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Rav Kook wrote that there is a level of divine inspiration referred to in the kabbalistic literature as “Giluy Eliyahu be-Orah Sekhel” (“The Revelation of Elijah by Way of Intellect”).
In a letter to Rabbi Nahman Greenspan of London, Rav Kook writes:
“The content of the Revelation of Elijah occurs in several forms: by way of vision and also by way of intellect.”

(See the very first comment of the Vilna Gaon to the Introduction to Tikkunei Zohar: “By way of intellect—Meaning to say that they did not see with the senses but rather by their apprehension.” Further references are available in Kol ha-Nevu’ah [The Voice of Prophecy], the magnum opus of Rav Kook’s disciple, the “Nazirite,” Rabbi David Cohen, p. 312, note 464.)

Rav Kook continues: “It is apparent to me that the Revelation of Elijah “to make peace in the world” and the Revelation of Elijah “to settle controversy” [see Mishnah, end ‘Eduyot] are two techniques that follow one another: a technique of spirit that effects a discipline and a quiet of calm (sheket shel shalvah); and a technique of illumination that manifests knowledge and truthfulness in the supernal values of holiness, from which ramifies the life of the collective.”

If I am not mistaken, “sheket shel shalvah” is a terminus technicus whose source lies in the famous hymn “Ha-Aderet ve-ha-Emunah”: “Ha-Shalvah ve-ha-sheket le-Hai ‘Olamim.” “Calm and quiet to the Life of Worlds.” This lends further credence to my hunch that that particular line in the hymn (unlike some others) may not be a random coupling but the key to a meditative technique reaching back in time perhaps as far as the authors of the Hekhalot literature.





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  1. There is no such line in the piyut אדרת ואמונה. The line you may be thinking of is הַשִּׁיר וְהַשֶּׁבַח- לְחַי עוֹלָמִים.

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