Rabbi Elazar began [his discourse] by quoting: "the L-rd G‑d is my salvation, by day I cry, in the night opposite you". (Psalms 88:2) Come and see: King David would rise at midnight and study the Torah and delight the King and the Queen with songs and praises. This is the joy of faith on the earth [i.e. the joy of the Shechinah], for it is the praise of faith that is seen on earth.

For numerous holy angels joyously begin to sing Above, praising at night on all sides. It is likewise below on earth, for G‑d takes pleasure in whoever on earth praises Him at night, and all the holy angels who praise G‑d listen to the man who praises at night on earth. For this chanting is perfect to increase the glory of G‑d from below and to sing joyously in unification.

Come and see: King David wrote, "the L-rd G‑d is my salvation," when is He my salvation? On that day that was preceded by [songs of] praise by night. Then is He my salvation by day.

And come and see: Whoever sings the praises of the Torah during the night before his Master is strengthened by day on the right side, for a thread of grace comes out from the right side. It is drawn upon him, and he is strengthened by it. David therefore said: "the L-rd G‑d is my salvation when I cry in the night before you."

Thus, he said: "The dead cannot praise G‑d", (Psalms 115:17) because it is the living who should praise the Living and not the dead, as it is written, "The dead cannot praise G‑d." "But we will bless G‑d" for we are living and have no part of death. Hezekiah said: "The living, the living, he shall praise you, as I do", (Isaiah 38:19) for the living has a connection with the Living [G‑d]. So is King David alive and he came near to the One Who lives forever. And whoever approaches is living, as it is written: "But you that did cleave of the L-rd your G‑d are alive, every one of you this day" (Deut. 4:4), and "And Beneyahu the son of Jehoiada, the son of a living man, of Kabzeel." (II Samuel 23:20)

BeRahamim LeHayyim: Why did the Ari and Chida include this?

Day turns into night, night to day.
Light to dark, dark to light.

"At day we relate G‑d's kindnesses, at night His faith." (Psalms 92)

The Zohar here stresses continuous service, one never-ceasing flow of attention from below to above. And the Zohar promises a reward for this faith: if you learn at night, you will receive a flow of kindness during the day.

How can we maintain this focus? How can we serve G‑d in the moment? What is our job right now?


Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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