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Tzava'at Harivash 7-8

By Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov

translated and annotated by J. Immanuel Schochet

Published and copyrighted by Kehot Publishing Society

“When will I merit that the light of the Shechinah abide with me?"

The Zohar (III:195a) states that one’s will is to be like that of a pauper. 1

Thus consider yourself like a pauper and always speak with soft and beseeching words like a pauper.

Your thought should always be secluded with the Shechinah, 2 thinking only of your continuous love for Her that She may be attached to you.

Say constantly in your mind: “When will I merit that the light of the Shechinah abide with me?”


1. “Which is the most excellent of all [prayers]? It is the prayer of the poor.. it takes precedence to all prayers of the world.. because he is broken-hearted, and it is written, ‘God is near to the broken-hearted’ (Psalms 34:19).. Thus, when praying, a person should make himself poor.. When a person.. will always make his will as that of a pauper, his prayer ascends.. and will be received favorably before the Holy King.”

2. See above, sect. 5-6, note 1.-The term Shechinah signifies the Divine immanence and presence throughout the world, the Divine “spark” and life-force (vitality) in all creatures. (Shechinah is always referred to in feminine gender.)

3. As man attaches himself to God through mitzvot and communion, the light of the Shechinah becomes ever more manifest to him.