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Shemah: Using the Shemah to Prepare to Access His Greatness

See: “Through His Greatness.” We say the Shema, “Hear O Israel, God is our Lord, God is a Unity (Deuteronomy 6:4).” We can use this to prepare for the Amidah: when we pray and say in the Amidah, “the great Power,” God ‘clothes’ Himself with greatness. When we say, “the Mighty,” God ‘clothes’ Himself with might. When we say, “the Awesome,” God ‘clothes’ Himself with awesomeness.


The attribute through which God clothes Himself through our prayers is called “Mother (Tikkunei Zohar 18).” This has the connotation of measurement, where God delineates Himself with a certain measure and attribute [“Imah,” or, “Mother,” is related to the word Amah, meaning, a measure Eleimah Rabbati, Ein Kol 4:1)]

We must bind ourselves to the One Who clothes Himself to the Root from which the very concept of the garment emanates [Our connection to the Root of our souls and existence empowers us to create these ‘garments’]. This is the concept of “touching and yet not touching (Zohar 1:65a).” In this manner, there is no separation, heaven forbid.

This is the meaning of the Shema: “Hear O Israel, God is our Lord, God is a Unity.”

“Hear O Israel, God,” refers to the level of Godliness that has not yet been clothed.

“Our Lord,” when we say that He is “our Lord,” we indicate that He constricts Himself in order to ‘clothe’ Himself through our prayers.

“God,” every Jew must bind himself to the ultimate Root. This is the second mention of, “God.”

“Is a Unity,” in this manner we recognize that He “is a Unity;” everything is then unified [In the Root and expressed through our service]. (Kedushat Levi; Vaetchanan)

Chanukah-Hannukah-KavanotApplication: When we recall that the miracle of the jar of oil burning for 8 days was God’s acknowledgment of how we took just a drop of strength and used it as if it was an infinite source of power, we recall how God, anthropomorphically, clothes Himself in the “garments” we prepare for Him.

Kavanot-ShemahWe can use the Shema as instructed by the Holy Reb Levi Yitzhak to focus on the power of our prayers to create garments for God so to be able to approach the Amidah fully empowered to access His greatness.

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