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We have spent several weeks on the prayer, Baruch She'Amar, since it contains deep secrets and much material for meditation. Now though, it is time to move on to the next prayer within the pesukei dezimra, which is Mizmor LeTodah ("Song of gratitude"). This prayer is also Psalm 100 from King David's book of psalms (Tehilim). The fact that it is psalm 100 is significant, as we will see. Some prayers present us with concepts on which to meditate. Other prayers impress us with their structure and its symbolism. Baruch She'amar is conceptual; Mizmor Letoda is more impressive because of its structure. That does not mean that Mizmor LeTodah is entirely without conceptual content. For example, the third verse of Mizmor Letoda says, "Know that the Lord (Havaya) is God (Elokim)." The two names of God (Havaya and Elokim) represent Godliness beyond nature and Godliness within nature, respectively. Havaya means "was, is and always will be." And Elokim carries the same gematria as hateva, or "nature." They represent two different perspectives of Godliness. When we are able to penetrate the shrouds and garments of nature and perceive that God is way beyond, that is an experience of "higher unity" (yichuda ila'ah, or da'at elyon). We sense that God is the "real deal," the true existence, and the physical world is temporary and dependent. But most of the time, we suffice with "lower unity," (yichuda tata'ah, or da'at tachton), in which the physical world is real, and though we know that God is present, we struggle to find Him and feel His presence among the objects and illusions of the physical world. Both perspectives are true, and both are expressions of God. But one ("higher unity") is governed by the name Havaya, while the other ("lower unity") is determined by the name Elokim. So, the verse (Psalm 100:3) tells us, "Know that Havaya is Elokim – be aware that the two perspectives are really one. God as He is above nature permeates and penetrates nature as well, so "know" that He is just as present within our experience of "lower unity," as He is within "higher unity." That's the conceptual message of Mizmor Le'toda.

However, it's really the structure of the prayer that conveys more information. Unlike the concept, which is in the category of sod, or "secret level" of the Torah, the structure is associated with remez, or the "hinting" level of the Torah. In the first sentence of the prayer appear four words (hariu lashem kol ha'aretz – "the entire land sings to God") that hint at the word halacha ("Jewish law"). The four words form an acrostic (based on their beginning letters) that spells halacha. This is a hint that the way to make spiritual progress (halicha) is by remaining within the framework of halacha – Jewish law. The remaining four verses correspond to the four worlds of asiya, yetzira, bria and Atzilut, that we must traverse in our spiritual journey. In another interpretation, the second verse ("Serve God in joy…") alludes to how the Cohanim (priests) used to serve God, while end of the second verse ("Approach Him in song…") alludes to the service of the Levites, who would sing as the sacrifices were offered in the Temple. And the third verse ("Know that Havaya is Elokim") hints at all the rest of us Jews as we were present at the sacrifices, and experienced the higher and lower "unity" described above.

Finally, in the most comprehensive interpretation, Mizmor Letodah corresponds to the entire process of prayer, from the beginning to the end. The beginning of the second verse (“Serve God in joyŔ) alludes to our morning prayers from the Korbanot (“Sacrifices”) until Baruch She’amar. And this is the World of Asiya. The end of the second verse (“Approach Him in song”) corresponds to the Pesukei DeZimra, and this is the World of Yetzira. The third verse “Know that Havaya is Elokim” refers to the Kriat Shema and the World of Bria. The three sections of the fourth verse apply to the pinnacle of prayer, the Shemonah Esreh and the World of Atzilut. “Come to His gates with gratitude” refers to the first three blessings of the Shemonah Esreh; “to His court with praise” refers to the middle thirteen blessings; and finally “acknowledge Him and give thanks to His name” (together with the final verse) refer to the final blessings of the Shemonah Esreh.