August 15, 2018
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The Origins of Shin

Moshik-Hebrew-Typeface-shinShin (also spelled Šin (šīn) or Sheen) literally means “Sharp” ; It is the twenty-first letter in many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician&&&‎, Aramaic/Hebrewש, and Arabicش (in abjadi order, 13th in modern order). Its sound value is a voiceless sibilant, [ʃ] or [s]. The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek Sigma (Σ) (which in turn gave Latin S and Cyrillic С), and the letter Sha in the Glagolitic and Cyrillic scripts (Ⱎ, Ш). The South Arabian and Ethiopian letter Śawt is also cognate. The Proto-Sinaitic glyph, according to William Albright, was based on a “bow” and with the phonemic value š “corresponds etymologically (in part, at least) to original Semitic ṯ (th), which was pronounced s in South Canaanite”. The Phoenician šin letter expressed the continuants of two Proto-Semitic phonemes, and may have been based on a pictogram of a tooth (in modern Hebrew shen). The Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1972, records that it originally represented a composite bow. The history of the letters expressing sibilants in the various Semitic alphabets is a bit complicated, due to different mergers between Proto-Semitic phonemes. Shin is also one of the seven letters which receive a special crown (called a tagin) when written in a Sefer Torah. See Gimmel, Ayin, Teth, Nun, Zayin, and Tzadi. According to Judges 12:6, the tribe of Ephraim could not differentiate between Shin and Sin; when the Gileadites were at war with the Ephraimites, they would ask suspected Ephraimites to say the word shibolet; an Ephraimite would say sibolet and thus be exposed. From this episode we get the English word Shibboleth.

The Pronunciation of Shin

The Hebrew spelling is : שִׁיןThe Hebrew /s/ version according to the reconstruction shown above is descended from Proto-Semitic *ś, a phoneme thought to correspond to a voiceless alveolar lateral fricative /ɬ/, similar to Welsh Ll in “Llandudno”. See also Hebrew phonology, Śawt. To elaborates a bit about the two versions of the letter, Shin and Shin Dot, we must know that the Hebrew letter represents two different phonemes: a sibilant /s/, like English sour, and a /ʃ/, like English shoe. The two are distinguished by a dot above the left-hand side of the letter for /s/ and above the right-hand side for /ʃ/.

The Form of Shin

Three vavs, each with a yud on top, rise from a common base-point. Symbol of symmetry; Form of a flame. The Shema Yisrael prayer also commands the Israelites to write God’s commandments on their hearts (Deut. 6:6); the shape of the letter Shin mimics the structure of the human heart: the lower, larger left ventricle (which supplies the full body) and the smaller right ventricle (which supplies the lungs) are positioned like the lines of the letter Shin. In Israel Regardie’s book, A Garden of Pomegranate it is said that “Shin means ‘’tooth’’, probably with reference to a three-pronged molar.”[1]

The shin is composed of three vavs, each with a yud on its top, rising from a common base-point.  The form of the shin symbolizes symmetry at all levels of Worlds, Souls, and Divinity.  Its shape resembles flames of fire, as does its phonetic sound. In Sefer Yetzirah, the shin is the letter of fire. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 313)

The letter Shin appears engraved on both sides of the head-tefilin. On the right side, the shin possesses three heads, while on the left side it possesses four hands.  In Kabbalah we are taught that the three-headed shin is the shin of this world while the four-headed shin is the shin of the World to Come.  (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 310)

The secret of the shin is “the flame [Divine Revelation] bound to the coal [Divine Essence].”  A simmering coal actually possesses an invisible flame within it, which emerges and ascends from the surface of the coal when the coal is blown upon.  The three levels: coal, inner flame, and outer flame, correspond to the secret of chash-mal-mal, as will be explained in the next letter, the tav. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 310)

One the meanings of the world shin (שיו) is שינוי, “change.”  The coal symbolizes changeless essence, the secret of the verse: אני ה ‘לא שיניתי, “I am God, I have not changed,” meaning that relative to God Essence absolutely no change has occurred from before Creation to after Creation.  The inner flame is the paradoxical latent presence of the power of change within the changeless.  The outer flame of the shin is continuously in a state of motion and change. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 310)

As in the above-quoted verse, the changeless Essence is the secret of the Name Havayah.  The power of change, as latently present within God’s Essence before Creation and thereafter revealed in the infinite intricacy and beauty of an ever-dancing flame, is the secret of the explicit Name of Creation, Elokim (אלוקים), the only Name of God which appears in the plural.  The number of the letter shin, 300, unites these two Divine Names as the “flame bound to the coal.” In atbash, the Name Havayah transforms to the letters אגי יהלא שגיתי, which total 300.  The five letters of Elokim (אלוקים) when written in full אלף למד הי יוד מם  also equal 300. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 310)

The three heads of the shin of this world correspond to the three levels of the changeless, potential and actual change as discussed above.  In this world, the changeless, potential, and actual change as discussed above.  In this world, the changeless is symbolized only by a black, dark coal, not as the revealed light of the lame.  Nonetheless the endurance of the flame depends upon the changeless essence of the coal. In the World to Come, the changeless essence will reveal itself within the flame.  This revelation of the future is the secret of the fourth head of the shin. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 310)

In the flame of a candle one sees three levels of light: the “dark light” around the wick of the candle, the white flame encompassing it, and an amorphous aura around the white flame itself.  Each of these three levels of revealed light manifests a dimension contained within the invisible flame present in the coal.  In general the flame symbolizes love, as is said: “as mighty as death is love… the flame of God.”  The dark light corresponds to the love of Israel, should enclothed within physical bodies.  The white light correspond to the love of Torah.  The aura corresponds to the love of God.  These are the three essential manifestation of love as taught by the Ba’al Shem Tov.  The fourth head of the shin of the future – the revelation of the essence of the coal itself – corresponds to the love of the Land of Israel and, as our Sages teach: “the Land of Israel will in the future spread to incorporate all of the lands of the earth.” (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 310-311)

The three heads of the shin of this world correspond to the three levels of the changeless, potential, and actual change as discussed above.

The Form of SHIN in the Worlds

Stability and harmony in nature. Positive and negative grace; Symmetry groups.

Of the eight synonyms for beauty in Hebrew, חן, “grace,” the beauty of malchut, relates to the property of symmetry.  This is alluded to in the verse: ונח מצא חן בעיני ה ‘ “and Noah found grace in the eye of God.” The word “grace” (חן) is the symmetric invert of the name “Noah” (ןח).  In the eye, the image of sight inverts, for which reason the pupil of the eye is called אישין, “a little [upside down] man,” as explained by Rabbi David Kimchi in Sefer Ha-Shorashim.  The letter whose possesses the most revealed state of grace (that letter whose form is most visibly, “linearly,” symmetric) is the shin, the “middle” of the end of the alef-beit.  The form of the alef, the begining of the alef-beit, possesses the most “subtle” state of grace (“angular” symmetry) It represents the grace (symmetry) of the soul. Together, these two most graceful letters of soul and body spell אֵשׁ, “fire.” At the general level of Worlds, the shin of אֵשׁ represent the physical flame of the fire itself (bound to the coal or wick), while the alef represents the surrounding medium of air (in Sefer Yetzirah the א stands for אוויר, “air”; air is “soul” or “spirit” – רוּחַ, a synonym for אוויר – at the level of Worlds) necessary for the fire to burn, as explained in Chassidut.  (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 315)

The word חן (“grace”) equals fifty-eight, the sum of the seven components of the form of the shin: three yuds above three vavs on the yud of the base.  The sum of components of the shin (58) and its gematria (300) is 358.  The snake symbolizes the false, deceiving grace of this world, whereas Mashiach is the true grace (the secret of “And Noah found grace in the eyes of God”) of the coming world.  Noah, the tenth, consummate generation from Adam and the central personality of the end of the first portion of Torah, the portion of Creation, hints at the future perfection of Creation by Mashiach. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 315)

The mathematics of modern physics is based on “symmetry groups,” where the property of symmetry serves to “cancel out” undesirable phenomena and thereby establish stability and harmony in nature.  In a rectified world true grace and symmetry eliminates (“cancels out”) evil, thereby “proving” that, in truth, evil never really existed. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 315)

The Form of SHIN in the Realm of the Souls

Finding grace in the eyes of God. The grace of the Jewish people in each other’s eyes. The 3 vavs represent the three Patriarchs; the 4 vavs, the Matriarchs. The 3 vavs represent “Kohanim,” “Levites,” “Israelites”; the fourth, righteous converts. “No lie can endure if not based on truth.”

The soul of the tzadik – “Noah as a tzadik” – who serves God in humility and truth, finds favor in the eyes of God, as explained above.  This favor saves him from the “destruction” (entropy) of Worlds. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 314)

In the Zohar, the shin is referred to as “the letter of the fathers.”  The three ascending vavs of the shin correspond to the three patriarchs, Abraham to the right (Chesed), isaac to the left (Geburah), and Jacob in the middle (Tiferet). The four-headed shin of the future (the secret of mother, Binah, “the depth of the future”) corresponds, at this level, to the four matriarchs, the middle vav (of Jacob) splitting into two, his two wives Rachel and Leah. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 314)

The three vavs also correspond to the three divisions of the Jewish people, kohanim to the right, levites to the left, and Israelites in the middle.  In the future, the forth vav, corresponding to the righteous converts of Israel, will become independently revealed, in recognition of their special role and unique merit in the bringing of Mashiach. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 314)

The three vavs come to a point in the secret of the union of Yesod and Malchut, personified by Joseph and David.  Joseph, the tzadik of the generation – “tzadik, the foundation of the world” – ignites the holy fire in the hearts of the Congregation of Israel, Malchut, personified by King David.  The essential origin-point of King David, Ruth the Moabite, the archetypal righteous convert, will in the future “rise” from the dark base-point of the shin to become fully manifest as the fourth vav of the shin, as explained above.  Our Sages teach that shin, the letter of truth, begins the word שקר, “lie,” as “no lie can endure if not based on truth,” in the secret of the Exile of the Shechinah.  “False is grace” (שקר תתו) sucks its lifeforce from the shin. When the souls of Israel ignite in the mighty flame of the love of God, this very shin “consumes” the lie it began, and ascend into its source of truth. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 314)

The Form of  SHIN in the Realm in Divinity

Divine Perfection and Grace; The three lines, or pillars, of the sefirot. The “army of God”; The shin of the tefilin.

Symmetry at the level of Worlds manifests itself as the balance and harmony apparent throughout nature.  At the level of Souls, symmetry is the grace one soul finds in the eyes of another, binding them together in love, and the grace the soul finds in the eyes of God.  At the level of Divinity, the grace of the shin is the secret of “the grace of place [חן מקום] is one who inhabits it,” for “He is the Place of the world yet the world is not His place.” This is the grace that God, the all-encompassing “Place of the world,” finds, so to speak, in the eyes of Israel.  (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 315)

The Divine Place is God’s Transcendent Light which “surrounds all worlds.” The three vavs of the shin are here the origin of the three lines, or columns, in the Divinely emanated space of Atzilut. From this base-point the shin reflects its Divine symmetry into the three lower worlds of Creation, Formation, and Action, in the secret of the Name Tzevakot (צבאות, “Hosts”).” Tzevakot is one of the seven Divine Names, explicitly mentioned in Tanach, which are forbidden to erase.  The Sages interpret the meaning of tzevakot: “He is a sign [אוֹת] is his hosts [צבאות].”  This Divine Sign, present in all worlds as an axis around which the hosts of heavens and earth revolve, is the inner pillar of Immanent Light which “fills all [lower] worlds.” (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 315)

In recognition and identity with this inner Divine symmetry the Jewish people becomes צבאות הי, “the hosts [army] of God,” as stated in Torah at the time of the Exodus: “And it was in that very day that all of the Hosts of God left Egypt.” Leaving Egypt symbolizes leaving all states of physical (Worlds) and spiritual (Souls) confinement. This is only possible for a soldier in the “army of God,” one totally committed to fulfill God’s Will and thereby become a fitting vessel to receive God’s strength and inspiration, by His grace. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 315)

On the right side of the head-tefilin is engraved a three-headed shin, the shin of Chockmah, the secret of the root of the souls of the three patriarchs.  On its left side is engraved a four-headed shin, the shin of binah, the secret of the root of the souls of the four matriarchs.  This is the shin of the World to Come: when the symmetry-axis of this world will itself split into two, and reveal that the “intermediate,” the middle line, entails the root of the two extremes which it serves to unite. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 315)

The Word for Shin

Shin, as a prefix, bears the same meaning as the relative pronouns “that”, “which” and “who” in English. In colloquial Hebrew, Kaph and Shin together have the meaning of “when”. This is a contraction of כּאשר, ka’asher (as, when).

Shin means A year; change; a tooth; scarlet; serenity; to sleep; to teach; two; sharp; old; viceroy.

The word shin (שׁין) means “a tooth” (שן), “change” (שִׁנוּי), “year” (שָׁנָה), “two” (שתיים), “the viceroy” or “second” [to the king]” (משנה), “sharp” (שָׁנוּן) – especially in the sense of “to teach [diligently, לשִׁוּן ],” sleep (שנת), “old” (יָשָׁן). “scarlet” (שָׁיָי), “rest” or “serene peace” (אשנוּ). The spectrum of meanings associated with the name of the shin is the richest and most splendorous of all of the letters of the alef-beit.

The Word for SHIN in the Worlds

Natural changes in the yearly cycle. Tooth – power of decomposition and entropy. The fiery scarlet of the priestly garments. “I am asleep…” “in exile”; Aging.

The word שָׁנָה, “year,” derives from the root which means “change” שִׁנוּי. In Sefer Yetzirah, “year” is the term used for (the changes of) time in general.

In physical nature, the “teeth of the wicked,” discussed above in the form of the pei, represent the power of decomposition and deterioration, or the law of entropy. This natural “breaking down” of all matter in pursuit of the “lowest energy level” is the continuation, in the present, of the primordial stage of Creation referred to in Kabbalah as the “breaking of the vessels.” The fire of the shin  is the power that breaks matter apart, in contrast to water that acts as glue to cause matter to stick together.  In atbash, the shin reflects the beit, the secret of splitting into “two,” שנים, as in the phenomenon of cellular division. The fire of the shin is reflected in the scarlet hue of שני, one of the materials used in the clothing of the kohanim. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 316)

The Zohar explains that in the time of exile “I [the Divine soul] am asleep…” The present Lubavitcher Rebbe shlita states that even when returning to the Holy land of Israel, if one is unconscious of the significance of its deep essence, one may be carried on clouds to Israel “asleep in bed,” as it were, and in this same state of spiritual slumber enter Jerusalem, and so on until, with the rebuilding of the Temple, he will suddenly awaken in shock, to find himself in the Temple itself. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 316)

Some things (such as wine) become better with age (ישוּ) while others deteriorate. In general, the secret of life is “staying young.” Asleep (ישוּ)) ; awake (עֵר), one stays young and “modern,” עֵץיר). So do we find that when Choni HaMa’agel slept for seventy years, he awoke to find himself old and “out-of-place,” and so preferred to die rather be “friendless.” Had, for the same period, remained awake, he would have “stayed young” with the time, naturally “readjusting” to the changes of generations. Old wine is superior because its vital (“youth”) process continues without wearing.  So by the power of ever-new insight (“awakeness”) into the depths of Torah does the true Torah Sage remain young while continually maturing.  Of the Guardian of Israel it is said: “He does not slumber nor sleep.” (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 316-317)

The Word for SHIN in the Souls

Souls:   The fire of Torah; Sharpness in learning. The second to the King; The double Shabbat loaves. The Mishnah; “…yet my heart is awake.

In the first paragraph of the Shema we read “…and you shall teach them [diligently] to your children.”  Diligent teaching  ignites the holy flame of the shin in the hearts of one’s students (“your children” means “your students,” as taught by Sages).  Literally, םxxxיָשָׁ means “to sharpen. “A sharp sword shines flashes of lightning.” So a “sharp” student, though innately “sharp,” further sharpened (“initiated” into the pure and authentic “sharpness” of Torah tradition) by the diligent teaching of his mentor, begins to experience in himself lightning-flashes of new insight in Torah. (These flashes actually come from the Torah he was taught in the womb when a candle shone over his head, the secret of the shin of Shabbat [שבת] above the reish of רֹאשׁ [“head”], as explained above.) These in turn ignite his heart to strive to fulfill God’s Will as expounded in Torah.  (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 318)

The word “soul” itself, נְשָׁמָה, is a permutation of the word משנה, the “viceroy” (or “second” to the King,מִשׁנִה למלך), from the root שׁנִה, “two.”  The king is the secret of “on,” as in the phrase אחד העם, “the one of the nation,” while the ministers and officers under the viceroy are called שְׁלִישִׁים, “thirds [in command]”, from שְׁלִשִׁ, “three.”  Both Joseph and Mordecai served as viceroys (מִשׁנִה למלך).  The name of Joseph’s first born son, Menasheh (מָנְשָׁה), is a permutation of נְשָׁמָה, (“soul”) and משנה (“viceroy”). The soul of Israel is the “second” to the “King of kings,” blessed be He, and the counselor to the king, as it were, as in the Midrashic account of God as (the King) taking counsel with the souls of Israel before He decided to create the world.  The word “second” also appears in the phrase  לחם מִשׁנִה (“double loaves”), the two challah-loaves over which are recited the blessing over bread at the Shabbat meal.  They commemorate the double portion of manna that fell for Israel on Friday, one portion for Friday and the other for Shabbat.  (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 318)

In addition, the Mishnah (משִׁנה, from the root ושׁנִנִחם, “and you shall [diligently] “teach”), is the fundamental compilation of the laws of the Oral Torah, that “half” (in  חֵץ שָׁנוּן, “sharp arrow,” חֵץ [“arrow”] means “half”; from שָׁנוּן “sharp,” derives משִׁנה, “Mishnah”) of Torah entrusted to the souls of Israel.  (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 318)

The Word for SHIN in the Realm of Divinity

Divinity:   The “immovable power” that causes all motion. “I am God, I have not changed.” Peace and serenity; The “shin” of the mezuzah. The accelerated change of the future toward the changeless.

 אני לא השתניתי, “I am God, i have not changed.” Paradoxically, the property of absolute “unchangeability” is actually the source of all change in created reality. “The power that moves is unmovable.”  This is the secret of “rest” or “serene peace” (שאנו) associated with the name shin at the level of Divinity. שָׁלוֹם, the common word for “peace,” and a name of God, begins with the letter shin. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 319)

The “unmovable mover” is the secret of the mitzvah of mezuzah (מְזוּזָה, which derives from the root לזוז, “to move”).  One interpretation of מזוזות (mezuzot, as written in the chapter of Shema) is זז מות, “death is made to move away.” The only “fixed” mitzvah (as indicated by its blessing: “…to fix Providence that “moves” and simultaneously guards on in all of his activities: “God shall guard your going out and your coming in,” for which reason the mezuzah is fixed on the doorpost of exit and entrance. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 319)

On the outside of the scroll of the mezuzah is written the name Shakai (ש די), begining with a shin, the three vavs indicates three general “vectors” of change. Often the letter shin appears alone on the mezuzah-container, as short for ש די (the initial letters of the phrase “The guardian of the door of Israel.”)

In the form of the shin, the three vavs indicates three general “vectors” of change. Their common base-point symbolizes the changeless origin.  The four-headed shin of the future indicates that in the future, change itself will increase, for all reality (especially the souls of Israel) will ascend in ever accelerating motion, while simultaneously, in direct proportion to the acceleration of change, the changeless Source will become manifest. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 319)

Just as light represents maximal motion and – as motion produces heat – alludes to heat, so darkness represents motionlesness and cold (whose extreme is absolute zero – “external” motionlessness, in the sense of inability to move, frozen and without any manifestation of true changelessness). The verse אני ה ‘לא שיניתי  “I am God I have not changed,” equals the verse קץ לחושך, “He has set an end to darkness” (=888), for the property of maximal change inherent in light reflects and reveals the truly “unchangable.” (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 319)

The Number of Shin

In gematria, Shin represents the number 300. The number of Shin is three hundred.

The Number of SHIN in the Worlds

Worlds: Three hundred foxes sent to burn down the fields of the Philistines. Three hundred arrows pierced King Yoshiyahu. Three hundred years Israel worshiped idolatry in the days of the Judges.

After the Philistines had deceived him and stolen his wife, Samson took three hundred foxes, turned them tail to tail, tied a torch to each pair, and thereby burned down the fields of the Philistines.  The fox (שׁוּעָל, beginning with a shin) symbolizes worldly cunning.  Here Samson used two “sharp” forces of nature, the fox together with the element of fire (the shin), to burn down the “hold” of evil on nature itself. Samson, שמשון, means “small sun.”  The secret of שמש, sun is water (mem, hydrogen) transforming into the fire of solar energy and radiation (a shin on both sides). (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 320)

King Yoshiyahu, xxx, one of the most righteous kings to arise from the house of David and referred to as “the Mashiach of God”, was killed – due to the great transgressions of Israel – in battle with Pharoah Necoh by three hundred Egyptian arrows.  Three hundred arrows is the secret of חֵץ שָׁנוּן, the sharpened arrow,” mentioned above. (The fact that חֵץ, “arrow,” also means “half” alludes to the splitting if Samson’s three hundred foxes into two halves of a hundred and fifty each and then trying their “tails” together by the power of the flame.) The death of Yoshiyahu, the thirtieth generation from Abraham, marks the temporary disappearance of the “moon” of Israel.  After having risen to “full moon” in the generation of Solomon (שָׁלמה, who in reduced numbering equals fifteen), the fifteenth generation from Abraham, it then descended gradually until the days of Yoshiyahu, the end of the “month.” (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 320)

In the days of the Judges, the Jewish people worshiped idolatry for a period of three hundred years.  For three hundred years the people were “asleep” in the land of Israel, as mentioned above.  Physical nature, even in Israel, can hide consciousness of Souls and Divinity, to the extent of Israel (both the People of Israel and the land of Israel) is not to stand for such concealment indefinitely, and ultimately God will “work salvation in the midst of the land,” just as Samson used the very forces of nature against its own evil manifestations.  he thereby brought the three hundred idolatrous and relatively anarchous years of the days of the Judges to an end – he was the last Judge of Israel – and paved in the way for the revelation of true Kingdom (Souls in Divine control of Worlds) in Israel. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 320)

The Number of SHIN in the Level of the Souls

Souls:   Three hundred fox-parables of Rabbi Meir. Three thousand parables of King Solomon. Three hundred firstborn Levites; Three hundred soldiers of Gideon.

Rabbi Meir taught three hundred parables of foxes, of which only three were handed down to us.  The fox, the wisdom and cunning of this world, serves as a parable for the wisdom of the Divine Soul and its “good inclinations” in “outsmarting” the wolf, the “evil inclinations” of the animal soul.  As explained in the form of the reish at the level of the Souls, the power of speech is deeper and more essential in the soul of man than that of conscious thought, for speech reflects the wisdom of the soul’s superconscious.  In Chassidut we are taught that the ability to relate a precise parable derives from the deepest levels of the superconscious mind, as apparent from the fact that only rarely is one able to “find” a true parable in which to “enclothe” the knowledge of his conscious mind.  King Solomon spoke three thousand parable (300 times 10, related to the three hundred and ten worlds of the tzadikim in the World to Come:  להבתיל אהבי יש, “to give inheritance to those that love Me,” יש being the experience of true something,” as above.) (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 321)

The three lines of the form of the shin correspond to the division of Jewish souls into three catagories: kohanim, Levites, and Israelites, as mentioned above; in particular, however, the element of fire – the fundamental power of shin – corresponds to the left line of the sefirot, the line of ascent-as-fire, the service of the Levites.  Thus, we find three hundred first-born Levies in the desert. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 321)

By a Divinely instructed test, Gideon, one of great and righteous Judges of Israel, chose three hundred men to fight with him against the multitudes of Midian and other nations.  The test served to indicate those who had not bowed down to the Ba’al (idolatry).  The souls of these three hundred men of Israel are the secret of the rectification of the three hundred years that Israel worshiped idolatry during the days of the Judges. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 321)

The Number of SHIN in the Realm of Divinity

Divinity:   Three hundred halachot concerning “a mighty bright spot.” Three hundred halachot concerning “you shall not let a sorceress live.” Three hundred halachot concerning “the tower soaring in air.” Three hundred halachot concerning “and the name of his wife was Meheitavel.” “Is not my word like fire and like a hammer that breaks rock into pieces?” “The spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters.” The full spelling of the Name Elokim (and the Name Havayah in at’bash).

Often we find Torah “three hundred halachot“: “Three hundred halachot concerning ‘a mighty bright spot’ [area of skin, in the laws concerning leprosy]”; “three hundred halachot concerning ‘the tower soaring in air’ (the letter lamed, as discussed above],” and so on. Three hundred is thus seen to represent a maximal revelation of “differentiated” Divine Will in Torah, in relation to the particular rectification of worldly phenomena. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 322)

Through three hundred here appears to represent a quantitative maximum, we are taught in Chassidut that every quantitative property of Torah implies, and actually derives from, a corresponding qualitative property . Thus it is said: ” ‘is not My word like fire?’ says God, ‘and like a hammer that breaks rock into pieces?’ ” – three hundred pieces.  The “rock” of Torah itself, when broken into sufficient (300) pieces – in the merit of those devoted to the study of Torah with a “broken heart” (the only perfect vessel to perceive the Divine, as explained in Chassidut) – repairs and elevates the broken pieces of Tohu, the primordial world of chaos (resulting in physical reality ass we know it). (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 322)

The Zohar relates an additional instance of “three hundred halachot”: “Three hundred halachot concerning ‘and the name of his wife was Meheitavel.’ ” These hidden halachot are the secret of the rectification of the world of Toha and the breaking of the vessels symbolized by the death of the first seven kings of Edom, as exponded by the Azizal.  None of the first seven Kings was “married,” i.e. in a state of rectification.  The eighth king, Hadar, the “key” of rectification, was the first to marry.  “The name of his wife was Meheitavel.” Of each oof the first seven kings it is said: “and he ruled… and he died.” Of hadar (and Meheitavel) is said: “andhe ruled…” but not that he died. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 322)

“The spirit of God (רוח של אלקים) in the second verse of the Torah, “And the earth was tohu and vohu (chaos and void) and darkness was on the face of the abyss, and the spirit of God howered over the face of the waters” – which, according to our Sages refers to the spirit or soul of Mashiach – equals three hundred.  As stated above, the full spelling of Elokim (אלף למד הי יוד מם) equals three hundred, as does the name Havayah in atbash (מעפע).  Thus the “spiritual,” “pregnant” letters of the full spelling of Elokim equal רוּחַ, “spirit,” “The spirit of God,” Divinity, is the “spirit of grace,” רוח חן, the secret of the letter shin.  When the shin (שָׁ), “the spirit of God,” hovers over the waters (מים), the word “heaven” (שָׁמַיִם) is formed.  The “water” are the “waters of Torah” and the “waters of teshuvah.” שָׁמַיִם (“heaven” is often used as a connotation for God himself, whose spirit (the soul of Mashiach) however over the “waters” of Israel, our devoted study of Torah and service of teshuvah. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 322)

 The Symbolism of Shin

The letter shin appears engraved on both sides of the head- tefilin. On the right side, the shin possesses three heads, while on the left side it possesses four heads. In Kabbalah we are taught that the three-headed shin is the shin of this world while the four- headed shin is the shin of the World to Com

The secret of the shin is “the flame [Divine Revelation] bound to the coal [Divine Essence].” A simmering coal actually possesses an invisible flame within it, which emerges and ascends from the surface of the coal when the coal is blown upon. The three levels: coal, inner flame, and outer flame, correspond to the secret of chash-mal-mal, as will be explained in the next letter, the tav.

One of the meanings of the word shin in Hebrew is shinui, “change.” The coal symbolizes changeless essence, the secret of the verse: “I am God, I have not changed,” meaning that relative to God’s Essence absolutely no change has occurred from before Creation to after Creation. The inner flame is the paradoxical latent presence of the power of change within the changeless. The outer flame of the shin is continuously in a state of motion and change.

As in the above-quoted verse, the changeless Essence is the secret of the Name Havayah. The power of change, as latently present within God’s Essence before Creation and thereafter revealed in the infinite intricacy and beauty of an ever-dancing flame, is the secret of the explicit Name of Creation, Elokim, the only Name of God which appears in the plural. The number of the letter shin, 300, unites these two Divine Names as the “flame bound to the coal.” In at’bash, the Name Havayah transforms to the letters mem-tzadik-pei-tzadik, which total 300. The five letters of Elokim (alef-lamed-hei-yud-mem) when written in full, also equal 300.

The three heads of the shin of this world correspond to the three levels of the changeless, potential, and actual change as discussed above. In this world, the changeless is symbolized only by a black, dark coal, not as the revealed light of the flame. Nonetheless the endurance of the flame depends upon the changeless essence of the coal. In the World to Come, the changeless essence will reveal itself within the flame. This revelation of the future is the secret of the fourth head of the shin.

In the flame of a candle one sees three levels of light: the “dark light” around the wick of the candle, the white flame encompassing it, and an amorphous aura around the white flame itself. Each of these three levels of revealed light manifests a dimension contained within the invisible flame present in the coal. In general the flame symbolizes love, as is said: “as mighty as death is love…the flame of God.” The dark light corresponds to the love of Israel, souls enclothed within physical bodies. The white light corresponds to the love of Torah. The aura corresponds to the love of God. These are the three essential manifestations of love as taught by the Ba’al Shem Tov. The fourth head of the shin of the future – the revelation of the essence of the coal itself – corresponds to the love of the Land of Israel and, as our Sages teach: “the Land of Israel will in the future spread to incorporate all the lands of the earth.”

The Tarot Attribution for Shin: ATU XX – The Judgement

jugementVery clearly, it is modeled after the Christian Resurrection before the Last Judgment. An angel, possibly Gabriel, is depicted blowing a great trumpet, from which hangs a white flag bearing a red cross, most likely the St George’s Cross. A group of humans (man, woman, and child) of grayish complexion stand, arms spread, looking up at the angel in awe. The people are apparently emerging from crypts or graves. There are huge mountains or tidal waves in the background, which almost seem like glaciers as they are so white and blue. These may be a reference to the sea giving up its dead on the day of judgment, as described in the Book of Revelation.

The Qabalistic Path Attribution for Shin

ssssssssssssssssssssssshinThe Path no Thirty-one in the qabalistic Tree of Life is attributed to the Hebrew letter Shin. This is the path joining Hod to Malkuth. According to Israle Regardie “The implication of this path is that the Holy Spirit descending in tongues of fire. – reminding one the the Apostles of Christ at the Pencost – and all its attribution are fiery.”[2] The keynote of this path goes like this: “Our total being is renewed when, relinquishing our attachment to physicality, we enter the realm of enlightened mind.”[3] The magical motto of this path is the following: “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming in… which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice. And shall come forth.”[4]

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