Daily Zohar # 1585 – Vaetchanan- Pray to the walls…
11. זֶה מִי שֶׁמִּסְתַּכֵּל בַּשְּׁכִינָה בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהוּא מִתְפַּלֵּל. וְאֵיךְ יָכוֹל לְהִסְתַּכֵּל בַּשְּׁכִינָה? אֶלָּא לָדַעַת שֶׁוַּדַּאי הַשְּׁכִינָה עוֹמֶדֶת לְפָנָיו. זֶהוּ שֶׁכָּתוּב וַיַּסֵּב חִזְקִיָּהוּ פָּנָיו אֶל הַקִּיר, שֶׁשָּׁם שׁוֹרָה הַשְּׁכִינָה. מִשּׁוּם כָּךְ לֹא צָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת חוֹצֵץ בֵּינוֹ וּבֵין הַקִּיר, וּפֵרְשׁוּהָ.
When we pray with purity and open heart the Shechina joins our prayer to support its elevation to the upper gates of heavens. When we reach the highest level of our prayer, usually during the silent standing prayer (Amidah), we cover our head and face and can look only in the book of prayer. Those who know the prayer by heart and those who meditate their own special prayer, should close their eyes because at this level the Shechina is in front of us.
Our eyes can see on the physical and spiritual levels because they connect to the Sefira of Chokmah. That is why what we see can easily affect our state of mind and emotions.
The Zohar quotes 1 Samuel 2:30 to teach us the importance of the prayer and our consciousness during the prayer.
“…כִּי-מְכַבְּדַי אֲכַבֵּד וּבֹזַי יֵקָלּוּ”
“…Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.”
During our prayers and meditations we should not have any distraction. The focus is on building our vessels gradually through the meditation and purify the thoughts from all distraction. We should not look to the sides even if there is a noise. We should not look at our watch because it drops us to the limitation of the world of Malchut. No smartphones, unless they display text and images that help us with the meditation.
In some synagogues you may see people that when they arrive to the silent connection they face the wall or stand directly behind a chair. They do this to create a separation between themselves and the rest of the world. This custom comes from the way King Hezekia prayed to God.
“וַיַּסֵּב חִזְקִיָּהוּ פָּנָיו, אֶל-הַקִּיר; וַיִּתְפַּלֵּל, אֶל-יְהוָה”
“Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to YHVH”
The Zohar explains that our prayers should come from the walls of our hearts. That was King Hezekiah’s action. Turning himself to the wall represented the change he made inside. Then he made his prayers to YHVH and as we studied in DZ 1851 his prayer was answered.