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Shin

Aleph made from 3 & 4-Headed Shins

Usually the Hebrew letter Shin ש has three 'heads'.  However, engraved in the right and left sides of the black leather box of the head tefilin (phylacteries) are two Shins - one with three 'heads' and one with four.

Primary Sounds (version 1)


In this picture you can see the Three Mother Letters of Sefer Yetzirah:

See the large Hebrew letter Aleph א?

Now look at the yellow diagonal line.  It can be seen as the Hebrew letter Vav pronounced Wow.  It can also be seen as the numeral One.  The Wow of this Aleph balances and united the red Shin ש the blue final Mem ם. 

Primary Letters

The Sefer Yetzirah teaches that of the Twenty-two Hebrew letters, three are primary. 
These are the Three Mother Letters - Aleph א, Mem מ and Shin ש.

Shin ש is in the triangle in the lighter red.    The sound of Shin is an outward, chaotic, hissing sound.   Shin is a vertically oriented letter that is open upward - like Fire that rises to the Heavens.  Our orientation to the Heavens is vertical.
 

Primary Sounds (version 2)

 
This picture can used as a focus for meditation.  Sit comfortably and become aware of your chest rising and falling with your breath.  Now breathe in through your nose down into your belly with your lips closed.  This is the humming sound of the blue letter Mem in the lower part of this picture.