Two years after his marriage he became possessed of a copy of the Kabbalistic " Bible " - the Zohar of Moses de Leon.
It is, however, not a mere coincidence that the two great kabbalistic text-books, the Bahir and the Zohar (both meaning "brightness"), appear first in the 13th century.
The Bahir, a sort of outline of the Zohar, and traditionally ascribed to Nehunya (1st century), is believed by some to be the work of Isaac the Blind ben Abraham of Posquiêres (d.
The Zohar, supposed to be by Simeon ben Yohai (2nd century), is now generally attributed to Moses of Leon (d.
About 1685) wrote the historical work Qore ha-doroth (Venice, 1746), using Jewish and other sources; Jacob ben Hayyim Zemah, kabbalist and student of Luria, wrote Qol be-ramah, a commentary on the Zohar and on the liturgy; Abraham Hayekini, kabbalist, chiefly remembered as a supporter of the would-be Messiah, Shabbethai Zebhi, wrote Hod Malkuth (Constantinople, 1655) and sermons.
In this boundlessness He could not be comprehended by the intellect or described in words, and as such the En Soph was in a certain sense Ayin, nonexistent (Zohar, iii.
2 On the Zohar, " the Bible of the Kabbalists," see below.
Pairs of Sephiroth successively emanated " (Zohar, iii.
" Just as the Sacred Aged is represented by the number three, so are all the other lights (Sephiroth) of a threefold nature " (Zohar, iii.
Everything, spirit as well as body, must return to the source whence it emanated (Zohar, ii.
His name is numerically equivalent to that of the Lord (Zohar, iii.
The myriads of the angelic hosts who people this world are divided into ten ranks, answering to the ten Sephiroth, and each one of these numerous angels is set over a different part of the universe, and derives his name from the heavenly body or element which he guards (Zohar, i.
The two are treated as one person, and are called " the Beast " (Zohar, ii.
The En Soph) created the earthly Adam " (Zohar, ii.
He unites in himself all forms " (Zohar, iii.
The mysteries in the human face" (Zohar, ii.
The head is in the shape of ', the arms and the shoulders are like r ", the breast like 1, and the two legs with the back again resemble' (Zohar, ii.
If the man is pure and his conduct is pleasing in the sight of God, he is united with that female part of the soul which was his component part prior to his birth " (Zohar, i.
All souls will be united with the Highest Soul, and will supplement each other in the Holy of Holies of the Seven Halls (Zohar, i.
Each word contains a sublime source, each narrative points not only to the single instance in question, but also to generals " (Zohar, iii.
Thus also Yahweh, Elohenu, Yahweh, constitute one - three forms which are one " (Zohar, ii.
3, one codex of the Zohar had the following remark: " The first holy denotes the Holy Father, the second the Holy Son, and the third the Holy Ghost " (cf.
4), Surely He bath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows " (Zohar, ii.
The Zohar, that farrago of absurdity and spiritual devotion, was the weapon with which these Christians defended Jewish literature against hostile ecclesiastic bodies (Abrahams, Jew.
It shows the influence of the Sepher Yesirah, is marked by the teaching of a celestial Trinity, is a rough outline of what the Zohar was destined to be, and gave the first opening to a thorough study of metaphysics among the Jews.
The Zohar (" shining," Dan.
Yobai, the reputed compiler of the Zohar; (6) " The Secret of Secrets," a treatise on physiognomy and psychology; (7) " The Aged," i.e.
The Zohar pretends to be a compilation made by Simon b.
Amongst the many facts, however, established by modern criticism which prove the Zohar to be a compilation of the 13th century, are the following: (I) the Zohar itself praises most fulsomely R.
Simon, its reputed author, and exalts him above Moses; (2) it mystically explains the Hebrew vowel points, which did not obtain till 570; (3) the compiler borrows two verses from the celebrated hymn called " The Royal Diadem," written by Ibn Gabirol, who was born about 1021; (4) it mentions the capture of Jerusalem by the crusaders and the re-taking of the Holy City by the Saracens; (5) it speaks of the comet which appeared at Rome, 15th July 1264, under the pontificate of Urban IV.; (6) by a slip the Zohar assigns a reason why its contents were not revealed before5060-5066A.M., i.e.1300-1306A.D., (7) the doctrine of the En Soph and the Sephiroth was not known before the 13th century; and (8) the very existence of the Zohar itself was not known prior 1 See, e.g., G.
1305), who first circulated and sold the Zohar as the production of R.
That eminent scholars both in the synagogue and in the church should have been induced to believe in its antiquity is owing to the fact that the Zohar embodies many older opinions and doctrines, and the undoubted antiquity of some of them has served as a lever in the minds of these scholars to raise the late speculations about the En Soph, the Sephiroth, &c., to the same age.
Sur les origines du Zohar (Paris, 1891); A.
Broyde (" Bahir," "Zohar "), with the references.
He wrote commentaries on the Zohar, the "Bible of the Kabbalists," but is best known as the critic and expander of the Shulhan Aruch of Joseph Qaro (Caro) (q.v.).
His fame is due to his authorship of the most influential Kabbalist work, the Zohar (see Kabbala), which was attributed to Simon b.
In modern times the discovery of the modernity of the Zohar has led to injustice to the author.
To him were attributed the important legal homilies called Sifre and Mekhilta (see Midrash), and above all the Zohar, the Bible of the Kabbalah.
On the authorship of the Zohar; see Kabbalah), they may sometimes preserve the recollection of a fact which only needs restatement (e.g.