Zohar on the Mystery of Echo and the “Three Cries” as a Model of Trauma
What’s presented here, is a direct translation of the Zohar (appearing in bold) along with an elaborated commentary which explores the implications and applications of the text in regards to trauma. The complete Zoharic text, without commentary, appears in Hebrew and English at the end. This is a longer teaching that what usually appears on this site. A PDF version is available for your convenience.
Speech, says kabbala and chassidut, incorporates two elements: kol (cry) and dibur (words). Kol is the emotional charge and intention behind the vocalization while dibur is the string of words, each discrete, that articulates its message. Kol associates with the sefira of tiferet and the partzuf of zeir anpin. Dibur associates with the sefira of malchut and the partzuf of nukba.
It is possible to have one without the other. Kol without dibur is a baby’s cry or a person’s groan or an animal’s roar or even a silent scream. Dibur without kol is a sensible communication, expressed through words, that carries no emotional charge. It comes from the head, not from the heart.
The Zohar here focuses on kol. It does not specify kol without dibur, or kol with dibbur. We will assume that both alternatives apply, yet even if dibur is present, it’s the kol behind it that’s relevant here.
The Zohar – (3:168b-169a)
Rebbe Shimon receives a visionary tour of Gan Eden and asks his tour-guide about the mystery of echo, which in the Zohar’s Aramaic is קלא דהדרא and which translates into Hebrew as קול שחוזר—kol sh’chozer (returning voice). Rebbe Shimon wonders how it works, that someone raises a voice in a field or elsewhere, and another voice responds. From whence comes this returning voice? The head of the heavenly Academy descends and proceeds to explain:
There are three cries that spread from one end of the world to the other yet (unlike the cries of prayer and Torah study) they cannot exceed their gravitational tug. They do not soar heavenward. Yet they also do not cease. Instead, like spiritual silt, these earthbound cries settle into the cracks and crevices of creation only to reactivate whenever someone on the planet cries a similar cry.
Yet given that we too are formed from “earthly matter” [Gen 2:7], as the liturgy declares, “כי עפר אנחנו” these cries settle into the interstitial spaces of our own bodies as well. There they merge with our somatic layer (called breath-of-the-bones further on). It follows, then, that we also resonate with these three primal cries and get similarly activated by their distress, especially those within earshot or soul-affinity. The closer we are to the source of a cry (literally or psychically) the greater its impact upon us.
All three are cries of pain:
- The cry at the birthing stool (which is actually two-fold). The cry of the woman stretching to allow parturition and the cry of the newborn taking its first breaths.
By extension it is the cry of creative embodiment, of squeezing vision into a material container, of cramming an unbounded soul into a circumscribed body.
- The cry of the soul tearing from the body at the time of death. This also is two-fold. It is the cry of parting from all that is loved (a loss felt by body, soul and cohorts alike). But it is also the ecstatic cry of the soul entering the 7th heaven (aravot) and celebrating the expanse available when the body’s been shed.
By extension this includes the cries of all the loss that causes so much suffering in the world.
- And finally, the cry that concerns us here, the cry of the serpent shedding its skin which, says the Zohar, is not a verbal cry, but rather the thumping sound of blows—person to person, or even staff against the ground. This too, is twofold: The shriek of the assaulted ones, and the battle-cry of their attackers. The sound of weapons wielded and the thump of bodies wounded. The weapons could even be harsh words (dibur) but it’s the kol—the aggression inside them—that is relevant here.
By extension this includes all the pains and travails, disputes and oppressions, narcissistic wounds and ego deaths that pepper our path from cradle to grave.
The Zohar notes that these first two cries are human, natural and universal. True, they originate with the curses incurred from partaking of the Tree of Knowledge, but we’ve never known anything different so for us they are the way of the world.
But the third cry, the nachash shedding its skin is more mysterious. The nachash is not human. It symbolizes the pleasure-grabbing, power-grabbing ego driven by the more primitive instincts that we humans share with the animal kingdom. Pharoah is called the tannin hagadol (the great sea serpent or nachash) who, in the Exodus story, plays the role of ego refusing to submit to spiritual law or to the Commander-in-Chief behind it.
As a snake matures it outgrows its skin and must shed its old casing to make space for its newly expanded self. But what is the human equivalent of this phenomenon.
Kabbala refers to the opaque skin or shell that surrounds every thing in creation as serpent skin (mashka d’chiviya) for it only appeared in the universe after the serpent’s successful seduction of Adam and Chava. The opacity that is its distinguishing feature, produces the appearance of multiplicity which is the very crux of evil, defined as “the illusion of separation and independence from G-d.” Nothing can actually be separate for “…G-d is one” and there’s nothing but Him/Her/It. Yet, to the extent that it presents the appearance of self-containment and self-sovereignty, to that extent it partakes of the quality of evil. Conversely, when presenting the truth of G-d’s one-and-onlyness, it partakes of the holy. Everything in our post-Edenic world combines both, to varying degrees.
From Kabbala’s perspective, we are all enclothed in opaque serpent skin, which we repeatedly shed and renew to accommodate the expansions of consciousness that occur in the course of life. Yet, asserts the Zohar, these growth pains hurt (sometimes more and sometimes less).
To summarize what we know, so far, about this mysterious cry. There are things that it shares with the other two cries and things that are unique to it.
- Its cry spreads from one end of the world to the other, but can’t pierce the heavens, and settles into the cracks and crevices of the earth (including the clefts and voids of us earthlings).
- It reactivates every time a person somewhere on the planet, cries a resonant cry.
Unique to it
- The source of the cry is not human. It associates with an animal—a snake—and with an activity—skin-shedding—that is not something people obviously do.
- The sound that reactivates this third cry is the sound of blows—of strikes and punches—even if only a staff upon the ground.
- Based on the principle of “like awakens like” the Zohar associates this third category with retzicha (murderousness and savagery) expressing the yetzer of power more than the yetzer of lust.
Clearly, this serpent with it’s primal cry symbolizes the inner serpent with its ego-densities that distort our perceptions of the world. The Zohar is sharing secrets about the ego’s tikkun which it depicts as a serpent shedding its skin. That is precisely the ego’s work—to shed its armor and to, slowly but surely, become an ever more humble and transparent interpreter of reality.
The Zohar suggests (by metaphor) that the ego’s tikkun needs prods to drive it along. Blows, assaults, and ego-deaths. The ego doesn’t surrender its entitlements easily.
This third category of cry is violent—the whack of the aggressor and the howl of the victim. The Zohar considers these sounds more brutish than human. The hostile encounter of ego to ego, exchanging narcissistic blows, inflicting narcissistic wounds. Apparently, that’s what it takes to humble the ego, which (in the big picture) is not a punishment but its ticket to redemption.
The physical assault or emotional insult triggers the inner nachash (or ego) of its victim to respond in kind. Both the punch and the scream are called “kolot” that spread from one end of the world to the other settling into the cracks and crevices of the earth and its earthlings.
The Zohar continues: Rabi Shimon wonders how it could be that King Solomon, the wisest of men, did not fathom the secret and the purpose of these kolot. The head of the heavenly academy explains that King Solomon did not realize that this kol was enlivened by only three levels of soul: ruach, nefesh and a more mysterious component called, “breath of the bones.”
Ruach is the level of soul that resonates with the emotional plane and overlaps the animal kingdom which also displays primitive emotions. Nefesh is the vegetative soul that keeps our body functioning and responsive. It is present at some level in all creations, even the mineral kingdom. Finally, breath of the bones is the lowest edge of the soul that interfaces with the body’s marrow and has properties nearly identical to what we now call DNA. Breath of the bones is that portion of the cry that settles so deeply into the person that it actually merges with their genome and influences them via the medium of what’s now called epigenetics. “Breath of the bones” is that part of the soul that stays below, bound to the bones, after death, and after the other layers (including nefesh) have ascended to the World-of-Souls.
Conspicuously absent is the neshama, the soul that confers a capacity for speech and abstract thought, both of which happen by breaking down an overwhelming experience into bite-sized elements that can now be manipulated into sentences, categories and manageable thought forms. Only thus deconstructed can an overwhelming experience, such as one of these primal cries, be assimilated.
These kolot are cries of pain and they draw their vitality (their ruach, nefesh & hevlei d’garma) from the travails of the flesh. Each cry vibrates out through the world and then settles some place on earth as if dead.
Psychics, witches, shamans and necromancers know where to go and how to decipher the secrets conveyed by these cries. They use this information to hone in on the vulnerabilities of people—the cracks and crevices (fears and shame) of their souls—the places in their psyche (the ruach, nefesh and breath of the bones) that resonate with these cries of physical, emotional and/or ego pain. Unfortunately, if they have not rectified their own inner nachash (ie, ego), they can use this information to exploit people and manipulate them…and, sadly, that is often the case.
Weaving all this together, we arrive at the following picture.
The first two cries bracket our earthly sojourn. We come in with a cry of constriction and leave with a cry of loss. But between those two inescapable boundary events, we suffer the task of (metaphorically) shedding our skin, an ongoing labor that is the underside of expanding consciousness.
The upside of life is the wisening, enlightening, perfecting, maturing and increasing of consciousness. No one goes from cradle to grave without some lessons learned. Kabbala teaches that all pleasure eventually traces back to the absorption of some new increment of light, some new sliver of awareness. But in order to receive this ohr chadash (new light), we must make space for it. We need to grow or stretch enough that it can fit in to our persona.
There are a million ways to make space for new light. We can stretch from reading a book, listening to an anecdote about someone else’s hard knock, watching a movie, meditating, pushing beyond our comfort zone, doing a mitzvah, even sleeping can sometimes do the trick. But sometimes the light coming through is just bigger than who we are in the present. Instead of waiting for our initiative, it forces its way in which can feel harsh and even violent. It meets us with a whack…manifesting as an awful life circumstance that is traumatizing and the opposite of what we hoped and prayed for. The Zohar characterizes that tribulation as a serpent shedding its skin.
For reasons essentially unknowable, some people’s life-paths entail an inordinate measure of skin-shedding blows—whether they be quantitatively numerous, or exceptionally harsh. The reason for our life’s design in this regard is absolutely inscrutable, deriving from the superrational root of Divinity called kivshe d’rachmana (guarded secrets of the Merciful One).
Given that this third category of nachash-like cries (which are really blows) does not carry a neshama level of vibration people are unable to process them—to discern their good-serving, God-serving, and even self-serving purpose. It is the neshama level of soul that resonates with the mental plane and recognizes purpose. It’s the voice inside us that contemplates our situation and tries to find the best response.
When there is no handle for the neshama to grab hold of, there is no way for the person to assimilate the ordeal. The experience becomes one big chunk of emotional upset that happened and hurt. But what it means and how to respond, and what’s the message and how to recover—there’s no entry point for such processing. The kol spreads from one end of the world to the other and the person is flattened by it. This is especially true when the victim of the “blow” is a child whose own neshama has not fully integrated and whose ability to articulate inner experience is consequently limited (if not absent). Without neshama there is only reactivity and sensitivity.
The Zohar conveys through metaphor the nature of unprocessed trauma, that it is constantly reactivated by anything that resonates with it. Any kol within metaphoric earshot will retrigger the trauma. Even a harmless but similar-sounding action, like striking a staff against the ground, is likely to trigger the original cries of abuse and reactivate them.
This, says the Zohar, is the mystery of echo on the inner planes. A lone cry activates all the similar kolot buried in the earth and in the flesh of humanity. All the cries of pain since the beginning of time that have not been fully processed well up and cry back.
Our work, implies the Zohar, is to turn these three cries of (1) constriction, (2) loss and (3) assault into cries of Torah and prayer—into kolot that can pierce the heavens and do ascend on high. What would that look like?
These two methods of tikun are illustrated by the talmudic tale of R. Yochanan ben Zakai (master of Torah) and R. Chanina ben Dosa (master of prayer). The story appears below.
R. Yochanan ben Zakai was the most illustrious scholar of his time. He was the decisor of many (if not most) of the rabbinic laws of his generation. In the Torah’s value frame, this is the greatest distinction a soul can achieve – to be the one who determines a rule of practice that Jews obey generation after generation till the end of time.
R. Chanina ben Dosa, in contrast, was a master of prayer. There is no indication that he even contributed to Talmudic discussions, let alone shaped their outcome. Yet the Talmud claims that when R. Chanina would come to the words in the prayer liturgy, “Blessed is God Who causes the winds to blow and the rain to fall…” the winds really did blow, and the rains really did fall.
The Talmud relays the following incident:
R. Yochanan’s son was deathly ill and neither prayer nor medicine could reverse the decree. R. Chanina came to R. Yochanan’s home, and R. Yochanan asked him to pray for his son. R. Chanina put his head between his knees and cried to Heaven for the healing of R. Yochanan’s son. R. Chanina’s prayer prevailed, and the son enjoyed a spontaneous recovery. R. Yochanan confessed that he could have prayed from here to eternity and he would not have succeeded in healing his son. R. Yochanan’s wife remarked, “Perhaps R. Chanina is greater than you.” R. Yochanan responded, “No, I am like a minister before the king, and R. Chanina is like a servant.”
The meaning of R. Yochanan’s remark is that in some ways, a servant is more familiar with the king. He spends more hours with him and does not knock before entering. Yet still, the minister holds the higher rank and communes with the king about matters that are weighty and profound.
R. Tzadok HaKohen, a 19th century chassidic master, explains that R. Yochanan and R. Chanina were both tzaddikim, but of different sorts. R. Yochanan had a deep and gifted mind. He penetrated to the heart of whatever he studied and exposed all facets of the question. He headed the inner circle of Talmudic sages versed in the mysteries of Kabbalah.
R. Chanina, in contrast, was a pure and trusting soul. He took things at face value and did not spend time analyzing the world.
For R. Chanina, the fact that HaShem would chasten His most trusted servant, R. Yochanan, with the grief of losing a child was intolerable. God is good, and fair, and kind. He does not recompense bad for good. R. Yochanan devoted every fibre of his being to God, and it was unthinkable that God would not respond in kind. All this R. Chanina conveyed through his prayer. HaShem loved R. Chanina and wanted to relieve his distress, and so he healed R. Yochanan’s son, for R. Chanina’s sake.
Whereas with R. Yochanan, HaShem knew that he would probe the mystery of his ordeal and reconcile the fact of HaShem’s absolute goodness even with the ultimate travail of losing a child. HaShem could do what He needed to do, and R. Yochanan would explain it for good.
The least painful and most efficient route through life was different for these two rabbis, and R. Chanina’s katnut was able to accomplish benefits that R.Yochanan’s gadlut could not. [TB Brachot 34b]
To turn a kol of pain into Torah is to identify the Torah paradigm that underlies that ordeal—the spiritual law that applies and the purpose accomplished. It also requires one to touch the place of Divine love, perhaps very hidden, that is always present.
When these preliminaries are met, the Torah master might see that this hardship is actually the most efficient and least painful way to accomplish a necessary tikkun. In that case the work is to accept the ordeal as a torrent of hidden good (which is so well hidden that it unfortunately feels awful). Yet the sage’s x-ray vision sees through all the layers to the truly good purpose that is hidden at its core.
Yet it is also possible that the Torah master sees room for improvement and steps into his/her ministerial role as advisor to the Heavenly King. In that persona it is possible for the sage to present other laws, suggest alternate paradigms, weigh the relevant factors differently and, in so doing, carve out an alternative channel for this deluge of lights to enter in a way that would be less traumatizing. Perhaps the transmission could be spread out over a longer period incrementally, rather than (what feels like) one overwhelming assault.
This practice of influencing providence through Torah study is called “yichudim.” It is different from prayer as we shall see. For an elaboration of this point, see the Shavuot teaching called Black Fire on White Fire—A Teaching from R. Shlomo Elyashiv (2019) about how chidushei Torah impact the unfolding of reality.
To turn a kol of pain into prayer is to follow R. Chanina’s lead. (1) Prayer is called, “service of the heart” so the first step is to take a few deep breaths and touch base with your heart. (2) The next step is to identify what you want. What it is that you are praying for? This is not as simple as it sounds, and it might (and probably should) evolve over time. (3) A master of prayer knows that, whatever one’s petition, it is within HaShem’s ability to grant it. (4) Next is to step into prayer posture: which is a paradoxical state of both willing and surrendering… “I want this because I believe it is also what You, HaShem, want for me and because I believe it is what I am designed to do. But, if I am wrong, please do not answer my prayer and let me know as gently as possible how to correct my aim.” (5) Follow the Baal Shem Tov’s advice and turn your personal prayer into a class action suit. “I am praying for myself and I am praying for all the people and creatures who need or aspire to this very same thing (even if they don’t know it).” (6) KNOW that if you can accomplish your life purpose with your answered prayer, then HaShem will surely grant your request. The only reason for refusal is that (for some mysterious reason) your soul mission would be stymied by your answered prayer.
The reason that these two practices—Torah study and prayer with their corresponding kolot—pierce the firmaments is because they connect the Shekhina below (ie one’s very own soul) with the holy and transcendent One, on high. We’ve defined the kolot of Torah study and prayer in their formal expression. Yet, the Talmud declares, “If it is true, then it is Torah.” Meaning any genuinely sincere, ego-sacrificing pursuit of truth counts as Torah in regard to its kolot. Similarly, any truly authentic, heartfelt communion with Divinity counts as prayer.
 In modern Hebrew, הד (hade) and in rabbinic commentaries also, בת קול (bat kol).
 Targum Yonatan, Gen 3:21.
 ספר עץ חיים – שער כב פרק ב מ”ק; ספר דובר צדק – פרשת אחרי מות אות ד; Leshem, Sefer Haklalim, Klal 18, anaf 8, ot 11 (on tselem)
 Shaar HaYichud, commentary.
 לשם שבו ואחלמה – הקדמות ושערים – שער ו פרק ד
See also Shmot Rabba 40:3 commenting on Job 38:4.
 Komarna, Intro to Megilat Esther, as summarized in diagram on p. 7 of this teaching.
Three Cries That Are Never Lost
Kabbalah Center Translation
- He [R. Shimon] said to him [the tourguide], Do you know something new that I am in want of knowing? He [tourguide] said to him, Speak. He [R. Shimon] said, I wish to understand the echo. A person sounds his voice in the field or in any other place. Another voice returns and it is not known from whence it comes. He said to him, Oh, holy pious one. About this matter, many voices were raised and several concepts were placed in front of the head of the Yeshivah. When the head of the Yeshivah descended, he said, This is how they explained it in the heavenly Yeshivah, and it is a precious secret.
- אָ”ל, אִי מִלָּה חַדְתָּא יַדְעַת, דַּאֲנָא עַרְטִירָא בָּהּ. אָ”ל אֵימָא. אָמַר קָלָא דְּהַדְרָא בָּעֵינָא לְמִנְדַּע. ב”נ יָהִיב קָלָא בְּחַקְלָא, אוֹ בַּאֲתָר אַחֲרָא, וְהַדְרָא קָלָא אַחֲרָא, וְלָא יְדִיעַ. אָ”ל, אִי חֲסִידָא קַדִּישָׁא, עַל מִלָּה דָּא, כַּמָה קָלִין אִתְּעֲרוּ, וְכַמָּה דִּקְדוּקִין הֲווֹ קָמֵי רַב מְתִיבְתָּא, וְכַד נָחִת רַב מְתִיבְתָּא, אָמַר, הָכִי אוּקְמוּהָ מִלָּה בִּמְתִיבְתָּא דִּרְקִיעָא, וְרָזָא יַקִּירָא אִיהִי.
- Come and see: There are three sounds that are never lost; besides the sounds of Torah and prayer that ascend above and split the firmaments, there are these other sounds that do not ascend and yet are not lost.
- תָּא חֲזֵי, תְּלַת קָלִין אִינּוּן, דְּלָא אִתְאֲבִידוּ לְעָלְמִין, בַּר קָלִין דְּאוֹרַיְיתָא וּצְלוֹתָא, דְּאִלֵּין סַלְּקִין לְעֵילָּא, וּבָקְעִין רְקִיעִין. אֲבָל קָלִין אַחֲרָנִין אִינּוּן דְּלָא סַלְּקִין, וְלָא אִתְאֲבִידוּ.
- These are the three sounds: 1) The sound of a woman in labor when she crouches on a birthing stool. [This l, sound goes about and wanders in the air from one end to the other end of the world; 2) The sound of the person, when the soul escapes his body. This sound loiters and wanders in the air from one end of the world to the other end, and 3) The sound of the snake, when it sheds his skin. This sound loiters in the air and wanders around the world from one end to the other.
- וְאִינּוּן תְּלַת: קוֹל חַיָּה בְּשַׁעֲתָא דְּאִיהִי עַל קַלְבִּיטָא, הַהוּא קָלָא מְשַׁטְּטָא וְאָזְלָא בַּאֲוִירָא, מִסַּיְיפֵי עָלְמָא עַד סַיְיפֵי עָלְמָא. קוֹל דְּבַר נָשׁ, בְּשַׁעֲתָא, דְּנָפִיק נִשְׁמָתֵיהּ מִגוּפֵיהּ, הַהוּא קָלָא מְשַׁטְּטָא וְאָזְלָא בַּאֲוִירָא, מִסַּיְיפֵי עָלְמָא עַד סַיְיפֵי עָלְמָא. קוֹל נַחַשׁ, בְּשַׁעֲתָא דְּפָשִׁיט מַשְׁכֵּיהּ, הַהוּא קָלָא מְשַׁטְּטָא בַּאֲוִירָא, וְאָזְלָא מִסַּיְיפֵי עָלְמָא עַד סַיְיפֵי עָלְמָא.
- Oh, holy pious one, how great and important is this matter. What is produced by these sounds and whereto do they enter and dwell? These sounds are of pain. They roam and wander in the air and travel from one end of the world to the other, and enter into cracks and tunnels in the dust and lie hidden there. When a person sounds his voice, they are awakened toward that voice. ONLY the voice of the snake is not roused towards a human voice. How does it awaken then? By beating. That is, when a person beats AT SOMETHING, the sound of the snake that was hidden there, IN AN EMPTY PLACE OR IN THE FIELD, reverberates to the sound OF THAT BEATING, but not towards another HUMAN voice. A sound reverberates to a sound; HOWEVER, a kind goes after its own kind. THIS IS TO SAY THAT THE FIRST TWO SOUNDS, WHICH ARE OF HUMANS, ARE AWAKENED TOWARDS OTHER HUMAN SOUNDS, AND THE THIRD SOUND, WHICH IS OF THE SNAKE, AWAKEN TOWARD A BEATING SOUND.
- אִי חֲסִידָא קַדִּישָׁא, כַּמָה מִלָּה דָּא רַבָּא וְיַקִּירָא. אִלֵּין קָלִין, מַה אִתְעָבֵיד מִינַיְיהוּ, וּלְאָן אֲתָר עָאלִין וְשָׁרָאן. אִלֵּין קָלִין דְּצַעֲרָא אִינּוּן, וְאָזְלִין וְּמְשַׁטְטֵי בַּאֲוִירָא, וְאָזְלֵי מִסַּיְיפֵי עָלְמָא, עַד סַיְיפֵי דְּעָלְמָא, וְעָאלִין גּוֹ נְקִיקִין וּמְחִילִין דְּעַפְרָא, וְאִתְטַמְּרָן תַּמָּן. וְכַד יָהִיב ב”נ קָלָא, אִינּוּן מִתְעָרִין לְגַבֵּי הַהוּא קָלָא. קָלָא דְּנָחָשׁ, לָא אִתְּעַר לְגַבֵּי קָלָא דב”נ. הֵיאַךְ יִתְּעַר. בְּמָחָאָה. כַּד מָחֵי ב”נ מָחָאָה אִתְּעַר קָלָא דְּנָחָשׁ, דְּאִתְטַמַּר לְגַבֵּיהּ הַהוּא קָלָא, וְלָאו קָלָא אַחֲרָא. קָלָא אִתְּעַר בָּתַר קָלָא, זִינָא בָּתַר זִינֵיהּ.
- Consequently, on the day of Rosh Hashanah (The Jewish New Year), the sound of the Shofar awakens the sound of another Shofar, THE SECRET OF THE SOUND OF BINAH. One sort follows its own sort. The way of the snake tends to evil, to kill and to beat. Thus, in the voice of a real PERSON, no snake sound gets stirred. It only follows its own type and this happens when a person hits the ground with a stick, which is a sound that calls its kind. Then the sound of the snake awakens to answer its own type. And this is a hidden secret.
- וְעַל דָּא בְּיוֹמָא דר”ה, קוֹל שׁוֹפָר, אִתְּעַר קוֹל שׁוֹפָר אַחֲרָא, זִינָא בָּתַר זִינֵיהּ אָזְלָא. אָרְחֵיהּ דְּנָחָשׁ לְבִישׁ אִיהוּ, לְקָטְלָא וּלְמָחָאָה, בְּהַהוּא קָלָא מַמָּשׁ, לָא אִתְּעַר קָלָא דְּהַאי נַחַשׁ, אֶלָּא בָּתַר זִינֵיהּ. וְדָא אִיהוּ, כַּד ב”נ מָחֵי בְּחוּטְרָא בְּאַרְעָא, וְקָרֵי לֵיהּ לְזִינֵיהּ, כְּדֵין אִתְּעַר הַהוּא קָלָא דְּנָחָשׁ, לְאָתָבָא לְזִינֵיהּ. וְרָזָא דָּא אִיהוּ טְמִירוּ.
- Rabbi Shimon said, Certainly this is a hidden matter. I wonder why King Solomon was not aware of this, SINCE HE SAID, “THERE ARE THREE THINGS…THE PATH OF A SNAKE UPON A ROCK” (MISHLEI 30:18-19). He said to him, King Solomon knew, but not that much. However, what he did not know was of that sound, what benefit it has and how it is settled.
- אר”ש, וַדַּאי מִלָּה דָּא מִלָּה סְתִימָא הִיא. וְתַוַּוהְנָא אֵיךְ שְׁלֹמֹה מַלְכָּא לָא יָדַע מִלָּה דָּא. אָ”ל, שְׁלֹמֹה מַלְכָּא מִנְדַּע יָדַע, וְלָא כ”כ. אֲבָל מַה דְּלָא יָדַע, הַהוּא קָלָא מַה תּוֹעַלְתָּא אִית בָּהּ, וְהֵיךְ יָתְבָא.
- The head of the Yeshivah said it this way. King Solomon did not know this subtle point, that the sound is composed of the Ruach, the Nefesh, the breath of the bones and the composition of the flesh. AND THE SOUND hovers in the air and each one OF THOSE THREE separated from each other. When THE SOUND reaches that place where it entered, it sits as if dead. All the wizards and magicians are aware of these areas with their witchcraft; they bend themselves to the ground and hear these sounds, to which the Ruach, Nefesh and breath of the bones connect. They inform them of the matters THAT THEY INQUIRE ABOUT, and this is: “A medium, out of the ground” (Yeshayah 29:4). That is why Solomon pursued the knowledge of what happens with this sound, but could not find out. Praised is your lot, Rabbi, that you have discerned a matter of truth.
- וְרַב מְתִיבְתָּא הָכִי אָמַר, דִּקְדוּקָא דָּא לָא יָדַע שְׁלֹמֹה מַלְכָּא, דְּהָא הַהוּא קָלָא, אִיהִי כְּלִילָא רוּחָא וְנַפְשָׁא, וְהַבַל גַּרְמֵי מֵעִצְּבוֹנָא דְּבִשְׂרָא, וּמְשַׁטְּטָא בַּאֲוִירָא, וְכָל חַד מִתְפְּרַשׁ דָּא מִן דָּא. וְכַד מָטָא לְהַהוּא אֲתָר דְּעָאל בֵּיהּ, יָתְבָא כְּמֵיתָא. וְכָל אִינּוּן חַרְשִׁין וְקוֹסְמִין יַדְעִין אַתְרִין אִלֵּין בְּחַרְשַׁיְיהוּ, וְגַחְנִין לְאַרְעָא, וְשַׁמְעִין קָלָא דָּא, דְּמִתְחַבְּרוּן אִינּוּן רוּחָא וְנַפְשָׁא, וְהַבַל דְּגַרְמֵי, וְאוֹדְעִין מִלָּה וְדָא אִיהוּ אוֹב מֵאֶרֶץ. וְעַל דָּא רָדִיף שְׁלֹמֹה, לְמִנְדַּע מַה דְּאִתְעָבֵיד מֵהַהוּא קָלָא, וְלָא יָדַע. זַכָּאָה חוּלָקָךְ רִבִּי, דְּאִתְבְּרִיר לָךְ מִלָּה דִּקְשׁוֹט.
- When a person raises a sound, that sound is instantly awakened, OF THE WOMAN GIVING BIRTH OR OF THE DEPARTURE OF THE SOUL. It is not authorized to be longer, just EQUAL TO the sound that the person aroused and not more. If a person prolongs his voice, it does not extend its sound as much with him, but rather it gets roused at the end of the voice OF THE PERSON, since it is incapable of being prolonged. What is the reason? It is because when it first left him, it was extended from one end of the world to the other end of the world. Now that it has entered there, it cannot extend the sound any more, since there is no more room there to extend it as before.
- כַּד ב”נ אִתְּעַר קָלָא, מִיַּד אִתְּעַר הַהוּא קָלָא, וְלֵית לֵיהּ רְשׁוּ לְאַרְכָּא יַתִּיר. אֶלָּא כְּעֵין הַהוּא קָלָא, דְּאִתְּעַר ב”נ, וְלָא יַתִּיר. וְאִי אָרִיךְ ב”נ קָּלֵיה, אִיהוּ לֹא אֲרִיךְ כָּל כַּךְ בָּהֲדֵיה, אֶלָא לְסוֹפָא דְקָלָא, בְּגִין דְּלָא יָכִיל לְאֲרְכָּא מַאי טַעֲמָא. בְּגִין דְּכַד נָפְקָא בְּקַדְמֵיתָא, אִתְאֲרִיךְ מִסַּיְיפֵי עָלְמָא עַד סַיְיפֵי עָלְמָא, וְהַשְׁתָּא דְּעָאל תַּמָּן, לָא יָכִיל לְאַרְכָּא קָלָא, דְּהָא לֵית לֵיהּ אֲתָר לְאִתְפַּשְׁטָא תַּמָּן כִּדְבְּקַדְמֵיתָא.
- Rabbi Shimon rejoiced and said, If I would have deserved to hear only this, it would have been sufficient to make me happy, since I managed to hear words of truth about that world. He said to him, Oh, holy pious one. If you would have known the rejoicing in these matters about that world in the presence of the head of the Yeshivah, you would have rejoiced even more.
- חַדֵּי ר”ש וְאָמַר, אִלְמָלֵי לָא זָכֵינָא לְמִשְׁמַע, אֶלָּא מִלָּה דָּא, דַּי לִי, לְמֶהֱוֵי חַדֵּי, דְּזָכֵינָא לְמִשְׁמַע מִלִּין דִּקְשׁוֹט, דְּהַהוּא עָלְמָא. אָ”ל, אִי חֲסִידָא קַדִּישָׁא. אִלְמָלֵי יַדְעַת חֶדְוָה דְּמִלִּין בְּהַהוּא עָלְמָא קַמֵּי רַב מְתִיבְתָּא, תְּהֵא חַדֵּי יַתִּיר.