Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Yitzchak were on their way from Meron to Tzipori. With them was a young boy leading a donkey loaded with canteens of wine mixed with honey. Rabbi Yehuda said: Let us discuss Torah and then go.

Rabbi Yitzchak opened [his discourse] by saying: "And the roof of your mouth like the best wine that goes down sweetly for my beloved." (Songs 7:11) "And the roof of your mouth like the best wine" is the wine of Torah which is good, for the other wine is not good. The wine of Torah is good for all, good for this world and good for the World to Come, as it is the wine that pleases G‑d more than all. In this merit, he who drinks of the wine of Torah will come to life at the time of the resurrection when G‑d shall raise the righteous. Rabbi Yehuda said: "Causing the sleepers' lips to murmur" (Sanhedrin 30b) as we have been taught, for even in that world he will have earned the right to speak of Torah. Therefore, it is written: "causing the sleepers' lips to murmur."

The boy said that if it had been written: 'Your palate is from the best wine', we would have said this but it is written: "like the best wine" instead of 'from'. They looked at him and Rabbi Yehuda said to speak on, for your remark is a good one.

He said, "I have heard that he who studies the Torah and is attached to it, and that word of Torah is heard from his mouth and not said in a whisper but rather he raises his voice in his learning1 as written: "She shall cry out in the busiest place of concourse" (Proverbs 1:21) that the song of Torah be said in a raised voice and not in a whisper, "like the best wine," as the best wine which is not silent [such as the renewed fermentation of unsulphured wine during the month of Nissan]; he will also raise his voice when he departs from the world. "That goes down sweetly for my beloved" [on his way to his eternal rest] he shall not turn either to the right or to the left for none will interfere with him. "Causing the sleepers' lips to murmur", even in that world his lips utter words of the Torah.2

I have further heard that the verse, "The roof of your mouth is like the best wine [that goes straight down for My Beloved]" refers to the Congregation of Israel [malchut] and it is said to praise Her. If so, who it is that praises Her thus? If the Holy One, blessed be He [Zeir Anpin] does so, it should have been written 'goes straight down for Me' and not "for My beloved"?

It is certainly the Holy One blessed be He [Zeir Anpin] who is the one who praises the Congregation of Israel as She [malchut] praises Him, as it is written: "His mouth is most sweet". (Songs 5:16) Thus, the Holy One, blessed be He [Zeir Anpin] praises the Congregation of Israel, as is written: "And the roof of your mouth [sweetened gevurot] is like the best wine." "The best wine" is the wine which is preserved [sweetened gevurot in bina which are drawn to the gevura of Zeir Anpin] "that goes down sweetly for My beloved," which is Isaac [gevura of Zeir Anpin] and has been called "beloved" from the womb [gevura of Zeir Anpin receives the sweetened gevurot from bina called "womb", continuing] to 'straightness' [i.e. tiferet, the sefira that connects “straight” between chesed and gevura], as it is written: "you have established compromise." (Psalms 99:4) To include [and sweeten] the left [gevura] with the right [chesed] and that is "compromise" [i.e. tiferet, which is the blending of chesed with gevura]. For for the sake of the joy of that "best wine," [gevurot sweetened in bina] the left is included within the right and all [the partzufim] are aroused with joy and blessings. And all the worlds are full of joy and aroused to pour blessings [on Israel] below.

Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Yitzchak approached the boy and kissed him on his head and rejoiced with him. They asked him: What is your name? He replied: Yesa. They said: [when you grow] you shall be [called] Rabbi Yesa, and may you be [alive in this world] longer than our colleague, Rabbi Yesa, who has departed from us. They asked: Who is your father? He replied: He has passed away from the world. He used to teach me three passages of Torah Scriptures every day and at night he would teach me three things of wisdom from Agada. What I have just told, I learned from my father. Now I live with a person who prevents me from studying Torah and every day I go to his work and every day I review that I have learned from my father.

They asked him: Does that man know anything of Torah? He replied: No, he is an old man and does not know how to bless G‑d and he has sons whom he does not send to school. Rabbi Yehuda said: If that were not so, I would enter that village to talk about you, but we should not look at him. Leave your donkey and come with us. They then asked him: Who was your father? He replied: Rabbi Zeira of Ramin village.

When Rabbi Yehuda heard his reply, he wept and said: I was once in his house and learned from him three things concerning the cup of benediction and two relating to the work of Creation. Rabbi Yitzchak said: If we can learn from his son, how much more could we have learned from himself. They went along holding his hand until they came to a field where they sat down. They said to him: Tell us something that your father taught you concerning the work of Creation.

BeRahamim LeHayyim: What does this mean for you, and why is it revealed to you now?

There are personal benefits, for sure, in singing your studies in a pleasant melody. One is kept awake, alert, and present. Anyone who has been to a Yeshiva's study room has heard these tunes, which are to be sung even when studying alone.

What the Zohar gives over is the power of such voices.

"Causing the sleepers' lips to murmur" means that by saying the Torahs out loud, we will merit to learn Torah also in the next world, and we revitalize the Sage who is in the grave here and now, as well! Simply amazing to contemplate how we here saying words of wisdom can cause a tremendous spiritual effect, and thus bring redemption to the world. (Megillah 15a)

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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