Yedid Nefesh

Prayers based on the Four-Letter Name of God, such as “Yedid Nefesh”, can serve as a vehicle to meditate on meanings implied by that name. We talk about unifying the Name in prayers such as the “Alenu” (“And on that day He will be One and His Name One”). One thing this means is to coordinate and integrate our breaths, thoughts and intentions.

Yod of “Yedid” represents a point. A point has no dimension, no mass. The Kotzker Rebbe when asked “Where do you find God”, answered “Wherever you let him in”. Expelling our breath we empty ourselves and create a place.

The first, “upper” Heh of “Hadur” represents its numerical value, five and, by extension, a hand. A hand passes, and this,the upper Hand, passes from God, as it were, to us. We breathe in, accepting the Divine energy.

Vav of “Vatik” is a straight line and a conduit. We retain the breath of Divine energy within ourselves, the upright “Vav”. It cleanses, energizes, purifies.

The final Heh, “Higaleh” (“Make known, illuminate”) is our “Heh”, our five, our hand which passes our now purified energy into the world as we expel our breath and return to the nothingness of Yod, beginning the cycle again.

L’Cha Dodi

The manifestation of the Shechina, the feminine energy, the Shabbat Queen as we rise from the creativity of the work-week to the higher level of creativity of Shabbat.

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