185. Rabbi Pinchas frequently visited Rabbi Rechumai, who lived at the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He was a great man who was full of years and had lost his eyesight. He said to Rabbi Pinchas, I have heard that our friend Yochai has a jewel, a precious stone, NAMELY A SON. And I have observed the light that shines from that jewel; and it shines like the radiance of the sun as it emerges out from its sheath and illuminates the whole world.
186. And that light extends from the heavens down to the earth, where it brightens the whole world until the Atik Yomin, WHO IS KETER, appears and is properly seated upon the throne, THIS REFERS TO THE END OF CORRECTION. And this radiance is contained entirely in your household, THAT IS IN YOUR DAUGHTER, BECAUSE THE DAUGHTER OF RABBI PINCHAS WAS THE WIFE OF RABBI SHIMON BAR YOCHAI. And from this effulgence that is contained in your household, a tiny ray of light, THAT IS THE SON OF HIS DAUGHTER, WHO IS RABBI ELAZAR, comes forth and brightens up the whole world. How happy is your lot. Go my son, go! Go after that jewel that shines and lights up all the world, as the hour is propitious for you.
187. He took his leave from him and was about to enter a boat, accompanied by two people. He saw two birds flying toward him over the lake. He raised up his voice and said, Birds, O birds - you who fly over the waters - have you seen the place, where the son of Yochai is? He waited awhile and then said, Birds, O birds - Go and bring me back an answer! They flew away, into the middle of the sea, and disappeared.
188. Before he went ON BOARD THE SHIP and departed, the two birds appeared again. In the mouth of one of them was a letter informing him that RABBI SHIMON, the son of Yochai, had left the cave together with his son, Rabbi Elazar. RABBI PINCHAS went to meet him. He saw that he had completely changed, and his body was full of scars and sores FROM STAYING SO LONG IN THE CAVE. He wept together WITH HIM and said, Woe, that I have seen you so! RABBI SHIMON REPLIED: O how happy is my lot, that you have seen me so. Because had you not seen me thus I would not have been so. Rabbi Shimon opened the discussion on the precepts of the Torah by saying, The precepts of the Torah that were given to Yisrael by the Holy One, blessed be He, are all written in the Torah in general.