253. We learned that Rabbi Yehuda said, There is nothing that is so cherished by the Holy One, blessed be He, as the prayers of the righteous. Even though it pleases Him, sometimes He grants their request and sometimes He does not.
254. The sages have taught that once, when the world needed rain, Rabbi Eliezer came and decreed forty fasts, but rain did not come. He prayed, but rain still did not come. Rabbi Akiva came, stood and prayed. He said, "He makes the wind to blow," and the wind blew strong and powerful. He said, "And He makes the rain fall" and rain came. Rabbi Elazar was crestfallen. Rabbi Akiva looked into his face AND SENSED HE WAS DISCOURAGED.
255. Rabbi Akiva stood up before the people and said, I will give an example similar to the situation. Rabbi Eliezer is compared to the friend of the king, who is cherished exceedingly. And when he appears before the king, he is very pleasantly accepted, and the king does not want to grant him his wish quickly so that he will not leave him, because it is so pleasant to speak with him. But I am likened to the servant of the king who makes a request of him, and the king does not want him to enter the gates of the palace, and naturally does not want to speak to him. The king says, Grant his request immediately and do not let him enter here. Similarly, Rabbi Eliezer is the friend of the King and I am a servant. The King desires to speak with him constantly and not to be away from him. But as for me, the King does not want me to enter the gates of the palace, THEREFORE HE GRANTS MY WISH IMMEDIATELY. Rabbi Eliezer regained his composure.
256. RABBI ELIEZER said to him, Akiva, come and I will tell you something. In a dream, there appeared to me the passage, "Therefore pray you not for this people; lift up neither cry nor pray for them, nor make intercession to Me" (Yirmeyah 7:16). Behold, DUE TO THE SINS OF THE GENERATION, THE PRAYER ON THEIR BEHALF IS NOT ACCEPTED, AND STILL IT SAYS, "THEREFORE PRAY YOU NOT FOR THIS PEOPLE." THIS IMPLIES THAT OTHERS MAY PRAY ON THEIR BEHALF. THEREFORE I WAS NOT ANSWERED, BUT YOU WERE ANSWERED. AND MORE THAN THIS, THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS ON WHOSE BEHALF NO RIGHTEOUS MAN IN THE WORLD CAN PRAY. Come and behold, twelve mountains of balsam trees. THE ONE WHO RAISES FEMALE WATERS, the one who wears the breastplate and Efod, enters and prays to the Holy One, blessed be He, BY RAISING FEMALE WATERS TO BINAH, to have mercy on the world. Until now, his prayer is still suspended. (THAT IS, IT HAS NOT BEEN ACCEPTED; FOR THESE ARE THINGS FOR WHICH PRAYERS ARE NOT ACCEPTED.) AND HE ASKS, If so, why was Rabbi Eliezer crestfallen, SINCE HE SAW IN HIS DREAM, "THEREFORE PRAY YOU NOT..." FROM WHICH IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT ANOTHER MAY PRAY. AND HE ANSWERS, It was because of the people who did not know this. THEY THOUGHT THAT HE WAS ON A LOWER LEVEL THAN RABBI AKIVA.
257. Rabbi Eliezer said, There are eighteen mountains of supernal balsam trees. The souls of the righteous enter BY RAISING FEMALE WATERS. And 49 fragrances, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF THE FIFTY GATES OF BINAH LESS ONE, ascend daily FROM BINAH to that place called 'Eden,' WHICH IS CHOCHMAH. Corresponding to this, the Torah was given in 49 impure aspects and in 49 pure aspects. (BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF THE FIFTIETH GATE, THERE EVOLVED 49 IMPURE ASPECTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SECRET OF THE VERSE, "THE ELOHIM HAS MADE THE ONE AS WELL AS THE OTHER" (KOHELET 7:14).) In order to receive the Torah, The 49 letters in the names of the tribes (AND LIKEWISE the 49 days OF THE SFIRAH OF THE OMER, , FOR THEY CONTAIN 49 supernal days OF THE MALE AND FEMALE) are going to receive permission -- MEANING TO BECOME PERFECTED -- daily from THESE 49 DAYS, the illuminating stones THAT ARE FILLED in the engraving of that breastplate.
258. And he who wears the breastplate, BEING ZEIR ANPIN IN THE MOCHIN OF GREATNESS, sits on the precious holy throne, MEANING THAT HE ILLUMINATES WITHIN MALCHUT THAT IS CALLED 'THRONE.' The four pillars OF THIS THRONE, WHO ARE MICHAEL, GABRIEL, URIEL AND RAPHAEL, stand and observe the breastplate - MEANING THAT THEY RECEIVE FROM THE TWELVE STONES THAT ARE ILLUMINATING IN IT. By the word OF THE WEARER OF THE BREASTPLATE do they come, and according to his word do they leave. They raise their eyes and look up, and see the sparks that glitter in 620 sides, WHICH ALLUDES TO KETER, WHOSE NUMERICAL VALUE IS 620, BECAUSE IT IS BOUND UPON THE FOREHEAD AND SKULL, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF KETER. And the Holy Name is engraved on it. And THE AFOREMENTIONED PILLARS tremble and shake, bound on the right side, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, while the left, WHICH IS MALCHUT, takes into its hands the pillars of heaven - WHICH IS THE SECRET OF THE THREE COLUMNS IN ZEIR ANPIN, WHICH IS CALLED 'HEAVEN.' It clears them and reveals them. This is what is written, "And the heavens become revealed like a book" (Yeshayah 34:4).