Daily Zohar # 3706 – Balak – Weapons, Trumpets and Shofars
319. וְכֵיוָן שֶׁעֵצָה זוֹ לוֹקְחִים, אֲנִי מְכַפֵּר לַחֲטָאֵיכֶם וּמִתְקַבְּלִים בְּרָצוֹן לְפָנַי. וְכָל זֶה פּוֹקֵד הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עַל אוֹתָם הַמִּשְׁתַּדְּלִים בַּתּוֹרָה. מִשּׁוּם כָּךְ צַדִּיקִים הֵם כְּשֶׁמִּשְׁתַּדְּלִים בַּתּוֹרָה, אוֹתָם שֶׁמִּשְׁתַּדְּלִים בַּתּוֹרָה הֵם עֵצִים גְּדוֹלִים בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה.
“כִּי תָצוּר אֶל עִיר יָמִים רַבִּים לְהִלָּחֵם עָלֶיהָ לְתָפְשָׂהּ לֹא תַשְׁחִית אֶת עֵצָהּ לִנְדֹּחַ עָלָיו גַּרְזֶן כִּי מִמֶּנּוּ תֹאכֵל וְאֹתוֹ לֹא תִכְרֹת כִּי הָאָדָם עֵץ הַשָּׂדֶה לָבֹא מִפָּנֶיךָ בַּמָּצוֹר.”
“When you besiege a city for many days while making war against it to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against them; if you can eat of them, do not cut them down to use in the siege, for the tree of the field is man’s food.”
“for man is the tree of the field” refers to the wise scholar that is called ‘אדם’ ’man’ that is known above and below. ‘tree of the field’ is a great and strong tree of the field that was blessed by Hashem ‘כְּרֵיחַ שָׂדֶה אֲשֶׁר בֵּרֲכוֹ יְהוָה’ (Genesis 27:27). The field is Malchut, and she depends on the tree that is the Torah scholar that nourishes her. Because of that, it says, ‘you shall not destroy its trees. The tree is the one that advises the people of the city to correct themselves and repent.
‘לָבֹא מִפָּנֶיךָ בַּמָּצוֹר’ ‘to come before you in the siege,’ he prepares for their weapons, trumpets, and Shofars to express their strength to enter the city in the siege. The city under siege is the aspect of Binah that the Torah scholar and the people who do Teshuvah can enter with the power of repentance.
Those who follow the advice of the Torah scholar and repent, their sins are forgiven and welcomed by the Holy One Blessed be He. Happy and praised are those who make efforts with the study of the Torah. They are considered great trees in this world.
Every study and prayer is considered as an offering to God. Connection to the Torah makes a person a ‘Tree of Life,’ like a tree bearing fruits that nourish those who connect to it.
During the time of the Holy Temple, there were no prayers like we have today. The priests’ services, making daily sacrifices and the purification of the Red Heifer, were sufficient to cleanse the world and allow a continuous flow of light to the world.
After the destruction of the Holy Temple, we lost the direct connection to the Light through the work of the priests, and we had to find a way to draw the Light. The prophets arranged the prayers according to the times of day as a replacement to the sacrifices that were done in the Holy Temple. We read that from the words of the prophet Hosea; “we will offer the sacrifices of our lips.”
“קְחוּ עִמָּכֶם דְּבָרִים וְשׁוּבוּ אֶל יְהוָה אִמְרוּ אֵלָיו כָּל תִּשָּׂא עָוֹן וְקַח טוֹב וּנְשַׁלְּמָה פָרִים שְׂפָתֵינוּ.”
“Take words with you, And return to YHVH. Say to Him, “Take away all iniquity; Receive us graciously, For we will offer the sacrifices of our lips.”
Before the prayer of Mincha, which is the afternoon prayer, we say a verse from Psalms 141:2 that connects us to the Ketoret that the priest was preparing daily in the afternoon.
“תִּכּוֹן תְּפִלָּתִי קְטֹרֶת לְפָנֶיךָ; מַשְׂאַת כַּפַּי, מִנְחַת-עָרֶב.”
“Let my prayer be counted as incense(Ketoret) before you and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!”
Every study and prayer is like a weapon, a trumpet, and shofar that enable us to elevate to Binah with all the benefits that that level gives.