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All three types of sustenance food are mentioned in Psalm 145.

Twice or Thrice?

Twice or Thrice?

Based on Zohar Bamidbar 226a


Twice or Thrice?: Based on Zohar Bamidbar 226a

All three types of sustenance food are mentioned in Psalm 145.
Twice or Thrice?
All three types of sustenance food are mentioned in Psalm 145.

Rabbi Elazar said, we learned1: Whoever recites the psalm "A praise of David" (Psalms 145) three times daily is a son of the World to Come. And we shall learn the reason: if it has to do with sustenance and food for all the worlds, then it should be twice each day, in the morning and the evening, as it is written: "When G‑d shall give you in the evening meat to eat [and in the morning your fill of bread];" (Ex. 16:8) why recite it three times daily? But he says it twice for the sustenance of mortal man, and for the whole world, and once is to give strength to that place where His hands are open.

...when He opens His hands, goodwill and satisfaction emerge for all.

These two types of sustenance differ from each other. And all three types of food are mentioned here in the psalm: "And you give them food in due time" (Psalms 145:15) refers to the food of the rich, for He gives "them sufficient food in due time." This is the first. The second is "and satisfy the desire of every living thing." (Psalms 145:16) This refers to the food of the poor, for they are satisfied not with sufficient food but with His will. The third is the verse "You open your hand"; this brings strength to that place, for when He opens His hands, goodwill and satisfaction emerge for all.

Again, I have learned that it is only twice a day for his daily food and sustenance. that is an obligation for each person. And if he says it more than twice, this is not in fulfillment of an obligation, but as praise from among the songs of praise of King David. What is the reason [for it being considered praise and not a request for sustenance]? It is because it is not fitting that a man should ask for his sustenance until after prayer, for it [prayer] is his Master's sustenance and the King should eat first, and his servants should eat afterwards.

It is written: "I am come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk." (Songs 5:1) The verse continues: "Eat, O dear ones." "I have eaten my honeycomb" refers to that part of the prayer service that is said seated. "With my honey" refers to the recital of the Shema. "I have eaten my honeycomb
[in Hebrew here, 'ya'ar']" refers to that part of the prayer service that is said seated, as the forest [literal translation of 'ya'ar'] of Lebanon: 'Who forms light and creates darkness,' including the wheel-angels and the holy living creatures, all of which are called 'the forest of trees' and the saplings in it. "With my honey" refers to the recital of the Shema, which is the sweetest of all, with much nectar and sweetness.

"I have drunk my wine" is that part of the prayer service that is said standing (Amidah), for it is the drawing down of the best of the supernal guarded wine. And this is in the first three blessings. "With my milk" refers to the final three blessings. And each are included in the other. To this point is the food of the King, "Eat, O dear ones" [(sustenance then flows to those creatures - KOL) Above], "drink deep, O living companions" below (sustenance then flows - KOL) Below.

...after judgment prevails and impends over the world, it is an inappropriate time...

And thus there is an obligation not to be concerned with food until after prayer [has drawn the flow Below, i.e. the realm of the physical]. And what is the reason that in the Minchah/afternoon prayer (we say "Tehilah l'eDavid" (Psalms 145) - KOL) before praying (the Amida - KOL). What is the reason (for changing the order - KOL)? It is (almost) evening; before there is harsh judgment [aroused in the world at night], while the King's countenance is still shining [by day] let him say "Tehilah l'eDavid" in that order (before the Amida prayer), for after judgment prevails and impends over the world, it is an inappropriate time for that [request for food. When Rabbi Elazar finished,] Rabbi Pinhas came and kissed him.

BeRahamim LeHayyim:

The physical food we eat below corresponds to the spiritual food that our soul hungers for above. And both types of food—physical and spiritual—are bountiful gifts bestowed upon us by Our Creator, "Who opens up His hand and satisfies the needs of every living creature." That statement of faith is so important that we say the entire Psalm 145 thrice daily2. To tie it to actual food consumption, it is Sefardic custom to say this verse while holding onto bread with both hands after washing, right before blessing Motzi, keeping one constantly focused on the source of our nutrition plus the Source of Blessing.

WE ARE NOT alone. For G‑d is all one, and the sparks of Holiness He scattered are present not only in the next bite of food you will eat but also in the keyboard on your fingertips and the screen in front of your eyes.

R. Avina said: "Anyone who says "Tehilah l'eDavid" (Psalms 145) three times a day is guaranteed to have a share in the World to Come...because it is written according to the Alef-Beit. If so, the same should apply to "Ashrei Temimei Derech" (Psalms 119), which is written according to an eight-fold Alef-Beit! It is because it ("Tehilah l'eDavid") says "Pote'ach Et Yadecha..." (G‑d feeds the entire world). If so, the same should apply to Hallel ha'Gadol (Psalms 136), which says "Noten Lechem l'eKhol Basar"! It is because it (Psalms 145) has both of these attributes. (Berachot 4b)
The verse is so important that if one does not have this intention while chanting it during the daily prayer, it must be repeated it with this intention at the next available opportunity.
Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, also know by the acronym "Rashbi," lived in the Holy Land in the 2nd century C.E. A disciple of Rabbi Akiva, Rashbi played a key role in the transmission of Torah, both as an important Talmudic sage and as author of the Zohar, the most fundamental work of Kabbalah. He was buried in Meron, Israel, west of Safed.
Rahmiel-Hayyim Drizin is a devoted student of many of the leading teachers of Kabbala in English in Israel and the USA. He is a criminal defense lawyer who lives in Oak Park, Illinois with his family.
Chok L'Yisrael is a daily study guide compiled by Rabbi Chaim Vital based on the weekly Torah Portion that includes sections of Torah, Prophets, Writings, Mishna, Talmud, Zohar, Jewish Law, and Jewish Ethics.
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Daniel Flushing, NY via June 25, 2013

ATT Rav Drizin Rav,
Just want to say thank you. Your Dvar Torah based on the Holy Zohar has been very helpful to me.

Thank you again

Daniel Reply

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