“The main weapon of Mashiach is prayer.” (Torah 2)
The Zohar teaches that Moshiach’s breath of life is drawn from the openings of the nose. This nose, that the kabbalists refer to, is the nose of Arich Anpin, a Divine persona of the Creator. (The explanation of this emanation is beyond the scope of this article). On a simpler level, via proof-texts, Rebbe Nachman likens prayer to the nose.
How are prayer and the nose similar?
A person’s life depends on the breath he constantly draws from his nostrils, as it says (Genesis 2:7) “Hashem breathed into his nostrils the breath of life”. This isn’t something that happened once to the First Man, but something that is happening continually. Similarly, a person’s life is equally dependent on his constant connection with the Creator through prayer.
Our sages say that the olfactory system of the nose, or the sense of smell, wasn’t affected by the sin of Adam. The Torah says that Eve ‘listened’ to the snake, ‘saw’ the good fruit, ‘touched’ it, and ‘tasted’ it. But there’s no mention of smelling the fruit. In fact, Moshiach’s sense of smell will be so pure that through it, he will be able to distinguish the righteous from the wicked (See commentary on Isaiah 11:3). As we know, the incense was a major part of our service in the Holy Temple too. There’s a certain purity that’s found in the sense of smell. Similarly, there is something equally pure about prayer. Did you ever see your children imitate how you pray? Besides the cute display, there’s a certain pride you feel. I think it’s because you feel like you’ve showed them a basic survival skill. Even more so when we see our children sincerely praying. A real prayer is the most basic expression we have. Crying out from suffering, groaning from pain or shouting for joy is so genuine. It’s not an exterior tool that we learn how to use. It’s accessing our inner soul and connecting to our most natural and purest place. It’s simply our lifeline.