43. "And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying: 'We came to your brother Esau, and he is also coming to meet you, and four hundred men with him'" (Beresheet 32:7). HE ASKS, After saying, "We came to your brother," do we not know they referred to Esau, as he had no other brothers? HE ANSWERS, "We came to your brother" MEANS THAT he did not repent and walk the path of righteousness, as may be thought, but remained the evil Esau as before. " ...Aand he is also coming to meet you..." does not mean, as you may say, by himself, but rather he has "four hundred men with him."
44. Why was all this specified? Because the Holy One, blessed be He, always longs for the prayers of the righteous and adorns Himself with them. As we have already said, the angel in charge of the prayers of Yisrael, whose name is Sandalphon, receives all their prayers and weaves them into a crown for the Life of the Worlds. The Holy One, blessed be He, desires the prayers of the righteous all the more; they become a crown with which to adorn the Holy One, blessed be He. You may wonder why Jacob was fearful, since camps of holy angels accompanied him. He was fearful because the righteous do not rely on their merit, but on their prayers and supplications before their Master.
45. Come and behold, Rabbi Shimon said that the prayer of the congregation rises before the Holy One, blessed be He, and He is adorned by that prayer because it ascends in several ways, ONE ASKING FOR CHASSADIM, ANOTHER FOR GVUROT, AND THE THIRD FOR MERCY. IT consists of several sides, THE RIGHT SIDE, THE LEFT, AND THE MIDDLE, AS CHASSADIM ARE DRAWN FROM THE RIGHT, GVUROT FROM THE LEFT, AND MERCY FROM THE MIDDLE. Because it comprises several aspects, it is woven into a wreath and put on the head of the Righteous One, the Life of the Worlds - THAT IS, YESOD, WHICH GIVES SALVATION TO THE NUKVA AND FROM HER, TO THE WHOLE CONGREGATION. But a solitary prayer does not include all the sides; rather, it contains only one aspect. ONE CAN ONLY ASK FOR CHASSADIM, GVUROT, OR MERCY. Therefore, the solitary prayer is not prepared and accepted as is that of the congregation; IT IS NOT INCLUDED WITHIN ALL THE THREE COLUMNS AS IS THE PRAYER OF THE CONGREGATION. Come and behold, Jacob included all THREE COLUMNS, BEING THE CHARIOT OF THE CENTRAL COLUMN, WHICH INCLUDES BOTH. Therefore, the Holy One, blessed be He, wanted his prayer TO BE PERFECTED BY ALL THREE COLUMNS. It is therefore written, "Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed." THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, DID ALL THAT TO ENCOURAGE JACOB TO PRAY, FOR HE YEARNED FOR HIS PRAYER.
46. Rabbi Yehuda began the discussion with the verse, "Happy is the man who fears always, but he who hardens his heart shall fall into evil" (Mishlei 28:14). Happy are Yisrael, whom the Holy One, blessed be He, desires and to whom He gave the Torah of Truth with which to attain eternal life. For whoever is occupied with the study of the Torah receives supernal life from the Holy One, blessed be He, and is ushered into the life of the World to Come, as it is written, "for He is your life, and the length of your days" (Devarim 30:20) and, "and through this word you shall prolong your days" (Devarim 32:47) - for it is life in this world and life in the World to Come.
47. Rabbi Elazar said, Whoever studies the Torah for its own sake does not die by the hand of the Evil Inclination, WHICH IS THE ANGEL OF DEATH, because he holds onto the Tree of Life and does not relax his grip. Therefore, the bodies of the righteous, who are occupied in the study of the Torah, are not defiled AFTER DEATH, because the Spirit of Defilement does not dwell with them.
48. HE ASKS, Why was Jacob, who was the Tree of Life, afraid OF ESAU even though THE OTHER SIDE cannot rule over him, since THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, SAID TO HIM, "And, behold, I am with you" (Beresheet 28:15), and since "angels of Elohim met him?" With all of these camps of holy angels, why was he afraid?
49. HE ANSWERS, It is all true THAT THERE WAS NO NEED TO BE AFRAID, but Jacob did not want to rely on a miracle from the Holy One, blessed be He, because he thought he was unworthy of such a miracle. Why? Because he was of no service to his father and mother, did not study the Torah DURING THE 22 YEARS HE SPENT WITH LABAN, and married two sisters. And although it was settled THAT JACOB DID NOT SIN AT ALL IN THAT, nevertheless, it behooves a man to be always afraid and ask in his prayer before the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is written, "Happy is the man who fears always." This has already been explained.
50. Come and behold, the prayer of the patriarchs sustained the world. Upon their merit the people in the world survive and receive support. The merit of the fathers is never ever forgotten, because it supports the worlds above and below. The support from Jacob is more whole than that of the others, and because of this, when trouble comes to the children of Jacob, the Holy One, blessed be He, sees the image of Jacob before Him and takes pity upon the world, as it is written, "Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob" (Vayikra 26:42). The word Jacob is WRITTEN with a superfluous Vav, because it is the very image of Jacob.
51. Come and behold, whoever looked at Jacob beheld the shining mirror, ZEIR ANPIN. We learned that the beauty of Jacob was like the beauty of Adam. Rabbi Yesa said, I heard that whoever beholds Jacob in his dream, wrapped in his clothes, has his life prolonged.
52. Rabbi Shimon said, We have already learned that before King David entered the world, he had no life at all, except for the seventy years given him by Adam. So King David lived seventy years, and Adam lived a thousand years less seventy years. So Adam and David existed within the first millennium AFTER THE CREATION OF THE WORLD.