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Authenticity of the Zohar

Authenticity of the Zohar

Beginner Beginner
The Zohar, like Talmud, was the product of generations of masters & their disciples.
Comments from "Higher Criticism"
They weren't doing their homework....
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Webmaster via March 5, 2012

To: Anonymous in Brooklyn To learn more about Zohar, you can start in our Zohar folder. Just click on "Classic Kabbalah in the left menu on any page Reply

Anonymous brooklyn, ny March 3, 2012

zohar I wish to learn more about the zohar. How can I do that online? Reply

Anonymous Tzefat via March 9, 2011

Re: bar-ben Bar Yochai is used sometimes in Midrash too and even occasionally in the Talmud. And more often simply "Rabbi Shimon" and sometimes "Rashbi" where the 'b' can be 'ben' or bar'. Reply

David דוד Reghay Flushing February 27, 2011

why "bar" and not "ben"? I believe in the authenticity and holiness of the Zohar, but I have always wanted to know why in the Gemara Rashbi is always referred to as Shimon "Ben" Yochai and not Shimon "Bar" Yochai as he is called by the Zohar. After all, the Gemara is also written in Aramaic yet uses the Hebrew word for son. Are there perhaps other ancient sources such as Midrashim that also use the term "bar"? Thanks, I've searched a lot of the answer to this question and have not been able to find one! Reply

webmaster Tzefat, Israel via December 31, 2010

Zohar from beginning Go to our Zohar section under "Classic Kabbalah" Reply

Zapata via December 20, 2010

Learning i wish learn more of zohar from begining Reply

Yosef via December 20, 2010

Thanks This is a true service to our people. Thank you for this incredibly important work. Reply

Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles via June 8, 2010

Reply to JIF from R. Moshe Miller I believe that since the publication of several works by Professor Moshe Idel (current head of Dept of Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah at the University of Jerusalem) much of Scholem's work on the Zohar has been called into question. Interestingly, Scholem himself wrote a treatise explaining why Moshe de Leon could not possibly have been the author of the Zohar. He suddenly changed his thesis when appointed the head of dept of Jewish Mysticism, without ever disproving his previous proofs. There are those who suspect that he changed his opinion in order to capture that post.
You are right; I could have used more measured tones. Attribute that to the passion of youth. Reply

Josef I Friedman Hillsborough, NJ via May 2, 2010

Some Comments on Your Articles As I'm sure you're aware and have even alluded to, Scholem's main conclusion that de Leon is the main author has continued to be accepted although certain details of his analysis have rightly been questioned (such as the quality of the Zohar's Aramaic), as we'd certainly expect in any scholarly exercise. Some of your comments on individuals, seem overly harsh. Reply

Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles via October 16, 2009

reply to Art Millerfrom R. Moshe Miller, part 2 In any event, review the verses in Bamidbar 17:11-13 and see the Targum Onkelos and Yerushalmi. This, my friend, is the origin of the phrase itbasma dina – when Aaron was told to use the incense (busmin or busmaya in Aramaic – itbasma is the verb form) to mitigate the plague which was causing people to die – i.e. to overcome the harsh decree with incense [or in general with good deeds that are “a pleasing scent to Hashem”] (which a better translation of the phrase itbasma dina). Why Scholem finds it necessary to dig up some extremely unlikely connection to Spanish instead of looking first and foremost in Jewish literature, I don’t know. Perhaps he had an agenda?

All the best.
Rabbi Moshe Miller Reply

Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles via October 16, 2009

reply to Art Miller from R. Moshe Miller, part 1 I know of no Spanish in the Zohar at all, other than the very dubious claims to the Spanish origins of a couple of words (no more than that!) that Scholem makes in his Major Trends p. 165.

One of those words Scholem believes is spanish in origin is “gardin” (see Major Trends p. 165 footnote 43). How then does he explain the existence of the word in Masechta Avoda Zara 26a and Yalkut Shimoni Vayishlach remez 133 which have the same meaning there as the word in the Zohar eg. Vol. 3 63a? Perhaps Scholem was no expert in the Gemara or in Midrash but he could at least have checked in a Concordance!

The second example Scholem cites (footnote 44) is itbasma dina, usually translated as “to sweeten judgments” or harsh decrees, which he claims comes from the Spanish endulzar. He adds that the Hebrew phrase hamtakat hadin is of much later origin. But a similar phrase (not identical, true, but similar enough, and IN THE SAME SENSE) is used in Bamidbar Rabba 10:3; Mechilta Beshallach 15 and in Talmud Yerushalmi Avodah Zara 2:8. Reply

Art Miller Baltimore, Maryland via September 11, 2009

Spanish words found in the Zohar Dear Rabbi Moshe Miller:
Will you tell me why Spanish found its way into the Zohar? The earliest mention of the Spanish language used verbally or in written form was that it was an ougrowth of Vulgar Latin in the Fifth Century, or that it became a "language" in the 9th Century around the time of Charlemagne, and Rabbi Shimon and his colleagues apparently "wrote" the Zohar in the second century when hiding from the Romans, and were living in an area far, far away from Spain -- across the Mediterannean Sea, I believe. Thank you. Reply

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