Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

A Garment of Illumination

The Zohar reveals that that there are two types of spiritual light that affect every creation. One level of light goes within. This is called ohr penimi, a penetrating inner light.

At times, the light is so spiritually powerful that the object it affects is unable to contain its illumination. In such circumstances, the light actually envelops the entire entity. This is called ohr makif, a light that surrounds.

The Arizal reveals that a tallis draws this second type of light. “When a person wears a tallis he has a Divine light surrounding him (ohr makif). For this reason the tallis is meant to cover the majority of one’s body” (cited in Kaf Hachaim 16, 2).

Elsewhere, the Arizal reveals that this light gradually increases in intensity during prayer. At the start of Pesukei D’zimra, while saying Baruch She’amar, a man grasps the front two strings of his tzitzis, for only the light of the front two strings envelops him. By the time he gets to the blessings of Shema, the light of all four strings of the tzitzis has enveloped his body, and therefore the custom is to grasp all of the tzitzis (as cited in Piskei Teshuvos 51,3).

While wearing a tallis, a person’s body is literally surrounded by the light of Hashem. This ohr makif aids his prayers to illuminate the highest reaches of the heavens and protects a person from harm. Although these profound concepts are far beyond our limited intellectual capacity, they can help us appreciate that there is no more potent preparation for a man's prayer than putting on a tallis.

Donning a tallis for prayer, Envelops one with the light of Hashem.


Text Copyright © 2012 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON HAAZINU AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

Teshuva—Paradigm Shift
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

We Don't See the Whole Picture
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

Successful Search
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

> Calculated Double Speak
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

Everything Depends on Our Teshuvah
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Circumstantial Repentance
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5763

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Encouraging News Before Rosh Hashana
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

High Holidays & Sound Investments
Jon Erlbaum - 0

Wake Up!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

ArtScroll

So It Is Written
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Past, Present, and Future
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5763

Moshe's Final Song
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Sensitivity Training
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5766

Say It with Chumros
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Teshuva—Haven’t I Seen You Somewhere Before?
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5767

A Rosh Hashana Message
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5769



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information