Download A Journey into the Zohar: An Introduction to the Book of by Nathan Wolski PDF

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By Nathan Wolski

An advent to the Zohar, the crowning paintings of medieval Kabbalah. comprises unique translations and research.

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Additional info for A Journey into the Zohar: An Introduction to the Book of Radiance

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The stress on the verse “The Torah of YHVH is perfect” is of particular significance. In Sha’arei Orah, one of the most important kabbalistic works from the same period as the Zohar, and written by Joseph Gikatilla, a colleague of Moses de Leon and perhaps also one of the people responsible for the composition of the Zohar, we find this verse cited in a particularly important passage addressing the Torah: . . know the Written Torah is the essence of this Name which is called YHVH, may He be blessed.

All the books that are opened are concealed there; and therefore nothing is forgotten by the King. This throne is not arrayed and does not abide except in the seventh month, which is the day of judgment, a day on which all the people of the world are reckoned. They all pass before that throne. About this [it is written], In the seventh month . . the ark came to rest—in the seventh month, indeed, for it is the judgment of the world. On the mountains of Ararat—those masters of judgment, masters of the groan and moan, and they all are present on that day before the Blessed Holy One.

139:12). All this serves to teach you that He does not need the lamps of mortals . . Why then did He command you to kindle lamps? In order to enable you to acquire merit. This is why it says, be-ha’alotekha, when you light the lamps. —Numbers Rabbah 15:2, Be-ha’alotekha (Soncino, modified) Another midrash that follows soon after restates the same point. Focusing on the opening word of the verse, be-ha’alotekha, which means when you light or ignite, although more literally might be rendered, when you elevate, the rabbis have God remark: “I only told you to kindle lamps in order to elevate you” (15:7).

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