Chyim Vital says in Safer Lecutim my teacher the Arizal was extremely careful regarding the commandment of paying a worker on time. He sometimes put off praying Minchah (afternoon prayer) until he had paid his worker. This sometimes meant waiting to pray until sunset. If he did not have the cash to pay the wages and had to send people all over to ask others for money until he had enough to pay the wages. Only then would he pray Minchah, saying, “ can I pray to GOD when such a great mitzvah comes my way? Can I put it off and still face GOD in prayer?”
Of course with all these prayers they used the Personal Divine names not the general terms ” Lord our God” as expressed here
R. Eleazar on concluding his prayer used to say the following: May it be Your will, O Lord our God, to cause to dwell in our lot love and brotherhood and peace and friendship, and may You make our borders rich in disciples and prosper our latter end with good prospect and hope, and set our portion in Paradise, and confirm us with a good companion and a good impulse in Your world, and may we rise early and obtain the yearning of our heart to fear Your name, and may You be pleased to grant the satisfaction of our desires!
R. Johanan on concluding his prayer added the following: May it be Your will, O Lord our God, to look upon our shame, and behold our evil plight, and clothe Yourself in Your mercies, and cover Yourself in Your strength, and wrap Yourself in Your lovingkindness , and gird Yourself with Your graciousness, and may the attribute of Your kindness and gentleness come before You !
R. Zera on concluding his prayer added the following: May it be Your will, O Lord our God, that we sin not nor bring upon ourselves shame or disgrace before our fathers!
R. Hiyya on concluding his prayer added the following: May it be Your will, O Lord our God, that our Torah may be our occupation, and that our heart may not be sick nor our eyes darkened!
Rab on concluding his prayer added the following: May it be Your will, O Lord our God, to grant us long life, a life of peace, a life of good, a life of blessing, a life of sustenance, a life of bodily vigour, a life in which there is fear of sin, a life free from shame and confusion, a life of riches and honour, a life in which we may be filled with the love of Torah and the fear of heaven, a life in which Thou will fulfil all the desires of our heart for good!
Rabbi on concluding his prayer added the following: May it be Your will, O Lord our God, and God of our fathers, to deliver us from the impudent and from impudence, from an evil man, from evil hap, from the evil impulse, from an evil companion, from an evil neighbour, and from the destructive Accuser, from a hard lawsuit and from a hard opponent, whether he is a son of the covenant or not a son of the covenant! Even if guards were appointed to protect Rabbi.
R. Safra on concluding his prayer added the following: May it be Your will, O Lord our God, to establish peace among the celestial family,1 and among the earthly family, and among the disciples who occupy themselves with Your Torah whether for its own sake or for other motives; and may it please You that all who do so for other motives may come to study it for its own sake!
R. Alexandri on concluding his prayer added the following: May it be Your will, O Lord our God, to station us in an illumined corner and do not station us in a darkened corner, and let not our heart be sick nor our eyes darkened! According to some this was the prayer of R. Hamnuna, and R. Alexandri on concluding his prayer used to add the following: Sovereign of the Universe, it is known full well to You that our will is to perform Your will, and what prevents us? The yeast in the dough3 and the subjection to the foreign Powers. May it be Your will to deliver us from their hand, so that we may return to perform the statutes of Your will with a perfect heart!
Raba on concluding his prayer added the following: My God, before I was formed I was not worthy to be formed, and now that I have been formed I am as if I had not been formed. I am dust in my lifetime, all the more in my death. Behold I am before You like a vessel full of shame and confusion. May it be Your will, O Lord my God, that I sin no more, and the sins I have committed before You wipe out in Your great mercies, but not through evil chastisements and diseases! This was the confession of R. Hamnuna Zuti on the Day of Atonement.
Mar the son of Rabina on concluding his prayer added the following: My God, keep my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking guile. May my soul be silent to them that curse me and may my soul be as the dust to all. Open Thou my heart in Your law, and may my soul pursue Your commandments, and deliver me from evil hap, from the evil impulse and from an evil woman and from all evils that threaten to come upon the world. As for all that design evil against me, speedily annul their counsel and frustrate their designs! May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable before You , O Lord, my rock and my redeemer!
When R. Shesheth kept a fast, on concluding his prayer he added the following: Master of the Universe, Thou know full well that in the time when the Temple was standing, if a man sinned he used to bring a sacrifice, and though all that was offered of it was its fat and blood, atonement was made for him therewith. Now I have kept a fast and my fat and blood have diminished. May it be Your will to account my fat and blood which have been diminished as if I had offered them before You on the altar, and do favor me.7
When R. Johanan finished the Book of Job, he used to say the following: The end of man is to die, and the end of a beast is to be slaughtered, and all are doomed to die. Happy he who was brought up in the Torah and whose labor was in the Torah and who has given pleasure to his Creator and who grew up with a good name and departed the world with a good name; and of him Solomon said: A good name is better than precious oil, and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.
A favorite saying of R. Meir was: Study with all Your heart and with all Your soul to know My ways and to watch at the doors of My law. Keep My law in Your heart and let My fear be before Your eyes. Keep Your mouth from all sin and purify and sanctify Yourself from all trespass and iniquity, and I will be with You in every place.
A favorite saying of the Rabbis of Jabneh was: I am God’s creature and my fellow is God’s creature. My work is in the town and his work is in the country. I rise early for my work and he rises early for his work. Just as he does not presume to do my work, so I do not presume to do his work. Will you say, I do much and he does little? We have learnt: One may do much or one may do little; it is all one, provided he directs his heart to heaven.
A favorite saying of Abaye was: A man should always be subtle in the fear of heaven. A soft answer turns away wrath, and one should always strive to be on the best terms with his brethren and his relatives and with all men and even with a stranger in the street, in order that he may be beloved above and well-liked below and be acceptable to his fellow creatures. It was related of R. Johanan b. Zakkai that no man ever gave him greeting first, even a to a stranger in the street.
A favorite saying of Raba was: The goal of wisdom is repentance and good deeds, so that a man should not study Torah and Mishnah and then despise his father and mother and teacher and his superior in wisdom and rank, as it says, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, a good understanding have all they that do thereafter. It does not say, ‘that do’, but ‘that do thereafter’, which implies, that do them for their own sake and not for other motives. If one does them for other motives, it were better that he had not been created.
A favorite saying of Rab was: The future world is not like this world. In the future world there is no eating, drinking, sex , business, jealousy, hatred or competition, but the righteous sit with their crowns on their heads feasting on the brightness of the divine presence, as it says, And they beheld God, and did eat and drink.
Greater is the promise made by the Holy One, blessed be He, to the women than to the men; for it says, Rise up, women that are at ease; you confident daughters, give ear unto my speech. Rab said to R. Hiyya: Whereby do women earn merit? By making their children go to pray to learn Torah and their husbands to the House of learning to learn Mishnah, and waiting for their husbands till they return from the House of learning. When the Rabbis took leave from the school of R. Ammi — some say, of R. Hanina — they said to him: May you see your requirements provided in your lifetime, and may your latter end be for the future world and your hope for many generations; may your heart meditate understanding, your mouth speak wisdom and your tongue sing song; may your eyelids look straight before you, may your eyes be enlightened by the light of the Torah and your face shine like the brightness of the firmament; may your lips utter knowledge, your reins rejoice in uprightness and your steps run to hear the words of the Ancient of Days. When the Rabbis took leave from the school of R. Hisda — others Say, of R. Samuel b. Nahmani — they said to him: We are instructed, we are well laden etc. ‘We are instructed, we are well laden’. Rab and Samuel — according to others, R. Johanan and R. Eleazar — give different explanations of this. One Says: ‘We are instructed’ — in Torah, ‘and well laden’ — with precepts. The other says: ‘We are instructed’ — in Torah and precepts; ‘we are well laden’ — with chastisement.
The word ויעבר is the gematria of the seventy two 3 letter names having two hundred sixteen letters it is the secret of עיבור (pregnancy) having the same letters. (Zohar Tikunim)
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