Table of contents
Baruch Shalom Ha-Levi Ashlag (Rabash)/Articles
Concerning Ancestral Merit
Purpose of Society - 1. 1-1 (1984)
Purpose of Society - 2. 1-2 (1984)
Concerning Love of Friends. 2 (1984)
Love of Friends - 1. 3 (1984)
They Helped Every One His Friend. 4 (1984)
What Does the Rule "Love Thy Friend as Thyself" Give Us. 5 (1984)
Love of Friends - 2. 6 (1984)
According to What Is Explained Concerning “Love Thy Friend as Thyself”. 7 (1984)
Which Keeping of Torah and Mitzvot Purifies the Heart. 8 (1984)
One Should Always Sell the Beams of His House. 9 (1984)
What Is the Degree One Should Achieve in Order Not to Have to Reincarnate? . 10 (1984)
Concerning Ancestral Merit. 11 (1984)
Concerning the Importance of Society. 12 (1984)
Sometimes Spirituality Is Called "a Soul". 13 (1984)
Forevermore One Sells All That Is His and Marries a Wise Disciple's Daughter. 14 (1984)
Is It Possible Something Negative Comes From Above. 15 (1984)
Concerning Bestowal. 16 (1984)
Concerning the Importance of Friends. 17-1 (1984)
The Agenda of the Assembly - 1. 17-2 (1984)
And It Shall Come to Pass When You Come to the Land that the Lord Your God Gives You. 18 (1984)
You Stand Today, All of You. 19 (1984)
Make for Yourself a Rav and Buy Yourself a Friend - 1. 1 (1985)
Concerning Branch and Root. 2 (1985)
Concerning Truth and Faith. 3 (1985)
These Are the Generations of Noah. 4 (1985)
Go Forth From Your Land. 5 (1985)
And the Lord Appeared to Him by the Oaks of Mamre. 6 (1985)
The Life of Sarah. 7 (1985)
Make for Yourself a Rav and Buy Yourself a Friend - 2. 8 (1985)
Jacob Went Out. 9 (1985)
And Jacob Went Out. 10 (1985)
Concerning the Debate between Jacob and Laban. 11 (1985)
Jacob Dwelled in the Land Where His Father Had Lived. 12 (1985)
Mighty Rock of My Salvation. 13 (1985)
I Am the First and I Am the Last. 14 (1985)
And Hezekiah Turned His Face to the Wall. 15 (1985)
But the More They Afflicted Them. 16 (1985)
Know Today and Reply to Your Heart. 17 (1985)
Concerning the Slanderers. 18 (1985)
Come unto Pharaoh - 1. 19 (1985)
He Whose Heart Is Hardened. 20 (1985)
We Should Always Discern between Torah and Work. 21 (1985)
The Whole of the Torah Is One Holy Name. 22 (1985)
On My Bed at Night. 23 (1985)
Three Times in the Work. 24 (1985)
In Every Thing We Must Discern between Light and Kli. 25 (1985)
Show Me Your Glory. 26 (1985)
Repentance. 27 (1985)
The Spies. 28 (1985)
The Lord Is Near to All Who Call upon Him. 29 (1985)
Three Prayers. 30 (1985)
One Does Not Regard Oneself as Wicked. 31 (1985)
Concerning the Reward of the Receivers. 32 (1985)
The Felons of Israel. 33 (1985)
And I Pleaded with the Lord. 34 (1985)
When a Person Knows What Is Fear of the Creator. 35 (1985)
And There Was Evening and There Was Morning. 36 (1985)
Who Testifies to a Person. 37 (1985)
A Righteous Who Is Happy, a Righteous Who Is Suffering. 38 (1985)
Hear Our Voice. 39 (1985)
Moses Went. 1 (1986)
Lend Ear, O Heaven. 2 (1986)
Man Is Rewarded with Righteousness and Peace through the Torah. 3 (1986)
Concerning Hesed [Mercy]. 4 (1986)
Concerning Respecting the Father. 5 (1986)
Confidence. 6 (1986)
The Importance of a Prayer of Many. 7 (1986)
Concerning Help that Comes from Above. 8 (1986)
Concerning the Hanukkah Candle. 9 (1986)
Concerning Prayer. 10 (1986)
A Real Prayer Is over a Real Deficiency. 11 (1986)
What Is the Main Deficiency for which One Should Pray?. 12 (1986)
Come unto Pharaoh - 2. 13 (1986)
What Is the Need to Borrow Kelim [Vessels] from the Egyptians?. 14 (1986)
A Prayer of Many. 15 (1986)
The Lord Has Chosen Jacob for Himself. 16 (1986)
The Agenda of the Assembly - 2. 17 (1986)
Who Causes the Prayer. 18 (1986)
Concerning Joy. 19 (1986)
Should One Sin and Be Guilty. 20 (1986)
Concerning Above Reason. 21 (1986)
If a Woman Inseminates. 22 (1986)
Concerning Fear and Joy. 23 (1986)
The Difference between Charity and Gift. 24 (1986)
The Measure of Practicing Mitzvot [Commandments]. 25 (1986)
A Near Way and a Far Way. 26 (1986)
The Creator and Israel Went into Exile. 27 (1986)
A Congregation Is No Less than Ten. 28 (1986)
Lishma and Lo Lishma. 29 (1986)
The Klipa [Shell/Peel] that Precedes the Fruit. 30 (1986)
Concerning Yenika [Nursing] and Ibur [Impregnation]. 31 (1986)
The Reason for Straightening the Legs and Covering the Head During the Prayer. 32 (1986)
What Are Commandments that a Person Tramples with His Feet. 33 (1986)
Judges and Officers. 34 (1986)
The Fifteenth of Av. 35 (1986)
What Is Preparation for Selichot [Forgiveness]. 36 (1986)
The Good Who Does Good, to the Bad and to the Good. 1 (1987)
The Importance of Recognition of Evil. 2 (1987)
All of Israel Have a Part in the Next World. 3 (1987)
It is Forbidden to Hear a Good Thing From a Bad Person. 4 (1987)
What Is the Advantage in the Work More than in the Reward?. 5 (1987)
The Importance of Faith that Is Always Present. 6 (1987)
The Miracle of Hanukkah. 7 (1987)
The Difference between Mercy and Truth and Untrue Mercy. 8 (1987)
One’s Greatness Depends on the Measure of One’s Faith in the Future. 9 (1987)
What Is the Substance of Slander and Against Whom Is It?. 10 (1987)
Purim, and the Commandment: Until He until He Does Not Know. 11 (1987)
What Is Half a Shekel in the Work - 1. 12 (1987)
Why the Festival of Matzot Is Called Passover. 13 (1987)
The Connection between Passover, Matza, and Maror. 14 (1987)
Two Discernments in Holiness. 15 (1987)
The Difference between the Work of the General Public and the Work of the Individual . 16 (1987)
The Severity of Teaching Idol Worshippers the Torah. 17 (1987)
What is the Preparation for Reception of the Torah - 1. 18 (1987)
What Are Revealed and Concealed in the Work of the Creator?. 19 (1987)
What Is Man’s Private Possession?. 20 (1987)
What Are Dirty Hands in the Work of the Creator?. 21 (1987)
What Is the Gift that a Person Asks of the Creator?. 22 (1987)
Peace After a Dispute Is More Important than Having No Disputes At All. 23 (1987)
What is Unfounded Hatred in the Work. 24 (1987)
What Is Heaviness of the Head in the Work?. 25 (1987)
What Is a Light Commandment. 26 (1987)
What Are “Blessing” and “Curse” in the Work?. 27 (1987)
What Is Do Not Add and Do Not Take Away in the Work?. 28 (1987)
What Is “According to the Sorrow, So Is the Reward”?. 29 (1987)
What Is a War Over Authority in the Work – 1. 30 (1987)
What Is Making a Covenant in the Work. 31 (1987)
Why Life Is Divided into Two Discernments. 1 (1988)
What Is the Extent of Teshuva [Repentance]?. 2 (1988)
What It Means that the Name of the Creator is “Truth”. 3 (1988)
What Is the Prayer for Help and for Forgiveness in the Work?. 4 (1988)
What Is, “When Israel Are in Exile, the Shechina Is With Them,” in the Work?. 5 (1988)
What Is the Difference between a Field and a Man of the Field, in the Work?. 6 (1988)
What Is the Importance of the Groom, that His Iniquities Are Forgiven?. 7 (1988)
What Does It Mean that One Who Prays Should Explain His Words Properly?. 8 (1988)
What Does It Mean that the Righteous Suffers Afflictions?. 9 (1988)
What Are the Four Qualities of Those Who Go to the Seminary, in the Work?. 10 (1988)
What Are the Two Discernments before Lishma?. 11 (1988)
What Are Torah and Work in the Way of the Creator?. 12 (1988)
What Is “the People’s Shepherd Is the Whole People” in the Work?. 13 (1988)
The Need for Love of Friends. 14 (1988)
What Is “There Is No Blessing in an Empty Place” in the Work?. 15 (1988)
What Is the Foundation on which Kedusha [Holiness] Is Built?. 16 (1988)
The Main Difference between a Beastly Soul and a Godly Soul. 17 (1988)
When Is One Considered “A Servant of the Creator” in the Work?. 18 (1988)
What Are Silver, Gold, Israel, Rest of Nations, in the Work?. 19 (1988)
What Is the Reward in the Work of Bestowal?. 20 (1988)
What Does It Mean that the Torah Was Given Out of the Darkness in the Work?. 21 (1988)
What Are Merits and Iniquities of a Righteous in the Work?. 22 (1988)
What Beginning in Lo Lishma Means in the Work. 23 (1988)
What Is “The Concealed Things Belong to the Lord, and the Revealed Things Belong to Us,” in the Work?. 24 (1988)
What Is the Preparation on the Eve of Shabbat, in the Work?. 25 (1988)
What Is the Difference between Law and Judgment in the Work?. 26 (1988)
What Is, “The Creator Does Not Tolerate the Proud,” in the Work?. 27 (1988)
What Is, His Guidance Is Concealed and Revealed?. 28 (1988)
How to Recognize One Who Serves God from One Who Does Not Serve Him. 29 (1988)
What to Look For in the Assembly of Friends. 30 (1988)
What Is the Work of Man, in the Work, which Is Attributed to the Creator?. 31 (1988)
What Are the Two Actions During a Descent?. 32 (1988)
What Is the Difference between General and Individual in the Work of the Creator?. 33 (1988)
What Are Day and Night in the Work?. 34 (1988)
What Is the Help in the Work that One Should Ask of the Creator?. 35 (1988)
What Is the Measure of Repentance?. 1 (1989)
What Is a Great or a Small Sin in the Work?. 2 (1989)
What Is the Difference between the Gate of Tears and the Rest of the Gates?. 3 (1989)
What Is a Flood of Water in the Work?. 4 (1989)
What Does It Mean that the Creation of the World Was by Largess?. 5 (1989)
What Is Above Reason in the Work?. 6 (1989)
What Is “He Who Did Not Toil on the Eve of Shabbat, What Will He Eat on Shabbat” in the Work?. 7 (1989)
What It Means, in the Work, that If the Good Grows, So Grows the Bad. 8 (1989)
What Is, “Calamity that Comes upon the Wicked Begins with the Righteous,” in the Work?. 9 (1989)
What Does It Mean that the Ladder Is Diagonal, in the Work?. 10 (1989)
What Are the Forces Required in the Work?. 11 (1989)
What Is a Groom’s Meal?. 12 (1989)
What Is the “Bread of an Evil-Eyed Man” in the Work?. 13 (1989)
What Is the Meaning of “Reply unto Your Heart”?. 14 (1989)
What Is, “The Righteous Become Apparent through the Wicked,” in the Work?. 15 (1989)
What Is the Prohibition to Bless on an Empty Table, in the Work?. 16 (1989)
What Is the Prohibition to Greet Before Blessing the Creator, in the Work?. 17 (1989)
What Is, “There Is No Blessing in That Which Is Counted,” in the Work?. 18 (1989)
Why Is Shabbat Called Shin-Bat in the Work?. 19 (1989)
What Does It Mean that the Evil Inclination Ascends and Slanders, in the Work?. 20 (1989)
What Is, “A Drunken Man Must Not Pray, in the Work?. 21 (1989)
Why Are Four Questions Asked Specifically on Passover Night?. 22 (1989)
What Is, If He Swallows the Bitter Herb, He Will Not Come Out, in the Work?. 23 (1989)
What Is “Do Not Slight the Blessing of a Layperson” in the Work?. 24 (1989)
What Is “He Who Has a Flaw Shall Not Offer [Sacrifice]” in the Work?. 25 (1989)
What Is “He Who Defiles Himself Is Defiled from Above” in the Work?. 26 (1989)
What Is the Meaning of Suffering in the Work?. 27 (1989)
Who Needs to Know that a Person Withstood the Test?. 28 (1989)
What Is the Preparation to Receive the Torah in the Work? - 2. 29 (1989)
What Is the Meaning of Lighting the Menorah in the Work?. 30 (1989)
What Is the Prohibition to Teach Torah to Idol-Worshippers in the Work?. 31 (1989)
What Does It Mean that Oil Is Called “Good Deeds” in the Work?. 32 (1989)
What Are Spies in the Work?. 33 (1989)
What Is Peace in the Work?. 34 (1989)
What Is, “He Who Is Without Sons,” in the Work?. 35 (1989)
What Is “For It Is Your Wisdom and Understanding in the Eyes of the Nations,” in the Work?. 36 (1989)
What Is “A Road Whose Beginning Is Thorns and Its End Is a Plain” in the Work?. 37 (1989)
What Are Judges and Officers in the Work?. 38 (1989)
What Is, “The Torah Speaks Only Against the Evil Inclination,” in the Work?. 39 (1989)
What Is, “Every Day They Will Be as New in Your Eyes,” in the Work?. 40 (1989)
The Daily Schedule. 41 (1989)
What Does “May We Be the Head and Not the Tail” Mean in the Work?. 1 (1990)
What Is the Meaning of Failure in the Work?. 2 (1990)
What It Means that the World Was Created for the Torah. 3 (1990)
What It Means that the Generations of the Righteous are Good Deeds, in the Work. 4 (1990)
What It Means that the Land Did Not Bear Fruit before Man Was Created, in the Work. 5 (1990)
When Should One Use Pride in the Work?. 6 (1990)
What Are the Times of Prayer and Gratitude in the Work?. 7 (1990)
What It Means that Esau Was Called “A Man of the Field,” in the Work. 8 (1990)
What Is, “A Ladder Is Set on the Earth, and Its Top Reaches Heaven,” in the Work?. 9 (1990)
What Does It Mean that Our Sages Said, “King David Did Not Have a Life,” in the Work?. 10 (1990)
What Placing the Hanukkah Candle on the Left Means in the Work. 11 (1990)
Why Is the Torah Called “Middle Line” in the Work? - 1. 12 (1990)
What Does It Mean that by the Unification of the Creator and the Shechina, All Iniquities Are Atoned?. 13 (1990)
What Is True Hesed in the Work?. 14 (1990)
What Does It Mean that Before the Egyptian Minister Fell, Their Outcry Was Not Answered, in the Work?. 15 (1990)
What Is “For Lack of Spirit and for Hard Work,” in the Work?. 16 (1990)
What Is the Assistance that He who Comes to Purify Receives in the Work?. 17 (1990)
Why the Speech of Shabbat Must Not Be as the Speech of a Weekday, in the Work. 18 (1990)
Why Is the Torah Called “Middle Line” in the Work? - 2. 19 (1990)
What Is Half a Shekel in the Work? - 2. 20 (1990)
What Is, “As I Am for Nothing, so You Are for Nothing,” in the Work?. 21 (1990)
What Is the Order in Blotting Out Amalek?. 22 (1990)
What Does It Mean that Moses Was Perplexed about the Birth of the Moon, in the Work?. 23 (1990)
What Does, “Everything that Comes to Be a Burnt Offering Is Male,” Mean in the Work?. 24 (1990)
What Is, “Praise the Lord, All Nations,” in the Work?. 25 (1990)
What Is, “There Is None as Holy as the Lord, for There Is None Besides You,” in the Work?. 26 (1990)
What Is, “Every Blade of Grass Has an Appointee Above, Who Strikes It and Tells It, Grow!” in the Work?. 27 (1990)
What Is, “Warn the Great about the Small,” in the Work?. 28 (1990)
What Is, “The Torah Exhausts a Person’s Strength,” in the Work?. 29 (1990)
What It Means that “Law and Ordinance” Is the Name of the Creator in the Work. 30 (1990)
What “There Is No Blessing in That Which Is Counted” Means in the Work. 31 (1990)
What “Israel Do the Creator’s Will” Means in the Work. 32 (1990)
What Is “The Earth Feared and Was Still,” in the Work?. 33 (1990)
What Are “A Layperson’s Vessels,” in the Work?. 34 (1990)
What Is “He Who Enjoys at a Groom’s Meal,” in the Work?. 35 (1990)
What Is, “The Children of Esau and Ishmael Did Not Want to Receive the Torah,” in the Work?. 36 (1990)
What Is, “The Shechina Is a Testimony to Israel,” in the Work?. 37 (1990)
What Is, “A Cup of Blessing Must Be Full,” in the Work?. 38 (1990)
What Is, “Anyone Who Mourns forJerusalem Is Rewarded with Seeing Its Joy,” in the Work?. 39 (1990)
What Is, “For You Are the Least of All the Peoples,” in the Work?. 40 (1990)
What Are the Light Mitzvot that a Person Tramples with His Heels, in the Work?. 41 (1990)
What Are a Blessing and a Curse, in the Work?. 42 (1990)
What Is, “You Shall Not Plant for Yourself an Asherah by the Altar,” in the Work?. 43 (1990)
What Is an Optional War, in the work? - 2. 44 (1990)
What Is, “The Concealed Things Belong to the Lord Our God,” in the work?. 45 (1990)
The Order of the Work, from Baal HaSulam. 46 (1990)
What Is, “We Have No Other King But You,” in the Work?. 1 (1991)
What Is, “Return, O Israel, Unto the Lord Your God,” in the Work?. 2 (1991)
What Is, “The Wicked Will Prepare and the Righteous Will Wear,” in the Work?. 3 (1991)
What Is, “The Saboteur Was in the Flood, and Was Putting to Death,” in the Work?. 4 (1991)
What Is, “The Good Deeds of the Righteous Are the Generations,” in the Work?. 5 (1991)
What Is, “The Herdsmen of Abram’s Cattle and the Herdsmen of Lot’s Cattle,” in the Work?. 6 (1991)
What Is “Man” and What Is “Beast” in the Work?. 7 (1991)
What Is, “And Abraham Was Old, of Many Days,” in the Work?. 8 (1991)
What Is, “The Smell of His Garments,” in the Work?. 9 (1991)
What Does “The King Stands on His Field When the Crop Is Ripe” Mean in the Work?. 10 (1991)
What It Means that the Good Inclination and the Evil Inclination Guard a Person in the Work. 11 (1991)
These Candles Are Sacred. 12 (1991)
What “You Have Given the Strong to the Hands of the Weak” Means in the Work. 13 (1991)
What Does It Mean that Man’s Blessing Is the Blessing of the Sons, in the Work?. 14 (1991)
What Is the Blessing, “Who Made a Miracle for Me in This Place,” in the Work?. 15 (1991)
Why We Need “Reply unto Your Heart,” to Know that the Lord, He Is God, in the Work. 16 (1991)
What Is, “For I Have Hardened His Heart,” in the work?. 17 (1991)
What It Means that We Should Raise the Right Hand over the Left Hand, in the Work. 18 (1991)
What Is, “Rise Up, O Lord, and Let Your Enemies Be Scattered,” in the Work?. 19 (1991)
What Is, “There Is Nothing that Has No Place,” in the Work?. 20 (1991)
What Does It Mean that We Read the Portion, Zachor [Remember], Before Purim, in the Work?. 21 (1991)
What Is “A Lily Among the Thorns,” in the Work?. 22 (1991)
What Is the Meaning of the Purification of a Cow’s Ashes, in the Work?. 23 (1991)
What Does It Mean that One Should Bear a Son and a Daughter, in the Work?. 24 (1991)
What Does It Mean that One Who Repents Should Be in Happiness?. 25 (1991)
What Is Revealing a Portion and Covering Two Portions in the Work?. 26 (1991)
What Is, “If a Woman Inseminates First, She Delivers a Male Child,” in the Work?. 27 (1991)
What Are Holiness and Purity, in the Work?. 28 (1991)
What Does It Mean that a High Priest Should Take a Virgin Wife, in the Work?. 29 (1991)
What Does It Mean that One Who Was On a Far Off Way Is Postponed to a Second Passover, in the Work?. 30 (1991)
What Does It Mean that Charity to the Poor Makes the Holy Name, in the Work?. 31 (1991)
What Are Banners in the Work?. 32 (1991)
What Does It Mean that the Creator Favors Someone, in the Work?. 33 (1991)
What Is Eating Their Fruits in This World and Keeping the Principal for the Next World, in the Work?. 34 (1991)
What Is the Meaning of “Spies,” in the Work?. 35 (1991)
What Is, “Peace, Peace, to the Far and to the Near,” in the Work?. 36 (1991)
What Is the “Torah” and What Is “The Statute of the Torah,” in the Work?. 37 (1991)
What Is the “Right Line,” in the Work?. 38 (1991)
What Does It Mean that the Right Must Be Greater than the Left, in the Work?. 39 (1991)
What Are Truth and Falsehood in the Work?. 40 (1991)
What Should One Do If He Was Born With Bad Qualities?. 41 (1991)
What Is, “An Ox Knows Its Owner, etc., Israel Does Not Know,” in the Work?. 42 (1991)
What Is, “You Will See My Back, But My Face Shall Not Be Seen,” in the Work?. 43 (1991)
What Is the Reason for which Israel Were Rewarded with Inheritance of the Land, in the Work?. 44 (1991)
What Does It Mean that a Judge Must Judge Absolutely Truthfully, in the Work?. 45 (1991)
What Is the Son of the Beloved and the Son of the Hated in the Work?. 46 (1991)
What Does It Mean that the Right and the Left Are in Contrast, in the Work?. 47 (1991)

Ancestral Merit

Article No. 11, 1984

A dispute is introduced regarding ancestral merit (Shabbat, p 55): “Shmuel said, ‘Ancestral merit has ended.’ Rabbi Yohanan said, ‘Ancestral merit pardons.’” In the Midrash (Midrash Rabah, Vayikra, 37), “Rav Aha said, ‘Ancestral merit exists forever and is forever mentioned.’” And there, in the Tosfot, it is said, “Rabeinu Tam says that ancestral merit has ended, but ancestral covenant has not ended.” To Rabbi Yohanan it seems that there is no dispute between Shmuel and Rabbi Yohanan: Shmuel said that it ended for the wicked but not for the righteous, and Rabbi Yohanan is referring to the righteous.

According to the above, we can interpret what is being asked about the choice: “If there is ancestral merit, then there is no choice here, since ancestral merit causes a person to be righteous. And according to the words of the Tosfot, in the name of the ARI, who says that ancestral merit is only for the righteous, it follows that initially one has choice, so as to be righteous, and subsequently one can enjoy the ancestral merit.

From the essay Matan Torah [“The Giving of the Torah”] (item 19), it appears that thanks to ancestral merit we have the power to make the choice, and were it not for ancestral merit we would not be able to make the choice. In reality, we see that even though we have ancestral merit, we still do not see that everyone has the strength to make the choice. Rather, everyone finds it difficult. However, the ancestral merit assists us in making the choice.

This means that choosing applies where there are two equal things, and I must decide. But when one side is more difficult than the other, it cannot be said that I must decide, since I naturally lean toward the stronger side. Therefore, thanks to ancestral merit they are two equal forces and we can decide. This is called that we were given the strength to make the choice.

To understand these matters we should look at what is written in the essay, “The Giving of the Torah” (item 19): “Therefore, the Creator did not find a nation or a tongue qualified to receive the Torah, except for the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, whose ancestral merit reflected upon them, as our sages said, ‘The Patriarchs observed the whole Torah even before it was given.’ This means that because of the exaltedness of their souls, they had the ability to attain all the ways of the Creator with respect to the spirituality of the Torah, which stems from their Dvekut [adhesion] with Him, without first needing the ladder of the practical part of the Torah, which they had no possibility of observing at all (as written in item 16). Undoubtedly, both the physical purity and the mental exaltedness of our holy fathers greatly influenced their sons and their sons’ sons.”

It therefore follows that thanks to ancestral merit we can make the choice. Otherwise, it would be impossible.

However, we need great mercy even once we have ancestral merit, so we can make the choice, meaning abandon self-love and take upon ourselves love of others, and that all our aspirations will be only to bestow contentment upon the Creator. And even with all the powers of Torah and Mitzvot [commandments], that we will be able to defeat the evil in us and turn it into good.

However, we should understand why he says “Ancestral merit has ended.” The question is, “What existed prior to the end of ancestral merit?” And if so, there was no need for choice then, since he had ancestral merit. However, we should say that a person’s request that He will help him come close to Him—to the true service of the Creator—is the prayer itself. His request that He will help him with ancestral merit is itself considered a “choice.” The choice is that he is doing what he can, and this is already regarded as a choice.