1. "And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that Elohim led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines..." (Shemot 13:17). Rabbi Shimon opened the discussion, saying: "A prayer of the prophet Habakkuk upon errors" (Chavakuk 3:1). This passage is difficult, and should be investigated. What is the reason FOR WRITING, "A prayer of the prophet Habakkuk," rather than any other prophet of the world, for by them, it is not written, 'A prayer of Isaiah the Prophet,' or of Jeremiah, or Ezekiel or Hosea, or the other prophets of the world?
2. HE RESPONDS, We have learned that Elisha merited in the world what no other prophet did, except for Moses. Come and behold, it is written, "And it fell on a day and Elisha passed to Shunem, where there was a great woman" (II Melachim 4:8). What is meant by "a great woman?" It is that she was great in her actions and the entire household was proud of her. She was the mistress of the house and, since her husband was not present in the house to be the master, she was mentioned instead of him.
3. "Where there was a great woman." Another EXPLANATION IS that she was greater than all the other women in the world because the other women were vexed and distressed when they saw a guest in the house, and they would not spend money on him. But she rejoiced with a guest, and spent money on him. When she saw Elisha she was moreover very happy with him. All the praise goes to the woman, because the guest of the house is the woman's. Therefore, it is written, "Where there was a great woman," for she was greater than all other women.
4. "And she said to her husband, 'Behold now, I know that this is a holy man of Elohim'" (Ibid. 9). HE ASKS, How did she know THAT HE WAS A HOLY MAN? HE RESPONDS, THE friends explained that she would spread a white sheet on his bed and never saw an emission of semen on it. Also, a fly never passed on his table.
5. HE ASKS, These words are difficult. You say that she never saw an accidental emission from him, but there are many people in the world who are so AND HAVE NO ACCIDENTAL EMISSIONS. What is the difference here? If you say that a fly never passed over his table, why is it written, "Behold now, I know?" Did only she and no one else know? Yet all those who saw him eat at his table knew, JUST LIKE HER.
6. HE RESPONDS, But rather she spoke well, "Behold now, I know." Only she knew because she arranged his bed when he lay down in it at night and when he arose in the morning. It was so that she spread a white sheet in his bed, and by this did she know, for the way of the world is that when a person arises from his bed, the sheet on which he slept exudes a foul odor. But when she removed the sheet from his bed, it exuded scents like those in the Garden of Eden. She said, 'If it were not for the fact that he is holy and the Holiness of his Master is upon him, a holy scent would not arise FROM THE SHEET.'
7. As a result, he had to separate from the house, because a person cannot be so careful inside the house. But she said, "Let us make a small upper chamber, I pray you, with walls; and let us set for him there a bed and table, and a chair, and a lamp" (Ibid. 10). HE INQUIRES, Why these four? HE RESPONDS, Because they restore the Congregation of Yisrael, WHICH IS MALCHUT, that is called an 'upper chamber with walls.' And so is it called, for it is written, "Then Hezekiah turned his face towards the wall" (Yeshayah 38:2).
8. "A bed, and a table, and a chair, and a lamp." HE ASKS, the order of the passage is not the order of the usage, because first a chair is needed, and afterwards a table, and afterwards a lamp, and then a bed. So why did she start with the bed? HE RESPONDS, Because she liked the bed better than everything, and a person places that which he likes first - FOR SHE NOTICED IN THE BED A HIGHER DEGREE OF HOLINESS ABOVE EVERYTHING.
9. "And it happened one day, that he came there" (II Melachim 4:11). HE ASKS, "And it happened one day." What day was it? HE RESPONDS, It is as we explained. Come and behold, that day was the holy day of Rosh Hashanah (the New Year), when the barren women of the world and the inhabitants of the world were remembered. He called the Shunamite and said, "Behold, you have been careful to take all this trouble for us" (Ibid. 13). Therefore, I must study the Judgments of the world today, because today the Holy One, blessed be He, Judges the world, and because I separated myself to be alone in this place, IN THE UPPER CHAMBER WITH WALLS WHICH WAS PREPARED FOR ME. I must search the sentences of the world, MEANING THAT WHOEVER SEPARATES TO BE ALONE ON THE DAY OF JUDGMENT IS SNARED FIRST, THOUGH HE MAY BE GUILTLESS.
10. HE ASKS, "What is to be done for you? Would you be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host?" (Ibid.) Is this important to a woman who never goes out or goes to the king's palace? But this day caused all the inhabitants of the world to await Judgment and on that day, the Holy One, blessed be He, shall be proclaimed as King, the King of Judgment. He said to her, 'If you need the Supernal King TO FORGIVE YOU for your actions, I WILL SPEAK AND BESEECH ON YOUR BEHALF.'