66. Rabbi Shimon began the discussion with, "Of David. 'To You, Hashem, do I lift up my soul. O my Elohim, I trust in You...'" (Tehilim 25:1-2). AND HE ASKS: Why did David see fit to prepare this praise so, since all praises that are in alphabetical order are complete, while this one is missing the Vav? And why is this arranged for the prostration upon the face?
67. HE ANSWERS: It is because it is a supreme mystery concealed among the friends. During the time night falls, the lower tree on which death depends, WHICH IS MALCHUT FROM THE JUDGMENT ASPECT, spreads its branches and covers everything. Therefore, it becomes dark, and all the inhabitants of the world a taste of death. And man hastens to give the deposit of his soul, and deposit it as a pledge in its hand FOR THE NIGHT TIME, SO IT WOULD BE RETURNED AT DAYBREAK. And since IT took the soul as a deposit, the deposit returns to its owner when morning comes. When morning arrives and the pledge is returned to him, he is required to bless the Holy One, blessed be He, who is the highest trustee.
68. After waking FROM HIS SLEEP, he enters the synagogue, decorates himself with his Tefilin, covers himself with Tzitzit, enters, and cleanses himself, first with the offerings. After that, he accepts upon himself the yoke of Malchut in the order of David's praises, which are the arranging of the yoke of the Kingdom. And in this order of praises he steeps himself in that yoke. Following that is the order of prayer while seated, WHICH IS PARALLEL TO MALCHUT, and the order of prayer while standing, WHICH IS PARALLEL TO ZEIR ANPIN, to connect them, ZEIR ANPIN AND MALCHUT, together.
69. Come and behold the mystery of it. Although the prayer depends on speech and the utterance of the mouth, everything is mostly and first dependent upon action, and afterwards upon speech and uttering with the mouth. And what is the deed? It is only the action that a person performs first that resembles prayer. And a person must not say a prayer until he first displays an act of that resembles prayer.
70. The first activity is when a person gets up FROM HIS SLEEP. He must cleanse himself first, MEANING RELIEVE HIMSELF. Following that, he must accept the yoke upon himself, to cover his head with the passages of the commandments. Afterwards, he shall tie the knot of unification - these are the Tefilin, one on the head and ONE TEFILIN on the hand - and fix them into a knot on the left hand and on the heart, as we explained concerning, "His left hand is under my head" (Shir Hashirim 2:6), and: "Set Me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm" (Shir Hashirim 8:6), A REFERENCE TO THE HAND TEFILIN, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF MALCHUT, THAT IS PUT ON THE ARM AGAINST THE HEART. And we already explained that this is the action THAT ONE MUST PERFORM at first.
71. Following this, when a person enters the synagogue, he should first purify himself with offerings, by means of speech - THAT IS, BY RECITING THE PASSAGES OF THE OFFERINGS. Then, one should accept the yoke of Malchut to spread over his head with the praises of King David, with the same action as of one who spreads on his head the passages of the commandments, WHICH CORRESPONDS TO THE ACTION OF WEARING THE TZITZIT. Following this is the seated prayer, which corresponds to THE TYING ON OF the hand Tefilin, DENOTING MALCHUT. Then is the standing prayer, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF ZEIR ANPIN, which parallels THE DONNING OF the head Tefilin. And one corresponds to the other; the deed MUST CONFORM to speech, since certainly prayer depends on both speech and the deed.
72. If his deed is flawed, SPEECH does not find a place upon which to dwell, and this is not considered a prayer. And that person becomes flawed above and below, since it is necessary to demonstrate a deed and say the proper speech about it, and then it is considered a perfect prayer. Woe unto the person who flaws his prayer, the service of his Master! About him it is written: "When you come to appear before Me...even when you make many prayers, I will not hear" (Yeshayah 1:12-15), because this depends upon both deed and speech.
73. Come and behold: if a person makes his prayer in this manner, with deeds and speech consistent, and ties the knot of unification, the result is that upper and lower beings are blessed through him. Then, after he concludes his Amidah prayer, the person must exhibit himself as if he departed from this world. This is because he took leave from the Tree of Life, THAT IS, ZEIR ANPIN, THE SECRET OF AMIDAH PRAYER, and gathered his feet to that Tree of Death, that returned his pledge, GIVING HIM BACK HIS SOUL IN THE MORNING, as it says, "he gathered up his feet into the bed" (Beresheet 49:33). Since he has already confessed his sins and prayed for forgiveness, now he must necessarily be gathered to that Tree of Death and fall ON HIS FACE, and say to Him, "To You, O Hashem, do I lift up my soul" (Tehilim 25:1). In the beginning WHEN I WENT TO SLEEP, I gave You MY SOUL in pledge. Now that I have tied the unification, fulfilled my deed and speech properly, and confessed my sins, certainly I entrust You with my soul - MEANING THAT HE ACCEPTS UPON HIMSELF TO SACRIFICE HIS LIFE (SOUL).
74. And a person should imagine himself as if he departed from this world, since he gave his soul to that place of death. That is the reason there is no Vav IN THE ALPHABETICAL ORDER OF THE PRAYER BEGINNING WITH THE VERSE, "TO YOU, O HASHEM, DO I LIFT UP MY SOUL." For Vav is the Tree of Life, MEANING ZEIR ANPIN, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF VAV OF YUD HEI VAV HEI. And the one, THAT HE ENTRUSTED WITH HIS SOUL, is the Tree of Death, MEANING MALCHUT. And that teaches us that the mystery of it is that there are sins that are not atoned for until a person departs from this world. That is what is written: "surely this iniquity shall not be forgiven you till you die" (Yeshayah 22:14). AND THEREFORE, this person most certainly gives himself to death and sacrifices his soul to this place, TO MALCHUT, not for a pledge as that at night, but rather as one departs the world, most certainly.
75. And this Correction (formation) must be with the meditation of the heart, and then the Holy One, blessed be He, has mercy on him and forgives his sins. Happy is the person who knows to entice and serve his Master willingly and with his heart's devotion. Woe unto him who comes to tempt his Creator with a distant heart, unwillingly. It says, "Nevertheless they did flatter Him with their mouths, and they lied to Him with their tongues. For their heart was not steadfast with Him" (Tehilim 78:36-37). He says, "to You, O Hashem, do I lift up my soul," yet all his talk is with a distant heart. And this causes him to depart from the world before his time, during a period when this tree is awakened in this world to exact punishment.