Bemidbar: Chapter 8
The meditation of prayer

Rabbi Shimon reiterates much of the information in previous sections to do with the consignment of the soul at night and the requirement to give praise to God in the morning. He speaks about entering the synagogue and donning the Tefilin and the Tzitzit and giving offerings and saying the prescribed prayers in the proper order. But he adds that although the prayers depend on speech, everything is primarily dependent first upon action. He says that a person must not say a prayer until he first observes the act of conforming to the prayer. If his physical act of cleansing himself or donning the Tefilin, for example, is flawed, the prayer will also be flawed and so will the person become flawed below and above. If he does make his prayers correctly then the upper and lower grades are blessed through him. At the end of the prayers he should imagine himself as if he were dying since he gave his soul as a pledge. Rabbi Shimon says that there are some sins that do not get atoned for until a person dies. He tells us about the importance of doing the ceremony of prayer with a full attention of the heart and how one must not approach God with any false intention.