The Ancient 21st Hebrew letter Shin (Sin) Meaning

The Ancient 21st Hebrew letter Shin (Sin) Meaning

If you look at the letter Shin it has three flames, and in fact the word in Hebrew for fire is “Esh” (אש), Aleph and Shin.

Letter Shin Meaning According Kabbalah

The letter Shin according to our Kabbalistic sages, is the letter of fire.

The Shin is the fire, and the Aleph is “Avir”, which means air.

The three flames of the Shin are very symmetrical, and it’s considered one of the most symmetrical of all of the letters, it consists of a number of “Vav” and “Yod”.

The flames are the letter “Vav”, the top of the “Vav” has a “Yud”, and they all meet at a base which is a “Yud”.

So, altogether there are four “Yud” and three “Vav” making up the Shin. Seven components,  which allude to the four mothers and the three fathers, and this is seen very beautifully in the “Tefillin”.

On one side of the Tefillin is a regular Shin of three lines, and on the other side is a mysterious Shin of four flames, that we really don’t see in the Hebrew alphabet.

These seven flames represent the patriarchs and the matriarchs.

When you take these four “Yud” and three “Vav”, they equal together 58, which is the word “Hen”, which means grace. “Yud” equals to 10, and “Vav” equals to 6.

In Kabbalah, the concept of symmetry is represented by this word grace, when something finds grace in our eyes, it means we’re in tune with it, everything is in the right place, and feels good, and we can relate to it that is what Grace is.

There’s a level of finding grace in other people’s eyes, and there’s a level of finding grace in God’s eyes.

The first time the word grace appears in the Torah is when Noah found grace in God’s eyes.

It’s pointed out that the word for Noah and “Hen” in Hebrew, are the same letters just reversed. They’re in symmetrical form.

Shin as a root letter

The root Shin appears in many words. Shin is the root of “Shaina” which is sleep, and also “Shanan”, which means serenity, so there’s a feeling of calmness.

On the other hand, Shin is the root of “Shana”, which means a year- constant cycle and change. The word for change itself “Shinuy” comes from the root Shin.

So, here we have a paradoxical idea that sleep and serenity, we’ll call it non movement, and year and change of course is change.

As we saw in other letters, sometimes a root, or a letter will encompass both opposite ideas.

There is a verse that says: “”I am God I have not changed”.  The word change is based on the “Shin”.

So, we see a beautiful idea here is God is unmovable is permanent. Yet, all change only comes through God’s activity, God’s agency. I am God I have not changed, really means God is the immovable force that moves everything.

This is the idea of the Shin which is fire. When you look at a fire, it’s always dancing, it’s always moving. It is dynamic, and we are drawn to fire, We’re drawn to the flame of a candle, because there’s a certain grace there, there’s a certain serenity of sitting at a campfire and getting lost in the flames.

Jewish Mezuzah Meaning

Another beautiful example of the change and non change, as represented by the Shin, we find in the “Mezuzah”.

The mezuzah, is hung on the door of every Jewish home, every room in fact in the house, but especially the front door when we go in and we come out, and on it is the letter Shin.

Now, the word mezuzah comes from the word “Zaz”, which means to move. So, therefore when we go in and out of a house many people kiss the mezuzah in order to represent our desire for God to protect us when we go out and we come in.

Yet, paradoxically when we put up a mezuzah the blessing that we say is to put the mezuzah in a permanent unmovable place.

In many of the letters we have seen this idea of run and return. And we see this in the shape of the Shin, and we see it in fire itself fire is always moving, it’s running and returning.

In Conclusion- Meditation

A Meditation that can connect us to the letter Shin, is to connect to our inner fire, to connect to the fire of the soul that wants to express itself, wants to be close to other people, and wants to be close to God.