"...and the report (in Hebrew, 'kol', lit. ' voice') was heard in Pharaoh's house." Rabbi Aba opened with: "My soul longs, indeed, it faints for the courtyards of the L-rd; my heart and my flesh cry out to the living G‑d." (Psalms 84:3) Come and see: When a man prays before his Master, he should first recite his daily blessings and say his prayers at the proper times.

In the morning, he is to be united with G‑d's right [related to chesed]. At Minchah he is to be united with the left [related to gevura]. Prayers and supplications are necessary each and every day, so as to be united with G‑d. And, as has already been explained, when he prays before his Master, he must not speak out loud, for whoever speaks out loud will find his prayer is not heard.

Why? Because the prayer is not an audible voice, nor is audible voice a prayer.1 What then is a prayer? It is a different voice that which depends on the voice that is heard. What is the voice that is heard? It is kol spelled with the letter vav [Zeir Anpin], whereas the voice attached is kol without the letter vav [referring to malchut].

Thus, a man should never speak out loud when he prays, but pray in a whisper [related to malchut]. This prayer is always accepted. This is learned from the words, "and the voice was heard", spelled without the letter vav, in which it "is heard". This is a prayer said in a whisper, as is written of Hannah, "but her voice was not heard." (I Samuel 1:13) This is the prayer that G‑d accepts — a prayer that is made willingly and intentionally and is properly performed by a man concerned with the unity of his Master every day in the proper manner.

Rabbi Elazar said: A hidden [i.e. quiet] voice is the supernal voice [in bina] from which all voices [i.e. voices of the 6 extremities of Zeir Anpin] are derived [for a quiet prayer has no accuser nor evil blemish]. But a voice without the letter vav is the prayer Below, about to rise and be elevated to the vav [Zeir Anpin] and be joined with him [to receive the flow from bina and through this fulfill one's requests in prayer].

Come and see: "and the voice was heard." This is the "voice" without the letter vav [that of malchut], the voice that weeps for the first Temple and the second Temple. It is "heard", as is written, "A voice was heard in Rama." (Jeremiah 31:14) What is "in Rama (lit. 'on high')?" It is the Supernal World, the world to come [bina]. This is indicated by the term "between Rama [bina] and Bet-el [malchut]" (Judges 4:5) which means, "for ever and ever" [literally 'from world to world', i.e. from the upper world of bina to the lower world of malchut]. "In Rama" refers to the Supernal World, for when it was heard in Rama, then it is written, "And on that day did G‑d the L-rd of Hosts call for weeping and for mourning" (Isaiah 22:12) (i.e. to arouse great distress concerning the destruction of the Temple and the exile of Israel).

"...and the voice was heard high" above in the highest [realms, i.e. the Voice of malchut was heard high in bina] Why so? Because the letter vav [of Zeir Anpin] distanced itself and departed from it. Then it is written, "Rachel weeping for her children [who are in exile]; she refused to be comforted for her children because he is not." (Jeremiah 31:14) It is written "Because he is not," instead of, 'they are not'. It is written "he is not", as we explained, because her husband [Zeir Anpin] is not with her [the Shechinah]. If her husband had been with her, she would have been comforted for her children, and her children would not be in exile.2 But because "he is not" with her, she is not comforted for her children, and they were removed from her [and are in exile], because he [Zeir Anpin] was not with her.

Come and see: "in Pharaoh's house" alludes to the supernal realm [i.e. in bina] which is the ‘house’ from which the lights [chassadim] and candles [gevurot] are ‘revealed’ [rooted in the Hebrew ‘paru’a’, alluding to ‘Pharaoh’], alluding that all that was hidden is there revealed. ["In Pharoah's house" hints to bina.] G‑d then brings out all the lights and candles to shine upon that voice, the voice spelled without the letter vav [i.e. to illuminate malchut].

Come and see: When G‑d raises this voice from the dust, it will join the vav [joining Zeir Anpin and the Shechinah, as vav stands for Zeir Anpin, corresponding to the letter vav of Havaya]. Then all that was lost [the lights and the flow that should have been received by malchut] by them [Israel] at the time of exile will be returned to them. They will enjoy the supernal lights increased upon them from the Supernal World, as it is written, "And it shall come to pass on that day, that a great shofar [corresponding to bina] shall be blown, and they who were lost in the land of Ashur, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt (i.e. the place of kelipot) shall come and worship G‑d in the holy mountain at Jerusalem" (Isaiah 27:13) [at the time of redemption].

BeRahamim LeHayyim:What does this mean to you, and why is it being revealed to you now?

The letter vav is a hook, a connector. It can be used for word "and," "or," or "but." It can also change the past tense to future, or the future tense to past. It thus brings together both time and space. Accordingly the word voice in Hebrew is kol; spelled fully kof-vav-lamed. A voice that connects will get results, as the above Zohar says. This is a kol spelled with the vav/connector. A voice that does not have the connector stays below and the prayer does not rise on high.

We learn that when one prays for another, he receives blessing first. Certainly ask for your own needs ["If I am not for myself, who will be for me' (Avot 1:14)] but think also of your Other, a dear fellow in need ["And if I am for myself only, what am I" (Ibid.)]. Do this now ["If not now, when' (Ibid.)]

To solicit prayer for the entire Jewish people is at the heart of many of the Lamentations we say while mourning our collective loss of the sacred place of connection. But have no fear. For the Holy Temple too is a place of higher consciousness, a spiritual vortex beyond the strictures of any physical locale. It is to this place that prayers—when filled with the vav of connection to the other — rise and are received.

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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