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All Streams, One Source: Shesha and the Mystery of the Four-headed Shin

A Midrash of the Jews of Yemen dating from the 13th century provides the following explanation for the mystery of the four-branched shin. There is one “head” for each of the following facets: cogitation, imagination, memory, and estimation.[1]paraphrasing Midrash haBeur, translated in Yemenite Midrash: Philosophical Commentaries on the Torah, edited by Y. Tzvi Langermann, p. 242. Additionally, the midrash provides the following astrological explanation for the three and the four branched shin appearing together on the tefillin shel rosh: together their seven heads make up the seven visible wandering stars (i.e., the planets), whose celestial powers in Jewish cosmology must have one root in the mind of G!d. . . . → Continue reading: All Streams, One Source: Shesha and the Mystery of the Four-headed Shin

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