In the Sefardic Tradition there is a Minhag - custom to say some form of the LeShem Yichud prior to doing any Mitzvah. This is not done in the Ashkenazi Tradition
The LeShem Yichud is said in the Aramaic Language. The Aramaic Language is the language of the people who lived in the time of the Temples and uses the Hebrew Language. It is a more pure language as it generally does not transfer negative energy. The only way this happens is the Aramaic language speaks in the language of Man and asks him / her how much energy it wants. This way it does not transfer more energy than the person can handle at that moment. This is my opinion. The metaphor is that the Angels do not understand this language.
There are many different LeShem Yichud that apply to each Mitzvah yet all of them have a similar structure and beginning. Here is that beginning.
לשם יחוד קודשא בריך הוא ושכינתיה (יאהדונהי) בדחילו ורחימו (יאההויהה) ורחימו ודחילו (איההיוהה) ליחדא שם יוד הי בואו הי ביחודא שלים (יהוה) בשם כל ישראל הריני מקבל עלי קלהותו יתברך ואהבתו ויראתו והרינו ירא ממנו בגיו דאיהו רב ושליט על כולא וכולא קמיה כלא .. .............................(enter the Mitzvah Here) Finish with the following Verse Tehillim - Psalms 90:17 ויהי נעם אדני אלהינו עלינו ומעשה ידינו כוננה עלינו ומעשה ידינו כוננהו
LeShem Yichud Kudsha Berich Hu Ushchintei (יאהדונהי) bidchilu urchimu (יאההויהה) Urchimu Udchilu (איההיוהה) leyachda shem Yud Hai bewav Hai beyehuda shelim (יהוה) beshem kol Yisrael, hareni mekabel alai Elahut yitbarach veahavato veyirato vehareini yare mimenu begin deihu rav veshlit al kula, wechula kamei kela, .............(Enter the Mitzvah) .....Wayahi Noam Adonai Elohaynu Alaynu WemaAsey Yadaynu Koneneh Alaynu Wemaseh Yadaynu Konenehu.
For the sake of the unification between the Holy Blessed One and His Shechinah (יאהדונהי) with fear and love (יאההויהה) and with love and fear (איההיוהה), in order to unify the Name Yood Hey and Wav Hey in perfect unity, and in the Name of all Israel, i hereby accept upon myself His divinity, Blessed Be He, and the love of Him and the fear of Him. And i hereby fear Him for being great, He Who reigns over everything. Before Him , everything is insignificant.........(enter the Mitzvah)....And let the graciousness of the Lord our God be upon us; establish Thou also upon us the work of our hands; yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it.
Please note: there are meditations within the LeShem Yichud. They are the Hebrew Letters within the parentheses. It is good to know what they are and why they are different for the same words. If you do not know send me an email requesting the information. Here is a hint. They relate to the Names of God and direct light and returning light.
The following is a kabbalistic explanation of the LeShem Yichud prayer by Rabbi Bar Tzadok:
The L’Shem Yihud Prayer / Meditation
The Union of the Holy One, Blessed Be He, and His Shekhina.The relationship between Z.A. and Nok is the essential focal point of all the Kabbalah. G-d is only revealed to His universe through the Partzuf of Z.A. of Atzilut. Nok d’Z.A. is the Shekhina, the holy spark of the Divine that gives life to all. She is the source of the Adamic soul (Neshama).
At present the human race is disconnected from the human soul (Neshama) as a result of our exile from Eden. Thus the Shekhina is not in a state of proper union with Z.A. This state of affairs needs to be rectified. The entire purpose of the Torah is “for the sake of the unity of the Holy One, Blessed Be He (Z.A.), and His Shekhina (Nok)."
Prior to the performance of every commandment of the Torah, the Kabbalists instituted a formula to be read as a proclamation and preparation so the one performing the commandment or mitzvah simply does not perform the deed aimlessly, but rather focused, directed to the greater purpose of the universe.
The formula states:
chanoch adds: The following paragraph is a translation of part of the LeShem Yichud.
“For the sake of the unity of the Holy One, Blessed Be He, and His Shekhina, in love and awe, and in awe and love to unite the letters Yod Hey with Vav Hey in a perfect union, in the name of all Yisrael, behold I have come to perform this mitzvah”.
The union of the Holy One and His Shekhina is understood, but why do we then say “in awe and love,” and then repeat saying, “in love and awe?" This is a meditation to merge together the Mohin of Abba - Chokhma (awe) with the Mohin of Imma - Binah (love), and then to reverse the order to unite the Mohin of Imma with those of Abba.
We then recite “to unite the letters Yod Hey with Vav Hey”. Yod (Abba) and Hey (Imma) are the Mohin that need now to descend into Z.A. (Vav, and Nok is Hey) in order for Him to be complete. This descent of the Mohin of Abba and Imma into Z.A. (and from Him to Nok) creates the “perfect union”.
This in turn is done “in the name of all Yisrael”, meaning that the commandment and mitzvah that we perform we do not do for the sake of our own individual reward and merit, but rather for the sake of the collective good, i.e. “all Yisrael.”
Until i complete this essay please search the internet for the term "leshem yichud prayer." Note: It is not a true prayer.
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