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Shir ha-Shirim XVI Part Nine: Sefirah 28

Rabbi Joshua of Siknin in the name of Rabbi Levi said: The reason of the Rabbis is because it is written, “For they were princes of holiness and princes of God (I Chronicles 24:5).” “Princes of holiness,” means the ministering angels, as it is written, “Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary (Isaiah 43:28).” [There are those who read this as “princes over holiness,” a title applied to Israel before the destruction of the Temple because they were able to command the “holy ones” or Angels.] The “princes of God,” are Israel, of whom it is written, “I said: You are godlike beings (Psalms 82:6).” “They impose their will on the beings of the Upper World and the beings of the Lower World,” that is, when they are themselves living in purity. (Shir Hashirim Rabbah 1.2:5, Part Nine)


Rabbi Joshua understands the Rabbis as describing for more then our ability to inspire, and thereby influence both the Upper and Lower Worlds; he believes that there is an entirely different level of power that comes to those who study Torah in purity. There purity gives them indescribable spiritual strength, as royalty of Heaven, “godlike beings,” who can pull even over the “princes of holiness.”

It is our purity when studying Torah that empowers us. It is not the Torah itself, but our spiritual state when we study. In order to fully access the empowerment of Torah we must maintain a high level of spiritual purity.

It is for this level of spiritual purity that we pray on shop but when we ask God to purify our hearts.

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