The Talmud records people "hearing" the Bas Kol. The Talmud also says that a bas kol goes out even nowadays.

My question is, what is the nature of this bas kol? Is it a sound? If so why can't I hear it? If not then what is it? Also, are there different kinds of bas kol's?

  • If you look around here, there's some good questions and info on the Bas Kol(sometimes spelled Bath or Bat Kol. It evidently was a way that HaShem communicated with people after classical prophecy ended. It seems to me it's first mention is the "still small voice" Eliyayu HaNavi heard after the other signs. He still used it during Talmudic days, but it looks like He gave up using it to try and guide us shortly after the incident in Bava Metzia 59, where a group of Rabbis all heard Him clearly speaking but decided to ignore Him, even rebuke Him, and He responded with 1800+ years of Galut. – Gary Sep 30 '18 at 0:09
  • See Megillah 32a – Double AA Sep 30 '18 at 0:19
  • Shemot 15:26 and Devarim 28:1 state first that the Voice of HaShem must be carefully listened to, then mention the commandments that must be followed...I guess He wasn't happy he was ignored/specifically contradicted by the leaders of that generation, so we became the tail, and not the head. No wonder there were "heretical" non-Rabbanite sects throughout history. – Gary Sep 30 '18 at 0:35

There is a Malach who is in charge of communicating 'heavenly messages'.

The Gemara in Sotah 33a records that angels do not speak Aramaic. The Gemara asks on that by bringing a story of a Bas Kol which was in Aramaic. The Gemara offers two explanations: Either the Malach of Bas Kol, whose job is communication, speaks all 70 languages, or that it was the Malach Gabriel communicating. (See Rashi al loc)

  • And it couldn't be Metatron, Sar HaPanim? He speaks and understands all languages. – Yaacov Deane Nov 8 '18 at 19:23

I can only state what I heard, but I don't remember who said what.

in the context of shidduchim.

  1. the bas kol is when you have a inner feeling that this is the right one
  2. the bas kol is when the announcement under the chupah of "ploni l'ploni" reflects exactly the heavenly decree of "ploni l'ploni".
  3. the bas kol is the chain of events which leads to the divinely desired outcome

in reference to the "bas kol yotzeis mehar chorev" in Avos 6:2:

  1. the bas kol is the unseen trigger of the hirhurei teshuvah - thoughts of becoming better - that we experience every day

A bath kol is like a voice heard in the mind. Although it sometimes sounds like a voice from heaven, it is a prophetic, rather than a physical voice, and it is only heard by those for whom it is intended. It was a voice often heard by neophytes not yet ready for privacy. Regarding the bath kol it is written, “Your ears shall hear a voice behind you” (Isaiah 30:21).

The above is taken from 6:6:32 in The Handbook of Jewish Thought by Rabbi Kaplan.

See there (p. 93) for his extensive footnotes. And lots of other information not in the OP.

  • You might want to expand on why it is called "Bat Kol" (the feminine offspring of a voice). The feminine quality is associated with cycles and repetition. It is a classical, Jewish, idiomatic expression relating to the concept of 'echo'. – Yaacov Deane Nov 8 '18 at 19:29

Megillah 32a:

ואמר ר' שפטיה אמר ר' יוחנן מנין שמשתמשין בבת קול שנאמר (ישעיהו ל, כא) ואזניך תשמענה דבר מאחריך לאמר והני מילי דשמע קל גברא במתא וקל איתתא בדברא והוא דאמר הין הין והוא דאמר לאו לאו

And Rabbi Shefatya said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: If one was deliberating about whether to do a certain action, and a Divine Voice indicated what he should do, from where is it derived that one may make use of a Divine Voice and rely upon it? As it is stated: “And your ears shall hear a word behind you saying: This is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21). The Gemara comments: This applies only when one heard a male voice in the city, which is unusual, for men are usually found in the fields, or when one heard a female voice in the fields, for women are generally not found there. Since the voice is unusual, one need not doubt it and may rely upon it. And that applies when the voice repeated its message and said: Yes, yes. And that also applies when the voice said: No, no.

Guide for the Perplexed 2:42:

The bat-kol (prophetic echo), which is so frequently mentioned by our Sages, and is something that may be experienced by men not prepared for prophecy.

For dozens of references regarding the bas kol spanning all of Jewish literature please see this web-page.

  • Can you clarify how these sources answer the questions? – Alex Nov 8 '18 at 23:50

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