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Pesukei D’Zimrah-Protecting Our Prayers

Prayer which is not wholehearted is pursued by numbers of destructive Angels, according to the verse, “All her pursuers have overtaken her (Lamentations 1:3).” Therefore, it is good advice to preface prayer with the verse, “He, the Merciful One, is forgiving of iniquity and does not destroy; frequently He withdraws His anger, not arousing His entire rage (Psalms 78:38).” The word, “iniquity,” signifies Samael, who is the serpent; “and does not destroy,” signifies the destroyer; “He turns his anger away,” refers to the demon Wrath. To these powers are attached many destructive angels, which are under Seven Chiefs with Seventy under-Chiefs, dispersed in every firmament, and under them are myriads of others.


When a person wearing Tzitzit and Tefillin prays with devotion, then the words of the verse are fulfilled, “All the people of the Earth shall see that the Name of God is called upon you and they shall fear you (Deuteronomy 28:10).” We have agreed that, “The Name of God,” refers to the Tefillin of the head; and when the destructive Angels see the Name of God on the head of a person who is praying, they at once take flight, as it is written, “A thousand shall fall at your side (Psalms 91:7).” [Zohar I, 23b]

Application for the Tenth of Tevet:


  • Use this verse when ever mentioned in prayer to protect us from destructive forces.
  • Have intention when wearing Tefillin to ward off these destructive forces.
  • Also use as Kavanah when reciting Psalm 91 in Shabbat Pesukei D’Zimrah.


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