Sacred Writings

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

By Nathan Wolski

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

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Rabbi El’azar said: How precious is your loving-kindness O God, human beings shelter in the shadow of Your wings (Ps. 36:8). They [the two people] arose and they all sat down and rejoiced. Rabbi El’azar said: How precious is Your loving-kindness O God—that I found you. The Blessed Holy One has shown us loving-kindness in this place. Now light the lamps! As happens frequently in the Zohar, the Companions find their way to a cave. As we shall observe repeatedly, caves occupy an important place in zoharic narratives, their mysterious ambience providing a wondrous backdrop for the Companions’ expositions.

Come and see: A king of flesh and blood—it is not dignified for him to speak of common matters, all the more so to write them. If it should enter your mind that the supernal king, the Blessed Holy One, had no supernal matters to write and with which to make a Torah, but gathered all the words of commoners [or: ordinary words], like the words of Esau, the words of Hagar, the words of Laban with Jacob, the words of the ass, the words of Bilaam, the words of Balak, the words of Zimri, and assembled them and all the other stories that are written and made from them a Torah, if so, why is she called a Torah of truth (Mal.

6 The stories of the Torah, as edifying or interesting as they may be, are not the source of the Torah’s truth or holiness. It is, rather, that In the Mountains of Kurdistan 31 which they point to, or what lies behind them, the entire generality, the flowing and mysterious world of divinity, which the mystic seeks. ” Come and see: There is a garment visible to all. When those fools see someone in a good-looking garment they look no further. But the essence of the garment is the body; the essence of the body is the soul.

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