"Ehud....on reaching the Idols of Gilgal, turned and went back [to King Eglon] and said, 'I have a secret message for you from God.' The King replied, 'Silence!' and all who were with him went out." (Judges 3:18-19)

It is not surprising that the sound one makes to invoke and/or represent silence in almost all cultures is, "Shhhh." The Hebrew word for "silence," Sh'tikah, begins with the Hebrew letter Shin and is, itself, pronounced, "shhhh." Parenthetically, the letter Shin can symbolize either Good or Evil, depending upon which of its branches is topped by a daglesh (black dot). When the daglesh is over the extreme right branch of the letter, it symbolizes "good," is pronounced Shin and looks as follows:

On the other hand, when the daglesh is over the extreme left branch of the letter, it represents "evil," is pronounced (quite literally) Sin, and is written this way:

Probably for this reason, the letter Shin (and, therefore, the Hebrew word for "silence") is Kabbalistically associated with the three columns of the Ten Sefirot -- right, left and center. The left branch is associated with the Left Column of the Sefirot representing darkness (i.e., evil); the right branch is associated with the Right Column, representing light (i.e., good); and the middle branch is associated with the Center Column, representing an integration of the two sides:

(3) Binah/Understanding
(5) Gevurah/Harsh Judgement
(8) Hod/Splendor
   (1) Keter/Crown
 (6) Tiferet/Beauty
 (9) Yesod/Foundation
(10) Malkuth/Kingdom
  (2) Chokmah/Wisdom
(4) Chesed/Mercy
(7) Netzach/Victory

Thus, as we shall see in what follows, the Hebrew word for "Silence" begins and ends with the "aspirant" letters Shin and Heh -- both of which, because they are carried on the breath, represent the Ruach HaKodesh, or "Holy Spirit. Moreover, of the Shin, Sefer Yetzirah says, "God enthroned the letter Shin in fire" (Sefer Yetzirah 3:9); and of the letter Heh, "He enthroned the letter Heh in sight." (ibid 5:5) These associations connect the act of Silence with the mystical vision of Ezekiel wherein what begins in "fire" becomes "seen" as the Ancient of Days, seated on the Chariot:

"There the hand of Yahweh came on me. I looked; a stormy wind blew from the north, a great cloud with light around it, a fire from which flashes of lightning darted, and in the center a sheen like bronze at the heart of the fire....And above [it] was something that looked like a sapphire; it was shaped like a throne and high up on this throne was a being that looked like a man." (Ezekiel 1:4-28)

Come and see: silence is the mystical tool, the divine technology whereby we who enter it can, like Ezekiel, transform Fire into the Glory of God, seated on his Heavenly Throne. But, like King Eglon, we must first send away all who are with us in order to receive His secret message.

*   *   *   *

         "Twenty-two [Hebrew] letters: He ordained them, He hewed them, He combined them, He weighed them, He interchanged them. And He created with them the whole creation and everything to be created in the future." (Sepher Yetzirah 2:2)

Before considering the Kabbalistic subtexts in each of the twenty-five passages of the Old Testament where the word "silence" appears, I want to discuss the mystical meanings of the Hebrew letters comprising the Hebrew word itself, which transliterated into English would be Sh'tikah, spelled: Shin-Tav-Yud-Kaf-Heh.

Now, immediately, we see that this word contains the first two Hebrew letters of the Tetragrammaton, Yud-Heh-Vauv-Heh, in exactly the correct order, thus telling us that God Himself is to be found within Silence. Moreover, the Gematria (numerical value) of Sh'tikah is 820, as follows:

Sh'tikah = Shin (300) + Tav (400) + Yud (10) + Kaf (100) + Heh (5) + Total Number of Letters (5) = 820

Significantly, the Hebrew word Shamati ("I-Have-Heard"), although spelled differently, has exactly the same Gematria as Sh'tikah ("Silence"), which is 820. Thus, as we have said before, and as shown by the Holy Hebrew letters themselves, "Out of silence comes hearing." Significantly, two other Hebrew words have the Gematria of 820; they are:

  • Asi'itim ("I-Have-Made-Them")
  • V'kidashti ("And-I-Will-Sanctify")
Thus, in Silence we are both "made" and "sanctified" by God, according to the mysteries of His Holy Language. Extending this analysis, we find that each letter of the Hebrew alphabet, according to Kabbalah, has its own arcane meaning. (For example, see Rabbi Michael L. Munk, The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet, Mesorah Publications, ArtScroll Series, 1983). When applied to the letters comprising the Hebrew word for "silence," we find:

  • Shin = "Divine Power"
  • Tav  = "Perfection"
  • Yud  = "Metaphysical Creation"
  • Kaf  = "Holiness"
  • Heh = "The Holy Spirit"

This comes to tell us that "silence," at its deepest meaning, begins and ends with God -- first in His transcendent aspect of "Divine Power," but finally with the immanent aspect of His "Holy Sprit" -- and, by thus transforming God through our silence, we achieve, within ourselves, "perfection" and "holiness," at the very center of which (resting on the fulcrum of silence, as it were) is the Divine gift of partnering with God in the metaphysical re-creation of the world. In the words of the Ba'al Shem Tov:

"For he is hallowed and become another man and is worthy to create and is become like the Holy One, blessed be He, when He created the world." (Ba'al Shem Tov, "Instructions in Intercourse with God," trans. by Martin Buber in Hasidism and Modern Man, Horizon Press, 1958, p. 185)

It is here that Silence becomes so intimately associated with the Neo-Sabbatian practice of what we call, "Repairing the Face of God"; that is, restoring Him to the Unity from which He fell through the act of creation, or what Rabbi Isaac Luria has called Shevirit HaKelim, or "Shattering of the Vessels." Only in Silence -- as the twenty-five references to it in the Old Testament will show -- can we realize the words of the Prophet: "On the day the Lord shall be One and his name One, on that day the Lord shall be King over all the earth." (Zechariah 14:9)

Parts: 1 2 3 4

| Sabbatai Zevi | Jacob Frank | Reb Yakov Leib HaKohain |
| A Critical Re-Assessment of Sabbatai Zevi |
| Reb Yakov Leib HaKohain's Professions of a Holy Sinner |
| The Zohar | Vedanta & Kabbalah | The Gnostic Gospel of Thomas |
| The Sponataneous Jesus Lectures | The Holy Qur'an |
| Special Topics |
| Knowing the Unknowable |
| A Brief Note on Enlightenment |
| A Neo-Sabbatian Discourse on the Son of God |
| A Primer of "Yalhakian" Neo-Sabbatian Kabbalah |
| Participating in the Continuing Incarnation of God |
| Sabbatai Zevi's 'God of the Faith' | Evolution of the Ego |
| Two Torahs of Kabbalah: Torah D'Atziluth & Torah D'Beriah |
| On the Limits of Antinomianism | The Transformation of God |
| Commentary on the 13th Century "Treatise on the Left Emanation" |
| A Selection of Neo-Sabbatian Quotations Culled from Various Sources |
| Commentaries on Rabbi Azriel of Gerona's 12th Century Text, "Explanation of the Ten Sefirot" |
| Kabbalistic Genetics of the Holy Seed & Reclaiming the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel |
| A Commentary on the Book of Job | Kabbalah and the Interpretation of Dreams |
| To Die for the People: A Kabbalistic Reinterpretation of the Crucifixion of Jesus |
| The Shemot Shel Katzar Tikkunim: Revealing the Concealed Names of God |
| The Christian Myth of Melchizedek vs. Hereditary Jewish Priesthood |
| The Apocrypha of Jacob Frank | The Tikkun of Raising Animals |
| Appointment in Smyrna: A Neo-Sabbatian Odyssey |
| Sabbatai Zevi and the Mystery of the Red Heifer |
| The Kabbalah of the Hindu Mantra "OM" |
| The Mystery of the Middle Column |
| The Hidden Structures of Water |
| Exegesis on the Rod of Aaron |
| Book of Silence |
|YaLHaK's Garden of Neo-Sabbatian Verses|
| Ten Sefirot of Jewish Kabbalah | Sufi Lion of Bektashi Islam |
| Mandala of Tibetian Buddhism | Seven Chakras of Tantric Hinduism |
| Ox-Herding Pictures of Zen Buddhism | Rosarium Pictures of Christian Alchemy |
| Donmeh West Home Page |
| Schedule of Live Online Classes | Links |
| Join Donmeh West |

All original material on this website is ©2004 Donmeh West and may not be reproduced in any manner without written permission.