פתח אליהו | Pataḥ Eliyahu :: Elijah Began Saying (That We Might Pray Well), translated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi from the Tikkunei Zohar

תפילה קודם התפילה | Prayer before Praying

Source (Hebrew) English Translation (English)

פָּתַח אֵלִיָּֽהוּ וְאָמַר:
רִבּוֹן עָלְמִין,
אַנְתְּ הוּא חָד,
וְלָא בְּחוּשְׁבָּן.
אַנְתְּ הוּא עִלָּאָה
דְכָּל עִלָּאִין,
סְתִימָא עַל
כָּל סְתִימִין.
לֵית מַחֲשָׁבָה
תְּפִיסָא בָךְ
כְּלָל.
Elijah began saying:
Lord of the worlds
You Who are One
and not just a number
You are the highest
of the highest
most hidden
of the undisclosed
no thought scheme
grasps You
at all.

אַנְתְּ הוּא
דְאַפֵּיקְתָּ
עֲשַׂר תִּקּוּנִין,
וּקְרִינָן לְהוֹן
עֲשַׂר סְפִירָן,
לְאַנְהָגָא בְהוֹן
עָלְמִין סְתִימִין
דְּלָא אִתְגַּלְיָן,
וְעָלְמִין דְּאִתְגַּלְיָן.
You are He
Who pours forth
Ten Tikkunim.
We call them
the Ten S’firot
to lead through them
Worlds hidden and
undisclosed
and Worlds manifest and known.

וּבְהוֹן אִתְכְּסִיאַת
מִבְּנֵי נְשָׁא.
וְאַנְתְּ הוּא
דִקָשֵׁר לוֹן,
וּמְיַחֵד לוֹן.
In them are You hidden
from the sons of men.
You are He
Who binds them,
Who unites them.

וּבְגִין דְּאַנְתְּ
מִלגָאו,
כָּל מַאן
דְּאַפְרֵישׁ חַד מֵחַבְרֵיהּ,
מֵאִלֵּין עֲשַׂר סְפִירָן,
אִתְחַשֵּׁב לֵיהּ
כְּאִלּוּ
אַפְרֵישׁ בָּךְ.
And since You are
within them
whosoever
sunders one from its mate
of these Ten S’firot
to him it is accounted
as if he had
sundered You.

וְאִלֵּין עֲשַׂר סְפִירָן.
אִנּוּן אָזְלִין כְּסִדְרָן.
חַד אֲרִיךְ
וְחַד קָצֵר
וְחַד בֵּינוֹנִי.
These Ten S’firot
proceed in their order
one—long
one—short
and one between.

וְאַנְתְּ הוּא
דְמַנְהֵיג לוֹן.
וְלֵית מַאן
דְּאַנְהֵיג לָךְ,
לָא לְעֵֽלָּא
וְלָא לְתַתָּא
וְלָא מִכָּל סִטְרָא:
לְבוּשִׁין תְּקֵינְתָּ לוֹן
דְּמִנַּיְהוּ פָּרְחִין נִשְׁמָתִין
לִבְנֵי נְשָׁא.
You are He
who governs them.
No one
governs You
neither below
nor above
nor at any side.
You made wraps for them
(The Ten S’firot)
from whence blossom forth souls
for the sons of men.

וְכַמָּה גוּפִין תְּקֵינְתָּ לוֹן,
דְּאִתְקְרִֽיאוּ גוּפִין
לְגַבֵּי לְבוּשִׁין
דִּמְכַסְיָן עֲלֵיהוֹן:

וְאִתְקְרִֽיאוּ
בְּתִקּוּנָא דָא.

Many bodies You fashioned for them
‘bodies’ they are called
when compared to the ‘wraps’
covering them.

They are thus called
in the following Tikkun


חֶֽסֶד
דְּרוֹעָא יְמִינָא.
גְּבוּרָה
דְּרוֹעָא שְׂמָאלָא.
תִּפְאֶֽרֶת
גּוּפָא.
נֶֽצַח הוֹד
תְּרֵין שׁוֹקִין.
יְסוֹד
סִיּוּמָא דְגוּפָא
אוֹת בְּרִית קֹֽדֶשׁ.
מַלְכוּת
פֶּה
תּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה קְרִינָן לָהּ.
Hesed
the ‘Right Arm’
Gevurah
the ‘Left Arm’
Tiferet
the ‘Trunk’
Netzakh and Hod
the two ‘Thighs’
Y’sod
the trunk’s ‘Extremity’;
sign of the Covenant most holy.
Malkhuth
the ‘Orifice’;
the oral Torah we call it.

חָכְמָה
מוֹחָא אִיהִוּ
מַחֲשָׁבָה מִלְּגָאו.
בִּינָה
לִבָּא וּבָהּ
הַלֵּב מֵבִין.
Hokhmah
the ‘Brain’; it is the
Thought within
Binah
the ‘Heart’ in it understands
the very heart of understanding

וְעַל אִלֵּין תְּרֵין
כְּתִיב
הַנִּסְתָּרוֹת
לַיְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ.
Concerning these two (Hokhmah and Binah)
it is written
“Mysteries hidden are they
of YHVH God”

כֶּֽתֶר עִלָאָה
אִיהוּ
כֶּֽתֶר מַלְכוּת.
וַעֲלֵהּ אִתְּמַר
מַגִּיד מֵרֵאֹשִית אַחֲרִית,
וְאִיהוּ קַרְקַפְתָּא
דִתְפִלֵּי
מִלְּגָאו
אִיהוּ שֵם
יו”ד ה”א וא”ו ה”א
דְּאִיהוּ
אֹֽרַח
אֲצִילוּת.
וְאִיהוּ שַׁקְיוּ
דְאִילָנָא
בִּדְרוֹעוֹי וְעַנְפוֹי.
כְּמַיָּא
דְאַשְׁקוּ לְאִילָנָא
וְאִתְרַבֵּי
בְּהַהוּא שַׁקְיוּ:
Keter, the highest,
for it is
the Crown of Majesty,
concerning it is said:
He tells the End from the Beginning.
It is the scalp
of the t’fillin
within
it is the ‘Mah’ name (of value 45)
YUD-HA-VAV-HA
it is the Heaven—
way—of
Azilut–Emanation.
The rooting place of
the Tree
of Boughs and Branches.
Like water
drenching the Tree
causing it to increase
through the root’s sap.

רִבּוֹן עָלְמִין,
אַנְתְּ הוּא
עִלַּת הָעִלּוֹת,
וְסִבַּת הַסִּבּוֹת,
דְּאַשְׁקֵי
לְאִילָנָא בְּהַהוּא
נְבִיעוּ.
O Lord of the worlds
You are
Origin of Origins
Cause of Causes
Who drenches
that Tree
by this flux.

וְהַהוּא נְבִיעוּ אִיהוּ
כְּנִֹשְמָתָא לְגוּפָא,
דְּאִיהוּ חַיִּים לְגוּפָא.
And this flux
like soul to body
is the body’s life.

וּבָךְ
לֵית
דִּמְיוֹן וְלֵית
דְּיוּקְנָא
מִכָּל
מַה דִּלְגָאו וּלְבָר:
וּבְרָאת
שְׁמַיָּא וְאַרְעָא,
וְאַפֵיקְתָּ
מִנְּהוֹן
שִׁמְשָׁא וְסִיהֲרָא
וְכוֹכְבַיָּא וּמַזָּלֵי,
In You
There is nothing
like image
or form
of anything
within or without.
You create
Heaven and Earth
bringing forth
of their substance
Sun, Moon
Planets, Stars.

וּבְאַרְעָא
אִילָנִין וּדְֹשָאִין
וְגִנְתָא דְעֵֽדֶן
וְעִשְֹבִּין וְחֵיוָן
וּבְעִירִין וְעוֹפִין וְנוּנִין,
וּבְנֵי נָשָׁא,
And on Earth,
grass and trees
a Garden of Eden
flora and fauna
beasts, birds, fish
and Man.

לְאִשְׁתְּמוֹדְעָא
בְּהוֹן עִלָּאִין,
וְאֵיךְ יִתְנַהֲגוּן
בְּהוֹן עִלָּאִין וְתַתָּאִין,
וְאֵיךְ אִשְׁתְּמוֹדְעָאן
מֵעִלָּאֵי
וְתַתָּאֵי,
וְלֵית דְּיָדַע
בָּךְ כְּלָל.
All this so that what is above
may become known
so that we may have models
of those above and below.
Those above can become known
through those below (and since there is no model in creation for You)
there is no one who knows
You at all.

וּבַר מִנָּךְ
לֵית יִחוּדָא
בְּעִלָּאֵי
וְתַתָּאֵי.
וְאַנְתְּ
אִֹשְתְּמוֹדַע
אָדוֹן עַל כֹּֽלָּא.
Outside of You
there is no One (whole—all—complete)
among those above
and those below –
Thus are You made known
as the Origin of All
and the Master of All.

וְכָל סְפִירִין, כָּל חַד
אִית לָה שֵׁם יְדִֽיעָא,
וּבְהוֹן
אִתְקְרִֽיאוּ מַלְאָכַיָּא.
Each S’firah,
has a known Name
by these Names
Angels are called.
(An Angel—
entity of force
directed to an aim,
an energy discharged
by its own function.)

וְאַנְתְּ לֵית לָךְ שֵׁם יְדִֽיעָא,
דְּאַנְתְּ הוּא
מְמַלֵּא כָּל שְׁמָהָן.
וְאַנְתְּ הוּא שְׁלִימוּ
דְכֻלְּהוּ:
וְכַד אַנְתְּ תִּסְתַּלֵּק מִנְּהוֹן,
אִשְׁתָּאֲרוּ כֻּלְּהוּ שְׁמָהָן
כְּגוּפָא בְּלָא נִשְׁמָתָא.
You have no known Name
because all the Names
are filled by You.
You are the fulfillment
of them all.
When You rise up from them
all the Names remain
as bodies bereft of soul.

אַנְתְּ חַכִּים,
וְלָא בְּחָכְמָה יְדִיעָא.
אַנְתְּ הוּא מֵבִין,
וְלָא מִבִּינָה יְדִיעָא.
לֵית לָךְ אֲתַר יְדִיעָא.
You are wise
yet not in wisdom known
You are understanding
yet not in understanding known
In You there is no place for knowledge
(to hold on).

אֶלָּא לְאִשְׁתְּמוֹדְעָא
תּוּקְפָךְ וְחֵילָךְ לִבְנֵי נְשָׁא.
וּלְאַחֲזָאָה לוֹן
אֵיךְ מִתְנַהֵג
עָלְמָא
בְּדִינָא וּבְרַחֲמֵי.
דְּאִינּוּן צֶֽדֶק וּמִֹשְפָּט,
כְּפוּם עוֹבְדֵיהוֹן
דִּבְנֵי נָשָׁא:
But Your power and strength
You make knowable to Man
as You show to him
how the world
is conducted
in Law and Mercy
For there is Righteousness and Justice
according to the deeds
of the sons of Man.

דִּין אִיהוּ גְבוּרָה.
מִשְׁפָּט עַמּוּדָא דְאֶמְצָעִיתָא.
צֶֽדֶק מַלְכוּתָא קַדִּישָׁא.
Law is Gevurah
Justice—the middle column
Righteousness—the Holy Majesty

מֹֽאזְנֵי צֶֽדֶק
תְּרֵין סַמְכֵי קְשׁוֹט.
הִין צֶֽדֶק
אוֹת בְּרִית קֹֽדֶשׁ.
the just scales
two true supports
the righteous HIN (liquid measure) —
is the holy Covenant.

כֹּֽלָּא לְאַחֲזָאָה
אֵיךְ מִתְנַהֵג עָלְמָא.
אֲבָל לָא דְּאִית
לָךְ
צֶֽדֶק יְדִיעָא
דְאִיהוּ דִין.
וְלָא מִשְׁפָּט יְדִיעָא
דְאִיהוּ רַחֲמֵי.
וְלָא מִכָּל מִדּוֹת אִלֵּין כְּלָל.
All this portrays
how the world is conducted
but not that there is
in You
known righteousness
identical with Law (which binds You)
Nor is there Justice in You
which is Mercy
or any other attribute at all.

בָּרוּךְ
יְיָ
לְעוֹלָם,
אָמֵן וְאָמֵן.
Be drawn down to us
—Blessed channeled
YHVH
into the world
for ever
truly so truly so
Amen Amen.

We are grateful to Gabbai Seth Fishman for his transcription of Reb Zalman’s translation of Pataḥ Eliyahu, originally posted at his website, Jewish Renewal Hasidus.

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