When we wake up in the morning and daven, many people have gotten into the habit of skipping the entire section of Korbonos, and most importantly, the Pitum HaKetores. This is very unfortunate as will be explained below. There is literally no better time than now to add to this to your tefillos. Although this post will be a little longer than usual, I think you will find it worthwhile. The following are excerpts from R’ Elimelech Biderman’s Torah Wellsprings where he discusses the incredible segulah of saying korbonos and Pitum HaKetores each day:
The Zohar teaches that saying korbanos is mesugal for silencing the prosecuting malachim (angels). Saying Ketores is mesugal to stop the malach hamaves (angel of death) when he is on a rampage, in a time of a plague.
The Zohar (vol.1 100:) states, “Reb Pinchas tells, ‘Once, while traveling, I met Eliyahu HaNavi. I asked, ‘Tell me something that will help people.’ Eliyahu replied, ‘In heaven there are malachim whose mission is to tell the sins of the Jewish nation before Hashem’s throne. When Bnei Yisrael say the korbanos…with kavanah, those malachim must now say good about them.
“Furthermore, when there is a mageifah (plague), Hakadosh Baruch Hu makes a bris, (a pact) and it is announced in heaven that if Hashem’s children will enter the batei midrashim and the batei knesiyos and say the Ketores with kavanah, the mageifah (plague) will cease…” So we see that saying the korbanos is a segulah to silence the prosecuting malachim, and there’s an added benefit in saying the Ketores, for it stops plagues.
Ideally, we want to perform the mitzvos of Karbanos and Ketores in the Beis HaMikdash. When we don’t have a Beis HaMikdash, we earn their segulos by saying (and by studying) the Korbanos and Ketores.
The Gemara (Shabbos 89.) relates that when Moshe Rabbeinu was on Har Sinai, he convinced the malachim (angels) that it is proper that the Torah should be given to the Jewish nation, and not to the malachim in heaven. The Gemara says, “All the malachim immediately became his friend and gave him presents… The malach hamaves (angel of death) also gave a present to Moshe…” The present was that he taught Moshe that the Ketores stops plagues.
The Zohar (Vayakhel p.218) elaborates on the specialness of the Ketores: “The Ketores breaks the yetzer hara (evil inclination) from all its sides… There is nothing that is more beloved before Hakadosh Baruch Hu than the Ketores… This is the bris (promise) that Hashem made: Whoever studies the sacrifice of Ketores each day, will be saved from all bad things…from all harm, from bad thoughts, from punishment, and from death. He won’t be harmed that entire day… Reb Shimon said, ‘If people knew how special the Ketores is before Hashem, they would take each word and pin it on their heads like a crown made of gold’ … If a person says the Ketores each day, he is a ben Olam HaBa (son of the world to come, meaning he has a portion in the next world). Death will be removed from him and from the world, and he will be saved from all troubles… The Ketores atones for the Yetzer hara, for avodah zarah… Someone who has din (punishments) chasing him needs the Ketores, and he needs to do teshuvah before his Creator, because then the dinim will leave him. Saying the Ketores in the morning and in the afternoon…gives existence to this world and to the world above.”
May we merit to say and study the Ketores with joy and concentration!