Trumah: Chapter 10

"The watchman said, 'The morning comes'"


This extremely long section is hardly capable of being summarized, so dense is it with details and instructions for the time and order of prayers. It begins charmingly with a bird, which opens the discussion by giving praise for the morning. Then we hear of the phrase, "Watchman, what of the night?" which the exiled children of Yisrael called out to the Creator. Then the passage continues on to say that the secret of "The burden of Dumah" is that prophecy is transmitted to the prophets in six grades - vision, revelation, sight, appearance, word, and burden. And this particular prophecy of Dumah was not able to be revealed. The secret of Faith is such that grades shine from within grades. The text then describes what kind of prophecy is associated with each grade.

Next, we learn that the Watchman of the night is Matatron, about whom it is written, "So he who waits on his Master shall be honored." In the morning the holy people need to join and come to the synagogue, we are told, and most blessed is he who arrives first, for he ascends to the level of righteousness. The psalms and praises of David, we next learn, are designed to awaken love above and below, to build perfection and to arouse joy. Warning is then given to those who would speak of worldly matters in the synagogue. While the children of Yisrael are reciting, we are told, three camps of supernal angels gather. There then follows details of the order of prayers, and, after, a long description of the letters of the words of praise and their numerical significance.

Next we are reminded again that the sanctification of the Holy Tongue must be said by no fewer than ten, and that those prayers to be recited alone are spoken in Aramaic. Finally, the section comes to a close, exclaiming, "Happy is the portion of Yisrael that become sanctified with the supernal sanctification, because they cleave unto above.'"


The seemingly simple act of dialing a friend long distance involves a complex communication network. Cables and wires must be laid, and a host of intricate equipment must be in place to ensure easy and reliable communication. Prayer works much like that. This passage of the Zohar ensures that all our prayers, and the spiritual connections that we will make here, are as simple as making a telephone call.

In the act of describing the metaphysical circuitry of the upper world, these verses install all the cables and wiring on our behalf. All we must do to set the entire communications network into action is read or meditate upon this text. This is the equivalent of dialing a correct telephone number.