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What happened with Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai after he left the cave ?

by Rabbi Yossi Marcus

  

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After twelve years they emerged from the cave but had to reenter it since they were incapable of acclimating to normal society. Their eyes burnt up anything that they perceived as mundane (like people spending their time making a living, “transient matters” instead of “eternal matters” like study and prayer). A voice came out from heaven and said: “Have you emerged to destroy my world!” They returned to the cave for another year, during which Rabbi Shimon reached a level where he could reconcile the existence of the mundane with his lofty perception. His son, however, continued to burn things up with his gaze, while Rabbi Shimon followed him and reconstructed his son’s wreckage—damage control, if you wish.

Once on the eve of Sabbath they saw a man running with two myrtles in honor of the Sabbath, and they were appeased.

Source: Talmud, Shabbat 33b


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Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Talmud
Usually referring to the Babylonian edition, it is a compilation of Rabbinic law, commentary and analysis compiled over a 600 year period (200 BCE - 427 CE). Talmudic verse serves as the bedrock of all classic and modern-day Torah-Jewish literature.