the God of the Hebrew Bible. Tiferet was the Sefirah that most closely symbolized the transcendent deity. If was the Sefirah that spoke at Sinai as the representative of the other Sefirot.”
The Mystic Quest: An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism, David S. Ariel, Jason Aronson, London, 1988, p. 81

As prayer relates to Tiferet regarding the idea of connecting ‘above and below,’ we will examine the seven Middot this week through an ancient prayer called the “Ana Bekoach.” The prayer is divided into 7 verses of 6 words each. Each of these verses corresponds to the seven lower Sefirot in their order.

There are complex mystical studies on this prayer on the Internet. (Some more kosher than others!) We will offer more basic information, including looking at the ‘chibur’ (joining, mathematical product) of lines (7) and words (6) equaling 42. This is another important concept, especially with regard to the idea of a ‘journey’ establishing unity.

For each day we will look at:

  • The entire prayer with line for the day highlighted and discuss aspects of it
  • Overview of concepts
  • Insights from; Zohar, Midrash Rabbah, Talmud & other sources

Here is a modern translation of the prayer that we will be using:

  1. We implore you, by the great power of Your right hand, release the captive.
  2. Accept the prayer of Your people; strengthen us, purify us, Awesome One.
  3. Mighty One, we beseech You, guard as the apple of the eye those who seek Your Oneness.
  4. Bless them, cleanse them; bestow upon them forever Your merciful righteousness.
  5. Powerful, Holy One, in Your abounding goodness, guide Your congregation.
  6. Only and Exalted One, turn to Your people who are mindful of Your holiness.
  7. Accept our supplication and hear our cry, You Who knows secret thoughts.

An 8th line may be added as is done with the Shema and other prayers of unity, to make the Holy Name manifest in our world:

“Blessed be the name of the glory of His kingdom forever and ever.”