THE word sin refers to Samuel, who is the serpent; 23b destroys means the destroying angel, his anger, the Holy One who wishes not that these angels should seize hold of our prayers. The destroying angels are under the control of seven chiefs, each having seventy others subject to his orders and authority. These are always ready to seize a man's prayer as it proceeds from his lips, and there are myriads of them. When a man with fringed garment and phylacteries girded upon his head and arm, uttereth a sincere prayer, scripture saith: "And all the people of the earth shall see, thou bearest the name of Jehovah and shall be afraid of thee" (Deuter xxviii. 10). As we have before stated, the name of Jehovah is contained in the phylactery on the head of every suppliant, and when thus seen these destroying angels fly quickly away as it is written: "A thousand shall fall at thy side and ten thousand at thy right hand" (Ps. xci. 7). When Jacob by divine clairvoyance saw the afflictions and the captivity his descendants would endure and suffer in the later days, it is said that he was greatly afraid and distressed (Gen. xxxii. 7). This was why he divided the people into three companies, as it is written: "And he divided the children unto Leah and unto Rachel and unto the two handmaids, and he put the handmaids and their children foremost, Leah and
her children in the middle and Rachel and Joseph hindmost" (Gen. xxxiii. 1, 2). By these three companies or divisions were prefigured the three captivities: the handmaids and their children referring to the captivity of Edom or Egypt, Leah and her children, and Rachel with Joseph, to the other two captivities.
Foreseeing the anguish and misery that would be endured by his descendants in the future, this is why he prayed and vowed, saying, "If God will be with me, and will keep me in the way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and raiment to put on so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then shall the Lord be my Adonai (Gen. xxviii. 20-21). David also alluded to the captivity of the Schekina, foreseeing the children of Israel returning with joy to their fatherland and in the exuberance of his joy, composed ten different songs, the last of which is entitled "A Prayer of the afflicted one, when overwhelmed, he poureth out his complaint before the Lord" (Ps. cii.). The prayer of the poor and suffering has precedence with the Holy One and is regarded before the prayer of all others. And what is the Poor man's prayer? It is the evening prayer which he is privileged to utter when by himself and alone. The upright poor man is the descendant of Jacob under the power of other nations, and resembles the evening prayer in that he is in the night of captivity. The prayer of the Sabbath day is a charity or good deed done to the poor, and is as the rising sun that beams upon everything and is a benefit to all. For this reason a man should regard himself as a mendicant at the King's gate or door, as humility of heart and mind should be the chief feature in praying during the week days especially when, girded with the phylacteries, a man stands as a suppliant and mendicant before the palace gates of Adonai, the Great King, and prays: "Open my lips, Oh Adonai, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise" (Ps. li. 17). During week days, an angel like an eagle descends as soon as the evening prayer begins and taking it between his wings ascends and presents it then to the Holy One.
This ministering angel is called Ouriel (light of God) when the prayer is an act of piety and love, and Nouriel (fire of God) when it proceeds from earnestness of heart and feeling which is as a fiery glow coming forth from the soul within, as it is written: "A fiery stream issued and came forth"23b (Dan. vii. 9). During morning prayer, the ministering angel who descends is in form like a lion, and after taking it, ascends again heavenward. During vespers, or evening prayer, the ministering angel is in
form of an ox and under the rulership of Gabriel.23b-24a On the Sabbath day the Holy One descends Himself from heaven accompanied by the patriarchs, in order to welcome his only daughter. This is the mystery and occult meaning of the word Sabbath, She-Bath, the signification of which is, for she is his only child.
When the Sabbath dawns, the Holy One descends from his throne of glory to greet its coming, and myriads of angelic beings assemble and sing their hymn of praise and adoration: "Lift up your heads, oh ye gates, and be ye lift up ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in."
Who is the King of Glory! The Lord, strong and mighty; the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting door, and the King of glory shall come in. Who is the King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts! He is the King of Glory. (Ps. xxiv. 9.) Then are opened the gates of the seven palaces, the first of which is the palace of love, the second of reverence, the third of mercy, the fourth of the luminous mirror, the fifth of the non-luminous mirror, the sixth of justice, the seventh of judgment. These palaces are alluded to in the words Brashith bra Alhim. (Gen. 1. i.) Brashith divided into Bra-shith signifies He created six, viz., the six palaces, and Alhim along with them forms the seventh. Corresponding to them are also seven palaces here below on the earth plane, an allusion to which is made in the psalm beginning with the words, "Give unto the Lord, oh ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength." (Ps. xxix. 1.) In this psalm the words, "the voice of the Lord," are found repeated seven times, as also the divine name Jehovah eighteen times, corresponding to the number of worlds that the Holy One visits, as described in Psalm lxviii. 18. The chariot of God, viz., the divine form in which He manifests his glory, is surrounded by tens of thousands and myriads of angels, and in this form of manifestation He visits the eighteen systems of worlds in the universe. The gates of the palace whither prayers ascend are strongly guarded, but they find no entrance unless sincere and the result of meditation, whilst the palace of the Shekina or Divine Presence is always open, and it is of prayers sent up to it that the Psalmist refers. "They shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies at the gate" (Ps. cxxvii. 5), that is, the King's gate, or gate of the Divine Shekina, to whom all prayers from our Higher Self, or the divine within us, should be addressed direct and without any
intermediary; because what cometh from the divine, unto the divine returneth, like the Scripture with all its positive and negative commandments24a and precepts which came direct from the name of Jehovah, as it is written: "This is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations." (Ex. iii. 15.) The word shemi (my name), augmented with the two first letters yod and he (I and H) of the divine name has the numerical value of 365, equal to the number of negative precepts or prohibitions of the law. Also the word zicri (my memorial). augmented with i the two last letters of the same name, vau and he (V and I1), in its numerical value represents the 245 positive precepts or commandments of scripture. It is for this reason that the liturgy of the Shema, containing 248 words, is repeated before the benediction, "Blessed be thou, Oh Lord, who hast chosen thy people Israel in love."