Rabbi Elazar explained his seeing bird feathers burn, and hearing the verses recited by three children who passed in front of himself and Rabbi Yossi - all dealing with the troubles the Egyptians brought upon themselves by dealing harshly with the Jews in Egypt - as follows: The Holy One Blessed be He wishes to reveal to us higher secrets from the spiritual worlds…

The things hinted at by the bird and the three verses of the children are all one. Everything relates to a prophecy from on high, and the Holy One Blessed be He wishes to reveal to us higher secrets from the spiritual worlds relating to what He is doing. This is the meaning of the verse: "Certainly the Lord, G‑d, will do nothing without first revealing His secrets to His servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7)

Now Torah Sages are at a higher level than prophets at all times. Ruach HaKodesh [lower level prophetic spirit] sometimes rests on a prophet and sometimes not, whereas Ruach HaKodesh never leaves Torah Sages, even for one moment. They know what is going on in the spiritual worlds and in the physical world but either don't [wish or see a need to] reveal what they know.

This is as opposed to a prophet who is duty bound to reveal his prophecy.

Rabbi Yossi said that everything that one sees is wisdom, and the wise understand what is being hinted at by what they see and experience, but none are wiser than Rabbi Elazar.

Rabbi Aba said that if it wasn't for Torah Sages Torah scholars, mankind wouldn't be able to appreciate the Torah. They wouldn't know what are the commandments of He Who rules the world. If mankind didn't have this knowledge, then there would be no difference between the spirit of man and the spirit of animals. A voice goes out and is heard throughout the whole world… by birds, and little children…

Rabbi Yitzchak said that when G‑d brings a final judgement down against a nation, He first judges the spiritual guardian of that nation in the higher worlds as it is written: "The Lord shall punish the spiritual army on high and then the kings of the earth upon the earth." (Isaiah 24:21) And what is the judgement that this spiritual guardian undergoes in the spiritual world? They take him to that river Dinor that issues and flows from the sefira of malchut and immediately remove his kingdom from him. Then it is immediately announced that the kingdom of that particular Guardian has been removed from him.

This announcement pierces all the heavens until it reaches those who are ruling that nation. Then a voice goes out and is heard throughout the whole world, until the announcement is picked up by birds, and little children, and those mentally handicapped people who are [mistakenly] thought to not know anything.

Zohar, parashat Shemot, page 6b; translation and commentary by Simcha-Shmuel Treister

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