Vol 18.38 - Pinchas 4                          Spanish French Audio  Video

Hebrew Text:

Page351   Page352   Page353   Page354   Page355   Page356

Likkutei Levi Yitzchak

(5740) One who says  "A Psalm of praise; of David" every day (psalm 145 - Ashrei) (Zohar 226a) and the merging of the commentary of the Tzemach Tzedek and Likkutei Levi Yitzchak


Likkutei Levi Yitzchak:
For the three times that "A praise of David" must be said refer to Chesed, Gevurah and Tiferet. Like the level of R' Pinchas, R' Shimon, and himself R' Elazar. And like the the three prayers that the patriarchs (representing) Chesed, Gevurah and Tiferet established. And two of them are an obligation like the two times of sustenance every day evening and morning, and like the two prayers of Minchah and Shacharit, of Yitzchak and Avrohom, are an obligation, and like the level of R' Pinchas and R' Shimon. And one is just for praise, which is like and similar to the voluntary Maariv prayer, that Yaakov established, And this is the level of R' Elazar. And this is ""Open Your hand etc." open specifically "Let he who has started continue" who is R' Elazar.

Note: We have replaced the term “Tehilah l’David” which the Rebbe with “Ashrei” for readability

1. In this week's Parsha the Zohar states that:

Whoever recites the psalm "(Ashrei) praise of David" (Psalms 145) three times daily is a son (merits) of the World to Come”

and he explains that one is obligated to recite Ashrei “two times” - “for daily sustenance and livelihood “ and the third time is “not because of an obligation ( for the aforementioned requests) . . but “as praise (shivcha).

My father explains in his notes on Zohar that the recitation of Ashrei “three times”, is like “the three Prayers – which is also clearly stated by Rashi in the Talmud (that “three times – corresponds to the three Prayers) – and just as the two (Shacharit/morning and Mincha/afternoon) prayers are an obligation and the Evening/Arvit prayer optional, the same concerns the recital of Ashrei , that “two times .. is man’s obligation” and one time is “as praise” which this is “like and similar to the Arvit prayer which is optional”


2. The Tzemach Tzedek in his notes on Psalms cites the aforementioned Rashi, that the three recitations of Ashrei “correspond to the three prayers” and asks:

“According to this one should recite Ashrei even in the Arvit prayer – why, however, do we recite the three Ashrei’s , twice in the morning prayer and one time in the afternoon prayer?

Others answer, that:

  • The evening prayer is not a (proper) time to recite Ashrei (since “the time of prayer (praise/tehila) is not at night”
  • Or because “we do not recite Kedushah in the Arvit prayer and Ashrei has a connection to Kedushah” Therefore we recite Ashrei a second time in the morning prayer instead of the evening prayer.

The Tzemach Tzedek however does not accept this answer, because, however you want to look at it (mima nafshach):

  • If the entire enactment of the third recitation of Ashrei “is because of the evening prayer”, there is no place to recite this (in another prayer - ) in the morning prayer.
  • And if Ashrei does not have a connection to the evening prayer we should only recite it twice?

Therefore the Tzemach Tzedek learns that the saying of the Talmud that: “Whoever recites Ashrei three times etc.” is only according to the view that “the evening prayer is an obligation” (and we would then actually recite the third Ashrei in the evening prayer)

However “We who rule that the Halacha is like view that the evening prayer is optional - do not recite Ashrei before the evening prayer”

According to this, it comes out that according to view that the evening prayer is optional (which is the Halacha) it should be sufficient to recite Ashrei twice (in order to merit Olam HaBa ). And as he explains further, (according to Chassidut) that, that which Ashrei accomplishes, in the morning and afternoon prayers, is accomplished in the evening prayer

 (according to the view that the evening prayer is optional)

 by itself.

[And the reason we recite Ashrei (three times -) twice in the morning prayer is

(not to merit Olam haba but)

just in order to “not skip reciting Ashrei three times” (as will be explained further)]

One must understand:

How does the explanation of my father, that the third recitation of Ashrei is: “like and similar to the evening prayer which is optional

(which according to this comes out, that even according to the view that the evening prayer is optional one should recite Ashrei three times to “merit the World to Come”. It is just that the third time is “for praise” similar to the evening prayer which is optional) -

conform with explanation of the Tzemach Tzedek, that according to the view that evening prayer is optional, it is sufficient to recite Ashrei twice (in order to merit the World to Come)?

3. One must also understand:

According to the explanation of the Tzemach Tzedek that,

according to the view (which is the Halacha) that evening prayer is optional

it is sufficient to recite Ashrei twice, to merit the World to Come - why do we actually recite Ashrei three times daily, twice in the morning prayer?

And the reasons which the Tzemach Tzedek writes there, that it is:

  • In order “not to skip Ashrei three times”
  • (Or in the language of Kabbalah and Chassiduts which he says later, that “they enacted that it be recited twice in the morning in accordance with (the verse): “Jacob who redeemed Abraham - that Tiferet reaches towards Chesed)

requires explanation, itself.

For since, through reciting Ashrei twice, one already merits the Olam HaBa

( since the same thing that is accomplished by reciting Ashrei , is accomplished at the evening prayer by itself, as aforementioned) -

 what is lacking, that one must recite is a third time?

4. One could say that the essence of the explanation is that there is a difference between the Talmud and the Zohar :

The Tzemach Tzedek speaks (as he says there) concerning the view of the Talmud – and according to the exoteric (nigleh) part of Torah that, according to the view that the evening prayer is optional , there is no reason to recite Ashrei in the evening prayer (and also not in the morning prayer in place of the evening prayer)

However my father comes to explain the opinion of the Zohar – which is according to Pnimiyut of Torah.


  1. Even according to the view that the evening prayer optional, there is a place to say that recital of Ashrei should be said then. (However the recitation is “for praise” which is “like and similar to . . optional (reshus)”.
  2. This recitation of Ashrei , even though it corresponds to the evening prayer, is actually recited in the morning prayer.

[And therefore even the Tzemach Tzedek concludes: “Nevertheless one should not skip the recitation of Ashrei three times . . we recite it in the morning prayer” (as he later explains the connection between evening to morning (according to Kabbalah) - that Tiferet reaches towards Chesed) –

Here he speaks

( not of the primary enactment which is only twice – but rather)

 concerning the way it is according to Pnimiyut , where even according to the view that the evening prayer is optional, one recites Ashrei three times.]

5. One can understand this by prefacing the explanation in the words of the Tzemach Tzedek that:

“we hold . .that the evening prayer is optional therefore we do not recite Ashrei before the evening prayer”.

Because the effect (pe’ulah) of reciting Ashrei : “certainly is drawn down by itself” -

From this it is understood that, that the reason we do not recite Ashrei in the evening prayer,

 according to the view that the evening prayer is optional,

 is (not because such an enactment has no purpose since we would, in any event, miss the third recitation of Ashrei , since the evening prayer is optional, and: “Because of necessity they nullified it”, but rather)

(it is) because from the very onset one does not need to recite it a third time (in the evening prayer) since it “certainly was drawn down by itself -

It is not understood:

Just as we say, concerning the evening prayer, that it is optional,

 since the “unification” (yichud) of the evening prayer is accomplished automatically,

(after the supplicant makes the preparations for that unification through the morning and afternoon prayers)

yet nevertheless they did establish (allow) the evening prayer, at least, voluntarily -

the same should have also have been regarding the recitation of Ashrei: It should have been (at least) voluntary.

And more over: After we have “now established (the evening prayer) as an obligation - the recitation of Ashrei in the evening prayer should now be established as an obligation

why should the recitation of Ashrei not fit with the evening prayer?

6. One could say the explanation is:

Concerning things which are higher than Avodat HaAdam and are accomplished automatically –

after the person makes the proper preparation and prepares himself to be a proper receptacle to receive the effluence from above -

there are, in general, two categories:

1. Levels which are entirely higher than Avodat HaAdam. They are entirely not relevant to the deed and service of a person –

for example like the splitting of the Red Sea, where  G-d said: “and you should be silent”. There must not be any prayer, since the Supernal battle is from a very high place and level, where man’s service is not relevant. (And on the contrary, at times, man’s Avodah confounds (mevalval) it).

2.  Levels in which Avodat HaAdam is relevant . However the Avodah is not an aspect of obligation, but rather only - optional.

The deeds of the person is not to create (oiftan) an effluence from Above –

because if man’s service could create it, it would be an obligation –

but to effect, that the effluence, ( which comes as a present from Above) should accomplish its action (below) properly, with completeness.

[Like the example (which the Tzemach Tzedek cites) from the Recitation of Dew (Tal) that: “The Sages did not obligate one to mention it,

(since Tal is higher than an awakening from below (Itaruta Diletata) - for dew does not cease)

but if one wants to recite it he may recite it - in order that it should be for a blessing]

And therefore it is in a manner of optionality, since it concerns something which is higher than Avodat HaAdam . It is an aspect of “optionality” (reshus). It is not fitting that one should force (as it were) that the effluence should occur (properly). Therefore it is not an aspect which is an obligation on the person.

Similarly, the aspect of the evening prayer is optional. Even though the “unification” is accomplished automatically, however there is still a place, before the evening prayer, (at least, in an optional manner) where the “unification” should be “for a blessing” etc.

7. According to this one can understand why this is relevant only to the evening prayer and not regarding the recitation of Ashrei (itself):

The aspect of reciting Ashrei is explained by the Tzemach Tzedek that this “awakens” the level from which “begins the root of the awakening of unification (za and malchus)”. And therefore it is understood, that the recital does not have a place in the evening prayer.

The evening prayer

(at least , in a manner of optionality)

 concerns only the manner affecting unification etc., ( not in creating the unification) , as aforementioned.

However the recital of Ashrei comes to awaken the place where it “begins the root of the awakening of unification” - This means it must create the unification – And in this, it is not relevant Avodat HaAdam, as aforementioned.

8. This is however is according to Exoteric part of Torah which relates to the revealed aspect of G-dliness - externality (chitzoniyus) as it were (of Keter). Therefore, any deed of the person is not relevant to create this “unification”, because unification is taken from the Pnimiyut (of Keter).

However from the Pnimiyut of Torah which relates to the hidden (satim) aspect of G-d, the Pnimiyut (of Keter) - at that level , there is also an aspect of “Avodah” to create the unification. But the Avodah at those levels, is not in a manner of obligation, but rather “permissibility”. This is because it resides in a place where the Avodat HaAdam does not reach, and is not applicable that the Avodat HaAdam should create (anything) there - the Avodah is not an aspect of “obligation” (which depicts that the person is obligated and compelled - to accomplish it through his Avodah). It is only a deed which gives a person in relevance to the things which will be created.

And therefore, from (the level of) Pnimiyut of Torah, there is an aspect of reciting Ashrei also in the evening prayer. However the recitation is only “for praise”, which is “like and similar to . . permissibility”: The purpose of the recital is not to create (and compel) an effluence (of food etc.), but rather, it is a praise and lauding to G-d.

And in order to emphasize that this recital of Ashrei is only an aspect of optionality (not like the recitation of Ashrei in the morning and afternoon) , they established that should be recited (not in the evening prayer itself but rather ) in the morning prayer.

And (the recitation) itself (was established) in the Pesukei D'Zimra (verses of song ) which come before the Amidah prayer in the morning. For one could say that the power to be able to praise G-d with prayers and praises, even before one prays the morning Amidah - is taken from the “unification” of the prior evening prayer.

[With this one can also understand that which Zohar states there that:

“It is not fitting that a man should ask for his sustenance until after praising G-d, for it is his Master's sustenance”.(note: prayer is considered, as it were, G-d’s “sustenance”) (which is why one recites Ashrei after the morning Amidah). And the reason we recite it, at the afternoon prayer, “before the Amidah”, is because after the Afternoon (prayer) it is a time of “harsh judgment” (dina kashiya”)

Yet this seemingly is not understood:

While it is true that one cannot request one’s sustenance after the Afternoon prayer, because it is a time of “harsh judgment”, - however, how can one request it “before the Amidah” - before one has accomplished “his Master's sustenance” (served the King first)?

But according to the aforementioned one could say that this is because, since we have already prayed the morning prayer, there remains a trace (roshem) from the morning prayer, and with this power, one can recite Ashrei before the afternoon Amidah]

This aspect is concisely alluded to by the Tzemach Tzedek with his statement: ”They enacted that it be recited twice in the morning in accordance with (the verse): ‘Jacob who redeemed Abraham’ - that Tiferet reaches towards Chesed “ which hints to the connection of the morning recital of Ashrei to the evening prayer.

M’Sichas Shabbat Parshat Pinchas 5731

Motzei Shabbat Parshat Pinchas 5738



 Date Delivered:   Reviewer:       
Date Modified:    Date Reviewed: